Friday, 22 May 2015

Riley, John Henry - Lance Sergeant (G/9259)

Lce Sgt John Henry Riley
1st Battalion
The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)
Killed in Action
14th February 1917
Age 20
Buried at Favreuil British Cemetery

Newspaper Report:

The news that Sergeant John Henry Riley (20) had been killed in action instantly by a shell has caused his mother (Mrs Riley) and her daughter, who reside at 107, Bury Road, Haslingden to receive many expressions of sympathy with them in their sad bereavement.  Previous to enlisting the deceased had been a clothlooker in Messrs. Hindle and Warburton's Mill, Blackburn and he was killed on February 14th, the second anniversary of the date upon which he, along with his mother's brother, enlisted. His uncle, Mr. James W. Nuttall, East lancashires, had been killed in action about five months age, at the early age of 24.  Both nephew and uncle were only sons.  John Riley's father, who had been employed at Laneside Sizehouse, was killed by an accident 13 years ago.  Deceased was a sergeant in the Buffs (East Kent) Regiment. Captain Marshall, his commanding officer, had written a very sympathetic letter to Mrs. Riley, in which he stated that he knew deceased well, as he had been in his company nearly two years, and he had always found him a most conscientious and capable N.C.O., and his death was regarded by him and the whole company as "a real loss to the company."  Deceased had been a very studious youth, and was connected with Trinity Baptist Church and Sunday School, Haslingden, for many years.  The chaplain also wrote to Mrs. Riley expressing his heartfelt sympathy with her, and stating that the deceased was highly valued by the officers, which have lost, as they put "A jolly good N.C.O." The body of the deceased was taken to a military cemetery, where he was buried along with two other sergeants who had fallen at the same time.  A small party of men from the battalion attended, and paid their last tribute to the deceased by playing the "Last Post."
The pioneers of the battalion had made a cross which was erected over the grave.  On Sunday evening a special service commemorative of Sergeant J.H. Riley was held at Trinity Baptist Church, who was very highly respected by the Church and Sunday School, as a young man of great promise.  Mr. Lord Pilling, of Stacksteads delivered a very appropriate address, and at the close the deputy organist, Private Riley Bowker, played the "Dead March."  Much sympathy was manifested to Mrs Riley and her daughter.

Newspaper Memorials:

In loving and cherished memory of my dear son, Sergt. Jack Riley, who was killed in France, February 14th 1917, and was buried at Favreuil Military Cemetery.

"He was a son most truly loved,
A friend both kind and true;
A better son and brother never lived,
His equals were but few."

From Mother, 107, Bury Road, Haslingden.

"No one who knew him need ever be told,
That a warmer heart death never turned cold;
His loving smile, his cheerful face,
There's none can fill our brother's place.

From Clara and Nellie and Dora

"Farewell, dear Jack, in a far off land,
A land we may never see;
But as long as life and memory last
We will always think of thee."

From Auntie, Uncle Jack, Ruthie and Fred.