Private John Monery

Date of Birth c.1876
Age at Death 42
Date of Death 9 April 1918
Service Number G/54520
Military Service 104th Labour Corps Royal Fusiliers
Merton Address 8 Grove Road, Mitcham
Local Memorial Mitcham War Memorial

Additional Information

Born in Sussex in 1876, John was the son of Richard and Fanny Monery. The couple had seven other children – two older children, Frederick and Agnes, plus four younger children, Lucy, Theresa, Nellie, Bernard and Wilfred. Richard Monery and his eldest son both worked as gardeners.

By 1891 John’s parents seem to have separated and his father had married Cecilia Tribe. The family was now living in Offington, a property in Broadwater, Sussex and John had followed in his father’s footsteps, working as a gardener.

By 1901 John’s step-mother had died. His father and four of his siblings were living in Worthing. John had moved to Mitcham, together with his older brother, Richard, his sister-in-law Mary Ann and their 2 children. The men were working as gardeners and were probably employed by the successful Mitcham market-gardening firm, Mizen Bros – certainly they were living at 3 Mizens Cottages in St. Mark’s Road.

In 1902 John married Mitcham girl, Jessie Arthur, who appears to have been related to his neighbours. By 1911 the couple had moved to 1, Mizens Cottages and had two children, Albert and Percy; (their third child had died in infancy.) They were living with Jessie’s mother Caroline, a firework roller who is likely to have been employed at the Pain’s firework factory in Eastfields, Mitcham.

Following the outbreak of war, John enlisted as a private in the 35th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. This was a labour battalion, formed in Seaford between May and June 1916. The men were sent to France in June and were initially based in Rouen, where they were responsible for unloading supplied from incoming ships. In April 1917, John and many of his comrades were transferred to the Labour Corps, serving in France and Flanders. These battalions were responsible for everything from hauling supplies to helping with the construction of road, communication networks and maintaining railways.

John became part of the 104th Labour Corps. He was killed in action on 9 April 1918 and is buried at the Bienvilliers Military Cemetery in the Pas de Calais region of France. His widow and children were then living at 8 Grove Road, Mitcham and his name also appears on the Mitcham war memorial.


* Required field