LONG, John

Second Lieutenant, John LONG
Aged 23

8th Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales' (Royal Berkshire) Regiment
Killed in Action on 4th November 1918

Jack LONG was born in Witney on 28th August 1895 (Witney Q4-1895 3A:829),son of John and Annie LONG (née WIGGINS). Sometimes he is John, at others he is Jack.

1901 census...Aged 5, he was at 18 West End, Witney with his father John LONG [50] builder; his mother Annie [48]; sisters Louisa[20], Kate [13] and Jessie [11] and grandfather Henry WIGGINS [78]. All were born in Witney.

1911 census...Aged 15, learning carpentry, he was still at 18 West End with his parents and sisters Kate and Jessie. Two of the 7 children had died.

The "East Anglian Record" confirms his time at the school. After his death his parents were at "Sunnyside", 48 Kendrick Road, Reading.

He enlisted in the 3rd/1st Bn., North Midlands Cyclist Corps, no. 3007 on 3rd September 1915 at Nottingham, giving his address as 102 Burford Road, Hyson Green, Nottingham, an outfitter's assistant, educated at East Anglian School, Bury St.Edmunds (Samuel Leigh, Headmaster, was one of his referees). He gave his age as 20 years 5 days, he was 5 feet 8.5 inches (174 cm) tall, chest 33.5" to 35.5" (85.1 to 90.2 cm) and weighed 124 lbs (56.4 kg). He then was transferred on 18th March 1916 to the 1/1st Bn. 20st/21st March 1916 he went via Southampton to Rouen to join the British Expeditionary Force and was transferred again, to the Army Cyclist Corps on 1st November 1916 and given no.13227. He returned to UK on 29th December 1917 iniorder to train as an officer. On 30th December 1917 he was posted to the 2nd London Reserve Brigade at Chisledon and then to the Officer Cadet Battalion, at Fleet on 8th March 1918. His commission in the Royal Berkshire Regiment was effective 23rd August 1918.
His superiors at the Officers course reported that he "possessed a poor voice but otherwise has the making of a good officer, and has a high sense of duty". Also that he was "inclined to be a little tame, but is thoroughly reliable. He failed his examination but is recommended for a commission".

His personal effects returned to his father were 1 wallet, 1 disc, letters and photos, and 1 flask.

The war diary is too long to transcribe here, but in summary the Battalion together with the 10th Essex and the 7th Royal West Kents were to advance through the Forest of Mormal. Despite opposition and casualties they did achieve their objective. Unusually, the officer casualties are not named so unless his service record gives details, that is all we know of John's whereabouts on this day. CWGC figures give 12 of the battalion killed this day.

photo:Rodney Gibson

John Long is buried in Preux-au-Bois Communal Cemetery, grave A:44

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