CWG: Private John Lake

Private John Lake

John Walker Lake was born in Eastbourne, East Sussex, in the spring of 1892, the only child of estate manager and auctioneer Percy Lake and his wife Elizabeth.

John’s mother passed away in 1900, when he was only eight years old, and details of his early life are hard to come by. However, by the time of the 1911 census, he had left school and enrolled in a mining college in Guston, near Dover, Kent.

When war broke out, John was quick to enlist. He joined the London Regiment on 18th September 1914, and was assigned to the 2nd/23rd Battalion. His service records show that he stood 5ft 8ins (1.72m) tall, had light hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion.

Private Lake was not to remain in the army for long. Within weeks of joining, he contracted tuberculosis and, on 22nd February 1915, after just 158 days, he was discharged from service as being no longer medically fit for duty.

At this point, John’s trail goes cold. He initially returned to live with his father in Eastbourne. By the autumn of 1918, however, he was in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, probably for health reasons.

The tuberculosis got the better of John Walker Lake, however; he passed away on 20th October 1918, at the age of 26 years old. He was laid to rest in the Milton Road Cemetery in Weston-super-Mare.


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