17th February 2016
A World War One commemorative plaque dedicated to John William Bacon and found in a coal shed in Low Street, has been reunited with the Bacon family.
22-year old ‘Jack’ Bacon, a Lance Corporal in the 11th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps, was killed in action on the Somme on September 3rd 1916. Before enlisting he had lived with his widowed mother, Mary Ann, and his siblings in part of the house now called ‘Cleave Cottage’, owned by Mr and Mrs C Allen.
After finding the slightly damaged bronze plaque in his coal shed, which was formerly the pig sty, Mr Allen put a notice in Fleet magazine and descendants of Jack’s family came forward.
Mrs Brenda Sills (left) of Saxilby and Mrs Alice Bellamy of Collingham. Mrs Sills’ grandmother was Jack’s younger sister, Florence (born c 1898). Mrs Bellamy’s grandmother was Louisa Bacon, Jack’s great-aunt.
The plaque found in the coal shed
John William Bacon’s older brother, Thomas, was also killed in WW1.
Photograph c 1902 kindly donated by Mrs Sills shows Mary Ann Bacon with her children, Thomas, Jack, Sarah, George (on lap) and Florence. Another child, Arthur, was born shortly after Mary Ann’s husband, George, died in 1904, of yellow fever. Mary Ann is said to have taken in washing to make ends meet. She died in 1939. At the outbreak of the first world war, Jack was working as a porter for the Midland Railway and Thomas was a baker and confectioner in the village.