Private 9431 John Paskin

Paskin John 96 354x600

Killed in Action on Tuesday, 27th October 1914, age 19.
Commemorated on Panel 35 and 37 of Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

2nd Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 6th Brigade of 2nd Division.

Son of Elizabeth Smith, of 2 Court, 8 House, Hurst Lane, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Wolverhampton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 12th August 1914.
Medal entitlement: 1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the St. Matthew's Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1623485/

Genealogical Data

Birth of John Paskin registered March quarter 1895 in Dudley.
In 1899 John Smith married Elizabeth Paskin, in 1901 they are living in Rounds Square, off Hall Street, with a one-year old daughter, Ellen. John Paskin, who was born before their marriage, was living with his grandparents in Hall Street.

1901 Census
21 Hall Street, Tipton, Staffs.
John Paskin (51, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Martha (50, born Tipton), and their 2 sons: John (22, Coal Miner, born Tipton), and Samuel (19, Chain Striker, born Tipton), and their grandson John Paskin (6, born Tipton).

1911 Census
The following confused census entry may relate to John Paskin. John and Martha Paskin are his grandparents, but instead of being the 16-year old grandson, he is recorded as the 25-year old cousin. The entry is error-strewn with regard to ages and may possibly include all children rather than those just living at the address. Lizzie is possibly John's mother (Elizabeth Smith) but she should be 36 years of age. This attribution is just a possibility.
34 Bell Street, Tipton, Staffs.
John Paskin (59, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Martha (54, born Tipton), and their 4 surviving children of 11: John (34, Coal Miner, married, born Tipton), Phoebe (41, married but husband away, born Tipton), Lizzie (29, married - at home, born Tipton), and Samuel (27, Chain Maker, born Tipton). Also John Paskin (25, relative - cousin, Chain Striker, born Tipton).

Personal Data

John enlisted as a Special Reservist with the South Staffs on 26th July 1913 in Wolverhampton, when aged 18. He was 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighed 110 pounds had a sallow complexion, blue eyes ,and auburn hair. His occupation was Chain Striker, religion Church of England, and had been born in Tipton. He joined the regiment on 22nd October 1913 at Lichfield for a period of full-time training.

As a Special Reservist, John was immediately called to the colours on the outbreak of war, and was one of the first of the British Expeditionary Force to land in France. His mother, Mrs E Smith, had to apply for his 1914 Star (and clasp) in 1919, when she lived at 2 Court 8 House, Hurst Lane, Tipton.

Action resulting in his death

The 2nd South Staffs arrived at Le Havre on 13th August 1914 and had advanced to Haringies, near Mons, by 23rd August 1914 when it first came under German fire. On the 24th August the battalion received orders to retire - the start of the Retreat from Mons. The 2nd South Staffs retreat carried them to the east of Paris to Chaumes, a distance of 236 miles marched over a period of 16 days from the 21st August to 5th September. The Germans turned to the north of Paris allowing the French attack on the German flank which began the German retreat over the ground so recently won.

After the German advance had been halted on the Marne, the subsequent German retreat halted at the Aisne and here they fought. Soupir is on the River Aisne, to the north-west of Reims, and just below the Chemin des Dames. On 18th September, the battalion was ordered to Soupir in support of 4th Guards Brigade, and remained there until 17th October when they entrained for the Ypres Salient.

On 24th October, the battalion was in the Pilkem - Frenzenberg area, and on the 26th took over the line held for two days by the Royal Berks Regiment just 50 yards in advance of the Becelaere - Mookseede road.
The War Diary for the 27th October says "BECELAERE - MOOKSEEDE 10.00am. The battalion advanced to the road running E & W on the East of the big wood, which was in our immediate front yesterday, driving back the enemy, but with fairly heavy loss to the Battalion." On the 27th October, 34 men of the 2nd South Staffs were killed including John Paskin. Like most of his comrades killed that day, John has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 23rd January 1915
Within Tipton Green Ward :- Paskin J of 7 Simons Passage

Tipton Herald 22nd January 1916
Private J. Paskin of the 2nd South Staffs, the eldest son of Mrs E. Smith of 17 Simons Passage, is one of the many humble heroes who have laid down their lives at the call of patriotism. Prior to the war he served in the Special Reserve and was 19 years of age on the very day that he was killed. The young soldier's step-father, John Thomas Smith, enlisted in the South Staffs fifteen months ago, prior to which he was a chainmaker employed at Cradley Heath. Since he has been away, his wife has buried two young sons.