John James Cotterell was recorded on the census of 1901 living in New Brighton, near Mold. Head of the household was John Cotterell, aged 36, a General Labourer who had been born in Mold. His wife was Mary aged 47. Four step children were listed – which tells us that Mary had been previously married. Percy Jones was 20, a Coal miner.Ruth Jones was 16, Mary Elizabeth Jones was 13 and Maggie Jones was 11. The youngest child in the household was John James Cotterell who was 6.
The next census of 1911 records the family still in New Brighton. Head of the household was then Mary Cotterell who was 59 and a widow. (The form tells us that she had been married previously for 26 years and had given birth to 12 children, only 6 of whom were still living) Living in the household with her were Maggie Jones a 20 year old daughter and John James Cotterell who was a 15 year old Collier (underground)
John James enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment in Chester. He became a Lance Corporal. His medal Index card (On ancestry.co.uk) lists his three medals and also tells us that his first theatre of war was France and he entered it on the 7th July 1915. He was killed in action on the 4th September 1916 on the Somme aged 20.
The UK Register of Soldiers’ Effects in which the army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers, includes an entry for John James Cotterell. A total of £36 ..9sh ..11d was shared between his three half sisters – all of whom had married names by then. Maggie Powell, Ruth Usher and Mary Lockley.