John Thomas Purcell Morris

Royal Air Force

Personal Details

Born: 6 June 1879 in Whitchurch, Shropshire and baptised on 27 July 1879 at the Church of Our Saviour, Whitchurch.

Family: He was the eldest of three children born to John Morris, a gardener and his wife Sarah. He married Lizzie Thelwell on 8 June 1908 at St. Michael`s Church, Marbury, Cheshire. The couple had a son John L P, born in 1914.

Residence: In 1881 his family were living in Bark Hill, Whitchurch; however by 1891 they had moved to 1 Mill Street, Whitchurch. In 1901 he was living with his widowed mother at 77 Talbot Street, Whitchurch. By 1911 and now married, his address was 75 Talbot Street, Whitchurch. This continued to be his home until his death in 1948.

Civilian Occupation: From 1901 until at least 1916 he was a joiner. In 1939 his occupation was described as a master builder.

Died:13 April 1948 in Whitchurch and buried on 17 April at Whitchurch Cemetery, aged 68.

Military Details

Regiment: Royal Air Service (previously Royal Navy Air Service)

Rank: Mechanic

Service Number: 224790 (previously F24790)

Date of Enlistment: 11 December 1916

Date of Discharge: 11 March 1919

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation

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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