John was born in 1885 in Costerworth, Lincolnshire to Edward Bond, a baker, and Emily (nee Smith). He was one of six children all born in Costerworth-
John Edward 1885
Thomas William 1887
Harry Bowis 1896
In the 1891 census the family were all living in Costerworth and John was at Bridge End, Costerworth with his maternal grandparents. In the 1901 census the whole family were at Bridge End but John was at 43 Ashbourne St., Leicester working as a stone mason and living with his Aunt Eliza and her husband, Henry Collin.
In 1907 John’s father died and in the 1911 census his widowed mother and his siblings are living with him at 67 Sherard Rd., Leicester where John is listed as a stone mason.
He enlisted as Private 24046 r11 Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. He was killed in action on 22.3.1918, aged 33 and is buried at Epehy Wood Farm Cemetery, France.
The war diary for 22.3.2928 records. During the night the enemy rushed forward his field and heavy guns and in the early morning he opened an intense bombardment of the RED LINE, PEIZIERE and the YELLOW LINE, under a heavy barrage he attacked the RED LINE but was driven off. 10.00a.m. About this hour news was received that the enemy had captured ST. EMILIE and the southern edge of EPEHY and the 8th Leicestershire Regiment had been ordered to form a defensive flank on the EPEHY – SAULCOURT ROAD, to combine with this and to cover the right rear of PEIZIERE a second defensive flank facing south was made with every available man from Battalion HQ between YELLOW SUPPORT LINE and chaufours wood.
11.00am. As it was seen that the enemy were entering EPEHY in force from the south the two tanks were ordered forward to check his advance and if possible clear EPEHY. The enemy retired on seeing their approach, and they report having inflicted heavy casualities. Unfortunately they were running short of petrol and as the engines required repairs they were unable to proceed further and attempting to withdraw to SAULCOURT both were knocked out. 12.00 noon.
About this hour orders were received to withdraw the Battalion behind to BROWN LINE and concentrate at LONGAVENES.
12.15PM. Orders were issued for the withdrawal, up to this hour Captain VANNER M.C. was still holding the RED LINE and driving off every attack made on it. After the withdrawal of his Company he waited to superintend the demolition of both bridges over the cutting. This was successfully carried out. The withdrawal of the Battalion and the extrication of the posts in PEIZIERE was a matter of some difficulty as by the time of the receipt of the order by the Companies the enemy was in occupation of EPEHY and firing in from the north. The withdrawal was made under heavy machine gun fire from the south east and north east and a considerable number of casualties were incurred during it. 3.30pm. Battalion reorganised in valley just north of LONGAVESNES and received orders to march to AIZECOURT LE HAUT. 6.00pm. Battalion arrived and went into camp. Men had a hot meal.
John’s photograph is in Leicester Mercury 8.12.1914 Pg 3.
Leicester Daily Post 9.12.14 Pg 6.