Sapper 97065 John Henry Mason

Died Home on Tuesday, 18th September 1917, age 27.
Buried in Grave in North-East part at Ocker Hill (St. Mark) Churchyard, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

Royal Engineers.

Husband of Mary Toft (formerly Mason), of 36, Bridge Rd., Toll End, Tipton.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Willenhall, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 11th October 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and St. Mark's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/395327/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
15 Spring Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Charles Mason (32, Pumping Engine Driver, born Tipton), his wife Alice (31, born Tipton), and their 4 children: John (10, born Tipton), Enoch (7, born Tipton), Henry (5, born Tipton), and Lizzie (3, born Tipton).

1911 Census
4 Cupfields, Toll End Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Charles Mason (42, Stationary Engine Driver, born Tipton), his wife Alice (41, born Tipton), and their 6 surviving children of 8: John (20, Apprentice Fitter, born Tipton), Enoch (18, Driller, born Tipton), Harry (16, Miller, born Tipton), Lizzie (13, School, born Tipton), Alice (9, born Tipton), and Wilfred (5, born Tipton).

Marriage of John Mason and Mary Evans registered December quarter 1912 in Dudley. They had 2 children: John Charles (born October 1910) and William Frederick (born March 1917).

Personal Data

John was a Fitter at the Gospel Oak Colliery, and enlisted on 23rd April 1915. His mechanical engineering skills saw him join the Royal Engineers, and he landed in France on 11th October 1915.

At the time of his discharge, John was 27 years old, 5 feet 7½ inches tall with a 37-inch chest. He had a fresh complexion, brown eye, dark hair and had tattoo marks on his left forearm. His official discharge was dated 14th September 1917 at Chatham when he belonged to 'G' Company of the Royal Engineers Depot Battalion, Chatham.

This man is commemorated as J Mason on the Tipton Library Memorial, but correctly as JH Mason on St. Mark's Memorial. Note, there is another J Mason.

Action resulting in his death

In May 1916 John contracted enteric fever (a form of typhoid primarily resulting from poor hygiene and sanitation). He was sent back to England on 23rd June 1916, and from then on he suffered from pains in the head, fainting, sweating, breathlessness on light exertion, and palpitations.

According to a Medical Report on 22nd August 1917, he was suffering from Valvular Disease of the Heart "Patient presents the physical signs of mitral stenosis", this is a heart valve problem. This was believed to be as a result of the enteric fever, contracted whilst on Active Service. He was recommended for "Discharge as Permanently Unfit". John Mason died just 4 days later of the 18th September, and is buried in St. Mark's Churchyard, Ocker Hill, Tipton.

Newspaper Cuttings