Gunner John Pattinson (161176)

8th Reserve Brigade. Royal Field Artillery

Born: 1 August 1897, Hartsop Westmorland

Died: 30 April 1917, Cartmel, Lancashire (Age 19)

John Pattinson was born on the 1st August 1897, the son of James Pattinson and his wife Margaret (nee Winder), who lived at Howe Green in Hartsop. John was baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 12th September 1897. Margaret was the third daughter of John Winder whose family had farmed in Hartsop for over a hundred years and were at Howe Green when she married James Pattinson in 1895. James came to live in Hartsop in the early 1890's from Galgate in Lancashire where his father Joseph farmed. It seems as though Margaret's father retired soon after they married and James took over the running of Howe Green farm.

The Pattinson name has deep roots in Patterdale – there are over 256 Pattinson entries in the Patterdale Parish Registers. The most famous of all was probably Lancelot Pattinson, or “Lanty Patty” as he was known, who reputedly lived for a time in a cave near Goldrill Bridge (“Lanty’s Castle”). We can’t be sure if John was related to this character as his father James was born in Witherslack. John would have had no shortage of young Pattinsons around him during his school days in Patterdale, including his younger brother Joseph, born in 1900.

From his service number we estimate that John would have enlisted some time in early 1915 and, as he was only 17 years old, he would have been placed in a Territorial Brigade based in Britain until he was old enough to be posted overseas (at that time the minimum age limit for overseas service was 19 but it was reduced to 18 in May 1916). He therefore became eligible for overseas service in May 1916 and spent some time in Ireland, presumably training, towards the end of 1916. Unfortunately, after heavy losses in France, the Regular 8th Brigade RFA was broken up on the 21st May 1916, so it looks as though John had to stay in the Reserve Brigade. A new 8th Brigade RFA was formed on the 12th January 1917 but they didn't leave Britain for Mesopotamia until August 1917.

In March 1917, John was given leave to attend the funeral of his father James who was buried in St Peter's Churchyard, Field Broughton (near Grange-over-Sands) on the 21st March and again in April to visit his grieving mother who was still living at Howbarrow Farm, near Cartmel. Whilst there he contracted Scarlet Fever, which affected his brain, and he was never conscious after the 26th April until he died on the 30th April 1917. He was buried, on the 2nd May, also in St Peter's Churchyard, Field Broughton.

Although John had served with The Royal Field Artillery for around two years, he did not enter a theatre of war at any time, so was not entitled to receive any medals.

He is remembered and commemorated on:

The Patterdale War Memorial

Glenridding Public Hall - Roll of Honour

St Peter's Churchyard, Field Broughton, near Grange-over-Sands (Grave 509A, South of Church Tower)1

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Memorial Certificate


1. Military Gravestone in St Peter's Churchyard, Field Broughton

Photo kindly provided by Carol Collinge of Furness FHS.

2. Death Announcement in The Barrow Guardian 5th May 1917

Stephanie of Furness FHS kindly searched and found this news item on Page 5 of the Barrow Guardian:

CARTMEL:- Sad death of a promising youth.

It is with regret we chronicle the death of Mr John Pattinson, son of the late Mr James Pattinson and of Mrs Pattinson, Howbarrow Farm, which took place on Monday. The young fellow was undergoing military training, and was home on leave. The internment took place on Wednesday afternoon at St Peter's, Field Broughton, in the midst of a very large concourse of sorrowing relatives and sympathetic friends.

Research Documents

Baptism Register (Entry 569)

Census Returns: 1901, 1911

Death Certificate

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Memorial Certificate

Extracts from Cartmel Parish Magazine

Photograph of John Pattinson in full uniform - this was provided by Mrs Winnie Edmondson (nee Pattinson) of Lowick, the daughter of John's brother Joseph.

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Page Editor: Norman Jackson

Page Last Reviewed: 24 Feb 2021