John Herd


Submitted by Paul Ratcliffe

John was Paul's Grandfather

My Grandfather John Herd was born at Platt Bridge near Wigan, and before the First War he was attested into the Royal Field Artillery in Barnsley on the 2nd of September 1909, after his service he was discharged from the army on the 1st September 1912 and placed on the reserve list. He was in the 15 Battery Royal Field Artillery. I know this much because I have in my possession his parchment army form D426 which gives his regimental number as 58945 and his rank as driver.

My grandfather and grandmother lived at 37 or 39 Chancel Street at the side of St Johns church in the Park District of Sheffield, and there were four children two boys and two girls including my mother who was the eldest. Their next home was on the newly built Parsons cross estate which they moved onto, in I think September 1939, this was at 14 Falstaff Road.

After the war he was a miner and he eventually developed Encephalitis Lethargica of which there was an outbreak after the war.

I can remember my grandmother saying my Grandfather was for a time at Hillsborough Barracks, and later he was called back to the colours during the miners strike, I assume this was in the early twenties, she said he hated doing this as he regarded these men as his own having been a miner previously.

He was eventually sent to Middlewood Hospital and spent round about 13 years as an in patient there, During the second war in about 1941-2 they wanted to clear hospitals in major cities for the expected casualties from the blitz, and he was sent to Storths Hall asylum in the West Riding and passed away in there in 1942.

I believe that his illness caused him to attempt to take his life, and maybe this is why he was incarcerated, to be honest this wasn't spoken of much as we were growing up, which I find a real shame as I feel he had a really tough time, given all he had probably been through. He is buried in City Road cemetery.







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