[Skip to content]

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Etaples Military Cemetery, France.  Photograph Murray Biddle
Person Details
Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire.
Parents: George and Eliza Ann Newton of Mansfield Woodhouse. His next of kin was Mr John Jackson of 30 Warsop Road, Mansfield Woodhouse, his grand-father. His grand-mother, Mrs Jackson was presented with his St George (Russia) Medal.
Worked at Shirebrook Colliery.
29 Sep 1915
504381 - CWGC Website
30 Warsop Road, Mansfield Woodhouse.
1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Private John William Newton, enlisted on 7th September 1914 aged 20 years and 11 months. He served with “B” Company, 1/8th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment. He was awarded the Medal of St. George, 4th Class (Russia), for his bravery on 21st April 1915 when he and a fellow drummer rendered help to an officer who had been shot while out wiring. John William was wounded on 25 September 1915 and died on 29 September 1915. He was buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, France (grave ref. IV.G.6A).
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die. Wis. III' 'History of the 1/8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters 1914-1919', Captain WCC Weetman (p.53): 'Eddison, our first fatal Officer casualty, was killed on April 21st, being hit by a bullet whilst out wiring, and though help was instantly rendered by Drummers Newton and Robb, who pulled him out of the shell-hole of water, into which he had fallen, and carried him into the trench, he died in a few minutes.' Mansfield Chronicle Advertiser: 16/09/1915. "Honour for Mansfield Woodhouse Soldier. Photograph of Drummer John William Newton of 1/8th Sherwood Foresters has been awarded the medal of St George 4th class by Tzar Nicholas. "A good shot he was a sniper and accounted for 30 German Soldiers." Mansfield Chronicle Advertiser: 07/10/1915. Report on the Death of Drummer John William Newton. He had succumbed to his wounds. He had been on leave at his grandmother's until 21/09/1915 and had returned to the front. Wounded in the head on 25/09/1915, dying on the 29th September. Mansfield Chronicle Advertiser: 09/03/1916. Mrs Jackson was presented with John William Newton's St George Medal (Russia). Article published on 17th September 1915 in the Nottingham Daily Express:- MANSFIELD WOODHOUSE HERO. “Drummer, with the Czar's Decoration, Arrives Home. “HOW HE WON HIS MEDAL. “Drummer John William Newton, a Mansfield Woodhouse soldier serving with the 1st/8th Sherwood Forester, to whom the Czar has awarded the Medal of St. George (fourth class), has just arrived home on a short leave. “Speaking to an “Express” representative yesterday, [16th September 1915] the young drummer (he will be 22 to-morrow) said: –– “We have had some rough times, and I have been extra lucky. Our men are doing all they can, and doing it with a good heart, and we shall win.” “Questioned as to the circumstances under which he won his medal, Drummer Newton told a thrilling story. “He, together with a comrade, and in charge of Second-Lieutenant Eddison, he said, went out in front of the trenches to fix wire entanglements. Their duty was to connect up the wires, they being some 100 yards from the enemy trenches. Whilst they were so engaged, the officer was wounded and fell into a hole made by the explosion of a “Jack Johnson.” Under heavy machine gun fire, said the gallant drummer. Robb (his companion) and I dragged him out and into our trench. But he was so badly wounded that he died very shortly afterwards. “Later,” he added, “I went back to fetch Robb’s and my own rifle.” “On another occasion, Corporal-Drummer Clews was shot through the calf of the leg in front of the trenches, and Drummer Newton pluckily went to his assistance, managing to drag him to a place of safety, a task which took over half-an-hour. “On this occasion, Newton was hit in the left forearm, but his wound, fortunately, was not serious. He has received appreciative messages of congratulation for “conspicuous bravery in the field” from Major-General Stuart Wortley (commanding the North Midland Division) and Lieutenant Charles Huskinson, the last-named officer writing:— “l am very pleased for your sake, and for the sake of the regiment, that you have won the Russian decoration. I hope you will live long to enjoy it.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Etaples Military Cemetery, France.  Photograph Murray Biddle
    John William Newton - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Etaples Military Cemetery, France. Photograph Murray Biddle