John William Wootton

Born: 15 November 1882
Died: 13 July 1916
Service number: 21122
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: 8th Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Son of John and Ann Wootton

War service

Private John William Wootton enlisted in Pontefract.

He went over the top at the beginning of July 1916. Even to this day, where they charged across No Man’s Land towards Ovillers can be clearly seen as completely open ground, a couple of enfilading German machine guns turned it into a death trap. Both leading assault battalions lost over five hundred men.

Private Wootton was wounded in the stomach on 1 July in the above action on Ovillers. He died 12 days later at Etaples.

He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, France. Grave 14.A.14. He is commemmorated on Streethouse Memorial.

Etaples Military Cemetery, known to the Tommy as ‘eat apples’, is on the main road from Boulogne to Paris, 2 miles from Etaples Station. It was the site of immense British reinforcement camps and hospitals, being remote from attack except by aircraft. There are records of 8,767 U.K., 1,122 Canadian, 461 Australian, 261 New Zealand, 67 South African, 28, B.W.I., 18 Newfoundland, 5 U.S.A., 2 Belgium, 47 Portuguese, 1 Chinese and 655 German burials, and 11 special memorials.

Family story

John William Wootton was born in Cfen Mawr, Wales and lived in Streethouse. He was the husband of Harriet Hellen Wootton and brother of Joseph Isaiah Wootton.

A family story is that he joined the colours to avenge the death of his brother but brave as it sounds this cannot be so as his brother, Joseph Isaiah, survived until September 1918.

Story submitted by Tony Lumb.

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