2nd Lieutenant, 15th Company Machine Gun Corps (Infantry).

Died 28th March 1918, age 21.

Remembered on the Arras Memorial.

Student of textile industries.


John was born on 25th November 1896 at Colne to William Watson Kirk, a commercial traveller, and Sarah Alice Kirk. He was educated at Lord Street Council School; Colne Secondary School; and Colne Technical (evening course). After four years working as a clerk in the cotton industry, he entered Manchester University in 1914 to study textile industries on a Lancashire County Council Scholarship. He was a member of the University Officer Training Corps from November 1915 to February 1916 when he enlisted into 4th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, and was gazetted in October 1916 to 225th Company Machine Gun Corps. He was awarded the Military Cross “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in charge of a section of machine guns. He took up a position and held it with great determination, materially helping in smashing hostile counter-attacks by lying in front of his position and picking off the enemy with his rifle.” He died in March 1918 at Monchy, near Arras and left effects worth £214 10s 4d to his father.

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