Photograph reproduced by kind permission of Marlborough School
Lt John Cullimore who died on 16th April 1916 while serving with the 8th Battalion of the Cheshires in what is now Iraq. His medal card and service papers exist and are held at the National archives in Kew. He joined the army in June 1915 and had served in Gallipoli at the back end of that campaign. Jack was wounded in the same attack as Private George Lee also from Christleton. He was taken to a field hospital but died 6 days later. He had served as a machine gun officer, and was the youngest of four brothers serving at that time. There is a report of the battle in his Obituary written in the Cheshire Observer 29/4/1916 p7. There are also obituaries in Chester Chronicle 29/4/1916, Liverpool Echo 19/4/1916 and an article in The Cheshire Observer 16th June 1916.
Jack’s father was a solicitor and the family lived at Faulkner’s Lodge, Faulkner’s Lane Christleton. John and Mary Elizabeth had four sons serving in the war. In the 1911 Census, John is recorded as a school boy at Marlborough College. His father was from Almondsbury in Gloucestershire and his mother from London. There were two sons at home, William 22 a Solicitors Articled Clerk, and Charles 19 a student at Cambridge University. There were three servants; Frances Pleavin aged 20 a parlour maid from Christleton, ? Pleavin 18 a cook from Boughton and Nellie Woodcock 17 a housemaid from Cotton.
Report of wounding. 15th September 1915
He was reported to have been dangerously wounded by official message from the War Office, a head wound. This followed a previous message to say he had been killed –now cancelled. The gallant officer is the youngest of four soldier brothers- two being abroad with the Artillery and a third serving in this country. Jack Cullimore was completing his education at Cambridge at the outbreak of hostilities and after serving with the Officer Training Corps at University obtained a Commission with the Cheshire Regiment. He received his baptism of fire with his battalion in Gallipoli where he was a machine gun officer. In Christleton he was very popular with all classes, being an athletic young man who made friends with all he met.
Christleton War Memorial
Memorial Service at St James’ Report 29 April 1916
His death from a wound after many months of splendid service during the campaign has cast a shadow of general mourning over the village and is regarded by everyone as a personal loss. A public tribute of respect paid at the service held at the Parish Church. The flag flew at half mast and the church looked radiant with floral beauty of Easter Flowers. The crowded congregation included many soldiers, officers and men in uniform. A bunch of lilies on the altar was “In remembrance of dear Jack” from Dick, Colin, Brian and Vera. The service was fully choral. He was remembered not only with great regret but with great pride.
In Gallipoli he was one of those who, on that terrible day reached the heights and one of the few who were on the crest of the hill and clung there for several hours. No support came, and they had to come down. The Rector saw a letter from a comrade, an officer, who said the last thing he saw of Lieutenant Cullimore up there was the blood streaming down his face and refusing to come away. Apart from that experience he had undergone the illnesses which befell so many in that cruel field, but nothing could bring him away. He refused to be invalided, and afterwards was in the rearguard on the two terrible occasions when the forces were brought out of the Dardenelles.
Everyone would understand the responsibility of being the rear guard. The man in the rear must expect to die, rather than betray the army he was defending. He was the rear guard on the first occasion, one of the last to come away. Sent back, he was also rearguard on the second occasion when the remainder of the troops were brought off. The after a brief rest, though his comrades were invalided, suffering in one way or another, he went to another theatre of war, and it was from there that they heard the sad news of his death.
It was recorded by a private, that the men loved him, because he was a “good sport” and always cheerful. He believed that was what everybody said about him. Whatever happened he always displays a cheerful spirit and many that day would be thinking with sore and tender feelings about Jack Cullimore.
Mr & Mrs JohnCullimore, Lieut. W Cullimore, Mrs Pitcairn Campbell, Mr & Mrs H J Birch, Capt & Mrs Swetenham, Mr & Mrs Johnson Dickson, Mr & Mrs Radciffe, Mrs E Porritt, Mr & Mrs G Miln, Lieut. Gordon Miln, Mr T E Miln, Mrs G Mostyn, Mr & Mrs Bingham Turner, Miss Day (Rowton) Mr George Okell, Miss Okell, Mrs John Okell, Mrs Danielson, Mrs M Clarke, Cpt. Vaughan Douglas (Royal Garrison Artillery) Mr & Mrs J Salmon, Mrs G M V Hickey, Lieut. Brian Hickey, Quarter Master Sgt Jones, Mrs Jones, Miss Jones (Littleton) Mr & Mrs W Wright, Mr & Mrs Mort, Mr & Mrs R Fleet, Mrs Wooley, Mrs Lipsham, Miss N Duffin, Mrs Probert, Mrs Pinnington, Mrs Pickavance, Mr and Mrs Towers, Mrs W Partington, Mr &Mrs Walter Postons, Mr & Mrs Pulford, Miss Groffiths, Miss Toft (Cotton), Miss Gunnery (Tarvin) Mrs R Salmon, Lieut. W Lunt, Mrs Boughey, Mr & Mrs Saunders, Miss S Weaver, Mrs Bramhall, Mrs H Wildig, Miss Winter, Mr and Mrs Steventon, Mrs T Dodd, Miss F Evand, Miss Pleavin, Miss Reeves, Miss Mayers, Mrs a Dodd, Private A Gregory, Messrs J H Sidebottom, Jos Fleet (Churchwardens) T Mayers J V Wright (Sidespersons) H Martn, George Allman, S Coppack, J Droughton(rep Mr TR Fleming) T J Cooper, T Duffin, Cummings, J Weaver, W Harrison, T Fleet, McNeill (Rowton) J Oultram, Joe Mosford, H Johnson, James Postons, Frank Lunt, C Williamson, Robert Salmon, C Bentley, F Mayers, George Dean, Willis Payne, Royston Lewis Jones, J Edwards, Walter Evason, John Foster, E Grubbe, Tom Johnson, W Millwood, R Chesworth, W Millwood, S Lyons. etc
St. Mary's Church
WWI War Memorial
War Memorial Porch
War Memorial Porch
War Memorial in Church Nave
War Memorial in Church Nave
Family Memorial in Church Nave
Smart Cullimore Memorial
The Church Nave
John is also commemorated at the Church of St Mary, the Virgin, Thornbury where members of his extended family lived. Smart Cullimore his cousin who served in the South Wales Borderers is also commemorated there.