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680254 GNR. J. CANNON.  R.F.A.


John Cannon was born in the third quarter of 1897 in Dinting, near Glossop, in Derbyshire.  His father was Thomas Cannon (b. 1865 in Compstall, Cheshire), a machine calico printer.  His mother was Mary Byrom (b. 1864 in Mottram, Cheshire).  Thomas and Mary were married in 1888 and they had seven children, all of who survived: Elizabeth (b. 1889), then six boys – William (b. 1891), James (b. 1894) Herman (b. 1895), then John, then Frank (b. 1899) and finally Jesse (b. 1901).  The family lived in Mottram until 1894, then in Dinting before moving to Whittle-le-Woods in about 1905.  In 1911, they were living at Waterhouse Green, Shaw Brow, Whittle-le-Woods. John was then 13 and had just started work as a tenter in a cotton mill.


John probably served in the Territorials before the War.  When he enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery he was given serial number 1297 and initially posted to “A” Battery of 276 Brigade and he landed with 55th Division in France on 30 September 1915 (even though he was still only 18).  His service number was changed in 1917 to 680254.  Later in the War he was transferred to HQ of 377 Brigade and at the end of the War he was attached to HQ of 8th Divisional Artillery.  This information is from CWGC but I have been unable to find any other references to 377 Brigade and there is no War Diary (this may be a typo for 317 Brigade, which was attached to 63rd (Royal Naval) Division).  In any case, it’s impossible to be sure what actions John was engaged in the final stages of the War.


John died in the influenza pandemic at the military camp at Étaples on 18 November 1918.  He was 21 years old.


Rank: Gunner

Service No:  680254

Date of Death: 18/11/1918

Age:  21

Regiment/Service:  Royal Field Artillery, H.Q. 377th Bde., attd. H.Q. 8th Div. Art.

Cemetery/memorial reference:  L.D. 33.


Additional Information: Son of Thomas and Mary Cannon, of Shaw Brow, Whittle-le-Woods, Lancs.


Herman Cannon served in the Army.  He enlisted at the start of the War in the Royal Horse Guards as 2025 Trooper H J CANNON.  He landed in France on 13 August 1915.  He was later transferred to the Irish Guards with service number 12532.  It may be that Herman was already in the Irish Guards at that time as 2nd Battalion landed in France on that day.  They came under orders of 2nd Guards Brigade in the Guards Division.  Herman survived the War and after the War he moved back to Glossop.  In 1920 he married Mary Carey (b. 1896 in Glossop).  He died there in 1967.


James Cannon was called up in July 1917 and enlisted in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment but in October that year he was discharged as medically unfit, suffering from a pre-existing heart condition (‘a low aortic systolic murmur’).  James was a hairdresser.  In 1920 he married Alice Cowburn (b. 1894 in Wheelton).  He died in 1957.


It’s possible that older brother William may also have served in the forces but I have been unable to find any records.


Even younger brother Frank tried to join up.  Frank was born in 1899 so in April 1915 when he tried to join the King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) he was still only 15, although he claimed to be almost 19.  He was discharged three months later.  In 1926, Frank married Lois Gertrude Irving (b. 1899 in Blackpool).  Lois’ family had moved to Whittle-le-Woods just after she was born, so that’s how they knew each other.  After they were married though, the couple moved back to Derbyshire and lived in Whaley Bridge, where Frank died in 1974.

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