Enlisted in August 1915. In September 1915, he wrote from HMS Black Prince of not knowing where they were but that it was tiresome waiting for the German Fleet to come. They had plenty of entertainment - football, boxing, jumping, roller skating, and dancing every Saturday night, a band, concerts and the Chaplain gave lantern lectures.
John was lost at sea 31 May 1916 when aboard HMS Black Prince at the Battle of Jutland and is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. He was 23 years old and is commemorated on the Evenwood War Memorial and the Roll of Honour, St. Paul’s Church, Evenwood.
HMS Black Prince was caught in the searchlights of the German battleship Thueringen and hit with 15 shells. She was the last major ship on either side to go down.