Acworth, John Arden

2nd Lieutenant / Worcester Regiment

1898 - 1917

John Arden Acworth was born 20 May 1898, the younger son of Harry Arbuthnot Acworth of Great Malvern, and Anna, daughter of Colonel C V Jenkins of the 47th Bengal Light Infantry. His older brother was Major Douglas Harry Acworth M.C. (D 1899-1903) of the Indian Army, who died of influenza at Port Said in January 1919 (see individual entry).

John came to Winchester College from Twyford School where he was Head Boy in September 1911 and was in D House, Fearon's. He won the King's Gold Medal for English Essay and the Moore-Stevens Divinity Prize in 1916

He left Winchester in the summer of 1916 and went up to Magdalen College, Oxford in the autumn of that year,  and spent a term waiting until he was old enough to join an Officer Cadet Battalion.

John was gazetted on 25 April 1917, after four months training at Oxford, to the 3rd/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment at Catterick, and two months later was transferred to the 1st/7th Battalion, Worcestershires, proceeding to France on 27 June 1917. The Wykehamist of October 1917 recorded that the last visit he paid in England before leaving for France, apart from to his own home, was to Winchester and his old House.

He went into action for the first and only time on 9 October of that year, towards the end of the campaign which culminated in the capture of Passchendaele Ridge. He fell severely wounded in the chest by a shell splinter in the early morning while in command of his company. He was taken to a Field Ambulance Unit and a dressing station, and then to No. 4 Casualty Clearing Staiton (Dozinghem) at Westvleteren. However, a few days later gas gangrene developed in the wound, and he died on 13 October. The Hospital Matron wrote to his father that 'everything possible was done for him, he died very suddenly at 4.45 p.m. on October 13th'. He had been conscious very nearly to the last, and showed himself, as the Matron testified, 'a good patient'. 

Like his brother, he took no prominent part in school games, but was an excellent horseman and shot.

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