John Willie Thorpe was the son of Sarah Ann Thorpe of Ashwell Road, Whissendine, and was born at Northborough, Market Deeping on 7 April 1889. He enlisted in the 1st/5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment in June 1915 at Oakham, and went out to France on 25 March 1916. He fought in the Battle of the Somme and died of wounds on 6 July. The Leicestershires were in reserve when the battle began. During the evening of 1 July, the battalion took over some front line trenches occupied by the Staffords near Gommecourt Park where a British diversionary attack had gone disastrously wrong. They stayed there until 3 July during which time eight men were killed. The battalion war diary also mentions six officers being injured but does not mention injuries to any of the men. Even so, it is likely this is when John was wounded. He was evacuated to a casualty clearing station and died on 6 July. He is buried at Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, grave I.G.3. Three other brothers served in the Army, including one who became a prisoner of war in Germany. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has his age as 30.
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