John Gosnell

Royal Garrison Artillery

Personal Details

Born: 16 February 1896 in Hengoed, Shropshire and baptised 25 June 1896 at Hengoed Parish Church.

Family: He was the third of eight children born to William Gosnell, an agricultural labourer, and his wife Elizabeth.  He married Alice Spender Quarter 4 1917 in Sevenoaks, Kent. The couple had five children, Rosetta, Dorothy, John E, Eva and Violet.

Residence: In 1901 John`s family were living at Marley Green, Marbury, Cheshire. Ten years later John`s address was Cross o`th Hill, Marbury , Cheshire. The 1919 Absent Voters List has an address of 43A Newtown for him. It is probable that he and his family were living at 61 Sheriffhales, Shifnal, Shropshire in 1939, though his name does not appear on the Register.  

Employment: In 1911 John`s occupation was described as a cow lad on a farm.

Died: Quarter 1 1956 in Warwick, Warwickshire.

Military Details

Regiment: Royal Garrison Artillery

Rank: Gunner

Service Number: 290430 (previously 132)

Date of Enlistment: Not known

Date of Discharge: Not known

Reason For Discharge:    Not known

Other Information: Two of John`s brothers also served in WW1. His older brother, William, was in the Royal Engineers. Sadly he died of an illness in the U.K. on 15 January 1916, aged 22. He is commemorated on Whitchurch War Memorial. A younger brother, George, served in the Tank Corps.

Medals and Awards

John was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal and Victory Medal).

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

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