Basford, John

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John Basford

19966, Private, 16th Lancashire Fusiliers
Killed in action, 1 April 1917, aged 25
Buried at Savy British Cemetery

CWGC registered (Son of Harry and Mary Basford, of 231 Morton St, Manchester; husband of Elizabeth J Bailey (formerly Basford, of 16, Lamb St, Longsight, Manchester)


John Basford, the son of Harry Basford, a coal mine labourer, and Mary Ann Basford (née Dolman) was born in Pendlebury, Lancashire on 24 July 1891. From September 1898 to June 1900, John attended Manchester Armitage Road School after which he attended Armitage Street Board School. The school registers record the family’s address as 28 Randolph Street, confirmed by the Census of 1901 which also indicated that Harry Basford was now a general labourer and that John had six siblings. John left school in June 1905. In 1911, the family lived at Longsight, Manchester, John being described as a hairdresser.

John Basford’s army record no longer exists, but other records indicate that he joined the 20th (Service) Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers circa June 1915. The 20th LF was a Bantam Battalion, formed in Salford on 23 March 1915. It can be safely assumed that John was short in stature. The battalion moved to Conwy in July 1915 and to Cholderton, Salisbury Plain, the following month. John Basford returned to North Wales on 23 October 1915 to marry Elizabeth Jane Hobson, sister of David Hobson, Evan Hobson and John Hobson (all qv) at the Shiloh Chapel, Llandudno. The marriage certificate states that his residence at the time of marriage was Garswood Park Camp, Ashton-in-Makerfield and that his rank was lance corporal.

Notwithstanding, John Basford held the rank of private when the 20th LF landed at Le Havre on 30 January 1916. John’s medal and award roll, indicates that from landing in France, he served with the 20th, the 22nd, the 4th, the 10th, and, finally, the 16th Battalions. Since the 22nd was a Reserve Battalion and the 4th, an Extra Reserve Battalion, then at some stage during the war, he had been repatriated. The 10th (Service) Battalion and the 16th (Service) Battalion (2nd Salford), which he subsequently joined, had been in France since July and November 1915 respectively.

John Basford was killed in action on 1 April 1917 aged 25 during heavy fighting near Savy. John Basford was buried near where he fell (possibly at the Lancashire Cemetery) and was reinterred circa 1920 at Savy British Cemetery. His son, also John Basford, was born shortly after his death and his widow, Elizabeth, married Harold Bailey in 1921.

Known memorials:

  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Hobson family plot, St. Tudno’s Churchyard, Great Orme
  • Pendlebury War Memorial

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