Thank you to the Friends of St. Margaret for allowing us to reproduce their research. Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for additional research.
John William Frederick was born in the 3rd quarter of 1894 in Ockley, Surrey to blacksmith Frederick and Sarah Jane (nee Lapwood). He was baptised on the 29th of July 1894 at St Margaret’s, Ockley, Surrey.
John’s father Frederick was born about 1866 to agricultural labourer and gardener John, born about 1841 and Mary, born about 1841, all in Chertsey, Surrey. John’s mother Sarah was born about 1860 in Hainault, Essex to engine driver William, born about 1828 in Birdbrook, Essex and Mary, born about 1832 in Thurlow, Suffolk. Frederick married Sarah, by Banns, on the 19th of August 1893 at Holy Saviour’s, Croydon. At the time of their marriage Frederick was working as a blacksmith.
John had two siblings: Herbert Victor born in the 2nd quarter of 1896 in Dorking and Edward Alexander born about 1903 in Ockley.
At the time of the 1901 Census, the family lived at The Green, Ockley. Frederick was working as a blacksmith and Sarah Jane was at home looking after their son John.
At the time of the 1911 Census, the family were still on the Green. Frederick was still a blacksmith and Sarah was at home. The household further comprised of their children: gardener John and Edward. Sarah Jane stated that she had given birth to three children of whom two were still alive. The accommodation had four rooms.
John Thatcher enlisted on the 18th of January 1916 in Kingston on Thames into the 3rd Battalion of the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. He was a Private with regimental number G/8387. At the time of his enlistment he was working as a gardener and lived at Ruxley Lodge Gardens, Claygate, Surrey.
John served from 18th January 1916 to 29th August 1916 at home; from 30th August 1916 to 19th March 1917 with the BEF (British Expeditionary Force); from 20th March 1917 to 25th July 1917 at home; from 26th July 1917 to 16th January 1918 with the BEF; from 17th January 1918 to 23rd July 1918 at home and from 24th July 1918 to 24th October 1918 with the BEF.
From 19th of January 1916 he became the part of the Army Reserve. He mobilised on 2nd March 1916.
Pte Thatcher also served in the 1st and 10th Battalions of the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment.
At the time of his death he was the part of the ‘C’ Company, 7th Battalion, the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment which he joined on 29th July 1918.
John Thatcher was killed in action on 24th April 1918 in France. He was identified by his disc and re-buried at the Cross Roads Cemetery, Fontaine-au-Bois in North France. His cemetery reference number is: II. H. 14. The headstone bears the inscription: ‘Sorry Not Good-Night But In Some Brighter Clime Bid Me Good Morning’.
He received the British War and Victory medals.
John’s father Frederick received £15 on 26th April 1919 in Soldier’s Effects.
|Son of||Frederick and Sarah Jane Thatcher of The Green, Ockley|
|Regiment||C. Company. 7th Battalion. The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment|
|Date of Death||24th October 1918|
|Place of Death||France|
|Cause of Death||Killed in action|
|Cemetery||Cross Roads Cemetery, Fontaine-au-Bois France|