RFA West Lancs Bdes
680532 DVR. J. HOSKER. R.F.A.
John Hosker was born in Preston in the third quarter of 1892 and baptised at Preston Christ Church on 23 October. His father was Richard Hosker (b. 1863 in Longton), a railway platelayer. His mother was Louisa Bunting (b. 1861 in Crewe). Richard and Louisa were married in 1888 and they had five children, though two died young. The survivors were: Annie (b. 1889), John, and Margaret Ellen (b. 1894). Richard died in 1904. At the census date in 1911, the widowed Louisa was living with her three adult children at 40 Beech Street. John was working as an iron driller. In the autumn of that year, 19-year old John married Isabella Clarkson (b. 1891 in Preston) and the following year the couple had a son, Joseph. The family then lived at 2 Elcho Street, Preston.
John joined the Territorials before the War. When he joined up in the Royal Field Artillery, he was first given service number 1946 and this was later changed to 690532. John was first posted to “A” Battery of 276 Brigade, and he landed with 55th Division in France on 30 September 1915. John was among a small number of men who were later transferred to 21st Brigade, which came under orders of 4th (Quetta) Division of the Indian Army and John’s Battery was 1107 (Howitzer) Bty. The Brigade was based in Quetta from June to December 1918. Quetta was then in British India but since partition it has been in Pakistan and it is close to the border with Afghanistan. John died there, ‘of broncho pneumonia’, on 5 November 1918. He was 26 years old.
One of the sources of the flu pandemic outbreak in India in 1918 were troop ships arriving from Europe. One such ship arrived in Bombay at the end of May 1918. There was an initial outbreak of the disease in the summer but this was followed by a much more severe second wave of infections in the Autumn. By the time the pandemic ended in the Spring of 1919, almost 14 million people had died of the flu in British India.
Service No: 680532
Date of Death: 05/11/1918
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, 1107th Bty, 21st Bde.
Cemetery/memorial reference: Face 1.
Cemetery/Memorial: DELHI MEMORIAL (INDIA GATE)
Additional Information: (Buried in Quetta Govt. Cem. XXVII. 2545.).