Born in 1898 John was one of three children of Robert and Sarah Greenhough, Pott Shrigley, in April 1899 John’s father, Robert died. The 1901 census shows Sarah and her three children living with her parents James and Frances Kirkham in Pott Shrigley. By 1904 both Sarah’s parents had passed away. In 1911 Sarah and the three children, Elizabeth 15, John James 13, and Ethel 12 are living at Jackson Brow, Pott Shrigley, also living with them is Sarah’s younger sister Florence Kirkham. John James was at school but also working part time at a print works.
John enlisted at Macclesfield and after training was drafted to France with the British Expeditionary Force. He served with the 9th battalion Manchester Regiment and is listed as killed in action 23rd March 1918. On 21st March 1918 the Germans had launched a major offensive which became known as the Spring Offensive and which forced the Allies back. The battalion war diary for the day reads:
From Beaumetz the battalion marched through Peronne and took up a position on the east side of the river Somme at Eterpigny and covered the retirement of another division over the river, when we then blew up the bridge. In the evening the battalion was relieved and took up another position at Biaches.
Documents found in the Red Cross archives would indicate that John was found by the Germans and taken to hospital, these state that John died 24th March from a gunshot wound to the head. John is buried at St. Souplet British War Cemetery, in March 1918 this town was some 35 miles behind the German lines.
Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank Michael Akerman for the picture of John James.