Rank or Title
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte John Harris Conway, 7869, 1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment, was killed in action near Ypres on November 20th, 1914. He was born in 1891.
The eldest son of James Stephen Conway and Emma Jane Conway, of 94 Hampton Road, Luton, the 5ft 5in tall soldier had been in the Army since February 1909, joining at the age of 18 years and one month, and left for the front with the Norfolk Regiment at the end of August 1914.
His parents were first told of his death unofficially in a letter from Staff Sergeant Major A. C. Grimwood attached to the headquarters of the 1st Infantry Brigade. He wrote that a shell blew away part of the house being used as a headquarters and Pte Conway was the only casualty.
"I feel very grieved for you in your loss and I am sure it will be great consolation to you to know that your son lived a clean and noble life," he wrote.
Captain Weatherby at the headquarters of the 15th Brigade, 5th Division, to whom Pte Conway was a servant, sent his parents £2 he had borrowed from him. He wrote that he had been ill in hospital when their son was killed, but Pte Conway had been very kind to him while he was ill and had looked after him well. He had always understood that Pte Conway was a particularly good man and extremely religious. "I am very sorry indeed to hear of his death."
The Conway family were still living in their native London at the time of the 1911 Census but later moved to Luton while their son was serving with the Norfolks. Mr Conway Snr was a scientific instrument maker, perhaps at Kent's as in previous Census returns he was described as a water meter maker.
Pte Conway is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres and on the Luton Roll of Honour.