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Lance Corporal John Francis WYKES

East Surrey Regiment 3085

John Francis was born 1 July 1895 in Spratton, the son of John Wykes, a labourer from a long-established family in the village,  and his wife, Harriet (nee Middleton).  He lived in Manor Road with his siblings William, Walter, Mary, Evelyn and Lillian. All three brothers served in the First World War. When he left school he went to work for a local farmer, Louis Deacon Holt and he lived with Mr Holt and his wife Edith Mary at Holdenby Mill, working on the farm as a waggoner.

He volunteered for the army as soon as war was declared and joined the East Surrey Regiment on 20 September 1914 aged 19. He served at different times with the 4th, 8th and 1st Battalions and fought in some of the most important battles of the war. On the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916 the 8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment went into the attack dribbling two footballs that their Commanding Officer had brought for his men to kick into No Man’s Land to encourage them to move forward. The 8th East Surreys reached and held their objective that day, although the CO and many of his men were killed. John Francis was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

He died in December 1978 in Okehampton, Devon, aged 83.

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MEN WHO SERVED

ADNITT
ARCHER
ARTHUR
AUSTIN
BALDERSON
BALDWIN
BATTAMS
BILLING
BLAKESLEY
BLUNDELL
BOWERS
BRANSON
BROWN
BUCKBY
BUSWELL
CAPON
CATTELL
CLARKE
COOKE
COPSON
CRANE
DICKENS
DICKERSON
DUNKLEY
ELDRED
ELSDALE
ERSKINE
FOWLES
FRANKLIN
FRISBY
GAMMAGE
GIST
GOODEN
GOODWIN
GREEN
HAYTER
HIDER
HIGGS
HOBLEY
HODGE(S)
HODSON
HORNE
HUNT
JOHNSON
JUDD
KENCH
KNIGHT
KNIGHTALL
LEATHERLAND
LEESON
LEONARD
LETTS
LIVESEY
MAINS
MANNING
MANNINGHAM-BULLER
MARTIN
MASON
MIDDLETON (WYKES)
NORMAN
PAGE
PASSEY
PATEMAN
PAYNE
PHEASANT
POWELL
REEVE
RHODES-MOORHOUSE
RICHARDSON
SMITH
SNEDKER
SPEECHLEY
STEVENS
TARPLEY
TARRANT
TAYLOR
THORNTON
TIRRELL
TITE
TREDWELL
TURLAND
VINEY
VOKE
WADHAMS
WARD
WARWICKS
WHATTON
WOOD
WYKES
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