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John Pattinson was born on the 1st August 1897, the son of James and Margaret Pattinson, who lived at How Green in Hartsop, where James was a Farmer. John was baptised at Patterdale Church on 12th September 1897. Mary was the youngest daughter of John Winder who farmed in Hartsop and it is likely that when he retired John’s father James took over the running of his farm.
The Pattinson name has deep roots in Patterdale – there are over 256 Pattinson entries in the Patterdale Parish Registers. The most famous of all was probably Lancelot Pattinson, or “Lanty Patty” as he was known, who lived in a cave near Goldrill Bridge (“Lanty’s Castle”) until his death in 1865 aged 96. We can’t be sure if John was related to this character as his father was actually born in Witherslack. However young John would have had no shortage of young Pattinsons around him during his school days in Patterdale, including his younger brother Joseph, born in 1900.
We do not know much about John’s war service but we know he served in the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery, and enlisted in Ulverston. He must have enlisted as soon as he was of age. From the Cartmel Parish Magazine of November 1916 we know that “Gunner John Pattinson of Howbarrow Farm is in Ireland”. From the same magazine in April 1917 we know that his father James died in March 1917. He was buried at Field Broughton on March 21st. The magazine states that “He had been in poor health for some time, but we had hoped he would get better with the approach of warmer weather. The War has pressed hardly on the older farmers, who have had to keep going out of doors in wintry weather, and have suffered a good deal of sickness in consequence."
Whilst visiting his recently widowed mother at Howbarrow Farm, near Cartmel, we know that John had contracted Scarlet Fever and died on the 30th April 1917. He was buried at Field Boughton near his father. The May 1917 issue of the Cartmel Parish Magazine carried the following tribute.
"It is with very great sorrow that we have to record the death of Gunner John Richard Pattinson, RFA, at his home, Howbarrow Farm, on Monday April 30th. He was only 19 yrs old, and was a Communicant of Cartmel Church. He attended his father's funeral last month, and when afterwards he came home on leave he was found to be suffering from scarlet fever. The after effects of this illness seem to have gone to his brain, and he was never conscious after April 26th. The burden of sorrow at Howbarrow has been a very heavy one, but John Pattinson died in the service of his king and country, and this is a glory which can never be taken away. By the time these words are printed his body will be resting in the peaceful churchyard of Field Broughton. A good son and brother will be sadly missed at Howbarrow, and we shall miss his honest face and kindly ways."
As well as his grave in Field Broughton, John is commemorated on the Patterdale War memorial and the Glenridding Village Hall Roll of Honour, alongside Harrison, Glenthorne and Herbert Pattinson, who may well have been John’s cousins. We are unsure whether John qualified for any service medals as he may have only served in Ireland.
We know that his parents had moved to Field Broughton by the end of the war and that Margaret, his mother, died in Kendal in 1926 aged 56. John’s younger brother Joseph married Eleanor Simpson and farmed at Broughton Grove Farm Field Broughton. Eleanor’s younger brother Fred was a casualty of World War Two. We believe Joseph died in Ulverston in March 1974.
We are grateful to Mrs Winnie Edmondson (nee Pattinson), of Lowick who donated the photo of John above, which appears alongside much of the information above on the Cartmel Valley War Memorials Website.
If you can add anything to Private Pattinson’s story please let us know.
Gunner John Pattinson
161176, 8th Reserve Brigade, 69th Divisional Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery
Born 1st August 1897 in Patterdale. Died 30th April 1917, Aged 19 in Cartmel.
Son of James and Margaret (nee Winder) Pattinson, of Howbarrow Farm, Field Broughton,
and once of How Green Hartsop
John’s family listed at “The Howe” Hartsop in the 1911 Census when John and his brother Joseph were at School in Patterdale, and below John’s entry in the Register of Soldiers Effects.
John’s Military Gravestone in St Peter’s Churchyard, Field Broughton. Photo kindly provided by Carol Collinge of Furness FHS