[Skip to content]



  • This was given to me by my step-grandmother and used to hang in my Grandad's front room. I believe the original was taken late 1914 or early 1915, just before he went off to fight, with the medals being added after his death. Having trained at Chatham he became a short service marine (denoted by the letter "S") of the Chatham Battalion, Royal Marine Light Infantry. He fought as part of the Gallipoli campaign and was killed on 8th May 1915 in the Second Battle of Krithia.
Person Details
02 Dec 1871
Derby
John was born in Derby on 2 December 1871. He married Minnie Varley (b. Nottingham 18 July 1871) at Radford St Peter on 9 May 1891 and they had nine children of whom six survived infancy or early childhood. Their surviving children, who were born in Nottingham, were: Elsie b. 1893 bap. New Basford St Augustine 5 December 1899. Kate b. 1894 bap. St Augustine 5 December 1899; Minnie b. 1898 bap. St Augustine 5 December 1899; John Baden b. 29 August 1900; Florence b. 1902 and Leslie b. 13 March 1907. Two of their three children who died young were Sarah Ann b. 1891 (A/M/J) d. 1894 (J/A/S) and Ethel birth registered 1897 (J/F/M) d. 1897 (O/N/D). In 1899 when three of their children were baptised at New Basford parish church, John and his wife were living at 4 Dora Place, Basford. The family was still at the same address in 1901 although only Minnie and her four children, Elsie (7), Kate (6), Minnie (2) and John (under one year) were in the home on the night of the census. By 1911 the family had moved to 1 Forster Avenue, Forster Street, Radford. All six of their surviving children were still living at home: Elsie a curtain mender, Kate a box hand (tobacco factory, Minnie, John, Florence (8) and Leslie (4). John and the family were living at 21 Croydon Road, Old Radford when he enlisted in 1914 but by the time of his death in 1915 they had moved to 16 Mitchell Street, Radford. His widow Minnie was living at 121 Exeter Street, Nottingham, with her married son, John, in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled. Also in the household were his wife Lilian (née Terry, b. 8 October 1899, m. 1923) and their children John B. b. 18 July 1925 an errand boy and Raymond b 15 June 1929. The record of one other member of the household remains closed. Minnie died on 5 August 1947. Minnie's eldest daughter, Elsie, pre-deceased her. Elsie had married Jesse Barrowcliffe in 1911 (O/N/D) and they had four children: John S. b. 27 February 1912 (d. 1939), Elsie M b. 1913, Jesse b. 1915 and Minnie b. 19 January 1917. She died in 1918 (J/A/S Newcastle upon Tyne Northumberland).
In 1911 he was a labourer in the lace industry.
08 May 1915
43
3054260 - CWGC Website
CH/72(S)
21 Croydon Road Old Radford Nottingham
Private
Chatham Bn Royal Marine Light Infantry
John had served in the Milita, 4th Bn Sherwood Foresters (5320), before the war. He enlisted on 25 June 1897 at the age of 24 when he was living with his wife and children at 1 Prospect Passage, Churchfield Lane, Old Radford. He re-engaged in the 4th Battalion on 8 April 1905. He rejoined his old regiment on 1st September 1914 but was transferred to the Royal Marines Light Infantry on 16th September 1914 and served with the Chatham Bn Royal Naval Division. John served in Gallipoli and was killed in action on 8th May 1915. He has no known grave and his name is commemorated on Helles Memorial, Gallipoli. He qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. John Court enlisted with the Sherwood Foresters 1/9/1914 but became one of 'Kitchener's Marines' who were transferred from the Sherwood Foresters to the RMLI. (He transferred on a short service engagement on 16/9/1914). Des Turner notes '600 RMLI transfers came from 2 regiments - 200 from the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) and 400 from the Sherwood Foresters. They were predominantly ex-miners and labourers, fit men wanted for their ability to dig trenches and tunnels. The 200 KOYLI recruits were transferred to Plymouth Division RMLI and were given service numbers PLY/1(S) to PLY200(S). This was also the case for the Sherwood Foresters 200 who were dispatched to Portsmouth where already 30 men were recruited and so they became PO/31(S) to PO/230(S). 200 remaining Foresters went to Chatham and were numbered CH/1 to CH/200(S).' Court's military record describes him as a man of 'very good' character. The Second Battle of Krithia (Source Wikipedia). Like the first battle of Krithia, the plan was for a general advance on a broad front across the Gallipoli peninsula. The plan was made despite the fact that the British had no clear idea where the Ottoman fortifications were. There was as yet no continuous system of trenches and aerial reconnaissance had failed to locate the defences. Consequently, the preliminary bombardments that were made before each advance were utterly ineffectual. Hunter-Weston also insisted that the attacks be made in broad daylight, fearing that an attack under the cover of darkness would become confused. The Allied advance began later than scheduled, around 11:00 on 6 May but was swiftly halted by strong Turkish resistance. At no point were the Ottoman defences reached. The attack was resumed on 7 May; it used the same plan and produced largely the same results. On the morning of 8 May, the 88th Brigade in front of Krithia on Fir Tree Spur was relieved by the New Zealanders who made yet another attempt which failed with huge losses. Australian troops ordered into the attack suffered 50% casualties. The maximum advance achieved was 600 yards and about one third of the Allied soldiers became casualties. The poor planning of the battle extended to the medical provisions for the wounded which were woeful. The few stretcher bearers that were available often had to carry their burdens all the way to the beach as there was no intermediate collecting station with wagon transport. The hospital ship arrangements were also inadequate so that once the wounded were taken off the beach they would have trouble finding a ship prepared to take them on board.
Nottingham Evening Post, 15 June 1915, photograph with caption: ‘Pte J Court, Royal Marines, 16, Mitchell St., Radford, killed in action May 20. (sic) Served 20 years in the Sherwood Foresters.’ All Saints Church News, July 1919: 'The following have not previously been reported in the Church News. John Court, 175 Forest Road, Private Royal Marines Light Infantry, killed in action May 20th 1915 in the Dardanelles, aged 48.' Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 8 August 1947: ‘Court. August 5th, Minnie, dearly loved mother of Kate, Minnie, Florrie, John and Leslie. Funeral Bulwell, Saturday, 11.45.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on

Photos

  • This was given to me by my step-grandmother and used to hang in my Grandad's front room. I believe the original was taken late 1914 or early 1915, just before he went off to fight, with the medals being added after his death. Having trained at Chatham he became a short service marine (denoted by the letter "S") of the Chatham Battalion, Royal Marine Light Infantry. He fought as part of the Gallipoli campaign and was killed on 8th May 1915 in the Second Battle of Krithia.
    CH72(S) Private John Court - This was given to me by my step-grandmother and used to hang in my Grandad's front room. I believe the original was taken late 1914 or early 1915, just before he went off to fight, with the medals being added after his death. Having trained at Chatham he became a short service marine (denoted by the letter "S") of the Chatham Battalion, Royal Marine Light Infantry. He fought as part of the Gallipoli campaign and was killed on 8th May 1915 in the Second Battle of Krithia.
  • Photograph published on 16th June 1915 in the Nottingham Evening Post and courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    John Court - Photograph published on 16th June 1915 in the Nottingham Evening Post and courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918