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John George Denby

L/SJT 4856058 - 2nd Battalion
Leicestershire Regiment

Enlisted: Notts 4th Feb 1931

Date of Death 11 July 1941 : Aged 32

Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery - Ref: J 33

Huthwaite Online WW2 Remembrance

L/Sjt 4856058 John George Denby was born October 1909 in Mansfield. Additional Huthwaite remembrance deservedly begins with Q3 1898 marriage between Mr Arthur Denby from Sutton, and Miss Elizabeth Wilson from Huthwaite, raised on Allsops Yard off Market Street. Their nearby 1901 marital home on Market Place is where Mrs Elizabeth Denby mothered first 5 of 8 children.

John George emerges just beyond a year after his growing Denby family next claimed 112 Brownlow Road address. Mansfield 1911 census lists that fuller household headed by coal miner Arthur 33, with wife Elizabeth 33 by then parenting James 11, Elizabeth Ann 10, Beatrice 8, Arthur 6, Charles Herbert 4, and John George 1. The 1914 arrival of twins Samuel and William completes this family line up, well before parents reportedly later claimed their Argyle Street address in Mansfield.

Miners sons very often also started work among this districts then numerous pits. Arthur names one brother who maintained Huthwaite ties. He extends his family name in Newcastle Street working New Hucknall Colliery, whereas John George started work at Sherwood Colliery. That might be where John became familiarly known to become more fondly called Jack.

Private John George Denby had decided to join the colours dating army enlistment 4th February 1931. This regular soldier was appointed paid rank of Lance Corporal 9th January 1934. Completing required Short Service term primarily serving in Northern Ireland, brings John \ Jack back to Mansfield finding alternative employment. As an experienced Reservist, first striped NCO position would be reclaimed when called upon to enter World War Two, again serving the Tigers, Leicestershire Regiment.

Lance Corporal John George Denby dutifully rejoined the Leicestershire Regiment 2nd Battalion 1st September 1939. Posting into the Middle East Theatre of War soon promoted rank. Corporal 4856058 John George Denby was an Anti-Tank Gun NCO in Libya when awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry in December 1940, thereby earning another promotion.

Lance Sergeant 4856058 John George Denby DCM, MM is thereafter ultimately recognised being killed in action 11th July 1941, aged at a better calculated 32 years. His Military Medal was posthumously collected from Buckingham Palace by his parents. Full medal collection was then proudly long kept by his brother Arthur Denby in Newcastle Street. His own grandson is past Huthwaite practitioner Dr Keven Hill, who now shares this inherited memorabilia deserving future honour.


Recently Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal.

  Within about two hours of receiving his last letter, in which he stated that he was in excellent health, the parents of Sergt. John George Denby received a telegram conveying the sad news that he had been killed in action.
  Twenty-nine years of age, he was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Denby, of 26, Argyle Street, Mansfield, and had served in the Army for a number of years as a regular soldier.
  On leaving the Broomhill School he worked for a time at the Sherwood Colliery, but later joined the Leicestershire Regiment, and served for seven years, principally in Ireland.

Awarded Medal

  On being placed on reserve, about 18 months before the outbreak of war, he was employed by Messrs. C.J. Vallance & Son, of Mansfield, but was called up in September 1939, and drafted to Palestine, where he has remained since then until the fighting commenced in Syria.
  He was well thought of by his superior officers, and in May last was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, although details of the action which gained him this award are not yet known by his parent, as he himself never mentioned it.

Jack Denby $856058 Corporal
John George DENBY

  During operations in the Sidi Barrani area on 10th Dec. 1940, this N.C.O. maintained his gun in action under heavy MG fire and gun fire over open sights. His leadership and bearing were an inspiration to his detachment. Later he got his gun out of action, loaded it onto his vehicle still under fire and moved across the front to assist A Coy in their attack.
  Here again he kept his gun in action under heavy and well directed fire. He was an example to his detachment throughout the day.


Mr and Mrs. Denby, of Mansfield, Notts., leaving the Palace after receiving the Military Medal awarded their son Sergt. Denby, killed in action.


Personal inscription displayed on the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Syria commemorates LANCE SERJEANT 4856058 JOHN GEORGE DENBY. (CWGC registered age 33.) Considering J G Denby is not found officially listed upon any known local Roll of Honour, his family ties justify worthy addition for all future honoured remembrance upon this Huthwaite War Memorial.

20 Nov 20     by Gary Elliott       Updated 20 Nov 20