Preston, John Henry. Died 30th Jul 1915

Rifleman John Henry Preston died 30 July 1915

John Henry Preston’s birth was registered in the fourth quarter of 1883 in Rugby. He was the son of George William Preston and Zillah Taylor.

In 1901, John Henry was aged 17 and a House Painter living with his family in 68 South Street, Rugby.   In 1911 he was still with the family but now at 97 Wood Street, Rugby. He was still a house painter.

On 2 September 1914 he enlisted in the 7th Battalion of The King’s Royal Rifle Corps and his regimental number was R/78.


He was killed in action, aged 31, at the Battle of Hooge Crater on 30 July 1915. (See more information about the Battle of Hooge Crater, on Rugby Remembers)

The Rugby Advertiser reported John Henry Preston’s death as follows:

“A note was received by Mr G W Preston of 97 Wood Street Rugby on Thursday morning that his son, Rifleman John Henry Preston, of the King’s Royal Rifles, had been killed in action. The message came from the Captain of the Company to which deceased belonged, and briefly stated that he was killed on July 30th. It has not yet been officially confirmed.

Previous to enlisting, on September 2nd last year, Rifleman Preston was employed as a painter at the BTH Works. He went over to France in May last. He was a native of Rugby and as a boy attended Murray School. For some time he worked as a painter for Mr F G Rainbow (his brother in law) and about four years ago transferred his services to the BTH Co. In the past few months he had had a number of very narrow escapes. The shell by which Rifleman Fiddler was killed threw him a distance of five yards, and he was quite close to Rifleman Benford when the latter received his fatal wounds. Rifleman Preston’s relatives have regularly kept him supplied with food and delicacies, a parcel being dispatched as recently as Wednesday – the day before the news of his regrettable death was received.”

John Henry Preston is remembered on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial, Panel 51 and 53 and on the Rugby Memorial Gate.