John Herbert Downs


 Lance Corporal; 22nd (Service) Battalion [Kensington], Royal Fusiliers

Killed in action: 29th April 1917, near Arras

John Herbert Downs was born in 1885 in Cardiff to Charles and Sarah. In 1901 the family had moved to Fidlas Road where John was working as a booking clerk for the Rhymney Railway Company and by 1911 they had moved again to the quiet cul-de-sac of Melbourne Road.

It is not known exactly when John enlisted in the Army but by 1917 he was serving on the Western Front with the 22nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. This battalion was launched into the Battle of Arras in April of that year. It was in this maelstrom that John was killed, while his unit was involved in supporting the Canadian Corps during their famous victory at Vimy Ridge. He was 32 years old.

His remains were not recovered but he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, while his parents ensured he is remembered on both memorials inside St Isan’s church.