Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
24 Aug 1918
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte John Vincent Blackburn, 20731, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, died at Gezaincourt in France on August 24th, 1918, from wounds sustained in action the previous night. He was three weeks short of his 21st birthday.
In a letter to parents John and Ursula Blackburn at 30 Albert Road, Luton, Chaplain C. F. Newell said their son had been brought in badly wounded in the abdomen. “He was too far gone when I came in. I take his funeral today (August 24th). I will see that a cross is placed over his grave, with the name of his regiment. He was looked after by a kind sister during his last moments.”
Born in Grimsby, Lincs, in September 1897, John had spent much of his childhood in Clophill, Beds. At the time of the 1911 Census he was living there with his family, including four sisters and three brothers, before moving to Luton around 1914.
Prior to joining up in May 1915 and undergoing training at Ampthill, John had assisted his father on his linoleum stall on Luton's outdoor market. He went to France in March 1916 and first received slight wounds from which he recovered in France.
On June 9th, 1917, he was severely wounded at Messines by shrapnel in the left thigh, after a shell burst about three yards from him. He was first admitted to a Field Ambulance Station, then the 7th Canadian Hospital at Etaples and was finally brought to England and Lord Kitchener's Hospital, Brighton. After recovery, he had returned to the Front in February 1918.
John is commemorated on the Luton Roll of Honour/War Memorial, on a memorial within St Mary's Church and in the Book of Life compiled at the Parish Church.