John Aldis

As a young man Jonathan was a blacksmith like his grandfather Isaac Aldis. He was born in Woodton, Norfolk on 20 November 1888 to Martha Aldis, who was unmarried.

In 1891 Jonathan and his mother were living with his grandparents in Saxlingham Nethergate. In 1900 his mother married George Barnes and she moved to live in Woodton, where in 1901 she had a daughter Gladys Elizabeth  and in 1903 a daughter, Ellen.

Jonathan continued to live with his grandparents in Saxlingham, where at aged 14 years he was a Blacksmith apprentice. Also living with his grandparents was his cousin Jonathan aged 12 years old.

By 1911 Jonathan was calling himself John and was living with his mother’s sister Rosa’s family in Saxlingham. Rosa had married Frederick Yallop. John was working as a bricklayer’s labourer. This is interesting as later in life he became a bricklayer.

On 13 December 1915 when John joined the army he was still single and living on Saxlingham Green. He gave his age as 27 years and 1 month. He was 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighed 118 pounds and his chest measurement was 35 inches. He joined as a shoeing smith with the Army Service Corps, his service number was TS/10226. His mother Martha Aldis, Woodton, was given as his next of kin.

His ability as a shoeing smith was examined and he was declared as being very good.

He was posted to France on the 4 May 1916. He sailed from Southampton to Le Havre on SS Connaught. He was granted leave from 9 October 1917 to 19 October 1917. On 16 October 1917 he married Gertrude Emma Youell at Henstead Register Office. Gertrude had been born on 28 April 1893 in America. He was allowed to extend his leave until 22 October 1917 after which he returned to France.

He had further leave from 1 January 1919 to 15 January 1919.

On 2 March 1919 having returned to France he was admitted to 14 General Hospital, Wimereux with influenza. He was invalided to England on the hospital ship St Andrew and discharged from hospital on 25 March 1919. He left the army on 23 April 1919. He was refused a pension.

He returned to Saxlingham Nethergate and in 1920 his son Horace J W Aldis was born.

In 1939 he lived with his wife Gertrude in Back Cottages, The Street, Saxlingham Nethergate. He was working as a bricklayer.

It is not known when or where he died.


UK Census Collection

England & Wales, Birth, marriage and death index, 1837-2005

British Army Medal Roll Index cards, 1914-1920

British Army WW1 Service Records

1939 Register from

Military Hospitals Admissions and Discharge Registers WW1