John Fletcher Redhead (1889-1915)

killed in action at Gallipoli

By Peter Bradshaw

Rev. J. Redhead's son killed

The “Primitive Methodist Leader” announces that Private John Fletcher Redhead (26), son of the Rev. J. Redhead, Primitive Methodist minister, Sheffield, and formerly of Gainsborough, reported as missing is now officially returned as killed on June 4th in the Dardanelles- “a sacrifice on the altar of liberty and humanity.”

When at Gainsborough Private Redhead won  a County Council Scholarship, and took three scholarships in his stay at Elmfield. He was preparing for his final examination for B.A. when he enlisted. He was killed in a bayonet charge. His brother went into action alongside him, and writes home:-

“We got the order to charge and fixed bayonets. Jack (the deceased) and I shook hands and away we went over the parapet. The Turks had well-concealed guns and lots of our chaps went over like skittles. After the guns were silenced we rallied and once the Turks were on the run it was like “ratting.” I never saw Jack again”

The writer was wounded and wrote from hospital. Two other brothers are also in the Army.

Gainsborough News 16.4.15

Private J.F. Redhead and Private T.J.  Redhead, both sons of the Rev. J. Redhead, write some interesting letters from Egypt. A visit to Memphis is described, and the enormous statues to be seen there, almost in perfect condition thanks to the dry atmosphere. The Pyramids and the Sphinx have claimed a great share of attention, and how observant our soldiers are is shown by the description, and diagrams illustrating how the work of irrigation cuts a clear line between the untamed desert and smiling fields. The system of irrigation is also described in most interesting fashion, and what is better still, illustrated by drawings. Flies are still one of the plagues of Egypt, and the plaintive question is asked, “Do you know anything we can wash with to keep flies off, besides the usual recipe of treacle and boiled oil? Carbolic they seem to like. Many of us have muslin netting to keep them off, and almost everybody has a fly whisk. They are a terrible nuisance.” We should have thought treacle would have been an attractor rather than a deterrent. The insect pests notwithstanding the troops appear to be having a real good time in the land of the Pharaohs. It is indeed a wonderland to them, but our friends are apparently anxious to get along to Constantinople as one of them remarks, “Then Germany will indeed be near the end.”

This page was added by Jill Barber on 22/01/2015.

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