John Newey was born in 1883 in Leamington Spa in Warwickshire. He was the eldest child for John and Fanny Newey and in 1891 the family were living at 8 Union Walk Leamington, John senior worked as a labourer.
By 1901 John was 18 years old and was working as a book shop assistant. John now had three younger sisters, Edith 12, Elsie 5 and Grace 4 years old.
There is very little information about John Newey’s life but at some point he moved to the Brimington area, and on 10th May 1909 he married Louisa Gertrude Wass from Prospect Road Old Whittington at St Bartholomews church.
John’s profession is given as manager. In fact he had been employed by Frisby Boot dealers of Leicester for 16 years and had spent 13 years as manager of their shop in Brimington.
In September 1916 John enlisted in the Northumberland Fusiliers, his Service number was 267756. The Northumberland Fusiliers were the second largest Infantry regiment in the British Army, they raised 51 battalions and lost the most men of any regiment, over 16000 men!
The 8th Battalion were part of 34th Brigade in 11th Division, the 8th took part in the Battles of the Somme. These lasted from July 1st 1916 – November 1st 1916, but without knowing when John arrived in France its difficult to know if he would have been involved at all.
In 1917 the 8th Battalion were involved in several actions ;
Operations on the Ancre – 11th January – 13th March 1917
The Battle of Messines – 7th June – 14th June 1917
The Battle of the Langemarck – 16th August – 18th August 1917
The Battle of Langemarck was the third major attack of the Third Battle of Ypres – later known as Passchendaele.
More can be read about Passchendaele on the Commonwealth War Grave Commission website (https://www.cwgc.org) .
John Newey died of his wounds on 17th August 1917, he was 34 years old.
He had been injured and was taken to number 32 Casualty Clearing Station. The Casualty clearing stations moved around depending on where the fighting was taking place, and between July and November 1917 it was based at Brandhoek. This was approximately 9 miles from Langemarck, so there is a good chance that he could have been wounded there, this is only an assumption without any definite evidence however.
John is buried at Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No.3. more information about the cemetery can be read here
Picture courtesy of http://www.ww1cemeteries.com
Although John and his wife had been living at Brimington, by the time John Newey had died his wife Louisa had moved back to live with her family at 85 Cavendish Street Old Whittington.
The inscription on John’s grave reads:
‘Until the day breaks’
The picture of John Newey’s grave is taken from www.brimington-memorial.co.uk and Sally Mullins has kindly agreed I can use the photograph.
Sally and Stuart Mullins have done a remarkable job of researching the men listed on the War Memorial at Brimington, John Newey is listed on the Brimington Memorial as well as the Whittington Memorials. A little more of John’s story can be read at http://www.brimington-memorial.co.uk/the-fallen/soldiers-i-p/ Not only have they researched the men, every year they make at least one visit to the WW1 cemeteries to visit some of the men. Sally has visited John’s grave and as you can see placed a cross.
John was awarded the British War and the Victory medals.
On 15th August 1919, John’s parents had an entry in the Leamington Spa Courier under the heading “In Memoriam” :
John’s wife, Louisa never remarried and died at Old Whittington in 1964.
John Newey is remembered on the Old Whittington and the Brushes War Memorials and the Brimington War Memorial.