John, as he was known, was born in Rotten Row, Wanborough to a local farming family; by 1891 he was living with his widowed mother and younger siblings in Upper Wanborough close to Lynch House. He worked as a general labourer and stockman and on the 15th April 1911 married Agnes Pinnegar from Liddington. They had sons William in 1912 and Henry in 1913.
He enlisted at Swindon in the Durham Light Infantry, 1st/7th Battalion, part of 8th Division, in the 22nd Brigade. The DLI fought in many of the battles in Flanders.
John died on 20 October 1918 in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, when he was 37 years old. Quedlinburg was a German prison of war camp and John was a prisoner at the time of his death and was originally buried at the POW cemetery there. He was re-buried on the 19th November 1923 as part of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission concentration exercise to move the fallen to war cemeteries. He is now buried in plot VIII C 6 at the Niederzwehren Cemetery, at Niederzwehren, Stadtkreis Kassel, Hessen, Germany. His burial records note that he was the son of Mrs Elizabeth Looker of North View Wanborough and husband of Agnes, Church Rd, Upper Wanborough.
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