Private 13250 John Alexander Palmer

Killed in Action on Monday, 10th July 1916, age 21.
Commemorated on Pier and Face 7 B of Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

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

Son of Mr Thomas and Mrs Hannah Palmer, of 15, Martin Rd., Tipton, Staffs.
Born: West Bromwich, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 14th July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, 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/807957/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
3 Pleasant Street, West Bromwich, Staffs.
Thomas Palmer (40, Canal Boatman, born Wednesbury), his wife Hannah (35, born Wednesbury), and their 7 children: Florence (15, born Wednesbury), Thomas (9, born West Bromwich), John A. (7, born West Bromwich), Gertrude E. (5, born West Bromwich), Abel (3, born West Bromwich), Bessie (2, born West Bromwich), and Edward J. (1 month, born West Bromwich).

1911 Census
5 Martin Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Palmer (50, Butcher's Salesman, born Tipton), his wife Hannah (46, born Wednesbury), and their 7 children: Florence (15, born Wednesbury), Thomas (19, Butcher, born Hill Top, West Bromwich), John (17, Butcher, born Hill Top, West Bromwich), Gertrude Elsie (15, At Home, born Hill Top, West Bromwich), Abel (13, Errand Boy, born Hill Top, West Bromwich), Bessie (12, School, born Black Lake, West Bromwich), Edward James Squire (10, born Hill Top, West Bromwich), and Joseph Frederick (7, School, born Ocker Hill).

Personal Data

None Available.

Action resulting in his death

The 8th Battalion South Staffs, in 17th (Northern) Division, did not attack on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July, but came into action the next day when they attacked and took Fricourt. This is commemorated in Fricourt by the naming of "Rue du Major Raper" after the senior officer who lead the attack. Following the success of capturing Fricourt, the advance continued slowly northwards towards Contalmaison, with numerous attacks on Quadrangle Support, just south of Contalmaison.

On the 10th July, the 8th South Staffs made the eighth attack on Quadrangle Support. This was at first successful, but they were compelled to withdraw after 3 costly hours due to the lack of progress on their flanks. However, during the evening, the Germans were seen to withdraw and Quadrangle Support was occupied by the 10th Sherwood Foresters, with the weakened South Staffs now in support.

The attack had been costly, with 56 South Staffs men being killed on the day, amongst them John Palmer. John has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

Newspaper Cuttings