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1914 - 1918 Remembrance

John Walter Lee

John Walter Lee

Private 2318 - Sherwood Foresters
Notts Derby Regiment 1st/8th Battalion

Enlisted: Sutton-in-Ashfield 8th Sep 1914

Killed in Action Flanders 4th August 1915 : Aged 19

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial - Panel 39 and 41.

Huthwaite Online WW1 Remembrance

Private 2318 John Walter Lee was born Q2 1886 in Hucknall Huthwaite. Parents 1890 marriage between Mr Walter Lee, a coal hewer from Teversal and Miss Hannah Hill Boot from Hucknall Huthwaite gains a Blackwell Road home, furthermore relating locally influential church and mining role connections.Bible Class

John Walter Lee was the second of eight children born by Mrs Hannah Hill Lee. Named five surviving common infant mortality lists fullest 1911 household following fathers promoted employment to Colliery Examiner and Shot Firer. Heading residential School House address is Mr Walter Lee 42. Mrs Hannah Hill Lee 41, mothers William Obediah 20, John Walter 15, Mary Hannah 8, Margaret Amy Ellen 4, Francis Henry 1. New Hucknall Colliery had already also employed John, when teenagers typically started working underground as a Pony Driver.

Private John Walter Lee seems to have eagerly joined church friends and work colleagues enlisting for army service aged 18. Signed attestation dates Sutton-in-Ashfield enlistment 8th September 1914, where the Medical examiner J K Tweedie accepted exaggerated age claiming 19 years 31 days. Measuring height 5 feet 4½ and chest 34½ inches, weight 120 lbs. recorded a healthy addition into Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment numbered 2318.

Pte 2318 J W Lee was killed in action just 11 month later on 4th August 1915. Deployment with the 8th Battalion had landed him in northern France on the Western Front, where death was truly aged just weeks after his 19th birthday.

Notts Free Press – August 1915.

The war has claimed two more Huthwaite young men as victims. They are Private John Walter Lee, second son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Lee, of Blackwell road, and Private George Henry Starkey, son of Mr. J. Starkey, Sutton road. The former was only 19 years of age and the latter 21, and both enlisted early in September last. The father of Private Lee is well known in the town as a strenuous Parish Church worker and churchwarden for many years. The news of both fatalities has been sent to Huthwaite by regimental chums of both heroes.

The following has been received by Private Lee's family from Private W.H. Oscroft, 2403, C. Company, 8th Battalion Notts. and Derby, a Sutton man who enlisted after the war broke out:- Just a few lines to let you know that I am in good health and spirits, but I am sorry to tell you the sadness of your son Walter getting killed. We have had a good many jokes with one another since we have been out here, and I am very sorry to tell you we have lost a good lad. He was always ready to do anything, and was always well respected by our Company officers and men. We have lost a lot of men since we came out to France, and I want to let you know that Walter died a hero, and anyone who writes to you will say the same. We have been in the thick of it lately, and we never know how long we are going to be before it is our turn; we are well one minute and gone under the next. So please accept by greatest sympathy, and I send the same to all at home. The letter is dated August 6th. Another letter received locally mentions Private Lee's death, and states that he suffered no pain.

Mansfield Advertiser – 20th. August, 1915.


On Sunday evening in Huthwaite Parish Church, a memorial service was held in honour of Private J.W. Lee, 8th. Notts and Derbyshire, and G.H. Starkey, 2nd. Lincolns, both of whom have been killed in action. There was a large congregation, and the military element was represented by the Sutton Citizen Army (under Mr. C.O. Wright) Sutton Cadet Corps (Lieutenant Wilson and Sergeant-Major Robinson) and Huthwaite Scouts, Boys’ Brigade, and Cadets (Sergt.-Major Hall). The Rev. Beswick conducted the service.


Private W. Lee, of the 8th. Batt. Sherwood Foresters, was killed in action "somewhere in France" on August 5th. Private Lee was only 19 years of age, and prior to the war resided with his parents at the Old Schoolhouse, Blackwell Road, Huthwaite.

23 Jul 06     by Gary Elliott       Updated 04 Jul 12