Christleton Village History Group

Christleton Village Voices

Remembering our Forgotten Heroes 1914-18

John Arthur Dean

Name:
John Arthur Dean
Birth Place:
Chester
Residence:
Brown Heath Road Christleton, Near Chester
Employment:
Market Gardener
Regiment:
Cheshire Regiment
Battalion:
10th Battalion
Rank:
Private
Number:
243201
Death Date:
28 May, 1918. Age 21 years
Death Location:
France and Flanders. Unknown Grave. Remembered at Soissons Memorial"
Type of Casualty:
Died of wounds at the Battle of Aisne
Theatre of War:
Western European Theatre
Commemorated:
Commemorated on the War Memorial, Church Memorial at St James’ and Christleton Institute Memorial Board. Also at Cotton Abbotts Farm
Memorial Service, Waverton Presbyterian Chapel, Waverton, Chester

John was the eldest of three children to John and Elizabeth Anne Dean and was born in 1897. The family had a small holding on Brown Heath Road in Christleton, and John was working there in 1911 as a market garden labourer. He joined the 10th battalion of the Cheshires well after its formation but before 1916.

May 1918 had started off quietly for the 10th Battalion, however by the end of the month it had become almost extinct. Although we cannot tell exactly what happed to John we do know that the following actions occurred from the 26th to 28th May 1918.
The 26th ended with a huge gas bombardment on the 10th battalion, although by this time the army was much better prepared than it once had been for this sort of occurrence and no serious casualties were taken. In the afternoon of the 27th three battalions including the 10th moved forward in the area of Cormicy, in the Champagne region of France. By this part of the war the old trench systems had mostly gone and warfare was much more in the open, which meant that movement was easier, but more dangerous as troops were above ground level and not hidden in trenches.

The Germans saw this movement and launched and extremely heavy trench mortar attack, covered with machine guns. The companies of the 10th split up and lost contact with one another, not helped by a large number of enemy aircraft shooting at them. The commanding officer Lt Colonel E.C. Cadman was killed in one of these airborne attacks. The 10th disintegrated. By the following day there had been about 250 casualties from the already under strength battalion, and John was one of these. His body was never recovered and still lies on a field somewhere on France. He is remembered on the Soissons Memorial, near the River Aisne where there are 3,876 British dead, from the Battles of Aisne & Marne in 1918.

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John Arthur Dean | Christleton