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Surname: BLADES

Forename(s): John

Place of Birth: Askrigg, Yorkshire

Service No: 4255

Rank: Private

Regiment / Corps / Service: East Lancashire Regiment

Battalion / Unit: 2nd Battalion

Division: 8th Division

Age: ---

Date of Death: 1915-05-09

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: Panel 5 and 6.

CWGC Cemetery: ---


Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial(s): Not Listed (View Names Not Listed on a Local War Memorial)

Additional Information:

John Blades was the son of Thomas and Bessie Blades, née Carter. Both parents were born at Bainbridge, Yorkshire.

1891 Askrigg, Yorkshire Census: 2, Church Street - John Blades, aged 1 year, born Askrigg, son of Thomas and Bessie Blades.

1901 Nelson, Lancashire Census: 5, Parrock Street - Jack Blades, aged 11 years, born Askrigg, Yorkshire, son of Thomas and Bessie Blades.

1911 Nelson, Lancashire Census: 5, Parrock Street - John Blades, aged 21 years, born Askrigg, Yorkshire, son of Thomas and Bessie Blades.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte T [sic]. Blades, 4255, 2/E. Lanc. R. Theatre of War first served in: [ - ]. Date of entry therein: 6.11.14. K. in A.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte John Blades, 4255, E. Lan. R.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte John Blades, 4255, 3rd East Lancs.; 2nd East Lancs.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte John Blades, 4255, 2nd Bn E. Lancs. Regt. Date and Place of Death: 9.5.15. Aubers Ridge. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Mother and Sole Legatee - Mrs B. Blades. £3 1s. 10d. War Gratuity: Mother - Bessie. £3 0s. 0d.

UK, WW1 Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923: card(s) exist for John. Name(s) on card(s): Dependant: Mrs Bessie Blades, born 28.6.59. Relationship to soldier: Mother. Address 1. 5, Parrock Street, Nelson, Lancs. Address 2. 35, Rhoda Street, Nelson, Lancs.

John was killed in action in the attack on Fromelles during the Battles of Ypres, 1915, 22 April-25 May, at the Battle of Aubers Ridge, 9 May.

Photograph: ‘Burnley Express’ (24 July 1915).

Data Source: Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-19 Records


Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record: ---


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Private John BLADES

Private John BLADES

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: East Lancashire Regiment

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: East Lancashire Regiment

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 8th Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 8th Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: BLADES

Forename(s): John

Born: Askrigg, Yorks

Residence: Nelson, Lancs

Enlisted: Burnley, Lancs

Number: 4255

Rank: Private

Regiment: East Lancashire Regiment

Battalion: 2nd Battalion


Died Date: 09/05/15

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War: France & Flanders


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: BLADES

Forename(s): John

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 4255

Rank: Private

Regiment: East Lancashire Regiment

Unit: 2nd Bn.



Died Date: 09/05/1915

Additional Information:

View Additional Text

View Additional Text For Soldier Records

'Burnley Express' (24 July 1915)

(Kindly supplied by the website: Burnley in the Great War)



In the official casualty list published on Monday, two Nelson soldiers, who had been previously reported missing, appeared in the list of "Believed killed." We refer to Pte. John Blades, of 5, Parrock-street, Nelson, and Pte W. Smith, of 41, Gordon-road, Nelson, both of the 2nd East Lancashire Regiment.

Pte Blades was a single young man, who before the outbreak of the war resided with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Blades. He was well-known in the town, and his father is a highly esteemed tradesman, carrying on business as a furniture dealer. Pte. Blades, who was 25 years of age, joined the Army in 1908, and was on reserve at the beginning of the war. He was called up, and straight away proceeded to the front. Owing to suffering from bad feet he was invalided home about Christmas, but shortly afterwards was back in the firing line, and continued in the trenches up to the 9th of May, when he was reported as missing. Since then nothing has been heard of him. Before August he had been employed as a weaver at Netherfield Shed.



2nd Bn. East Lancashire Regiment

At 5.00 a.m. all guns commenced a heavy bombardment of the enemy trenches. This bombardment, though actually ineffective, appeared otherwise, and so impressed Captain Hill's men that he shouted, "It's a walk-over, a ------- walk-over." He soon found out that it was not.

The infantry attack was timed to begin at 5.40 a.m.; accordingly at 5.20 a.m., the rear platoons of 'C' and 'B' Companies moved up to their advanced platoons, followed at intervals by 'D' Company in support of 'B' Company, and 'A' Company in Battalion reserve. The success of this movement over absolutely open ground depended entirely on the ability of the artillery to subdue rifle and machine-gun fire from the enemy trenches. Unfortunately, in the words of an officer present, "the artillery entirely failed to shake the enemy, who maintained heavy rifle and machine-gun fire throughout the bombardment."

The natural result was that directly the companies left the cover of the breastwork they were swept by a hail of bullets; 'B', 'C' and 'D' Companies all suffered severely before reaching the advanced trench . . . 'A' Company also suffered severely while passing through the breastwork.

Further advance was obviously impossible without some re-organisation, and renewed bombardment of the enemy trenches. The latter was asked for, but the former was almost impossible, for the only cover forward of the breastwork was the advanced trench, which was enfiladed from end to end.

At 1.00 p.m. the bombardment recommenced and orders were received for the Battalion to resume the attack on the cessation of the bombardment; but, before it ceased, the Battalion no longer existed as a fighting force.

It was...long after midnight before the remnants of the battalion, including all the wounded who could be found, were assembled and withdrawn from the line. Thus ended the most disastrous day, with one possible exception, that the Battalion experienced during the war. The casualties amounted to 10 officers killed, 9 wounded;

63 other ranks killed, 325 wounded and 42 missing.

[John Blades was killed in action on the 9th May.]




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