Maycock, John Arthur. Died 9th Sep 1918

Although listed on the Memorial Gates as L A MAYCOCK, it seems likely that this was J A Maycock.

John Arthur Maycock was born in Little Bowden, Market Harborough in about 1885.  He was the son of John Maycock, who was born in Little Bowden, in about 1844 and worked as a ‘Brewers Labourer’ and in 1891 and 1911 was a ‘Brewer’s Assistant’, and Harriet, née Hodges, Maycock, who was born in 1850 in Hazelbeech, Northamptonshire (probably the present Haselbech, which has been spelled in many ways!).  They were married on 16 November 1870 at Hazelbeech, when John senior was a ‘Porter’.

In 1891, John Arthur Maycock was at school, and his eldest brother was a ‘Spirit Merchant’s Assistant’.  In 1901 the family were living at 48 Patrick Street, Little Bowden, and John Arthur had become a ‘Cabinet Maker’s Apprentice’.

By 1909, John Maycock had presumably completed his Apprenticeship as on 30 September 1909, he married Amy Blackwell, at Silverstone where they were then both living.  Amy had been born in the village in early 1886 and had also been baptised there on 2 May 1886.

By 1911, John and Amy Maycock had moved and were living at 51 Rowland Street, Rugby.  John was now enumerated as a ‘cabinet maker’.  They had been married for one year.  It seems that they later had two daughters: Kathleen G Maycock’s birth was registered in Rugby in Q3, 1914, and Evelyn Maycock’s birth, in Rugby in Q2, 1916.  This would suggest that John was still in Rugby until at least, say, August 1915.

Before the war John was a member of Rugby Congregational Church, was in the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade and was working for Messrs. Fawkner, 8 Matthew Street.[1]

There are no extant military Service Records for John Arthur Maycock, except for his Medal Card and his listing in ‘Soldiers that Died in the War’,[2] but it seems that he joined up in Rugby,[3] and a later obituary implies this was in 1915.[4]  The Medal Card does not give any date of embarkation, nor was he awarded the 1914-1915 Star, so he did not go to France until after later 1915 – which would agree with his presence in UK at about that date, and with the subsequent date of birth of his younger daughter.

He was initially in the 11th Battalion (Bn.), Royal Warwickshire Regiment (R.W.R.) and then transferred to the 10th Bn. R.W.R..  His Medal Card shows that he served throughout as a Private, No:19568 and was latterly in the 1st/5th Battalion – Territorial.  The 10th and 11th Battalions had gone to France on 7 and 30 July 1915 respectively, and it would seem that he would have still been in UK at those dates.

The dates when he moved between the Battalions is also unknown, but both the 11th Battalion – as part of 112th Brigade of the 37th Division – and the 10th Battalion – as part of 57th Brigade of the 19th Division – took part in many of the major actions of WWI.  The 11th Battalion was disbanded at Wardrecques in France, on 7 February 1918, after the carnage of the First Battle of Passchendaele, the men being transferred to reinforce other Battalions.  In John’s case this was presumably to the 10th Battalion, although he may have been transferred earlier, possibly after winning the M.M. and possibly then being promoted.

By November 1917, a news article noted that he had already been ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ twice, and had won the Military Medal, and had been promoted.

Lance-Corpl J A Maycock, Royal Warwicks, of Rokeby Cottage, Bennett Street, Rugby, son of Mr & Mrs J Maycock, of Market Harborough, who has been twice mentioned in despatches for good work and bringing in wounded under heavy shell fire, has now been awarded the Military Medal.  His brother, Quarter-Master-Sergt C Maycock,[5] has also received the Military Medal.[6]

The award of the Military Medal (M.M.), was noted in the London Gazette and the Edinburgh Gazette,[7] and also subsequently in the Coventry Standard in January 1918,[8]

‘19568 Pte. J. A. Maycock, R. War. R. (Rugby).’  

It seems likely that he was still officially a Private, but had been promoted to Lance-Corporal in the field.

At some date, after the Battle of Poelcapelle and before November 1917, he must have been posted to the 1st/5th Bn. R. War. R. – as part of the 143rd Brigade of the 48th Division – which was then moved to Italy in order to strengthen the Italian Resistance.

The Italians had entered the war on the Allied side, declaring war on Austria, in May 1915. Commonwealth forces were at the Italian front between November 1917 and November 1918.  Then in the spring of 1918, Germany pulled out troops for use in its upcoming Spring Offensive on the Western Front – see Operation Michael.

In March 1918, XIV Corps (the 7th, 23rd and 48th Divisions) relieved Italian troops on the front line between Asiago and Canove, the front being held by two divisions with one division in reserve on the plain.  The front was comparatively quiet until the Austrians attacked in force from Grappa to Canove in the Battle of Asiago (15-16 June 1918).  The Allied line was penetrated to a depth of about 1,000 metres on 15 June but the lost ground was retaken the next day and the line re-established.  It seems that John Arthur Maycock survived this battle.

Between June and September 1918, frequent successful raids were made on the Austrian trenches, and Austria was already making first appeals for an armistice in September 1918.

The 48th Division was involved in these various actions during 1918, including the various fighting on the Asiago Plateau.  In the absence of any readily accessible War Diaries for the Italian campaigns, the assumption must be made that one of these ‘successful raids’ on the Austrian positions was made on 9 September 1918, as on that day, a significant number of men from the 1st/5th Battalion were killed, and some of their bodies were never found or recovered.

At some time on 9 September 1918, John Arthur Maycock was ‘Killed in Action’.  He was originally buried, or possibly was found later where he had been killed, at ref: H 5256 near Asiago.  He was either found and recovered, or exhumed, by a ‘search party’.  His body was reburied in Plot 3. C. 13, in the Barenthal Military Cemetery.  When a permanent gravestone was installed, his family had the words ‘Loved too Dearly to be Forgotten by his Loving Wife & Children’ inscribed on it.

The Barenthal Military Cemetery is one of five cemeteries situated on the Asiago plateau in the province of Vicenza, in the Veneto region, containing burials relating to this period.  The cemetery is some 5 kilometres south of the town of Asiago, Italy.

Later, in October, the 7th and 23rd Divisions were sent to the Treviso area of the River Piave front.  However, the 48th Division, remained in the mountains as part of the Italian Sixth Army, and played an important part in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto (24 October – 4 November 1918) in which the Austrians were finally defeated.

In early October 1918, the ‘Local War Notes’ reported,
Lance-Cpl J A Maycock M.M., Royal Warwicks, of Rokeby Cottage, Bennett Street, Rugby, was recently killed in a trench raid in Italy.  He joined the Army three years ago and was awarded the Military Medal for bringing in wounded men under heavy shell fire in November 1917.  He has also been twice mentioned in dispatches.  He was a member of Rugby Congregational Church and also of the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade.  Prior to the war he was employed by Messrs. Fawkner, 8 Matthew Street.  He leaves a widow and two little children.[9]

John Arthur MAYCOCK was awarded the British War and Victory Medals, as well as winning the Military Medal for gallantry.  He is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby.

On 30 January 1919, his outstanding monies, £15-14s, were paid to his ‘widow and sole legatee, Amy’.  His War Gratuity of £10 was paid to her on the 9 December 1919.

After the war, his widow, Amy, was living at Rokeby Cottage, Bennett Street, Rugby.  Their daughters both married in 1941.  It seems that Kathleen G Maycock married Denys E Jacob in Q2, 1941, and her younger sister, Evelyn M Maycock married Emrys R Jones in Q3 1941.


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This article on John Arthur MAYCOCK was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, May and July 2018.


[1]      Information from: Rugby Advertiser, 5 October 1918.

[2]      British and Irish Military Databases, The Naval and Military Press Ltd.  This database contains information extracted from 81 volumes of ‘Soldiers Died in World War I’.

[3]      Information from: UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919.

[4]      Rugby Advertiser, 5 October 1918.

[5]      It seems that his brother, C W Maycock, joined up in November 1915, see, Rugby Advertiser, 13 November 1915.

[6]      Rugby Advertiser, 17 November 1917, also

[7]      The London Gazette, Supplement 30476, Page 839, 11 January 1918; also, The Edinburgh Gazette, Issue 13195, Page 367, 16 January 1918.

[8]      Coventry Standard, Friday, 18 January 1918.

[9]      Rugby Advertiser, 5 October 1918.