Private, G/13259, 'D' Company, 7th Battalion, East Kent Regiment (The Buffs)
Died of appendicitis, 20 August 1917, aged 20
Buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinghe, Belgium
Grave reference: XVII-K-4A

John Weeding's gravestone in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
Click to enlarge

John J. Weeding, born in 1897, was the son of George and Sarah Ann Weeding of Edgemount Farm, Coleman's Hatch. A gardener, he first enlisted in 1915 at East Grinstead with the Lancers. He later transferred to the Royal East Kent Regiment (The Buffs), where he served in 'D' company, 7th Battalion.

The 7th (Service) Battalion of the Royal East Kent Regiment (The Buffs) was raised at Canterbury in September 1914 as part of Kitchener's Second New Army and joined the 55th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division. The Division initially concentrated in the Colchester area but moved to Salisbury Plain in May 1915. They proceeded to France in July and concentrated near Flesselles.

In 1916 they were in action on the Somme in the Battle of Albert, capturing their objectives near Montauban, the Battle of Bazentin Ridge, including the capture of Trones Wood, the Battle of Delville Wood, the Battle of Thiepval Ridge, the Battle of the Ancre Heights, playing a part in the capture of the Schwaben Redoubt and Regina Trench, and the Battle of the Ancre.

In 1917 they took part in the operations on the Ancre including Miraumont and the capture of Irles. They fought during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and in the Third Battle of the Scarpe before moving to Flanders. They were in action in the Battle of Pilkem Ridge, the Battle of Langemarck and the First and Second Battles of Passchendaele.

John Weeding died of appendicitis on 20 August 1917 at the age of 20 in No.3 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station.

Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium
Click to enlarge

John Weeding is also commemorated on the following memorials: Hartfield War Memorial, Holy Trinity Church War Memorial Coleman's Hatch and Reigate St Mary's Church and Reigate War Memorial (as is his elder brother George who also died in 1917 — see picture below).

The Borough of Reigate War Memorial,
with the names of John and George Weeding inscribed
Click to enlarge

John's older brother, Henry Thomas married Ada Melinda Tanner in 1905. She came from Reigate and Henry and his family lived in Reigate in 1911 where he was a house painter. This could be why the brothers are commemorated on the Reigate war memorials.

Tragically, the brothers' father, George Weeding Senior, committed suicide in the cow shed at Edgemount Farm in 1919. John's sister-in-law Alice Weeding was in the kitchen at the farmhouse when she heard the shotgun go off and summoned help. (There is more information about Alice Weeding in George Weeding's case study.)

Carol O'Driscoll


With gratitude to Roger Barton, great nephew of George and John Weeding, for supplying additional information about them and their family.