Sergeant John Thomas Casterton was the son of Fanny S Casterton, of 8 Brewery Buildings, Langham, and was born on 6 June 1884. He was a gardener working for Lord Ranksborough until the war, and had been a member of the Territorial Force since its formation and was also an assistant scout master, besides being a bellringer. Mobilising with the Territorials, he went to the Front on 26 February 1915 with the 1st/5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment and was killed as the British tried to capture a German strongpoint known as the Hohenzollern Redoubt during the Battle of Loos on 13 October the same year. In a letter of condolence to his mother, Lord Ranksborough wrote: "He has given his life for his country, and that is the finest death a man can die. I am sure you must feel proud of him, and of the way he always did his duty. We were very sorry to lose him from the garden here, but he showed the right spirit in joining the Army." Captain Beasley, who formerly commanded Sergant Casterton's Company, also wrote in the highest terms of him. John has no known grave, but is remembered on panel 42 of the Loos Memorial and the war memorial in Langham.
Photograph courtesy Langham Village History Group
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