John Lewis introduction

426039 Pte. John Lewis

  • 236832 Pte. John Lewis
  • 1st Herefordshire Regiment
  • Killed in Action, 6th November 1917, age 34
  • He is commemorated on Jerusalem War Cemetery memorial.

Pte. John Lewis

Private John Lewis

John was the son of George and Mary Lewis, who lived in Upper Hardwick. John was a farm labourer and wagoner when, aged 33, he was called-up in March 1916. Three months later he married. In February 1917 he joined his battalion, the 1st. Herefordshire Regiment, in Egypt.

After withdrawing from Gallipoli in 1915, its strength, then below 100 men, the 1st Herefords joined the 53rd Division of the Egypt Expeditionary Force, (EEF). Following reinforcement and retraining, the Herefords took a major part in the Battle of Rumani in July 1916. Territory in Egypt was captured but in March and April the EEF was defeated on Ottoman territory by Turkish forces in both the First and Second Battles of Gaza.

In 1917 the 1st Herefords were part of the campaign under General Allenby, tasked to drive the Turks out of Palestine. This action became known as the Third Battle of Gaza. The Battle of Tel el Khuweife was part of this offensive with assets concentrated to seize the road between Beersheba and Jerusalem, beginning 1st November.

Attacks were mounted on the strongly prepared Khuweilfe position from where Ottoman units defended the road vigorously, using heavy artillery and machine gun fire. In an assault, which included hand to hand fighting, John’s unit succeeded in taking Turkish high ground, capturing 9 Field Guns. Turkish troops mounted a counterattack, in which John Lewis was killed.

He has no known grave.

Pte. John Lewis walk box

Pte. John Lewis Memorial Walk

7 miles Pembridge & River Arrow

Pte. John Lewis gate box

Pte. John Lewis Memorial Gate

Donated by Shropshire & Herefordshire Light Infantry Combined Charitable Trust