MEADOWS John Robert

Known information

John Robert Meadows was the youngest son of Robert Henry Meadows and his wife of Braunston, and was a gardener employed at the Manor House in the village. He joined the Army on 23 February 1917. After a period of training at Rugeley, Hornsley, and Chelmsford, he went to France on 16 January 1918, where he was killed in action at the fighting on the Somme on 26 March 1918. He was 19 years old. His former employer at the Manor House, Evan Hanbury, who had just lost his own son also called Evan in the same battle two days earlier, still managed to write a letter of sympathy to John's parents: "He was a most steady, hard working lad, always anxious to do his best, and it was for this reason that he was so soon sent to fight for his country." John does not have a known grave and is remembered on the Pozieres Memorial, panel 70, and also on Braunston's war memorial.

The main photograph of John and the two pictures of his brothers, Frank and Walter (below), are courtesy of John's great-nephew Harry.

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  • Braunston Church
  • Braunston Memorial
  • Braunston Memorial RR1
  • Braunston Memorial RR4
  • Pozieres Memorial 1
  • Pozieres Memorial 3
  • Panel 68 to 72 Meadows
  • J R Meadows
  • Frances Edward Meadows
  • Walter Henry Meadows

User contributions

John was my Uncle the younger brother of my Grandma, Dorris Meadows, known as little jack.I can remember my Grandma talking of little jack who tried to join at 16 and was rejected. My Grandma also worked at the Manor house in Braunston as a servant along side her brother. One of the more unpleasant stories I remember was that her employer the Colonel or Major "can remember which now" was disliked and all the staff would take turns in spitting in his soup before it was served.John I think went with his best friend to fight a Mr Freeman, the Father of Jim Freeman of the Mill Knossington."previously of Braunston" It was Jim and his wife Jill I meet recently who told me of how his Farther had told him stories, when he was a boy of how he lost his best friend in the fighting, who tuned out to be my Uncle.Another thing I remember being told was that a few of them were sheltering in a hut from the shell fire, they were leaving the hut and before John could get out it took a direct hit which killed John, it was also know that some would cut there legs with bully beef tins to get out of that hell, I don't know whether this is true or not, I guess like many stories. Dorris Meadows Married Neal Finlay and became a Finlay, Neal ran a Butchers shop in Melton Mowbary on Leicester road then in Loughborough on Baxter gate. My Mother and Grandma are buried together in Braunston Church yard along with many of my relatives and With Johns name in the same church yard on the Memorial.
By harryway on Wednesday 10th September '14 at 8:21pm
Braunston Church Yard in Rutland.
By harryway on Wednesday 10th September '14 at 9:27pm
2 images This is a picture of John's brothers, Frank and Walter.
By harryway on Saturday 26th March '16 at 10:16pm
Also the backs
By harryway on Saturday 26th March '16 at 11:34pm
100 years ago today you gave your life for us, Grandmas little brother John or little Jack as he was known, only 19 years of age. Never to return to your village at Braunston, never again to walk the fields or jump in the swimming hole on a sunny day in the Gwash brook, though your name is remembered on the church yard memorial with those also never to return. Thank you Uncle John to you and your brothers Frank and Walter.
By harryway on Monday 26th March '18 at 10:36pm
On 3rd July 2018 my son and I flew from California, met my sister in England and made our way to France to tour the places that our family members had fought and were memorialized. This included a moving trip to Pozieres where we laid a cross and a rose at our Great-Uncle John's memorial and I read a poem:If I should die, think only this of me:That there's some corner of a foreign fieldThat is for ever England. There shall beIn that rich earth a richer dust concealed;A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,A body of England's, breathing English air,Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.And think, this heart, all evil shed away,A pulse in the eternal mind, no lessGives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.Rupert Brooke, 1914We also paid our respects to each of the fallen from Braunston memorialized at The Somme including in the same memorial Evan Hanbury who died a few days before John. It was a moving moment and we felt privileged to be there 100 years after the horror of WW1 and the tragic loss of John for our family. It was especially moving to see my fifteen year old son so engaged with the history and tragedy of this time. We also went home to England and paid our respects at the memorial in Braunston village, where my sister and I, and our uncle John many decades before us, were raised. May he forever rest in peace.
By Cryan on Friday 14th September '18 at 6:42pm

Rutland and The Battle of the Somme

More than 90 Rutland soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme which lasted from 1 July 1916 until the middle of November. Today they lie in cemeteries across the old battlefield in northern France or are remembered among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. By using our interactive map, you can find out what happened to them.

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