CAMPION John 1891 – 1921

JOHN CAMPION 1891-1921

356625 Private John Campion, 10th Battalion, The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) died 28 February 1921, aged about 30.  He is buried in Bishop Auckland (Escomb) Cemetery[1] and commemorated on Witton Park War Memorials.

Family Details

John Campion Campion was born about 1891 in Arles, Queens County, Leinster, Ireland, the son of James and Mary Campion.  In 1911, 20 years old John lived with his parents and older brother James (aged 22) at 6 High Thompson Street, Witton Park.  His father, 71 years old James (senior), was a retired coal miner.  Both James (junior) and John were coal miners (hewers).[2]

His brother, serving as 250517 Private James Campion, 6th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry was killed in action 23 April 1917, aged about 28.  He is buried at Wancourt British Cemetery, France[3] and also commemorated on the Witton Park War Memorials.

Military Details [4]

8 September 1915, John Campion enlisted and joined the 10th Battalion, The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) and was given the service number 5212 [5] which was later changed to 356625[6] when the British Army was reorganised in 1917 and the men of the Territorial Battalions were renumbered.

The 1/10th (Scottish) Battalion of the King’s Regiment (Liverpool) was a Territorial Force formed in Bootle in August 1914 as part of the South Lancashire Brigade, West Lancashire Division.  In November 1914, it landed at Le Havre, France and was transferred to the 9th Brigade, 3rd Division.  It took part in many of the major battles of 1914.  It was transferred to the 28th Division for about 7 weeks, 17 February to 2 April 1915 then went back to the 3rd Division for actions on the Ypres Salient later in 1915.  On the 6 January 1916, 1/10 (Scottish) King’s Regiment (Liverpool) was transferred to the 166th Brigade, 55th (West Lancashire) Division. 


Other battalions in the 166th Brigade were:  

  • 1/9th Bn., The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) left March 1915
  • 1/10th Bn., The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) left November 1914 re-joined January 1916
  • 1/4th Bn., the South Lancashire Regiment left 13 February 1915
  • 1/5th Bn., the South Lancashire Regiment left 13 February 1915 re-joined January 1916
  • 2/5th Bn., The King’s Own joined Feb 1915 left April 1915
  • 1/5th Bn., The King’s Own joined 7 January 1916
  • 1/5th Bn., The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment joined January 1916
  • 166th Machine Gun Company joined 1 March 1916 moved to 55th Bn., MGC 7 March 1918
  • 166th Trench Mortar Battery joined March 1916
  • 1/10th Bn., The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) joined April 1918 and absorbed into 1/10th

3 – 27 January 1916:  The Division concentrated in the Hallencourt area and relieved the French 88th Division south of Arras, in the area Wailly to Bretancourt by 16 February.  Trench warfare commenced with many raids and minor operations.  This was a relatively quiet sector nevertheless suffering casualties of 66 Officers and 1047 men killed, wounded or missing.

25 July 1916: Relieved by the 11th (Northern) Division, the Division moved south and took up a position in the front line opposite the village of Guillemont.  It remained in France and took part in the Battle of the Somme:

The Battle of Guillemont, 4th to 6th September: Battalions of the 55th Division came into the front line on the 6th at 7pm.  The 1/6 Bn., the King’s made bombing attacks along Wood Lane with little success.  The 1/7 Bn., the King’s made headway along Tea Trench. On the 7th, the 1/5 Bn., South Lancs. and 1/10 Bn., the King’s, coming up from reserve, dug and occupied a new forward line.  On the 9th, a German counter attack on Wood Lane-Tea Trench was beaten off.  1/5 Bn. and 1/9 Bn. The King’s joined at Tea Trench and sent patrols up North Street and the Flers Road. [7]

The Battle of Ginchy 9th September: 164 Brigade was in action on the 10th, was unable to secure Hop Alley and Ale Alley.  A frontal attack from Pilsen Lane resulted in some troops entering Hop Alley but they were shelled and machine-gunned out of it.[8]

Private John Campion probably joined the battalion in the January 1916 and there is a report dated 14 September 1916 that he had suffered a wound.[9] It is reasonable to assume that it was inflicted during actions at Ginchy. 

During this period, when it is believed that Private J. Camion served with 1/10 Liverpool Regiment, the battalion suffered the following casualties.[10]

Between 26 July and 31 August 1916, when it was position south of Arras, in the area Wailly to Bretancourt:

  •  10 Officers
  • 144 Other Ranks

Between 1 and 30 September 1916, when it was on the Somme, involved in the Battles at Guillemont and Ginchy: 

  • 1 Officer
  • 28 Other Ranks, 8 on the 8 & 9 September

Having regard to the above, it is likely that Private J. Campion sustained his wounds during the German counter attack at Wood Lane/Tea Trench on the 9th.[11] He would have been treated at a Field Hospital then a Casualty Clearance Station then either a Hospital Train or a Hospital in France.  Given the evident serious nature of his injuries, it is probable that he would have been repatriated to the UK for treatment at a British Hospital.  It is evident that he did not recover sufficiently to continue his career in the Army.

23 July 1917: Private J. Campion, aged 26, was discharged being physically unfit for war service in the Army due to wounds received in action.[12]


Private John Campion was awarded the Victory and British War medals.[13] He was also awarded the War Badge (number 136794) as a result of wounds received in action, following his discharge from the Army, in July 1917.[14]



Private J. Campion is buried at grave reference UC.7, Bishop Auckland (Escomb) Cemetery.[15]



[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] 1911 census

[3] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[4] The service record of Private John Campion has not been researched. Details are derived from a variety of sources including

[5] Medal Roll card index

[6] CWGC

[7] “The Somme: The Day by Day Account” 1993 C. McCarthy p.96 & 97

[8] McCarthy p.99

[9] Forces War Records Archive Ref: DT1501916

[10] Officers and Soldiers Died in the Great War

[11] The 1/10 Bn., the King’s Regiment (Liverpool) War Diary has not been researched

[12] Medal Roll card index

[13] Medal Roll card index

[14] Roll of individuals entitled to the War Badge dated 17 October 1917

[15] CWGC