We believe that John was the son of a mining family that hailed originally from Derbyshire. He was born in 1887 in Leeswood, Flintshire. (Ref Soldiers who Died in the Great war 1914 to 1919).
His father, we think, was Thomas Langley a coal miner who hailed from Aldercar in Derbyshire (born 1849). His mother was Frances Langley who had been born in Belper, Derbyshire (born 1852). We have found this couple on the 1881 census living in No 3 George’s Terrace, Treuddyn, Flintshire. Thomas was 33 and his wife 29. They had at that time two daughters Martha 11 and Ann 8. Living with them was 14 year old Joseph Bennet a coal miner who had been born in Derby. A relative? John was not yet born.
The first census we can find with John Langley listed is the 1901 one. He was descibed as an ‘ordinary agricultural labourer’ aged 15. He was working and living at a farm (Church Fields) owned by a Thomas W Saint This was in Brailsford, South Derbyshire. The census form says John was born in Wales -Flint.
In the next census of 1911 we find that John Langley (born in Leeswood, Flintshire) is now a married man of 24. His wife is Gertie 23 (born in Cheshire). Their son John was 1 year old and had been born in Leeswood, Flintshire. John was now a collier.The family was living with the Griffiths family in no 8 California Row in Pontefract, West Yorkshire.
John enlisted in Wrexham ( Ref. Soldiers who died in the Great War 1914 to 1919) His medal card says that he served in the Balkans from 28th June 1915
There is an index card for John in the Flintshire Roll of Honour in the Flintshire Archive Office in Hawarden. This includes the address Hawthorn Cottage Leeswood. It contains the regimental details as above and states that he served in Gallipoli, was wounded in action and died in Malta. The death date on this card is 25th August 1915. The card includes the words “unable to obtain reg his relatives away” Perhaps the missing details were added later because they are there. The card was signed by W Phillips 17th September 1919.
We believe that John Langley was the brother of Walter Langley who was killed in the war and who is also listed on the memorial at Pontblyddyn Church.