Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the South Staffordshire area who died during the two World Wars.
John Squire was born at Essington in 1897, the son of Kate Squire. Kate married William Bunce (a farm labourer) in 1901 and the family lived at Wightwick Bank, Tettenhall. By 1911 John, 14, had moved to Field near Uttoxeter, where he was working as a farm boy and living in the household of a farmer, Henry Prince. In 1911 Kate's younger brother, Thomas and her elderly father, John, were living in Stretton where Thomas worked as a farm waggoner.
John joined up in about December 1915. At first he served with the 6th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment but he was later transferred to the 12th West Yorkshire (Prince of Wales's Own). He was with the 12 West Yorks in April 1917 when the Battalion took part in the First and Second Battles of the Scarpe (part of the Arras offensive of 1917). John appears to have distinguished himself as the Battalion War Diary records that, on 30th April, he was one of the men who were presented with the Military Medal by the G.O.C. of the 9th Infantry Brigade. The award later appeared in the London Gazette of 18th June, 1917.
It was probably as the result of the actions that led to the award of the MM that John was appointed Lance-Corporal. A few days later he was killed in action at the start of the Third Battle of the Scarpe on 3rd May, 1917. The War Diary records:
3rd May, Trenches E of Monchy. 3-45 am. At zero hour (3-45 am) it was pitch dark and there was a very thick mist which lasted far into the morning. The attack commenced punctually at zero hour, but owing to the darkness, mist, strong concentration of hostile M-G2, prompt heavy hostile barrage and alertness of the enemy, the attack made very little progress and soon became more or less disorganised and men had to take shelter in shell-holes. Casualties: Killed - Capt J H Getty, 2nd Lt H Booth, 2nd Lt P L Smith and 24 Other Ranks.
Lance Corporal John Squire MM, 40717 (formerly 4399, 6th North Staffs Regt.) is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg.