Friday, 18 November 2016

Lieutenant John Hanna Adams - North Staffordshire Regiment

Remembering today 100 years on from the last day of the Battle of the Somme we remember Lieutenant John Hanna Adam - 8th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment. Killed in Action, France 18th November 1916 aged 25.

John was born in Whitehead in 1891, the eldest son of Mr William George Adams and Emily F. Adams (nee Wright) and brother to Alfred and Kathleen. Prior to the war he worked for three years as a bank clerk for the Ulster Bank. After that he went into business with his uncle, Mr. Alfred Adams of North Street, Belfast. John was a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force before he entered the Army.

John was commissioned into the Army on 12 July 1915 and was promoted to the rank of Second-Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment. He saw action in France, beginning service there on 29 May 1916. He was killed in action in Grandcourt on Saturday 18 November 1916. Even by December the best information available to newspapers like the Larne Weekly Telegraph was that he had been declared missing by the War Office.
His mother had to endure an agonizing wait for the sad news about her son. It was September the next year before the newspaper reported that his body had been found by British soldiers and buried. His grave is in Grandcourt Road Cemetery on the site of Ancre Battlefield in France (pictured). In bitter fighting, German advances captured it and the allies pushed them back twice over during the War. In the confusion of the Western Front it could take months’ for men to be officially confirmed dead.

A memorial service in St. Patrick’s Church was told that John “took an active interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the church. As a lad he was an example, and as a young man he was a pattern for others. For many years he was rector’s churchwarden of that parish [Templecorran]. A staunch and loyal friend, whose loss was well-nigh irreparable.” A memorial plaque in his honour was unveiled in October 1918 at St. John’s Parish Church, Islandmagee.

Grandcourt Road Cemetery 

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