Hornsby, John Philip Skipworth

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John Philip Skipworth Hornsby

Temporary Captain, 10th South Wales Borderers
Killed in action, 2 September 1918, aged 29
Buried at Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery, France

CWGC registered (Son of John Edward and Florence Eveline Hornsby, of Ormiston, Morfa Rd, Llandudno)


John Philip Skipworth Hornsby, born at Menai Bridge, Anglesey on 6 June 1889, was the only son of a school teacher, John Edward Hornsby, and his wife Florence Evelyn Hornsby (née Skipworth). The Census of 1891 records the family living at the National School House at Menai Bridge; John had a younger sister Julia. In 1896, John Edward Hornsby was appointed headmaster of St. George’s National School, Llandudno. John Philip and Julia were admitted to the school on 2 March 1896, giving their address as “Burngreave Villa”, Deganwy Street. By 1901, the family lived at “Brooklands”, Lloyd Street, Llandudno – John Edward Hornsby was now described as a certified school teacher and organist. That same year, John Philip was admitted to John Bright County School. In 1911, the family’s address was “Ormiston”, Morfa Road, Llandudno. John Edward was described as a head-teacher in a non-provided school (St. George’s) and John Philip (21) as a bookkeeper in a fishmongery.

John Hornsby was locally recorded as being in the reserve of the Liverpool Scottish before the war. He is otherwise recorded as a private in the 1/10th (Scottish) Battalion of The King’s (Liverpool Regiment) Territorial Force with a regimental number of 3790. Soldiers with close regimental numbers were enlisted in September 1914. At the outbreak of war, the 10th KLR was at Bootle and it split in October to form the 1/10th for overseas service and the 2/10th for home service. The 1/10th landed at Le Havre on 2 November 1914. On a date unknown, John was invalided home suffering from rheumatism. Fully recovered, he was commissioned as a temporary second lieutenant on 19 April 1915 into the 10th (Service) (1st Gwent) Battalion of the South Wales Borderers. The 10th SWB had formed at Brecon in October 1914 and by the New Year was at Colwyn Bay before moving to Winchester (July 1915) and Hazeley Down. In September 1915, John was noted as a second lieutenant in P Company at staff college. The battalion landed at Le Havre on 4 December 1915 as part of the 115th Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division – it was on this day when John was promoted to temporary lieutenant. The 38th Division suffered severe casualties in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme at Mametz Wood and was engaged the following year during the Third Battle of Ypres. John was promoted to temporary captain on 14 June 1917.

John Hornsby was killed in action on 2 September 1918 aged 29 during the Battle of Bapaume. The 10th SWB had received orders to advance on Mesnil-en-Arrouaise, about four miles south east of Bapaume. The War Diary records that the battalion faced heavy machine-gun fire and that there were about 50 casualties that day, including Captain Hornsby. John Hornsby was buried near where he fell but was reinterred in 1920 at Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery.

Known memorials:

  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Ysgol John Bright Roll of Honour
  • Family memorial, Great Orme’s Head Cemetery

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