John Branscombe

Medals awarded

  • British War Medal 1914-20
  • Victory Medal 1914-19
  • India General Service Medal 1936-39
    Clasp: North-West Frontier
  • Defence Medal 1939-45
  • War Medal 1939-45

Born in Chester in 1898, John Stanley Branscombe joined the Yorkshire Regiment in September 1917;  serving with A Company of the 2nd Battalion from 25 November. Branscombe was wounded at Dickebusch, Belgium in April 1918.

He later wrote about his experiences: “A few days later we were on the way to the line again and, after a rest, my Platoon was just falling in when a shell dropped on the road just behind me, and a couple of chaps and myself got hit. It just felt like being hit with a cricket ball. Then I had a trip down to the Base Hospital at Boulogne… I heard an orderly say ‘He won’t want this anymore’. ‘This’ was a water canteen full of rum… One of my memories is marching at night with tired soldiers, some having their rifles carried for them. Walking into the man in front of you when half asleep was not uncommon.”

Gaining promotion to Lieutenant in March 1919 and Captain in September 1929, Major Branscombe was posted to the 2nd Battalion in 1937. During the Second World War he served as second-in-command, 2nd Battalion in India to Lieutenant-Colonel A.W. Hawkins until October 1942.

John Branscombe died in January 1993, aged 94, in Bridlington, Yorkshire.