Like others in Burnley Wood, John’s family originally came from Swaledale, North Yorkshire.
People from Swaledale had moved to East Lancashire when lead mining went into decline. John was an accomplished musician, playing the organ at Brooklands Methodist Chapel. He was killed in action the day after his 21st birthday.
News of his death was received by letter which, before it was opened, his sister thought was a thank you for his birthday cake. In his memory, John’s father wrote music to the words of a Methodist hymn. This was published as a postcard. His father returned to Gunnerside where he named his cottage Brooklands, a name it retains today.