John Thomas Archibald Pears
John Thomas Archibald Pears does not appear on the Roll of Honour in St. Denys’ Church, however, he has strong connections to Goadby Marwood. John was born in the village, and his maternal grandparents, Thomas and Ann Hubbard nee Pears, lived in the village for much of their lives.
Thomas and Ann Hubbard moved to The Cottage on Main Street in Goadby Marwood sometime shortly after the 1891 census was taken, and their grandson, John, was born there in 1892. John was the son of William Pears of Pickwell and his wife, Mabel Pears nee Hubbard, who was born in Little Dalby.
John grew up in the village of Pickwell with his three sisters, Florence, Mabel and Alice, and his younger brother, George, but it is likely that he visited his grandparents in Goadby Marwood on occasion. John’s grandfather, Thomas, died in Goadby Marwood in 1900 and his grandmother, Ann, died shortly before the outbreak of war. The Cottage on Main Street became the home of their adopted daughter, Jennie Wigginton, who later became Head Elementary Teacher at Goadby School. The Hubbards had a long association with the school, Mabel's sister, Annie, taught there under her married name, Lowe, and her daughter, Ivy Lois Lowe (John's cousin) taught at the school before her marriage. The Lowes lived at The Brooms on Kemps Lane.
John Pears joined the army in November 1912 so was already serving when war broke out two years later. From the time of his enlistment until August 1914, John served with The Royal Field Artillery on home soil. John’s artillery battery embarked for France on 2nd August, 1914, two days before Britain declared war. The Royal Field Artillery provided artillery support for the British Army and was the largest arm of the artillery. It was responsible for the medium calibre guns and howitzers deployed close to the front line and, unlike the Garrison Artillery, which employed heavy calibre guns someway behind the lines, the Field Artillery was reasonably mobile.
John served with the Royal Field Artillery throughout the war, he was promoted to Bombardier in October 1915 but reverted to the rank of Gunner in January 1917. This may have been at his own request. John was taken prisoner by German forces, although it is not clear from his service record exactly when or where this occurred.
John died on 2nd September, 1918, at Griesheim Prisoner of War Camp near Darmstadt, in Germany, just two months before the war ended. He is buried at the Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in the small village of Niederzwehren in central Germany. The cemetery was begun by the Germans in 1915 for the burial of prisoners of war who died at the local camp. In 1922 it was decided that the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who had died all over Germany should be brought together into four permanent cemeteries, and one of those chosen for this purpose was Niederzwehren.
John was awarded the British War and Victory Medals, which, together with his backpay and war gratuity, were sent to his widowed mother, Mabel.
The Cottage, Main Street, Goadby Marwood, where John was born and where his grandparents, Thomas & Ann Hubbard, lived.
CWGC Memorial - John Thomas Archibald Pears
John Thomas Archibald Pears
To learn more about the individual soldiers of Goadby Marwood who gave their lives for their country follow the links below:
Herbert Scarborough KIA 22 Aug 1915
Harry Bottrill KIA 11 Mar 1916
Cecil Thomas Foister KIA 03 May 1917
William Henry Pizer KIA 17 Aug 1917
Albert Edward Essery KIA 01 Oct 1917
Gerald Edgar Ellis KIA 01 Oct 1917
Harry Armstrong KIA 15 Jul 1916
John Thomas Pears DIED 02 Sep 1918