John Glenton Dent


Cap Badge of the Sherwood Foresters
Cap Badge of the Sherwood Foresters

The first official record to mention this soldier is the 1901 census. It says he was living at Beach House, 28 Albert Road, Whalley Range, Manchester and tells us that he was born in Birkenhead. His parents were Simpson Dent, who was born in Kirby Ravensworth  in Yorkshire in about 1860 and Elizabeth Ellen Harding who was born in Hodnet in Shropshire in about 1861. The couple married in Market Drayton in 1893 and went on to have four children, of whom John Glenton was the third.

Simpson Dent was a self-employed house furnisher. He was clearly doing well because the family employed two servants, one of whom was called a “mother’s help”. Sadly, Simpson died not long after the census was compiled on 9th April 1901. He left £1020 to his wife. Sometime before 1911, the widowed Elizabeth and her four children moved to the same premises as had been occupied by Fred Cumpsty’s family in 1901 – 22-24 Market Street, Hoylake and ran them as a confectionary shop. In 1911 John was boarding at Llansantfraid Grammar School in the Welsh county of Montgomeryshire, not far from the Shropshire border, while his mother, siblings and a domestic servant called Priscilla Hopwood were at home in Hoylake.

We do not know John’s movements until 1915, when the London Gazette of 1st July reported that he had been promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in a territorial regiment called the Yorkshire Dragoons. The same publication gave less favourable news on 12th November 1915, when it reported that John had been court-marshalled and cashiered from another territorial regiment called the Scottish Horse on 28th October. It does not say what he had done wrong. John then joined up as a private in the Sherwood Foresters in Great Yarmouth and served with the regiment as a sniper on the Western Front. His battalion was part of 51st Brigade, 17th (Northern) Division, which was heavily engaged in the early days of the battle of the Somme.

10th Bn. Sherwood Foresters
10th Bn. Sherwood Foresters

The picture shows some unnamed members of his unit with souvenirs they won from the Germans on 3rd July. John was killed two days later at Contalmaison. We have no record of the exact circumstances, but clearly his body was either never recovered or his grave destroyed, because his is one of the names on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing.

Birth: c.1897 in Birkenhead
Death: 5th July 1916, killed in action aged 19
Addresses: Beach House, 28 Albert Road, Whalley Range Manchester (01), Llansantffraid Grammar School, Montgomeryshire (11), 22-24 Market Street, Hoylake (16)
Occupations: Unknown
Units: Yorkshire Dragoons (Queen’s Own) Yeomanry, Scottish Horse (Yeomanry), 10th Bn. Sherwood Foresters (Notts. And Derby. Regiment)
Number and Rank: 32985 2nd Lieutenant, Private
Medals: British War and Victory
Commemorated and Buried: GH, H. France: Somme, Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 10. C. 10. D. and 11. A.
Sources: BR, CWGC, SDGW, MC, LE, LG, GB, Census: 01,11

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