Photograph of John in Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre. Reference: MRP/4F/053
(L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal
John was born in around March 1894 in Nantwich, Cheshire. We don't know anything about his early life or family.
When the First World War broke out in August 1914 John left his job as a tailor and joined the Army. He enlisted into the 3rd City Battalion on the 4th September. The City Battalions were formed to allow the men of Manchester to enlist and serve together. The 3rd City Battalion became the 18th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. John's service number was 10159.
When he enlisted John was 5 feet 6 inches tall. He had a 'fair' complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.
The 18th Battalion trained at Heaton Park in Manchester until April 1915, when they moved to Belton Park in Grantham, Lincolnshire. In September they moved to Larkhill in Wiltshire before sailing to France on the 8th November. We don't know why, but John did not join them in France until the 23rd December.
We believe that John first saw front line service in January 1916. He served near the villages of Suzanne, Bray and Maricourt during the first half of 1916. The battalion then began training to take part in the attacks on the first day of the Somme Offensive, the 1st July 1916. They were ordered to capture the village of Montauban from the Germans.
The attack went well; the 18th Battalion captured Montauban and began the work needed to hold it against a German counterattack. The day had not been without danger though. A German machine gun was able to kill or wound around 100 members of the battalion. John was shot through the left arm during the fighting. We don't know whether he was wounded by this machine gun, or in some other way.
John was treated in France until the 15th August, when he was sent back to the UK. His wound was severe, and his doctors were forced to amputate his left arm. He was clearly no longer able to fight, so on the 14th March 1917 he was discharged from the Army as 'no longer physically fit for war service'. He was awarded a Silver War Badge with serial number 514758 to show that his discharge was honourable.
Shortly after the end of the war the National Publishing Company began an attempt to print a roll covering every man who had served in the First World War. They invited veterans or their families to send a short account of his or her service, for a fee. Not all veterans took up this offer, and the details they included were not checked for accuracy. John or his parents sent this biography to the Company. It was published in Section XIV, Salford, of the National Roll of the Great War:
Lloyd, J., Private, 18th Manchester Regiment
He volunteered in September 1914, and was employed on Home Defence duties until his embarkation for France in December 1915. Whilst overseas he saw heavy fighting in the Ypres salient, and was wounded on the Somme on July 1st 1916. His injuries resulted in the amputation of his left arm and after receiving treatment at Roehampton he was discharged in March 1917. He holds the 1914-15 Star, and the General Service and Victory Medals.
2, Howard Street, Manchester
Roehampton is in Wandsworth, South West London. Queen Mary's Convalescent Hospital was based there. At the time this was a 900 bed specialist hospital for limbless men. In 2013 it is called Queen Mary's Hospital and still specialises in treating amputee patients.
John's life after his discharge remains a mystery. His medals were donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in August 1997.