Baxenden Lads: Anderton JH

14th July 1916

CPL. 5575 JOHN HENRY ANDERTON of the Machine Gun Corps was severely wounded on July 10th 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. He died in hospital on July 14th.

John was a single man, aged nineteen, and lived with his parents at the Alma Inn, Manchester Road, Baxenden. He first enlisted in the East Lancashire Regiment, and in the autumn of 1915 he volunteered for service with the newly formed Machine Gun Corps. As this was a specialist Corps, only men of excellent military qualities and first class shots were acceptable.

John’s grave lies in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt L’Abbe, some five miles south-west of Albert in the Somme Departement of France. The cemetery was started in April 1916 by adjacent mobile hospitals, and was in use until April 1917 and again at intervals in 1918. There are 2,890 war graves. Lt. Rigby, a local man, a former officer in the Accrington Pals, who also volunteered for the Machine Gun Corps, also died about the same time and is buried nearby.