William Morris John

Royal Engineers

Personal Details

Born:  21 December 1871 in Bronington, Flintshire, Wales and baptised 25 February 1872 in Hanmer parish church.

Family: He was the second of four children born to William John, a police constable, and his wife Rachel. No marriage can be confirmed for William.

Residence: In 1871 he lived in Hanmer, Flintshire, Wales; by 1881 he had moved to 7 Bedford Street, Rhuddlan, Flintshire and by 1891 to Constables Quarters, Wellington Road, Rhuddlan. In 1901 he was boarding at 26 Wellington Road, Rhyl and by 1911 at 24 Lake Avenue, Rhyl. In 1915 he lived at Park House, Sandbach, Cheshire and by the time he died in 1938, he was living at at Chequers, Crewe Road, Winterley, Sandbach.

Employment: He was a Post Office clerk from 1891 to at least 1911.

Died: 19 June 1938, aged 66, in Manchester, Lancashire.

Military Details

Regiment: Royal Engineers

Rank: Sapper

Service Number: 64752

Date of Enlistment: 12 January 1915

Date of Discharge: 26 March 1919

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation

Medals and Awards

William was awarded the Campaign Medals (1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal).

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The 1914 Star (also known as 'Pip') was authorised under Special Army Order no. 350 in November 1917 and by an Admiralty Fleet Order in 1918, for award to officers and men of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces who served in France or Belgium between 5 August and midnight of 22–23 November 1914. The former date is the day after Britain's declaration of war against the Central Powers, and the closing date marks the end of the First Battle of Ypres.

The 1914–15 Star (also known as 'Pip') was instituted in December 1918 and was awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served against the Central European Powers in any theatre of the Great War between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915. The period of eligibility was prior to the introduction of the Military Service Act 1916, which instituted conscription in Britain.

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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