JOHNSON, Jonathan Pte. 16062

Jonathan Johnson was killed in action on the 1st July 1916, not with the Chorley Pals but serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment.

His Battalion had left Long Valley Camp, behind the lines, on the 30th June in readiness for the attack at Ovillers the following morning. They met severe machine gun and rifle fire as they advanced towards the German lines and by 9.00 a.m. half of the Berkshire’s had been lost.

Jonathan is buried in Ovillers Military Cemetery, on the outskirts of the village and close to the old British front line.

He served in the Chorley Pals until the 2nd October 1915 when he transferred to the 31st Division Cyclist Company as Private 9924. For whatever reason, on the 22nd May 1916 he was posted to the Royal Berkshire Regiment as Private 27518 – some five weeks later he was dead.

Jonathan ‘Jack’ Johnson was born in St. Helens in 1894, one of five children to Annie and Walter Johnson. The family were living at 46 Town Lane in Croston according to the 1901 and 1911 Census records; they attended St. Michael’s Church in the village. Upon enlisting in the Pals, he was recorded as working as a Weaver.