Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.

J. Cains

Hugh Bryan in The Fallen Heros of Ditton Priors identifies John Reuben Cains - possibly because he is the only J Cains in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database.

John was born on 3rd December, 1896, in Pimlico, London. He joined the Navy as a Boy in 1912 and served on several ships before being lost when HMS Mary Rose was sunk off Lerwick by the German cruisers SMS Brummer and SMS Bremse on 17th October, 1917.

J/18944 Leading Signalman John Cains is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. I have been unable to connect him to Ditton Priors.

It is possible that the man commemorated at Ditton Priors is actually John Francis Cain(e) who was born at Bridgnorth in 1870. He was the son of John Cain, stoker at the Bridgnorth Gas Works, and his wife Catherine. John and Catherine were both from County Mayo, Ireland. In 1871 they lived in Underhill Street, Bridgnorth, but by 1881 they had moved to Stanton Long where John senior was working as a licenced hawker. Catherine died in 1883. In the early years of the new century John senior moved to Upper Netchwood.

John junior worked as a printer's compositor. He served a seven year apprenticeship with R H Evans of Bridgnorth and worked for a time at Urmston, Lancs. After a period in the 1st Volunteer Brigade, Manchester Regiment, John signed up in the Imperial Yeomanry in 1901. He served in South Africa and was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal with clasps for Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal and South Africa 1901. He was discharged in February 1902 "having been found medically unfit" after being kicked on the head by a horse.

At the outbreak of war in 1914, John signed up again (although he was now 45 years old). He served for 18 months on the Home Front with the Worcestershire Regiment before being discharged "no longer physically fit for War Service". He appears to have died in 1917.

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. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.