Private 205511 John Whitehouse

Killed in Action on Wednesday, 24th April 1918, age 23.
Commemorated on Panel 85 to 87 of Loos Memorial, Pas De Calais, France.

2nd Bn., Essex Regiment. 12th Brigade of 4th Division.
Formerly 3265 and 20516 South Staffordshire Regiment.

Husband of Alice Whitehouse, of 26, Alexandra Rd., Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Wolverhampton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 5th March 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/737166/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
2 Brick Kiln Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Richard Whitehouse (34, Blast Furnace Fitter, born Tipton), his wife Harriet (29, born Tipton), and their 2 children: John (6, born Tipton), and Florence (2, born Tipton).

1911 Census
23 Alexandra Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Richard Whitehouse (46, Labourer at Blast Furnace, born Tipton), his wife Harriet (40, born Tipton), and their 2 surviving children of 7: John (16, Pig Iron Moulder's Labourer, born Tipton), and Florence (13, born Tipton). Marriage of John Whitehouse and Alice Gilbert registered March quarter 1918 in Dudley.

The births of twins Florence M. and John Gilbert were also registered March quarter 1918 in Dudley.
Sadly the death of Florence M. Gilbert was registered June quarter 1918 in Dudley.

Personal Data

As John landed with the South Staffs on 5th March it suggests he was with the 1/5th or 1/6th Battalions, with the 46th (North Midlands) Division.

After John's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £9/17/9d (9 pounds, 17 shillings and 9 pence); this was paid to his widow, Mary A., in September and October 1918. John's will specified that 2/3rds of this (£6/11/10d) was to be for his child's benefit. John's War Gratuity was £16/10/0d (16 pounds and 10 shillings), this was paid to his widow, Alice, in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that James had enlisted in approximately October 1914.

Action resulting in his death

The 2nd Essex was part of 4th Division which had been involved in the Battle of the Lys. From the 18th to the 23rd April 1918 they had been involved in fierce fighting at the village of Riez du Vinage, about 5 miles north of Bethune and just north of the La Bassée canal. 63 Other Ranks had been killed during this time.

The War Diary for the 24th April says: "Battalion relieved and moved to billets in Sence-la-Vallee", however before their relief a further 10 men of the 2nd Essex were killed, including John Whitehouse. John has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

Dudley Herald August 14th 1916
Writing to his parents at 23, Alexandra Road, Tipton, Private Jack Whitehouse says: "I received the parcel alright, and enjoyed the contents immensely. I had just come out of the trenches, I hope to see Len Boden soon, for I am sure our base company will have to join us soon, and I believe he is with it. The pork pie and cake were a treat, and the beer went the same way; the rolls and ham were great. I am in want of a pair of laces, a good pocket handkerchief, and some matches, which cannot be got over here. Last night I saw Tom Hughes, who is billeted close to us. Where are you spending your holidays? Belgium is a fine place, and Berlin is a good winter resort, and with a bit of luck I might go there."

Birmingham Daily Post 10th June 1918
Essex Regiment, Whitehouse, 205511, J., (Tipton).