Private John Skilton

John Skilton © ancestry.co.uk
Photograph courtesy of Royston Williamson

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

John Skilton Birth Registration Transcription © findmypast.co.uk

John Thomas Skilton was born on 13th July 1878, in Dorking to woodcutter John and Mary Harriett (nee Peters).

John’s father John was born in the 2nd quarter of 1850 to labourer Charles, born about 1824 in and Sarah, born about 1825, all in Dorking. His mother Mary was born on 30th November 1856 to marine stone dealer William, born about 1831 and Fanny (nee Wilson), born about 1835, all in Dorking. Mary was baptised on 28th April 1865 at St Alfege’s, Greenwich. John snr married Mary on 6th August 1876 at St Paul’s, Dorking. At the time of their marriage John lived at Hampstead Road, and as worked as a labourer. Mary Harriett lived at Falkland Hill.

John Skilton 1881 Census © findmypast.co.uk

At the time of the 1881 Census, the family lived in Orchard Road, Dorking. John was working as a woodcutter and Mary was at home looking after their son John.

John Skilton Schooling Dispute 12th April 1890 © Dorking Advertiser findmypast.co.uk
John Skilton Schooling Dispute 19th April 1890 © Dorking Advertiser findmypast.co.uk

In April 1890, 13 year old John was sent to the Surrey Industrial School for Boys in Byfleet to remain there until he was 16. Mr Ison, the School Attendance Officer, reported that the boy had not attended school for about a year. Mrs Skilton claimed that the child had not attended the school for a month or two, but he was over thirteen and she thought he could no longer be compelled to go. The boy was removed from the family home for a week to the workhouse while enquiries were made as to when he could be received in the reformatory.

Mayford Industrial School © Childrens Homes.org.uk
John Skilton 1891 Renumeration Book © findmypast.co.uk
John Skilton 1891 Census © findmypast.co.uk

At the time of the 1891 Census, John was a pupil at the Mayford Industrial School for Boys.

John Skilton 1901 Census © findmypast.co.uk

At the time of the 1901 Census, John was a lodger of machinist sawyer & innkeeper George Simmons at the Volunteer Inn, Dorking. John was working as a woodcutter.

John Skilton and Mary Ann Bravery Wedding Certificate © ancestry.co.uk

John married Mary Ann Bravery, on 12th July 1908 at St Paul’s, Dorking. At the time of their marriage the couple lived at 72 Orchard Road and John was working as a labourer. Prior to her marriage Mary had given birth to two daughters: Florence Beatrice born in the 1st quarter of 1904 and Rose Annie May born on 6th October 1907.

Mary Ann was born in the 2nd quarter of 1888 in Westcott, Surrey to labourer William Edward, born about 1852 in Wotton and Alice, born about 1852 in Dorking.

John and Mary had seven children: Rose Annie May born on 6th October 1907; Alice Ellen born on 11th January 1910; Violet Ivy “Cissey” born on 21st March 1912; Edith Nellie born on 13th of June 1915; Jessie born in the 2nd quarter of 1914; Grace born in the 1st quarter of 1918 and John born in the 4th quarter of 1919, all in Dorking.

John Skilton 1911 Census © findmypast.co.uk

At the time of the 1911 Census, the family lived at 64 Orchard Road, Dorking. John was working as a labourer and Mary was at home looking after their daughters: Rose and Alice. The accommodation had three rooms.

John enlisted on 10th October 1914 in Guildford, Surrey into the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. Prior to that he had served for three years with the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the same regiment. He was a Private with regimental numbers: 1036 and 21452.

Pte Skilton was discharged on 18th January 1915 in Fort Clarence, Rochester as he was not considered likely to become an efficient soldier. At the time of his discharge Skilton intended to live at 65 Orchard Road in Dorking. He had black hair, dark brown eyes and a dark complexion. His was working as a labourer.

John Skilton Schooling Dispute 12th June 1915 © Dorking Advertiser findmypast.co.uk

In June 1915, John Skilton was summoned for not sending his children Alice and Rose regularly to school. Mr Ponsonby, the School Attendance Officer, said that defendant’s children had not attended school since last Christmas.

John Skilton re-enlisted on 13th July 1915 into the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment in Guildford. He was a Private with regimental numbers: G/6128 and 21452.

On 20th July 1915 he was posted into the 3rd Battalion of the Queen’s West Surrey Regiment. On 21st September 1915 he was transferred into the 1st Garrison Battalion, the Norfolk Regiment.  Pte Skilton was posted into the 3rd Battalion, the Norfolk Regiment on 19th November 1915. He served with the Norfolk Regiment in South Africa.

He was discharged on 13th September 1916 in Warley for no longer being physically fit for war service. At the time of his discharge John stated that he intended to live at 25 Primrose Road in Hersham, near Walton on Thames, Surrey. He had greyish hair, brown eyes and was of a slight build.

On his discharge papers it is stated that in 1911, John Skilton contracted rheumatic fever in Dorking. Since then he had trouble with his heart.

John Skilton Death Certificate © ancestry.co.uk

John Skilton died of lobar pneumonia on 21st April 1918 at Union Infirmary in Kingston. He was 42 years old. At the time of his death he lived at 46 Orchard Road, Dorking, Surrey. He was buried on 27th April 1918 at All Saint’s, Kingston Upon Thames.

John Skilton Medal Roll Index Card © ancestry.co.uk
John Skilton Silver War Badge Record © ancestry.co.uk

He was a recipient of the Silver War Badge.

John Skilton Soldiers Effects © ancestry.co.uk

His wife Mary Ann Skilton received £3, 15s on 27th January 1920 in Soldier’s Effects.

Born Dorking, Surrey
Lived Dorking, Surrey
Son of John and Harriett of Orchard Road, Dorking
Husband of Mary Ann Bravery of Westcott, Surrey
Father of Rosie Annie May, Alice Ellen, Violet Ivy, Edith Nellie, Jessie, Grace and John
Regiment 3rd Battalion, Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment
Number G/6128 and 21452
Date of Death 21st April 1918
Place of Death Union Infirmary, Kingston Upon Thames
Cause of Death Lobar pneumonia
Age 42
Cemetery All Saint’s, Kingston Upon Thames
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