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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