Johnson, Jack

I noticed this man’s name on the Absent Voter’s List – 1918 – 6895 JOHNSON, Jack.  3, Roberts’ Row  Killed in Action.

He is not on the Saltney Ferry Flintshire WW1 Index Cards, nor on the Roll of Honour in the Church (St. Mark’s), so I proceeded to research him, with not much success, so I asked for help from the Army Forum had an answer within half an hour!!

Hywyn, one of the members, who wrote back to me, gave me his Commonwealth War Graves Commission details and his Army Record, so thanks to him, I had, at last, some clues to Jack.  Many thanks Hywyn.

Jack was the son of John Henry S Johnson and Elizabeth Wright, who, I believe married in the September quarter of 1880, in a Civil Ceremony in the Chester Registration District (Cheshire           Cheshire West ROC/16/93)

1881 finds them living on the Northwich Road, Delamere, Cheshire, John Johnson, 21 and a Blacksmith and Elizabeth, 23 had both been born in Keslall, Cheshire.

The 1891 census the family, which had enlarged a lot living in Dog Lane, Kelslall, Cheshire, John was working on his own account at home as a Blacksmith and was now 33 years old, Elizabeth, 35.   The children were Samuel,10, Hannah, 8, Mary, 6, Florence, 4 and Lilien (sic) 2, all had been born in Kelsall.

Sadly, in the September quarter of 1898, Elizabeth had died, age 42, but not before having 2 more children, as the 1901 census shows us.    John H.S. Johnson, 41, is now a widower on the census and he is living in Frodsham St., Kelsall, Cheshire.   He is still working for himself as a Blacksmith.   Florence, 14, Jack, 7 and Arthur age 4 are the only ones at home.

1911 sees a huge change in the family, John H.S. Johnson, had married again in the December quarter of 1904, to Esther Dykes in St. Philip’s Church, Kelsall,( Cheshire West CE34/1/80).   John, 51, was still working on his own account as an employer as a Blacksmith in Burwardsley, Tattenhall, Cheshire.   He states that he had been married 7 years and no children had been born of his union to Esther, 58, who had been born in Weaverham, Cheshire.   With John’s daughter Ethel, 19 and Arthur, 14, who was a Helper in the Smithy was John’s Grandson, William Mayer age 7, who had been born in Tarvin.

The rest of the family were scattered, Jack now 17 was living with his brother Samuel, 29 in Frodsham Street, Keslall, both Blacksmiths and both single.

Florence, 24, their sister was a Domestice General Servant in the household of Peter & Sarah FRITH (Farmer) 1 son and 7 daughters, and 3 servants at Organsdale, Eddisbury, Kelsall, Cheshire (11 rooms).

Jack enlisted in 1915, but was not posted until 1917 according to his British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920.   It gave his address then as Frodsham St., Kelsall.   Jack’s father, at some point moved to 3, Robert’s Row, in Saltney Ferry, Flintshire, he is seen on the Electoral Roll for Stone Bridge 1915 – Z399 – Z432:- Page 18 – Z417 JOHNSON, John, 3, Robert’s Row, High Street. (East Saltney) Stone Bridge Ward. Dwelling House.   So at some point so did Jack as that is where he was registered as a Voter, however, it must have been after the 1911 census.

Jack Johnson in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920, confirms his 2 Army numbers, but does not tell us where his first Theatre of War was nor when he entered it.

Jack Johnson in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 gives the sole Legatee as his sister Florence who was paid £11 8s 4d on the 9th October 1918 and his War Gratuity of £3 on the 4th December 1919.

His Service Records show that it seems that Jack was suffering with muscular problems (Rheumatism) way before he entered the army and then he suffered frequently with depression and sadly ended his life by drowning, as can be seen from the papers in his folder.  It seems he went missing on the 15th May 1918 and was found on the 20th May 2018.

His sister Florence was the name on the Army papers to receive his personal items and medals – Miss Florence Johnson, Shoeing Forge, Frodsham Street, Kelsall, Chester, was sent the personal property of Jacks on the 15th October 1918 – Letters,(2 Engparied???), Wallet, 6 Religious books, Photos, Stamps value 41/2d, purse, sketch map,pocket case, photos, metal ring, scissors, razor in case.

These papers can be seen on, but I have transcribed excerpts from the papers and the Inquest or Enquiry into his death with witness statements and the court’s conclusion.   I can send my notes if you contact the website.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Saltney Ferry Memorial

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