Catherall, John Samuel

John Samuel Catherall was the son of George and Ellen Catherall, 45 Chester Rd. In 1911 John was 16 and an apprentice to pattern maker. He was living at Garden Cottage Lane End with father George, a carpenter at brickworks, mother and sisters Beatrix and Lydia. He had a brother George living at Sealand Road Chester in 1915.

John Samuel joined the Cheshire Yeomanry in March 1915, and was transferred to the South Lancashire in September 1916 when he embarked for France.

The Ploegsteert Memorial commemorates more than 11,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in this sector during the First World War and have no known grave. The memorial serves the area from the line Caestre-Dranoutre-Warneton, in Belgium, to the north, to Haverskerque-Estaires-Fournes, in France, to the south, including the towns of Hazebrouck, Merville, Bailleul and Armentieres, the Forest of Nieppe, and Ploegsteert Wood. The original intention had been to erect the memorial in Lille.

Most of those commemorated by the memorial did not die in major offensives, such as those which took place around Ypres to the north, or Loos to the south. Most were killed in the course of the day-to-day trench warfare which characterised this part of the line, or in small scale set engagements, usually carried out in support of the major attacks taking place elsewhere.

At the time of John’s death, the British were withstanding the full might of the German spring 1918 offensive Operation Michael, which broke through and pushed the British line back 40 miles. More British prisoners were taken during the two months of March-April 1918 than in the whole of the previous three years.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Buckley Memorial

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