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John Routledge was born in 1891, in Kirkoswald Cumbria. His parents, Thomas and Jane moved to Patterdale and farmed at Noran Bank Farm. John was shown living there in the 1901 and 1911 census, with his parents and brothers, Matthew and Albert. It is believed that John attended Patterdale School and is then shown in the 1911 census as working as “boots at hotel”.
Having learnt to drive he joined the Motor Transport (MT) section of the Royal Army Service Corps. He was posted to Egypt, arriving on 20th November 1915.
In October 1918 his parents received a telegram stating that he was seriously ill with pneumonia. They heard nothing more until they received a telegram informing them of the death of their son on 3rd December 1918 in hospital in Basra Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq).
He is buried at Teheran War Cemetery in Iran which is enclosed within the walls of the British Embassy residential compound at Gulhek, about 13km from Teheran. He is commemorated on the Patterdale War memorial and the Glenridding Village Hall Roll of Honour alongside his brother Albert. His name is also inscribed on his parents gravestone in Patterdale Churchyard, alongside his older brother George who died in 1900 aged 23.
His brother Albert served with distinction throughout the war, winning the Military Medal as a Corporal in November 1917. He returned to Patterdale where he continued to live until his death with his wife and was good friends with Eddie Pool who still lives in the village. John’s mother died in July 1919 while the family were still at Noran Bank and his father Thomas died in Hartsop in November 1926. John’s eldest brother Matthew continued to live in the Dale, marrying Mary Agnes Wilkinson on 18th September 1912, and had 2 children, Elsie (born 1913) and Albert (born Jan 1915). Matthew died in December 1949 and Mary Agnes in 1972. Their son Albert, John’s nephew, died in April 1994 in Glenridding.
For more information on John please visit the Patterdale Today History website.
Driver John Routledge
MY/31719, 596th M.T. Coy., Royal Army Service Corps
Born 1891 Kirkoswald Cumbria. Died 3rd December 1918 Aged 27 Basra Mesopotamia
Son of Thomas and Jane (nee Clapham) Routledge, Noran Bank Farm Patterdale
John’s Death as reported in the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald 4th January 1919