John Henwood

RBS remembers



John Henwood

Bank: Williams Deacon’s Bank

Place of work: London Marylebone branch

Died: 1 July 1916

John Sinclair Henwood was born on 29 July 1895, the son of William Hall Henwood, assistant secretary in a bank, and his wife Fanny. In December 1912 he went to work for Williams Deacon's Bank.

During the First World War Henwood left his job at the bank's London Marylebone branch to join the army, becoming a Rifleman in the London Regiment. He was killed in action on the Western Front on 1 July 1916. He was 20 years old.

Messages of remembrance

 

Andrew Henwood November 13 2018 2:58AM

Your page, remembering the fallen of World War I, and specifically the loss of John Henwood, has just been drawn to my attention.  I thank you for the thoughtful and respectful initiative that has led to your offering this memory and tribute to those lost, now so long ago.

John Sinclair Henwood (known as 'Jack' to his family) would have been my uncle, had he lived.  He was my father's elder brother.  My father, Henry Arthur Henwood, was born in 1900, five years later than Jack.

The loss of Jack to the family was made more agonizing, in that on that first day of the Battle of the Somme he fell some thirty yards short of the German lines and his body lay out in No-man's-land for more than a year before the Germans pulled back in that area, at which time Jack's body, and those of about a dozen of his regimental comrades who fell with him at that same spot were recovered from the field.  So you see, he was 'Missing, presumed dead' all that long time, keeping a flicker of hope burning in the hearts of his parents and remaining brothers and sisters.

My father frequently spoke sadly of his brother, saying what a fine person he would have made. Yet all he was allowed of life was 20 years - school, two or three years with the Bank, a few months training in the infantry, and six weeks in France before his untimely death.

It may sound strange to say, but in some indefinable way he is still missed.  He would have served the family well.  He would have made contributions.  From his life experience he would, I am sure, have advised me wisely and encouraged me when at the age of eighteen (in 1957) it was my time to break free and strike out on my own.  By so doing, he might well have changed the course of my life. In that minute way that we each are privileged to exert, he would have changed history. He may indeed have unknowingly achieved some tiny portion of that during his short life, but think what it could have been.

On every Remembrance Day, and many days in between, I think of Uncle Jack, and carry him in my heart awhile.

My eldest daughter keeps his portrait framed upon the wall, surrounded by poppies.  She too will remember.

In gratitude for the service of all those who fell or were otherwise destroyed, and in sorrow always,

from

Andrew Henwood

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