Private 203425 John Tilsley

Tilsley John 96 420x600

Killed in Action on Saturday, 28th September 1918, age 25.
Buried in Grave III. N. 10. at Bellicourt British Cemetery, Aisne, France.

'A' Company of 1st/5th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 137th Brigade of 46th Division.

Son of Thomas and Harriet Tilsley, of Tipton; husband of Ann Saunders (formerly Tilsley), of 26, Sheepwash Lane, 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.

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/238703/

Genealogical Data

Birth of John Tilsley registered March quarter 1893 at Dudley.

1901 Census
16 Court 4 House, Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Tilsley (42, Labourer, born Tividale), his wife Sarah (41, born Little Dawley, Shropshire), and their 2 children: John (7, born Tividale), and Elsie (3, born Tipton).

1911 Census
259 Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Tilsley (53, Labourer, born Rowley), his wife Sarah (52, born Rowley), and 2 of their 3 surviving children of 5: John (18, Boat Builder's Helper, born Rowley), and Elsie (13, born Rowley).

Marriage of John Tilsley and Ann Ralph registered June quarter 1916 in Dudley.

Personal Data

After John's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £17/3/3d (17 pounds, 3 shillings and 3 pence); this was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Ann, in January 1919. His War Gratuity was £12/0/0d (12 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his widow in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that John had enlisted in approximately February 1916.

Action resulting in his death

John Tilsley landed in France after 31st December 1915, but we do not know the actual date. We do know that the missed the greatest day in the 1/5th South Staffs history by just one day. The 1/5th and 1/6th South Staffs were part of 46th (North Midlands) Division who breached the Hindenburg Line when they forced their way across the St Quentin canal on the morning of 29th September 1918.

Unfortunately John was killed in action on 28th September. This would most likely have been from German artillery fire intended to disrupt the Staffordshire forces as they moved into their assembly positions on the evening of 28th September. John is buried in Bellicourt British Cemetery. His gravestone contains the words: "He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from Sin".

Newspaper Cuttings