Saturday, 25 April 2015

Patterson, John - Gunner

(No soldier photo available)
124 Field Regiment,
Royal Artillery
Died 21 March 1943
Age 21

For the British Army the Tunisian campaign of March and April 1943 included some of the hardest fighting of the war. The battles started in early March with a very determined German and Italian attack at Medenine. This was beaten off by the Allied forces. On 20 March the Allies attacked the Mareth Line, the Axis defensive position, using 1,000 anti-tank guns and 850 field guns. After much savage fighting, including heavy artillery barrages, the Allies drove the Axis forces back into Tunisia. The war in North Africa came to an end on 13 May 1943. Gunner John Patterson lost his life at the Battle of the Mareth Line.

John was the son of James and Annie Patterson. He was aged 21. He attenc_ed Haslingden Council School and he was an active member of Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was in the choir. Before he went into the Army, John worked at Lambert's cotton mill, Carrs.

John is buried in Sfax War Cemetery, Tunisia. The town of Sfax is 270 kilometres south of Tunis. Most of the men buriec_ in the cemetery died in the attacks on the Axis positions at Medenine and the Mareth Line in March and April 1943. There are 1,253 Commonwealth war graves, 52 of which are of men who could not be identified. John lies in Plot 7, Row D, Grave 24.