John Curry MM

east yorkshire regimental badgeSergeant, 6195, 7th (Service) Battalion (previously 1st Battalion), East Yorkshire Regiment, killed in action, 4th September 1918, aged 38

Born at Luddington in August 1880, John was the son of Thomas and Mary Curry. His father was a bricklayer’s labourer from Luddington and his mother was from Oldham (Ireland in 1911 census). In the 1881 census, when John is just 9 months old, the family are living in Stalybridge, near Manchester.

His father died in the early 1880’s and his mother returned to Luddington where in 1886 she remarried to Thomas Tighe, a farm labourer from Mayo, Ireland. In 1911 John was living with his step family in Main Street, Luddington and like his step-father was a farm labourer.

According to his service number John had been a regular soldier in the East Yorkshire Regiment prior to the First World War. He had enlisted at Beverley, possibly as early as 1900 and would have served for a period of 7 years, following which he would have been transferred to the Army Reserve. Recalled to the regiment on the outbreak of war, John arrived in France on 2nd November 1914 as a reinforcement for the 1st East Yorkshire’s.

At some point in his service John was transferred to the 7th East Yorkshire’s, part of 50th Brigade in 17th (Northern) Division. In June 1918, John was one of fourteen men from the Brigade to be awarded the Military Medal for their part in a major raid on the German trenches on Hawthorn Ridge, west of Beaumont Hamel during the night of 8th-9th June 1918. A joint operation by 7th East Yorkshire’s and 6th Dorsetshire Regiment, they inflicted numerous casualties, captured 28 prisoners and 2 machine-guns (destroying a third) whilst only receiving light casualties themselves.

John was presented with his medal by the Brigade Commander, Brigadier-General Gwyn Thomas at a special ceremony on a parade ground near Rubempre on 25th June 1918. After the ceremony he (and the other men) went for a bath. Notice of the awards appeared in the London Gazette on 18th October 1918.

In September 1918 the 7th East Yorkshire’s were still on the Somme. On 2nd September they had help to clear the village of Le Transloy and had moved on to Rocquigny. On 4th September John Curry was one of a party of men attempting to force a crossing of the Canal du Nord, north east of Rocquigny when he lost his life. He is buried in Lebucquiere Communal Cemetery Extension.