Serjeant John Richard Tooke

Date of Birth c. 1890
Age at Death 25
Date of Death 25 September 1915
Service Number G/2288
Military Service 8th Battalion Royal West Surrey Regiment
Merton Address 141 Hartfield Road, Wimbledon
Local Memorial St. Andrew's Church, Wimbledon

Additional Information

John was born in Lambeth in about 1890, to Walter William and Mary Ann Tooke. He was the youngest of seven children, with older siblings Walter, Ellen, Charles, May, George, and James. His father was a railway porter. The family lived at 40 Beverly Road in Battersea, but by 1911, John and his brother James were both living with their older sister Ellen, who had married a man called James Hackman and had two sons. Hackman was a porter for the London and South Western Railway, as were John and James Tooke (all the Tooke boys followed in their father’s footsteps by working for the railways in some capacity), and they all lived together in a five room house at 57 Mallinson Road, Wandsworth Common.

John disembarked in France on the 31 August, 1915, and was killed in action less than a month later, on the 25 September. He left £198 to his brother Charles, who was a railway signalman. His promotion to sergeant is something of a mystery, since he was in the army for such a short time before being killed, and with the class system in place at the time, someone who worked as a railway porter would have likely entered the army as a private. He must have particularly impressed his superiors in some way.

At the time of his death, either his father or older brother (they had the same name) was resident in Wimbledon, living at 141 Hartfield Road, hence his inclusion in a Wimbledon memorial.


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