Private 20052 John Banner

Banner John 96 441x600

Killed in Action on Saturday, 28th July 1917, age 38.
Buried in Grave IV. A. 30. at Brown's Copse Cemetery, Roeux, Pas De Calais, France.

8th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 51st Brigade of 17th Division.

Son of Mrs Banner, of 3 Harrold Street, Toll End, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/567355/

Genealogical Data

1891 Census
1 House 1 Court, Aston Street, Tipton, Staffs.
John Banner (34, Barge Boatman, born Tipton), his wife Ellen (32, born Wolverhampton), and their 5 children: John (12, Scholar, born Tipton), Ann (10, Scholar, born Tipton), Elizabeth (8, Scholar, born Tipton), William (6, Scholar, born Tipton), and Joseph (1, born Tipton).

Marriage of John Banner and Eliza Jinks registered December quarter 1900 in Dudley.

1901 Census
23 Bridge Road, Tipton, Staffs.
John Banner (22, Canal Boatman, born Tipton), his wife Eliza (23, born Tipton), and their new-born daughter: Phoebe Ellen (1 month, born Tipton).

1911 Census
33 Midland Terrace, Tipton, Staffs.
John Banner (31, Canal Boatman, born Tipton), his wife Eliza (32, born Tipton), and 4 of their 5 surviving children of 5: Annie (8, School, born Tipton), John (7, School, born Tipton), Sarah (4, born Tipton), and May (2, born Tipton). Their eldest daughter, Phoebe aged 10 years, was living with grandparents Josiah and Phoebe Jinks at 10 Eagle Lane, Tipton.

Personal Data

John Banner joined the South Staffs in 1914, but according to his Medal Index Card did not serve abroad before 1916. A letter from John to the customers of the Turf Tavern, published in the Tipton Herald in January 1916, suggests that he had already been abroad for some time. According to that letter John was a stretcher-bearer and had been recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal, but it was never awarded. Frederick, his younger brother, was recommended for the Victoria Cross for his work as a stretcher-bearer with the 3rd Worcesters, and was actually awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Frederick was killed in August 1916.

After John's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £0/18/0d (18 shillings exactly); this was paid to his widow, Eliza, in December 1917. His War Gratuity was £9/0/0d (9 pounds exactly), this was also paid to Eliza in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that John had enlisted in approximately June 1915.

Action resulting in his death

After the Arras battles of first and second Scarpe, and the capture of Roeux, July was a quieter month for the 8th South Staffs. On the 25th July, they took over the front line near the Chemical Works sub-sector near Roeux, and lost 6 men killed before the end of the month.

The War Diary entry for the 28th July says: "Enemy very quiet during morning. Our artillery register on enemy positions in afternoon prior to raid by 7th East Yorks, to take place on our front at 12.30 am, 29th."

John was the only man from the 8th South Staffs killed on the 28th July, and is buried in Brown's Copse Cemetery, Roeux.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 5th December 1914
The list of Ocker Hill men serving included Frederick & Joseph Banner.

Tipton Herald 15th January 1916
The landlord, Mr Fred Pearson, and customers of the Turf Tavern, Aston Street, Toll End, Tipton, sent 2/6d postal orders to local soldiers, and received a letter of appreciation from Private J Banner:-.
"I hope you enjoyed Christmas day all right, and a Happy New Year to you all. I had your Christmas box all right, which I was glad to receive, but I was in the trenches all the time, and the Germans sent a lot of gas over to us, stuff we don't like, but they will know when we get the wind in our favour. The place we are holding is the hottest along the line, but I hope I shall see you before long. I have seen some sights out here, and I shall be glad when it is over, but I've got luck on my side. I shall have the DCM before long, as I have been recommended for it. I have risked my life a good many times bringing in the wounded, but that is my work. I am a stretcher-bearer and we have plenty to do. I have been in one charge."

Tipton Herald 30th March 1918
Some time ago we published in these columns, an account of the death of Pte. F. Banner, of the 3rd Worcesters, which occurred on August 25th 1916, while bringing to our lines an injured comrade. The hero's mother visited the Rugeley Camp, and was presented with her son's medal.
We may state that another son, Private John Banner, who before joining the colours was engaged by Mr Elliment, of Gospel Oak, has made the supreme sacrifice. He leaves a widow and five children.
A son named Joseph has returned home gassed, and the youngest son, Jim, is still with the colours. The mother who is a widow, residing at Harrold Street, Toll End, wishes to express her thanks to the Officers of the Rugeley Camp for their hospitality.

Tipton Herald 31st August 1918
In Memoriam
In loving memory of my dear brothers, Private Fred Banner, 3rd Worcestershire Regiment, killed in action in France on August 25th 1916 (he died to save his comrade), and his brother Private John Banner, 8th South Staffs Regiment, killed July 28th 1917. Ever remembered by their sister, Mrs Stevens; Lizzie in Canada; his mother and brothers (Jim in France). "They answered their country's call. Sleep, peaceful sleep."