ADKIN, John William

No.TF/241589, Private, John William ADKIN
Aged 21

8th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment
formerly 5897 Middlesex Regiment
Killed in Action on/since 30th November 1917

John William ADKIN was born in Barrow in 1896 (2nd qtr 1895 Thingoe 4a:793) son of Laura ADKIN. His mother married Herbert MANNING in 1900

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at Bythorpe, Barrow with his stepfather Herbert MANNING[25] farm labourer born Wretham; his mother Laura MANNING [26]; brother Bertie C Adkin [7]; half sister Elsie W MANNING [10 months]. All except his stepfather were were born in Barrow.

1911 census...Aged 14, a farm labourer, with brother Bertie, also farm labourer, both recorded as boarders at Burthorpe, Barrow with their mother and her husband Herbert Manning; half sisters Elsie, Lily [9] and Fanny [1]; half brothers Arthur [8], Frank [5], Percy [4]and George MANNING [2], all the new children also born in Barrow.

The pension card records a dependant Laura MANNING, Burthorpe Green, Bury St.Edmunds.

His step-father Herbert Manning was killed in France in 1917 see here

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds, on 7th Februaary 1916, giving his age as 19 years 10 months, farm labourer born in Barrow. He was 5 feet 4.75 inches tall, chest 32.5 to 35 inches, next of kin, mother Laura MANNING/ Weighing 127 lbs, he was club footed but "could hop". Posted to Army Reserve on 8th, then to 4th/8th Middlesex on 8th March. Finally posted to 1st/8th Middlesex on 12th July 1916, posted missing, presumed dead on 30th November 1917

There is a full report on "The Die hards in the Great War" by Everard Wyrall..Naval and Military Press
"In the Tadpole Copse sector the enemy opened his attack with a heavy trench mortar and artillery barrage at 10am. Here A, B, and C companies of the 1/8th Middlesex (Lieut-Colonel C.H.Pank) were holding the old Hindenburg Support Line. D Compnay, being in support in Tadpole Reserve. At 10:25am an urgent message reached colonel Pank from the O.C., C Company, asking for reinforcements of bombers. About half an hour later news reached Battalion HQ that the Germans, having broken through the front line held by the Battalion on the right had reached the old Hinderburg Support Line, and were then advancing down the communication trenches towards Battalion HQ, 1/8th Middlesex. Hastily gathering the personnel of Battalion HQ, Colonel Pank gave orders for the trench to be manned, and with a few men managed to get up the dug-out shaft as the enemy approached but, unfortunately, the remainder could not do so as almost immediately the Germans threw several bombs down the shaft. Colonel Pank reached Tadpole reserve and, hurriedly organising a counter attack, took forward a party of D company who not only bombed the enemy back but recaptured the Battalion HQ, though only after heavy fighting. A line was then established in the old Hinderburg Front Line with a bombing block about 150 yards up a communication trench. But communications could not be established with A, B or C Companies who had been surrounded during the first attack.
At about 9pm Battalion HQ moved back to Barbican and there Colonel Pank, who had been wounded, reorganised the line with D company and company of the 13th Londons which had been sent up as reinforcements."

John Adkin is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial.Louverval, France panel 9

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details