Pte 39460 West Yorkshire Regiment, Prince of Wales Own. 15th Battalion, Leeds Pals

John William Jenkinson was born in December 1891 in Pannal Ash near Harrogate. His parents were James Jenkinson and Nancy Barker who had been married several years previously in 1885. They had six children in total; Mary Phyllis, Alice, Annie, John William, Arthur and Edward. They were all born at Pannal and all survived childhood. (Source: 1911 Census)

On the 1901 census, James was listed as a farmhand and the family were living at Yew Tree Farm in Pannal. Ten years later, he had become a milk dealer – working from home, which was now 5, Harewood View, Pannal Ash, Harrogate. John does not appear to have an occupation from the 1911 Census, despite being 19 at this point. (Source: 1901, 1911 Census)

In 1914, John was 22, but he did not enlist right away – but at some point he enlisted at Harrogate and joined the 15th Battalion. His brother Edward enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery on 9th December 1915, so it is possible that they enlisted at the same time. However, John’s service record has not survived so we cannot be certain about this.

All that remains is his medal card which records the awards he received – the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Both of these  were granted posthumously however, as John had been killed in action on 27th March 1918. This was when the Pals were at Ayette, overrun by the German’s final advance. He was neither one of those who escaped, nor one of those who was captured. He is buried in Moyenneville Cemetery, France. (Source: Medal Card, CWGC)

When Edward Jenkinson enlisted, his occupation was that of a milkman. He was 5ft 7.5 and he gave his father as his next of kin – John’s details may have been similar. Edward was sent to France and was eventually wounded on 23rd March 1918 – sufficiently enough to warrant being sent to convalesce. He was awarded the same medals as his brother.

Researcher: Peter Taylor

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