John Thomas (William) Roe (1896–1917)


Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 23318 9th Battalion

Photo courtesy of a relative

Photo of John Thomas Roe

Born in 1896, John entered the war as an early volunteer, entering the Balkans in December 1915. He died of his wounds in October 1917, aged twenty-one. He is buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery.
[Thanks to a family member]

John Thomas Roe, recorded as born and lived at Crich in Army Records, enlisted at Buxton and was a Private No. 23318 in the 9th Battalion Sherwood Foresters. He died 5 October 1917 (France and Flanders) of wounds received. He first saw action in the Balkans and was awarded the 1915 Star and British and Victory Medals so he obviously joined up near the start of the War. He has a 5-digit Regimental number which may also indicate early entry into the War as by 1917 most numbers had been changed to 6 digits.
[Thanks to Ken Stinson]

John enlisted in February 1915. He died of wounds at the casualty clearing station and buried in Dozinghem Cemetery, Westvleteren. "Hem" was the Flemish word for village and (typical of soldiers' humour) the three cemeteries set up for third Ypres were Dozinghem, Mendinghem and Bandagehem. He would have been wounded on 4th October  when his battalion attacked Poelcapelle. 
Regarding the first newpaper article below – in late November on Gallipoli, there was a great storm and many men died or contracted dysentery.
Regarding the second newspaper obituary, he was obviously in Belgium and not France.
[Thanks to Steve Morse]

Newspaper reports

Derbyshire Courier
7 December 1915
An official intimation from the Lichfield record office has been received this week by Mr and Mrs John Roe of Sun Lane, Crich, that their son Private John William Roe, of the 9th Sherwood Foresters, is in hospital suffering from dysentery. This news has been supplemented by a letter from Private Roe, who, writing home says that he was suddenly taken ill, and the next thing he realised was that he was in hospital. He refers to the kind treatment he is receiving, and hopes to be well again shortly. Private Roe is at the 1st Canadian St West Mudros Hospital. He went to the Dardanelles with a section of the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. [Note: The newspaper refers to him as John William Roe.]

Belper News
19 October 1917
Mr John Roe, Sun Lane, Crich, received a letter from a nurse in hospital in France, informing him that his son, Pte John Roe, Sherwood Foresters, had been mortally wounded. Pte Roe was about 19 or 20 years of age.

Medal Roll Index Card
He was awarded the Victory, British War and 15 Star Medals.
Entered the Balkans 31/12/15. Died 05/10/17

Cemetery, medal and certificate photographs

Photos courtesy of a relative

John Thomas Roes'grave

Photo of John Thomas’s grave sent to his family.

John Thomas Roes headstone

A permanent headstone replaced the original wooden cross

Certificate to John Thomas Roes

Memorial Certificate

Death head penny for John Thmas Roe

“Death Penny” for John Thomas Roe

John Thomas Roes'WW1 medals

John's WW1 medals

Scroll to John Thomas Roe in WW1

WW1 scroll for John Thomas Roe

Photo courtesy Steve Morse

WW1 Military headstone for John Roe

A recent image of John Thomas Roe's military headstone

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Initials J T
Nationality United Kingdom
Rank Private
Regiment/Service Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)
Unit 9th Bn.
Age 21
Date of Death 05/10/17
Service No 23318
Additional Information Son of John and Martha A. Roe, of Chapel Row, Market Place, Crich, Matlock
Casualty type Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference VII. G. 1.

War Graves Certificate for John Thoms Roe in WW1

Soldiers' Effects Book
John Thomas Roe; 9th Bn Notts & Derby; Private 23318; died of wounds France 5.10.17; war Gratuity £12; paid out to"
16.5.18 mother Martha A £8 4s 1d
26.11.19 mother Martha A £12 0s 0d


1901 Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
John Roe Head 31 Quarryman Crich
Martha Roe wife 29   Holloway
William Roe son 8   Crich
John T Roe son 5   Crich

RG13 piece 3231 folio 42 page 4

1911: Sun Lane, Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Martha Roe Head (married) 38   Holloway
Wm. Roe son 17 Limestone quarryman Crich
John T Roe son 14 Door machinist Crich
Mary E Roe daughter 4   Crich

RG14PN20984 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED13 SN123

John Roe's brother William Roe is also on the Roll of Honour.