John W ROUTLEDGE
John was a Sergeant in the 1st Battalion. West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own) and was killed in action on 21st March 1918, the opening day of the German Spring Offensive (Operation Michael).
He had enlisted early in the war answering Kitchener’s call and joined the 18th Battalion. West Yorkshire Regiment, the 2nd Bradford Pals. He was with the Battalion when they landed in Egypt in late November 1915 and will have served in France surviving the horrors of 1st July 1916 on the Somme and the fighting at Arras in 1917. He was probably transferred to the 1st Battalion in early 1918.
John’s pension went to Annie Eliza Matthewman of 38 Highgate Road, Clayton Heights. Annie was his aunt and in 1911 John, then aged 17, was living with her at 25 Dracup Road, Bradford, he was employed as a wire lad, jacquard machine maker, he can also be found on the 1901 census living with Annie and her sister.
His parents were John James and Margaret Hannah, and he was born in Birkenhead, his father died in 1897 and his mother married James Wells at St Jude’s Bradford in December 1900. Matthewman was Margaret’s maiden name, she was the eldest sister of Annie. As shown John was living with Annie from a young age and the 1911 census for Margaret Wells records that she had/given birth to three children, 2 girls 1 boy, her children with James. It appears that John was no longer part of her family.