PALMER, John William

No. 889590, Gunner, John William PALMER
Aged 33

"D" Battery, 168th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
formerly No.1637, R.F.A.(T)
Died of Illness on Friday, 23rd March 1917

John William Palmer was born in 1884 (Mildenhall Q1-1884 4A:675 or Q3-1884 4A:677) son of James and Esther PALMER (née NAYLOR).

1891 census...Aged 7, he was at St Andrews Street, Mildenhall with his father James PALMER [45] grocer's porter born Ash, Kent; his mother Esther [42]; brother Herbert [11]; sisters Frances [9] and Edith [4]. All except his father were born in Mildenhall.

1901 census...Aged 17, a cycle maker's apprentice, he was at St. Andrew's Street, Mildenhall with his parents, brother Herbert (merchant's clerk) and sisters Frances and Edith.

1911 census...Aged 27, single, a grocer's porter, he was at the Town Hall, Mildenhall with his parents (father was caretaker at Town Hall) and sister Edith.

He enlisted in Ipswich.
Unable at present to access the brigade war diary. John died at No. 36 Casualty Clearing Station, near Cayeux -en-Santerre.

Bury Free Press of 31st March 1917 reported

Mr. James Palmer, of St Andrew's Street, Mildenhall has just received the following letter, announcing the death of his son, who went out with the R.F.A. to France in October last:-
"36 C.C.S. - March 23rd - Dear Mr.Palmer, I am afraid this letter will come to you as a shock. Your boy, J.W.Palmer 869590, a gunner, was brought down here last night terribly ill with diphtheria. The nurses and doctors did all they could for him, and I had hoped he might pull through, but his heart suddenly failed at 5 a.m.this morning and he passed peacefully away. I don't think he suffered much.He only came in about 10 o'clock,and I saw him at 11.30. Of course he could not speak as he had some injection, and had to be quiet., but I did what I could. I am burying him this afternoon in our cemetery here, where his grave will be marked with a cross and a suitable inscription.His effects will be sent to you in the ordinary way through the Base Record Office - With much sympathy, I am yours faithfully Chaplain C of E., A R Hoare"

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

John Palmer is buried in Cayeux Military Cemetery, grave 1:A:1

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