Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

John Gannon

John Gannon :

John Gannon : (L to R) 1914-15 Star; Allied Victory Medal

(L to R) 1914-15 Star; Allied Victory Medal

John was born in Bolton, Lancashire. We don't know anything else about his family or early life. He may have been living at 13 Buller Street in Droyslden, Manchester in 1914.

The First World War broke out on the 4th August 1914 and John joined the 8th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment later that month. This was a unit of the Territorial Force based in Ardwick, Manchester. He was given the service number 2369.

John and the 8th Battalion were sent to Egypt on the 10th September, and they arrived in Alexandria on the 25th.

After less than a month in Egypt, on the 19th October John was sent to Cyprus. This was a Turkish colony administered by Britain. As Britain and Turkey were now at war John and the 8th Battalion took part in the British annexation of the island. They stayed there until the 23rd January 1915 when they returned to Egypt.

John went to war in May 1915 when the 8th Battalion landed in Gallipoli. He will have spent some time in the trenches opposite Turkish positions during the rest of this month.

On the 4th June John took part in the attack on the village of Krithia. This had been intended to be captured during late April when the first Allied troops landed, but the Turks had been able to hold them off. John and the 8th Battalion advanced further than most British units, but this meant when the Turks counter attacked they were cut off and forced to withdraw. The 8th Battalion lost around 350 men on that day. Many of them must have been friends of John.

After a period out of the line to recover and receive reinforcements the 8th Battalion returned to the trenches in early July. On the 8th John was killed in action. We don't know how he died, although he was the only member of the 8th Battalion killed that day. Most probably he was killed by a shell or a Turkish sniper.

John is one of 1102 men buried in Lancashire Landing Cemetery in Gallipoli. His grave reference is D. 85.

John's medals were donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in May 1950. As well as his 1914-15 Star and Allied Victory Medal, John was also awarded the British War Medal for his Army service.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 343 2878
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
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Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council