Major, 2nd/7th Manchester Regiment, M.C.

Died 26th March 1918, age 31.

Buried at Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

Former student of economics and political science.


John was born in 1888 at Manchester to John Rowbotham of Moston. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School (1900-1906) where he was known to be “full of energy and determination, always cheery, a general favourite, and unspoiled by success. He was certain to make his way in the world, and to win many friends and honours”. At the end of his schooling won the Theodores Exhibition and the William Simpson Exhibition for modern languages at Manchester University where he gained his B.A. Economics and Political Science and Bachelor of Commerce in 1909 and an M.A. in 1910. During his studies he was awarded the Gladstone Memorial Proze and Shuttleworth Scholarship for Economics and in 1910 was elected to a Gartside Research Scholarship in Industry and Commerce. He was also active in the Student Christian Union, served as president of the Students Representative Council 1910/11 and went on to be a member of the Calico Printers’ Association.

John spent two periods training with the University Officer Training Corps – October 1908 to September 1911 and November 1912 to October 1914. He was gazetted to the Manchester Regiment in September 1914. When the German’s launched a series of large attacks against the allies in Spring 1918 he was awarded a Military Cross: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of his battalion while it was suffering from heavy losses from shell fire. Part of the battalion joined in the advance, taking 19 prisoners. He performed excellent service throughout.”

He left effects worth £1717 14s 13d to his widow, Susan Mary who requested the word “The path of duty was the way to glory” as the epitaph for his grave.

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