John William Skitt, Age 26
Private, 12206, 6th Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry.
John was the eldest son of Mr & Mrs J J Skitt of 7 the Finney, Lightmoor and had before joining up worked at the Horsehay Works.
On the 13th October 1915, the 60th Brigades front at La Bassee of which the 6th Battalion were part of was chosen for a feint attack to try and divert the Germans away from an attack by the 46th North Midland Division, a few miles to the south at the Hohenzollern redoubt near Loo’s which was due to start at 2 pm.
During the night Phosphorus charges were put in No Man’s Land and at 7 am were ﬁred electrically, at the same time the divisional artillery opened up and smoke bombs were ﬁred by trench mortars. During this time dummies were held up over the British parapet and rolled over as if shot, then when the smoke thickened pulled back in.
The Germans to meet this ‘attack’ opened up with riﬂe and machine gun ﬁre and their artillery put down a counter barrage, most of the shells landing in old support trenches which were lightly held. During the whole of this feint attack the division suffered 50 casualties killed or wounded and the KSLI suffered 2 men killed and 20 wounded. It has to be assumed that John was one of the wounded men because he died the day after on the 14th October 1915. He had only been in France since July 1915.
John is buried at Estaires Communal cemetery in grave III.G.10. A memorial service was held for John at St Luke’s Church, Doseley on 31st October 1915.
WWI Medal Rolls Index Card
|Victory Medal||British War Medal||1914-15 Star Medal|