Friday, 5 November 2021

John Stather Sherburn, Howden

 Next week is Remembrance Day and  I thought I would write a post about John [Jack] Stather Sherburn who died on October 11th 1918, exactly the same day as his baptism in the Minster in 1896.

I have been looking at the history of Howden church bells and during my research I found a website listing local ringers who lost their lives in the First World War. There were three listed from Howden, 

They were

Private Robert Simms  who was killed on June 11th 1917. He was aged 26 and was from a large Howden family. John and Annie, his parents  had 13 children. Robert worked a waggoner in 1911 at Yokefleet and enlisted at Howden in February 1916. He was badly wounded by shrapnel on the Somme in August but recovered after a period in a military hospital in Kent. He returned to duty and served in Salonica where he was killed, being shot in the head and chest.

Private John Camp   who died on November 20th 1917. His parents ran a lodging house on Treeton. John was a stretcher bearer, who died in a military hospital in France aged 21. He was  carrying a wounded comrade when a shell burst  nearby, killing the wounded man and so severely wounding John that he died a few week later.

The third ringer to be killed was  Private Jack Sherburn. His parents were Joseph Alcock Sherburn a gardener and Mary Stather. Jack was one of seven children. His mother had died in 1906 and his father remarried Annie Arnell and a further six children were born.

Jack enlisted in December 1914 when he was 18.  He  was in the 5th East Yorkshire Battalion [cyclists] and was on coast duty until December 1916 when he was sent to France. He worked as a stretcher bearer until he was taken prisoner on March 23rd 1918. His father was pleased to receive a letter from him as until then the family had not known where he was.

As a prisoner he was employed behind enemy lines erecting light railways and in salvage work but he was then admitted to hospital in Valenciennes suffering from dysentery. He was then moved to ?Bellecourt where he died. The information, presumably from his family in the memorial book in the Minster says

 "he suffered through the neglect of the prisoner of war camp authorities and died from dysentery and starvation"

These young men  have many local descendants and perhaps some can add further information.

 This picture is on display in the church and shows Howden bellringers in 1907.
Back from left J Sherburn [? Joseph], C R Smith,  F? Hodgson, J W Walker.
Front  RB Smith,  JT Moore.

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