Private 21294 John Jarvis

Jarvis John 96 400x600
Photograph courtesy of Frank's great-great grandson, Kelvin Harris.

Killed in Action Gallipoli on Friday, 6th August 1915, age 39.
Commemorated on Panel 104 to 113 of Helles Memorial, Turkey.

4th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 88th Brigade of 29th Division.

Son of Thomas Jarvis, of Tipton; husband of Alice Jarvis, of 10, Eagle Square, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Hanley Castle, Worcs.

First landed Balkans, 24th 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/692468/

Genealogical Data

John Jarvis was born in Tipton on 9th February 1877.

1891 Census
4 House 6 Court, Toll End Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Jarvis (40, Widower, Puddler, born Newport, Salop), and his 5 children: John (12, Scholar, born Tipton), Martha (8, Scholar, born Tipton), Lucy (5, Scholar, born Tipton), Elizabeth (4, born Tipton), and Thomas (2, born Tipton).

1901 Census
Cannot find trace of John Jarvis.

Marriage of John Jarvis and Alice Evritt took place on 7th April 1901 at St. Martin's Church, Tipton.

1911 Census
11 Dale Street, Burnt Tree, Tipton, Staffs.
John Jarvis (33, Mill Labourer, born Toll End, Tipton), his wife Alice (30, born unk), and their 5 children: John Henry (11, School, born Tividale), Annie (8, School, born Tipton), Samuel (6, School, born Tipton), Mary Ann (4, born Tipton), and Alice (11 months, born Tipton). A further child, William, was born on 13th December 1912.

Personal Data

John Jarvis first enlisted with the Army Service Corps on 4th November 1914. He was discharged just 6 days later on 10th November under paragraph 392 of King's Regulations, most likely 'not being likely to become an effective soldier'. At this time, he was 37 years and 298 days of age, and employed as a horse driver - ideal for the Army Service Corps. He was 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighed 126 pounds and had a 36-inch chest. He had a fair complexion, grey eyes, light brown hair, and was Church of England.

Despite this setback to his military career, Frank must have almost immediately enlisted, this time with the Worcesters. After training he landed in Gallipoli on 24th July 1915, about 2 weeks before he was killed. Sadly his Soldier's Papers from this period of service were lost during the blitz which destroyed about 2/3rds of the Soldier's Papers.

After John's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £0/12/5d (12 shillings and 5 pence); this was paid to his widow, Alice, in June 1916. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was also paid to Alice in September 1919. Alice had re-married in September quarter 1917 and was now Alice Hickinbottom. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that John had enlisted within the previous 12 months.

Action resulting in his death

Battle for Krithia Vineyard, 6th August 1915.
The 4th Worcesters were in action at Cape Helles in May 1915, but were withdrawn for a few days in a rest camp on Lemnos. They arrived back at 'W' Beach after dark on 28th July and moved to Gully Brach in preparation for action on 6th August. This was to be a subsidiary attack to the main attack from the Anzac area on the mountain of Sari Bair.

The 4th Worcesters, 800 strong, left the beach at 4.00am and moved into the assembly trenches. The Battle for Krithia Vineyard commenced at 2.20pm when the British guns started to fire, and the Turks immediately replied with shrapnel and high-explosive shells bursting all along the trenches.

In a letter written that day Ben Tromans of Cradley Heath described the scene as: "..it was not fit for a fly to get out of the trenches, for the shot and shells were flying everywhere, knocking the sand bags of the top of the trenches which we had to mount to get at the Turks".

At 3.50pm the battalion moved forward in four waves and as they crested a low rise they were cut down and what few men that reached the trenches were overcome by superior numbers of Turks in hand-to-hand fighting.

The casualties of the 4th Worcesters were given in the Regimental History as 16 Officers and 752 NCOs and Men wounded, killed or missing; this from an attacking force of approximately 800 men. During the night of 6th/7th August, a search of no-mans land brought in 300 wounded men. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" records that 359 Other Ranks were killed on 6th August, and many more would die from their wounds in subsequent days.

6 Tipton men were killed in action on that day: William Cooper, Eli Edwards, John Jackson, John Jarvis, Isaac Pagett, and David Summers, none have a known grave and all are commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings