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George Rushton and John F Harris

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George Rushton was born in 1892 to Isaac and Sarah Rushton of Yeatsall. George attended Richard Clarke school from the 14th of February 1898. He was such a bright pupil he was taken under the wing of the headmaster at the time and became a student-teacher. After leaving Richard Clarke he attended Rugeley Grammar School and went on to Saltley College, Birmingham. His first teaching post was at the Church of England School in Grassmoor, North Derbyshire. His position there was Assistant Schoolmaster. He was in this post for 13 months when duty called – he enlisted on the 3rd February 1916 and went into training at Watford. When his training was over he was posted to Dublin during the Irish Rebellion and remained there for some considerable time. He returned back to England and was based at Salisbury Plain and Louth. He then left England for France on the 10th April 1917 and was soon in the thick of the fighting, unfortunately just days later on the 27th of April George was killed in action. That very day a letter arrived for George from his girlfriend Miss Scothern, the letter was returned unopened. George is buried at Bellicourt British Cemetery, France. In a newspaper dated 4/5/1918 his parents write: ‘He sleeps not in his native land, But beneath some foreign skies; Far from those who loved him, In a hero’s grave he lies’ RIP George Rushton.

John Francis Harris was born in 1895 in Colton to Thomas and Annie Harris nee Charles of Abbots Bromley. The 1901 census tells us Annie was a widow and living at Park Side Farm, sometime between 1891 and 1899. Her husband Thomas had decided to seek a new life for his family and set sail for South Africa but sadly died before sending for his family. From records, we know John and two of his siblings started Richard Clarke school on the 8th of May 1899. After leaving school John worked at various farms around the county. John enlisted on the 10th of August 1914 and joined the Herefordshire Regiment. He set sail for the Dardanciles on the 16th of July 1915 and was promoted to CMQS the following August. He had been reported missing since March the 25th 1917 and some days later was reported killed in action. Mrs Harris received the news of her son’s death at Harts Farm. John Francis Harris name appears on a panel at Jerusalem Memorial Cemetery. John along with his dad Thomas and his mother Annie are all mentioned on a Memorial in St Nicholas Churchyard. Thanks to family members this headstone has recently been refixed and now stands proud. RIP John Francis Harris.

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