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John William SUNTER

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Surname: SUNTER

Forename(s): John William

Place of Birth: Embsay, Yorkshire

Service No: 31072

Rank: A/L/Corporal

Regiment / Corps / Service: Royal Army Medical Corps

Battalion / Unit: 46th Field Ambulance

Division: 15th (Scottish) Division

Age: ---

Date of Death: 1917-07-31

Awards: M.M.

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: III. H. 17.


CWGC Memorial: ---

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

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

Additional Information:

John William Sunter was the son of George and Hannah Sunter, née Murphy. George was born at Greenhow Hill, Yorkshire and Hannah at Liverpool, Lancashire. John's brother, Private James Edward Sunter (204053), 2/5th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers, was killed in action on the 9 September 1916.

1891 Nelson, Lancashire Census: 12, Larch Street - John Willie Sunter, aged 8 years, born Embsay, Yorkshire, son of George and Hannah Sunter.

1901 Aldershot Hampshire Census: John William Sunter, aged 18 years, born Embsay, Yorkshire. Occupation: Private R.A.M.C.

1911 Nelson, Lancashire Census: 16, Wilkinson Street - John William Sunter, aged 28 years, born Embsay, Yorkshire, son of George and Hannah Sunter.

The British Army Service Record for John William Sunter exists but may be incomplete.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte John W. Sunter, 31072, R.A.M.C. Theatre of War first served in: (1) France. Date of entry therein: 10.7.15. K. in A. 31.7.17.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: A/L/Cpl John William Sunter, 31072, R.A.M.C.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: A/L. Cpl John William Sunter, 31072, Date and Place of Death: 31.7.17. In actn. Fr. or Belgm. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Mother - Hannah. £15 13s. 5d. Sister - Mary. £2 3s. 5d. Sister - Agnes. £2 3s. 5d. Sister - Miriam. £2 3s. 5d. Sister - Caroline. £2 3s. 5d. Sister - Hannah Brown. £2 3s. 4d. Sister - Sarah J. £2 3s. 4d. Brother - Thomas. £2 3s. 5d. Mrs. Rosina Sunter request of brother George. £2 3s. 5d.

Photograph: 'Burnley News' (11 August 1917).

A short biography of John is included in: ‘Though lost to sight to memory ever dear – Embsay-with-Eastby First World War Roll of Honour’ by Jane Lunnon, David Turner, Chris Lunnon (2018).

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


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


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A/L/Corporal John William SUNTER

A/L/Corporal John William SUNTER

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Royal Army Medical Corps

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Royal Army Medical Corps

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 15th (Scottish) Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 15th (Scottish) Division

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

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: SUNTER

Forename(s): John William

Born: Embsay, Yorks


Enlisted: Nelson, Lancs

Number: 31072

Rank: A/L/Cpl

Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps


Decorations: M.M.

Died Date: 31/07/17

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War: France & Flanders


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: SUNTER

Forename(s): J W

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 31072

Rank: Lance Corporal

Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps

Unit: 46th Field Amb.


Awards: M M

Died Date: 31/07/1917

Additional Information: (CWGC Headstone Personal Inscription: A LOVING SON AND BROTHER TRUE AND KIND A SWEET MEMORY LEFT BEHIND)

View Additional Text

View Additional Text For Soldier Records

‘Burnley Express’ (11 August 1917)


Mrs. Sunter, 16, Wilkinson-street, Nelson, has been informed this week of the death of two of her sons–Pte. James Edward Sunter, Lancashire Fusiliers, reported missing in September last year and now officially presumed dead, and Lce.-Corpl. J. W. Sunter, R.A.M.C., who was killed whilst bringing in wounded on July 31. The latter, who won the Military Medal at Vimy Ridge, was formerly employed at Astley’s Brewery. He was an ex-Nelson footballer.

‘Burnley News’ (11 August 1917)



A Military Medallist & Former Local Footballer

The painful shock of hearing of the death of two of her three soldier sons has this week been the experience of Mrs. Sunter, of 16, Wilkinson-street, Nelson.

Last September, Pte. James Edward Sunter, 2/5th Lancashire Fusiliers, was posted missing. On Thursday his mother was officially notified that he is presumed dead. His widow resides at 10, Bank-street, Nelson. On Wednesday, unofficial news was received that Lance-Corpl. John William Sunter, of the R.A.M.C. was killed on July 31st. A comrade, writing to his mother on the 4th inst., stated that Lance-Corpl. Sunter was killed instantly whilst bringing in wounded. The writer adds: “If ever a man gave his life to save others, Jack did, and I can assure you we have lost one who can never be replaced. He was more than a chum to me.”

Lance-Corpl. Sunter won the Military medal for his gallantry at Vimy Ridge last April, and he was wearing the ribbons of the decoration at the time he met his death. These have been sent to the family by his comrade. The deceased soldier, who was 34 years of age, served with the R.A.M.C. in the South African War. He was twelve years with the Colours and the Reserve, and he re-enlisted on the outbreak of the war. Four or five years ago he was a member of the Nelson Football team. He formerly worked at Messrs. Astley’s brewery.

The eldest son of Mrs. Sunter, Corporal George Sunter (41), is serving with the R.F.A. in France.




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    One Response to John William SUNTER

    1. Pauline July 28, 2022 at 4:16 pm #

      Hi, both my great uncles are listed on the memorial outside of Nelson library, thank you for the interesting information.

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