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DURHAM CITY

Duke, J., Sgt., 1916
On the Thiepval Memorial is the name of 22764 Serjeant John Duke, serving with the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) who died 01/07/1916.

Eddie Castling & Andrew O’Sullivan have submitted the following:
DUKE, John
Born in 30/08/1892.
In 1906 lived in 7 Fenton Street, Fencehouses, New Herrington, had 5 brothers and 2 sisters. Father, William was a waggonwright then a miner. His mother was Lucy.
In 1916, his parents lived at Heatherycleugh, Cornriggs, Wearhead, Co Durham.
He was admitted to the Durham Johnston School in 17/09/1906 at the age of 14 having previously attended North Skelton Colliery School.
He was a pupil teacher at age 18, then studied at Bede College. He became a school teacher at Dubmire County School, Houghton-le-Spring.
Serjeant, in 18th Bn DLI (Regtl No 250, then 22764). The 18th Bn was raised in Co Durham, did coastal defence at Hartlepool, Cleveland, then trained in UK until Dec 1915. Following enlistment he first went out with 18th Bn to Eqypt in Dec 1915. Whilst in Egypt, the battalion did lots of construction work. He was sent from Egypt to France in March 1916 and took part in fighting around Ypres area.
He was a machine gunner, being transferred to 93rd Coy, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) Regtl No 22764.
He died 01/07/1916, aged 24 on first day of the First Battle of the Somme (same day as William Smurthwaite). He has no known grave, but is named on Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 5C and 12C), which bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men who died in the Somme sector and have no known grave. Medals: British Defence Medal, Victory Medal

He is remembered on Teachers’ Roll of Honour, and in Durham on D47.017, D47.025, D47.052, D47.126, D47.127 and D47.141 and at West Herrington on H137.06


The CWGC entry for Sergeant Duke

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