John Edric Russell's Story.
Born on the 3rd August 1890 at Heaton Chapel, John was the eldest son of John and Blanche Allen of Davenham Hall, Northwich. John Snr was the senior proprietor of The Manchester Evening News.
John was educated at Wellington College and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was gazetted second Lieutenant on the 19th August 1913. He sent in his resignation together with all the other officers at the time of the ‘Curragh Incident’ in March 1914 but went out to France with his regiment as part of British Expeditionary Force in August. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 10th October 1914. He fought through the retreat from Mons and up until he was wounded in the trenches on February 21st 1915.
The war dairy for that day reads:
21st Feb 6am: At 6am the enemy exploded a mine. This explosion was followed by two others at about two second Intervals all in the vicinity of the trench occupied by D Squadron. Enemy at once rushed the trench and attempted to make their way down our line of trenches to the left and our right, close fighting ensued. Enemy were definitely stopped shortly before they reached the centre communication trench by the gallant conduct of A Squadron and one troop of C squadron aided by the M.G.
He returned to the Front in November 1915, he was promoted to Captain on the 19th January 1918 and was with the regiment until he was wounded while leading an attack on a German machine gun on March 30th 1918 near Moreuil.
The war diary for that day reads:
30th March 1918: Rushed up to position of readiness on the west slope of hill near Big Wood north of Moreuil, 16th, 4th and Canadian Cav BDG attacked and occupied the wood. About 12 noon, D Squadron was sent to reinforce 4th Hussars. A squadron was sent to fill the gap made by the 4th Hussars, C squadron was sent to reinforce A Squadron. A general attack was then ordered to be made by the infantry of about 100 and ourselves consisting of A Squadron, C Squadron and the 4thHussars, the edge of the wood was cleared but C Squadron and the 4th Hussars were held up by MG fire.
The regiment was relieved at 10pm and went to Thennes where they remained standing to all night.
Casualties, Capt Allen Wounded, Lt Perceval-Maxwell and Woodhouse Killed 20 OR (other ranks) killed or wounded
John died of his wounds nine days later in hospital at Rouen on April 8th 1918.
He was mentioned in dispatches by Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig (London Gazette 23rd May 1918) for gallant and distinguished service in the field. The Probate registrar lists, Allen, John Edric Russell of Davenham Hall Davenham near Northwich, Cheshire, 16th Lancers died 8th April 1918 in France on active service. Administration London 1st August to Russell Allen (his father) newspaper proprietor. Effects £12187 3s 3d. He is buried in the St Server Cemetery, Rouen. Plot officers, B.8.14