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Minto, J., Gnr., 1914-18 (1955)

H.S. Knight Templar

S.S. Caladonia

Pauline Priano has submitted the following:-

John Minto was born at Carrville, near Durham City, County Durham in 1874 the youngest of 8 known children, 3 sons and 5 daughters born to Archibald Minto of Scotland and his wife Mary. With the exception of himself all his siblings were born at Leith on the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1891 he was one of 25 lodgers at the Millburngate Lodging House run by Thomas and Isabella Wilkinson assisted by their 18-year-old daughter, Violet, John was employed as a gardener.

Aged 18 years he enlisted at Sunderland, October 4th 1892 and was assigned to the Royal Garrison Artillery service number 93198 declaring he had previously served with the 4th Battalion Durham Light Infantry created from the old Militia. Trained as a gunner he completed a wheelers course, March 23rd 1894 and departed to India, October 11th 1894 until January 7th 1902.

Having returned to England he was married in the district of Lanchester, August 6th 1903 to widow Ruth Jarvis who had 4 children under the age of 8 from her previous marriage to George Robert Jarvis who had died in 1900 aged 30 years of age. They settled at Lanchester and had 3 children together Annie Isabella born 1904, John 1907 and Catherine 1908. John Minto supported his family employed as a coal hewer, William (14) worked below ground as a pony driver, Matilda (15) assisted her mother with domestic duties, Edward (9) was a scholar, the younger children were at home with their mother. To increment the family income they had taken into their home at Front Street, Lanchester, 59 year old widower John Parry, a coal miner originally from Wales. Ruth Minto-Jarvis nee Rosekilly died during the 2nd quarter (Apr/May/Jun) 1911 aged 38 years, John Minto remarried April 13th 1912 to Ethel Gordon Graham with whom he had a son Joseph Stewart Minto born August 22nd 1914 and moved to 13 Claypath, Durham City.

September 26th 1914 he enlisted again at Great Yarmouth, now aged 40 years 11 months. Posted as Gunner 278658 he joined the 20th Battery Royal Garrison Artillery, November 9th 1914, as part of the coastal defences until he was transferred February 8th 1916 to the 130th Heavy Battery departing for Alexandria, Egypt via Southampton as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force aboard H.S. Knight Templar. He remained in Alexandria until his departure for France, April 4th 1916 aboard S.S. Caledonia disembarking at Marseille and posted to the 2nd Depot until his discharge at Dover, December 21st 1917, under Kingís Regulations Paragraph 392 (vxi), term of engagement expired, aged 44 years 2 months. Recipient of the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

During WW1 his step-son William Rosekilly Jarvis also served as Private 18693 10th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment and is presumed to have been killed, October 4th 1917, on the Ypres salient. His sacrifice is recorded as one of the 34,997 names inscribed on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing which forms part of the perimeter wall of Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, near Ypres, Belgium, commemorating servicemen from Britain and New Zealand who died on the salient as of August 15th 1917 until November 1918 and who have no known grave. Recipient of the British War Medal and Victory Medal he was 20 years of age and single.

John Minto died aged 81 years, June 28th 1955 registered in the district of Durham.

In Godís safe keeping. Rest In Peace.

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