John Thomas Lynam (Jack) (1887–1916)


Seaforth Highlanders 3605 1st/6th Battalion

Photos courtesy Philippa Corrie

John Yhomas Lynam in WW1

John Thomas Lynam photo

Jack was born in 1887, the son of James and Elizabeth Mary Lynam, who kept the Post Office in Fritchley. He worked as a clerk on the railway and enlisted in 1915, joining the Seaforth Highlanders. He died, the result of illness, on 10 December 1916 and is buried at Contay British Cemetery, near Amiens. His death was reported in the Derbyshire Times on 23 December 1916. He left a will leaving his estate to his brother Joseph Henry Lynam.

The will of John Thomas Lynam of The Cottage Fritchley dated 8/6/1911.
Appointed Hugh Spence, Railway Clerk of Little Eaton, and Charles Fredrick Pemberton of 13 Nether Close St Derby as executors.
The whole of my money and possessions to my brother Joseph Henry Lynam of The Cottage, Fritchley.
Probate granted 22/8/1917
Effects £181-12s-3d

Medal Roll Index
He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.

Newspaper reports

Derbyshire Times 23 December 1916
Information was received last weekend that Lance Corporal J. T. Lynam of the Seaforth Highlanders, son of Mr and Mrs Lynam of the Post Office Fritchley, had died at the Front in France. The Matron of the 49th Casualty Clearing Section wrote saying that Lance Corporal Lynam died on the 10th last from pneumonia and that the funeral took place at the British Military Cemetery, Contay. The sad news caused widespread sorrow and regret in the Fritchley and Crich district, where the deceased soldier was well-known and respected. He enlisted about fifteen months ago and saw much hard fighting at the Western Front. In the terrible battle of the Somme he had many narrow escapes and it is the bitter irony of fate that he should come through all this and then die from illness. One incident which occurred is worth recording. During one engagement some elaborate German dug-outs were captured and Lance Corporal Lynam was in charge of the party which took possession. On entering one of the dug-outs he found a German inside and ordered the latter to come out. The “Boche” however, beckoned to Lance Corporal Lynam to come further inside and then whilst parlaying the treacherous German fired point blank at the Britisher, but fortunately missed. What happened to the Hun is not recorded! The late Mr Lynam was about 30 years of age and single. He was a member of the Fritchley Congregational Church, the members of which will keenly feel his loss. He formerly took an interest in local football and was at different times goalkeeper for the Fritchley Congregational and Alderwasley football clubs. He also had association with Cromford at which place he spent several summers camping out. Before he joined the Army he was employed at the Chief Goods Manager’s Office, Midland Railway, Derby. The utmost sympathy is felt for the bereaved family.

Derbyshire Courier, 13 January 1917
The sad circumstances of Cpl Jack Lynam's death in hospital in France on 10 December have just been received by his sister at the Post Office, Fritchley. The news is conveyed in a sympathetic letter from Lieutenant G E Edwards, an officer of his company. he writes: "I was informed that your brother was ill in bed, so I went and saw him and then got the doctor to see him again. Next morning 8 December he went to hospital, and I had a talk with him before he went away. He was very ill and could hardly breathe, but still said he was sorry to go at such a time as he fully understood toward the situation, as we were going into action again and he knew how small our company was. I was the only officer. Yesterday we were informed from the hospital that he had died on 10 December. This was a great shock to me and his comrades, but no one here realised we were to lose such a soldier under such circumstances. His comrades join with me in expressing our heartfelt sympathy to you in your great loss. I may tell you I had a great admiration for your brother, as he was one of the few who returned after our victory on 13 November. He was promoted Cpl the day he left and I had his name put forward for gallantry and devotion to duty on that date."

Photo courtesy Phillipa Corrie

John Thomas Lynam's garve in WW1

The original grave marker

WW1 headstone for John Thomas Lynam

War Graves headstone for John Thomas Lynam

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Initials J T
Nationality United Kingdom
Rank Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service Seaforth Highlanders
Unit 1st/6th Bn.
Ages 29
Date of Death 10/12/16
Service No 3605
Additional Information Son of James and E. Lynam, of Heage, Derbyshire
Casualty type Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference VIII. E. 2.
War Graves certificate for Jack Lynam

Soldiers' Effects Book
John Thomas Lynam; 6th Seaforth Highlanders; Private, Acting Cpl 3605; died of disease 10.12.16; War Gratuity £5; paid out to:
26.2.17 RP recli 7s 2d
17.9.17 executorCharles F Pemberton £2 13s 8d
10.10 19 [no name] £5


1901: Fritchley

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
James Lynam Head 58 Grocer Radford
Elizabeth M Lynam wife 51   Fritchley
Jas Henry Lynam son 15 Apprentice to wholesale warehouseman Heage
John T Lynam son 14 School Heage
Annie Lynam daughter 11   Nottingham
Mary Lynam daughter 9   Fritchley
Mary Derwin? niece 15 Shop assistant Fritchley

RG13 piece 3231 folio 9 page 9

1911: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
James Lynam Head 68 Sub postmaster Radford
Elizabeth Mary Lynam wife 60   Fritchley
Joseph Henry Lynam son 26 Commercial traveller Heage
John Thomas Lynam son 24 Clerk, railway Heage
Annie Lynam daughter 21 Clerk, dye works Nottingham
Mary Lynam daughter 19   Fritchley

RG14PN20983 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED12 SN211