John was the Son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Holdsworth, of 7, York Street, Queensbury. John was aged 15 when he enlisted into the Middlesex Regiment in Tring, Hertfordshire. He then went onto to serve in 182nd Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry).
182nd Company were part of the 61st (2nd South Midland) Division.
The first major action in which the Division was engaged turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. An attack was made on 19 July 1916 at Fromelles, a subsidiary action to the much larger battle taking place further south on the Somme. The Division suffered very heavy casualties for no significant gain and no enemy reserves were diverted from the Somme.
John was killed in action on 20th July 1916, recorded as aged 17, his true age was 16. Having no known grave he is commemorated on the LOOS MEMORIAL (Panel 136).