Venables, John

John’s parent’s, James Venables and Mary Jane Leech married in a Civil ceremony in 1896 (WM/045/24)

In the 1901 census, the family was living in Warwick Street Chesterton,  Staffordshire. Head of the household was James Venables, 26,  a Mechanic (A), who had been born in Birmingham. His wife Mary Jane, 26, a Distiller of Bergol ?? had been born in Wrexham, Denbighshire. Their son John, 3 had been born in Wrexham as had  Arthur, 1.   Brother-in-Law, David Leech, 25 who was a Stationary Engine Tester was also present.

The 1911 census shows the family living at Queens Avenue, Sandycroft, Nr. Chester, Flintshire.   James Venables, 37 was  a Foreman at the Tar Works (Tar Distillers). His wife of 15 years, Mary Jane was 37.  Six children had been born to them, but 1 had died. The listed children were  John, 13, Albert Edwin 11, James Ernest 9, Gwendline 7,  Reginald was 1.  There was a Boarder, Samuel Leake, 27 a Sulphite Ammonia Stillman at the Tar Works.

Great Britain, Royal Naval Division Casualties of The Great War, 1914-1924 accessible on  confirms John’s military service details above and tells us that he died of wounds in 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital Doullens  He had received Gun Shot Wounds to his left arm  on the 27th March 1918.  His Service history states that he was in the Army Reserve from 21st January 1916, and  was mobilised on the 13th August 1917. He was drafted for the British Expeditionary Force on the 4th February 1918 and  posted to the Anson Battalion on the 19th February 1918.    It also tells us that he was born on the 20th January 1898 and gives his father James Venables, of Chemistry Works, Queensferry as his next of kin.

There is an index card for John Venables in The Flintshire Roll of Honour in The County Record Office in Hawarden. Card. F 26 Queensferry). It gives the address as Chemistry Works, Queensferry. It says he died of wounds received in Action  on the 28th March 1918. The card was signed by his father James Venables on the 17th April 1920.   Written on the reverse of the card was ‘Anson Bn.’

UK, Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 accessible on  includes an entry for John Venables. Itconfirms his military details, this gives his death as the 28th March 1918 and that he was killed or died as a direct result of enemy action. It details the location of his grave as above. This source tells us that he was born on the 20th January 1898 in Brymbo. UK Naval Medal Award Rolls 1793 -1972 also on ‘Ancestry’ details his medals.

John Venables is also remembered on the Queensferry Chemical Works Roll Of Honour that is in the Hawarden Record Office, it is a list in a Frame.

Addendum: –   John’s Great-Nephew, Geoff England, sent me photograph’s of John and his Grandfather, also a photograph of 4 generations of the family, many thanks to Geoff.


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