Published By John Davies
John Fernyhough was born in 1898 at Maesbury, the 5th son of Edward and Elizabeth Fernyhough – there would 9 siblings all told. His father was a wheel and mill wright; his mother looked after the home. In 1901 they are recorded as living at Maesbury Marsh and by 1911 at Poole House, Maesbury. By the time of the war they were living at Kensington Gardens in Oswestry. John worked as a groom and warehouseman.
He joined the 2/1st Shropshire Royal Horse Artillery in July 1915 becoming a driver. The Shropshire RHA was originally formed in 1860 but, in 1908, became a territorial artillery unit and part of the Welsh Border Yeomanry. The 2/1 SRHA was a war raised unit and was designated as A Battery 158 (CLVIII) Brigade Royal Horse Artillery and would see service on the Western Front. John though never went overseas. He was posted to Trusthorpe in Lincolnshire when early in 1916 he reported sick with chest pains and shortness of breath. He was diagnosed withand was discharged on 26 September 1916 as ‘being no longer physically fit for war service’ under . He was admitted to Northern General Hospital in Lincoln. There is no record of where he went from there, although he most likely went to a sanatorium – possibly King Edward VII Memorial Sanatorium at Shirlett near to Bridgnorth.
He died on 5 May 1917 and is buried at Oswestry Cemetery (Grave U 395). There is no record of him on CWGC or on the casualty lists. His medical examination at discharge concluded that he had not contracted TB as a consequence of war service but that it had been aggravated by his time in the army. The funeral took place at Holy Trinity on 12 May. A large number of friends attended including members of the Admiral Rodney Lodge of Oddfellows. He is also commemorated on the war memorial at Holy Trinity Church and at St Oswald’s Church.
John’s sister, Annie Fernyhough, was a nurse maid and later a domestic servant in the family home of Private 44076 John W Whitfield, 2/8 Bn Worcestershire Regiment, DoW (Illness) 16 July 1918, Aire Communal Cemetery
Driver 653 John Fernyhough, 2/1 Bn Shropshire Royal Horse Artillery. Died 8 May 1917, Oswestry General Cemetery. (JRD)