Killed in action on 27th August 1918, John was a Private in the 18th Battalion. Machine Gun Corps, he had previously served in the West Yorkshire Regiment.
The 1911 census shows John living with his parents, John & Emma Jane, at 4 Small Page Fold, Queensbury. John was the middle of seven children (three older sisters, two younger brothers and one younger sister). He attended school part time and was also employed in the mill as a bobbin doffer. His three older sisters all worked in the mills.
The Halifax Courier dated 5th October 1918 has the following letter and picture.
“Second Lieutenant F Spruce OC C Section writes: I was with Pte Cawthra at the time of his death and am sure it will be comforting to you to know he suffered absolutely no pain. He was a soldier with a keen sense of duty and his loss is deeply felt by us all. He was buried by his comrades where he fell and it has been arranged by our Chaplain to read service over his grave, a white cross has also been erected and the location of his grave has already been given to the Graves Registration Union who in turn will notify you the same. Your Son was a good lad and the whole section join with me in expressing their sympathy in your great loss”.
John is buried at QUARRY CEMETERY, MONTAUBAN (IV. B. 15)