John Perks | Profile

Regiment Rank Service No Place of Birth Date of Death Age Burial
7th South Staffs Private 15489 Woodsetton 9 Aug 1915 22 Helles Memorial, Turkey

Genealogical Data

Birth of John Perks recorded September quarter 1893 at Dudley.

1901 Census
65 Regent Street, Woodsetton, Staffs.
Joseph Perks (44, Bricklayer’s Labourer, born Wolverhampton), his wife Elizabeth (45, born Tipton), and their 6 children: William (20, Coal Miner, born Sedgley), Joseph (18, born Sedgley), George (14, Labourer, born Sedgley), Thomas (8, born Sedgley), Annie (5, born Tipton) and Mary Elizabeth (2 months, born Sedgley).

1911 Census
65 Regent Street, Woodsetton, Staffs.
Joseph Perks (52, Bricklayer’s Labourer, born Willenhall), his wife Elizabeth (52, born Bloomfield), and 4 of their surviving 7 children of 8: Joseph (27, born Woodsetton), Thomas (21, Colliery Pump Minder, born Woodsetton), John (17, Colliery Labourer, born Woodsetton), Annie (14, born Woodsetton).

Personal Life

Brothers John, George and William Perks all joined the 7th South Staffs on the same day and had adjacent numbers. John still lived at home with his parents in Regent Street, Woodsetton; George and William lived in Tipton.

On August 6th the 7th South Staffs took part in the landings at ‘B’ beach Suvla Bay, two days later the 7th South Staffs took part in an attack on Chocolate and Scimitar Hill which went disastrously wrong. The ‘History of the 7th South Staffs’ reports 400 casualties, this is highly likely as 118 Other Ranks and 3 Officers were killed, amongst them 3 Woodsetton men.

William Perks wrote to his parents that George had been shot through the head whilst at his side. He carried George to the Red Cross and returned to the front line, George lived for a further four hours. Before he reached the front again William was told that his youngest brother Jack (John) had been killed. William was also to lose his life, on 28th April 1917 during the Battle of Arras, and also has no known grave.

Cause of Death

The following extract is taken from the 7th South Staffs War Diary of the events of the 8/9th August, written by the Second-in-command of the 7th South Staffs Lt-Colonel A. Tool:
“Most of that night, the 8/9th, we spent in very slowly working our way back to the 33rd Brigade rendezvous. It was not really a very long way, but the dense scrub necessitated “snake” formation, and every time there was a check, which was very often, men dropped down asleep, and had to be kicked up by the officers. As far as I can remember we were quite punctual at our rendezvous with the 6/Lincolns on our left, but the Borderers, who should have been on our right, were not in sight, and we were sent off and told that they would join in, which they did later on. The right of the S.Staffs was to direct the 33rd Brigade on the line “Summit of Scimitar Hill – “W” Hill, and Col. Daukes ordered me to go forward with the leading troops and see that direction was accurately kept. To my horror I saw the companies starting to advance in the column of route, but I quickly ran up and shook them out into artillery formation, We had almost reached Scimitar Hill, the Borderers having come into place, when a Subaltern I was walking beside lit a cigarette and promptly dropped with a bullet in his forehead. A moment later a Lincoln officer ran up to me and reported that Captain Martin, commanding the company I was with at the moment, was killed and that the Turks were just the other side of Chocolate Hill.”

118 Other Ranks and 3 Officers were killed, amongst them 3 Woodsetton men: John Perks, his brother George Perks, and Abraham Braden. Like the majority of the men killed this day, the 3 Woodsetton men have no known grave, and are commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

  • THE 7TH SOUTH STAFFORD HEROES | Tipton Herald, 11th September 1915
    There can be no doubt that the 7th South Staffs Battalion (Lord Kitchener’s Army) suffered heavily in the tremendous battle at the end of the first week of August. Official notices of scores of deaths of our brave local lads in that wonderful conflict have been received by the relatives during the past few days. In one case two brothers were killed on the same day, and it is noteworthy that together with a third brother who was in the same battle, they had enlisted on the same day. They are the sons of Mr and Mrs Perkes of 65 Regent Street, Swan Village, Woodsetton, Coseley. Their two sons who are killed are George Perkes, aged 28 (married), who resided with his wife in Canal Street, Tipton. He was employed as a collier at the Park Lane Pits up to the outbreak of war. The other brother, who worked at the same colliery, is John Perkes (single), aged 22, who lived with his parents, and was the mainstay of the home. The father is quite unable to work, being an absolute invalid from chronic asthma. Both brave young heroes threw up their work and joined the 7th South Staffordshire Battalion, together with an older brother, on November 4th last. All three were in the same battalion, and left England about a couple of months ago. The youngest had sent many postcards home to his mother while he had been training in England, and these mementos are much treasured by her.