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Quorn WW1 Roll of Honour - John (Jack) Peer Flanders

Died 25th September 1916, aged 21
Battle of the Somme, Gueudecourt, France

When John (known as Jack) Flanders, a young signaller with the Leicestershire Regiment, was killed, his parents were already reeling from the death of his younger brother William, four months earlier.

Jack had joined up very early in the war on 1st September 1914 and was obviously very well thought of, as reflected in the following item which appeared in the Loughborough Monitor on 2nd November 1916:
“Official information has been received that Signaller J P Flanders was killed in action on September 25th. Prior to enlisting in the Leicestershire Regiment, he was employed at Messrs Curry and Sons' Cycle Works, Leicester. He enlisted some 18 months ago, and had seen a good deal of active service. He was formerly a patrol leader in the Woodhouse Troop of B.P Scouts, and at the Scouts' rally at Birmingham he was successful in winning the 9st championship for Leicestershire in the boxing competition. He was defeated in the final bout for the championship open to all scouts of the United Kingdom.

This is the second son Mr and Mrs Flanders have lost in the war. One was drowned in the Tigris on May 18th. 1916. His parents formerly resided at Woodhouse, but are now living at Beaconsfield Cottage, Quorn. A lance-sergeant in the deceased's regiment, writing to the bereaved parents, says: "Jack has been a personal friend of mine for two years, and was respected and liked by everyone with whom he came into contact. No matter how great the hardships, he was always cheery and looked on the bright side of things. I sincerely trust that you will be able to derive some consolation from the fact that he died nobly fighting for his King and country’.

One of the officers writes: - ‘He went over with his company, and was doing good work when he was hit by a shell and instantly killed. He was with me since I landed, and was always cheerful and willing, and good at his work. All my boys join with me in tendering our sincere sympathy.’
Mr C Goodacre, Chief Commissioner of the B. P Scouts for Leicestershire, and also Mr Smith-Carrington, sent letters of condolence to Mr and Mrs Flanders.”

On 21st October 1916, the Leicester Mail had reported:
“…. He was struck in the head and thigh by fragments of a bursting shell, and died instantly…”

A memorial service was held in Quorn Church on Saturday afternoon 28th October 1916, for Jack Flanders, together with three other young village casualties, E. Arthur Benskin, Bertie James Shenton and James Hollingsworth. Jack was in the same battalion of the Leicesters as E. Arthur Benskin and George Lovett. They were all killed on the same day in the same battle. Scouts from Quorn, Woodhouse and Mountsorrel all attended the service. In the evening, a muffled peal was rung on the bells.

Still grieving
In July 1926, 10 years after his death, Jack’s parents, Robert and Harriett still could not give up hope that his body and grave may be identified. They wrote to the Imperial War Graves Commission, still hoping that their son would have a known resting place. The Commission replied in August, saying that whilst they were relocating many graves and identifying soldiers, they had not found Jack. They explained that military action had often destroyed crosses and grave markers, so that whilst originally a man may have been identified and buried in a named grave, later battles had destroyed the landscape and all evidence.

For additional information about the Flanders family and Jack’s brother William, see Artefact 2317.

1) Jack Flanders
2) Army form B104-82 relating to Jack, which was sent to Robert and Harriett Flanders. The writing will be more legible if you click 'Enlarge, below the image.
3) The memorial card produced for the two brothers.

 view larger image
 Submitted on: 2020-01-13
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman with documents and family photographs from Phil Child
 Artefact ID: 2316
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own.

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