Rifleman S/6325 John Appleby

Appleby John 96 417x600

Killed in Action on Saturday, 25th September 1915, age 26.
Commemorated on Panel 10 of Ploegsteert Memorial, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium.

12th Bn., Rifle Brigade. 60th Brigade of 20th Division.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Stockton-on-Tees, Resident: Mossley, Lancs.

First landed France & Flanders, 21st July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/873919/

Genealogical Data

Birth of John Appleby registered March quarter 1889 in Dudley.

1901 Census
24 Railway Street, Tipton, Staffs.
John Appleby (42, Boiler Maker, born Newark), his wife Jane (40, born Tipton), and their 3 children: John (11, born Tipton), Jane (9, born Tipton), and Willie (6, born Tipton).

1911 Census
79 Horseley Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Jane Appleby (50, born Tipton), and 2 of her 4 surviving children of 5: Jane (19, born Tipton), and William (16, Errand Boy, born Tipton).

1911 Census
30 Fenton Street, Scunthorpe, Lincs.
Boarding with James and Clara Jordan was:
Jack Appleby (22, Boarder, Furnace Rivetter, born Tipton).

Personal Data

None Available.

Action resulting in his death

The Battle of Loos commenced on 25th September 1915. The 12th Rifle Brigade, as part of 20th (Light) Division were to mount a diversionary attack some 10 miles north of the main attack, at Pietre near Neuve Chapelle.

At 6.30am the Indian Meerut Division advanced, at 8.25am after some communications delay, the 12th Rifles also advanced. Despite casualties from machine gun fire, within an hour the Rifles were in the German trenches. The left flank of the Indian attack had suffered heavy casualties, was faltering and becoming dispirited. By the time the Rifles had reached the Moulin de Pietre, the Indian troops were retiring and the Germans advancing in force. To make matters worse our own artillery was still shelling the captured trenches in the belief that they were held by the enemy. The only option was a withdrawal and by 12.30pm the 12th Rifles were back in their own trenches.

During the morning, the 12th Rifles HQ had been hit by a German heavy shell killing the Commanding Officer and Adjutant amongst others. The Medical Officer, Captain G. Malim, was wounded but continued to work for the next 24 hours attending to over 400 cases in his aid post, even though in full view of the enemy. For his bravery on that day, he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

100 officers and men of the 12th Rifles were killed on the 25th September, including John Appleby who has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ploegtsteert Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

County Express.
Rifleman J. Appleby, 6325, Rifle Brigade, reported wounded and missing 25 September 1915. News wanted by Mr William Appleby, 85 Horseley Road, Tipton.