8th November 1894 - 19th October 1917 (age 22)
8th Bn. Yorkshire Regiment
The following item appeared in the Yorkshire Gazette on 8th December 1917:
Another Sowerby man to make the great sacrifice is Pte John Henry Lofthouse the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Stephen Lofthouse. Pte Lofthouse who was 22 years of age, joined the Army in 1915. He went to Egypt in November of the same year, and landed in France in July, 1916, staying there until he met his death on 19th Oct of this year. He was in the Lewis gun section. Previous to joining up he was for 3½ years with Mr A. Ward, farmer, Morton-on-Swale. In a letter to his parents an officer says: "He was a splendid soldier and he died like so many of our fellows have died - fighting to the last. He suffered no pain and we buried him with all due respect. You lose a splendid son and we lose a splendid soldier and comrade". Mr and Mrs Lofthouse have another son in France.
John Henry Lofthouse, copied from Yorkshire Gazette, 8th December 1917
Stephen and Annie Lofthouse lived in Back Lane and later at Church View Sowerby where Stephen worked his trade as a coal dealer and carter. They reared five daughters and three sons; John Henry being the eldest son. He was baptised at St. Oswald's on 8th December 1894 and he was admitted to Sowerby infant school on 11th June 1899.
John Henry enlisted at Thirsk into the Alexandra Princess of Wales Yorkshire 8th Battalion going overseas on 5th December 1915. The battalion war diary shows that on the night of 18th/19th October 1917, "B" Company recorded one killed and several wounded while they were relieving the Northumberland Fusiliers near Ypres. Although the officer's letter states that John Henry was buried with all due respect, there was no known grave to be found after the war. Perhaps the grave was destroyed in later fighting. John Henry is remembered on the Tyne Cot memorial to the missing, panel 52-54 and 162A.
John Henry Lofthouse remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium
John Henry's younger brother Edwin also fought in the war, having enlisted in December 1915 at the age of 18 years and 2 months, He was a horseman on a farm, and joined the Royal Field Artillery as a driver (of horses). Edwin's conduct sheet shows a couple of interesting miss-demeanours as follows:
11th August 1918 - being in unlawful possession of nosebags and putting them to own personal use - 3 days Field Punishment
1st December 1917 - galloping 6 horses attached to a limber in the main road contrary to ARO 1406. 14 days Field Punishment
Edwin was demobilised on 18th September 1919.
The information on this page was compiled by Steve Billings.
Information about John Henry Lofthouse on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Information about John Henry Lofthouse on the War Graves Photographic Project website
Information about John Henry Lofthouse on the Yorkshire Regiment - First World War Remembrance website
Part of the St Oswald's Church website