John Kewley

1892 - 1917

John, the son of a Methodist minister, was born in the Bahamas. He survived Gallipoli, but died in Mesopotamia, 8 months after his brother George.

Kingswood School

John Tasker Kewley was born in 1892 in the Bahamas, as the son of a Methodist minister. The family moved frequently, as was usual for ministers at the time. When John’s brother, George (also listed on the war memorial), was born in 1895 the family were in Somerset, and later in Leicestershire, Cheshire then Lancashire. The brothers attended Kingswood School in Bath, a Methodist foundation, as boarders. In 1910 John was awarded a scholarship in Natural Science at Brasenose College Oxford.

Survived Gallipoli

John gained Final Honours in Mineralogy and Chemistry in 1914. He enlisted early, joining the 6th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. At Gallipoli in 1915 this was one of three battaIions that were almost wiped out, and were evacuated to Egypt at the year end.

Invalided to India

In February 1916 John’s battalion was sent to Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), moving up the River Tigris and suffering heavy casualties against the Turks. Their aim was to relieve a siege at Kut-al-Amara, but they failed to reach it. The battalion’s chaplain was awarded a Victoria Cross, and John was made a temporary Captain. That summer he was invalided to Simla in India, where he convalesced for two months before returning to Mesopotamia.

Fatally wounded

In December 1916 the offensive towards Kut was renewed and again the fighting was fierce. John was wounded and died on 16 January 1917 aged 24, only eight months after his brother George. He is remembered at the Amara War Cemetery.

 

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