John was the son of Peter & Mary Thornton of Staindrop. In 1901 John was six & living with his family at Staindrop but had been born at Stockton. His father worked as a quarryman. In 1911 John doesn’t show on the census but his parents & four sisters lived in the village where his father was a fishmonger.
He joined the 6th Yorkshire Regiment & served at the Dardanelles. John was reported missing after the landing in Suvla Bay on 21st August, 1915 aged 20.