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Appleton, J.G., Pte., 1917
In Bruay Communal Cemetery Extension, France is the Commonwealth War Grave of 68060 Private John George Appleton serving with the 25th Battalion Canadian Infantry who died 18/08/1917.

Jean Longstaff has submitted the following:-

John George was the second son of coke worker John and his wife Elizabeth; he was born in Templetown, Consett in 1886 three years after his brother Thomas had been born whilst the family were living in Iveston. They had a younger sister Elizabeth but she died aged only just two. By 1891 the family had moved north to Walbottle, Northumberland, but had returned to Iveston by the time of the 1901 census and both Thomas and John George were shown as working at the pit. In 1907 John George married Jane Ann Bell and the 1911 census shows them living in New Kyo with their one year old son also called John George.

1912 saw John George senior leave for Canada and a job as a miner in Nova Scotia, and he was followed in November by Jane and son John sailing on board the SS Pomeranian from Liverpool to Halifax and then to their new home in Westville; their second son Jacob was born in 1913. 3rd December 1914 saw John George enlisting in the Canadian Expeditionary Force at the recruiting office in Halifax and he became Private 68060 of the 25th Battalion (Nova Scotia Rifles), one of three battalions raised entirely in Nova Scotia. In May 1915, a month after the birth of their daughter Laura, John embarked with the battalion for England on board the SS Saxonia and more training at East Sandling near Folkestone, Kent. Just before leaving for France John went AWOL for four days for which he lost seven days pay, and then after leaving from Folkestone the battalion found themselves in France fighting as part of the 5th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division. Of the 1000 Nova Scotians that started with the Battalion, after the first year of fighting, 100 were left in the Battalion, while 900 men were killed, taken prisoner, missing or injured.

Private 68060 was wounded twice; the first time was when he caught in a shell burst during the Battle for Ancre Heights in October 1915, and having initially been treated in the Australian Hospital at Wimereaux, he was then evacuated to Leeds War Hospital where he was treated for shrapnel wounds to his left forearm and left leg. After convalescence at Uxbridge he was found to still have some fragments of shrapnel in his arm which were removed under local anaesthetic on 29th February 2016, and this was followed by three months base duty with the 17th Reserve Battalion, which possibly didnít suit John as in April he was given 10 days field punishment for using obscene language. But a Medical Board at East Sandling in June found him fit for duty and he returned to France and the 25th Battalion.

The second time John was wounded was on 16th August 1917 at Passchendaele and he died from multiple wounds in no.22 Casualty Clearing Station in Rouen.

Jane and the children had returned to England early in 1916 to live in Humphreys Buildings, Old South Moor, they never returned to Canada.

John George Appleton is remembered in South Moor on S129.02

In Canada he is remembered on their Virtual War Memorial and in their Book of Remembrance.

Canadian Book of Remembrance
Canadian Virtual Memorial
The CWGC entry for Private Appleton

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk