Ancham, John (Jack)
No. 4193876, 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment
Killed on active service on Friday 13 April 1945 (aged 24)
Becklingen War Cemetery, Soltau, Niedersachsen, Germany (Grave 4. K. 11)
The death of Corporal Jack Ancham (No. 4193876) was reported in the 28 April 1945 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle under the headline Ards Lady’s Husband Killed. There was a death notice in the 28 April 1945 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle. It was placed by his widow, Violet Ancham, of 14 William Street, Newtownards and it contained the verse:
Sleep on, dear husband, in your foreign grave,
A grave we may never see,
But as long as life and memory last,
We will remember thee.
In April 1946 and 1947 there were Our Heroes – In Memoriam notices published in the Newtownards Chronicle. They were from his wife Violet, his daughter Edith and his parents-in-law at 14 William Street, Newtownards. The 1946 notice included the verse:
What would I give his hand to clasp,
His dear sweet face to see,
To hear his voice and see his smile,
Which meant so much to me.
The 1947 notice included the verse:
Dearer to me than words can tell,
The one I lost and loved so well;
He lives with me in memory still,
Not just today, bot always will.
John Ancham’s birth was registered in the third quarter of 1920 in Forden, Montgomeryshire and he was a son of James Lewis Ancham and Edith Emily Ancham (nee Edwards). James Lewis Ancham worked as a waggoner and he and Edith Emily Edwards were married on 31 July 1920 in Forden Parish Church of England Church.
John Ancham was the husband of Violet Ancham (nee Russell) and they had a daughter called Edith.
On 17 July 1929 Violet’s mother, Jane Russell, married William Gabbie in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church and they lived at 14 William Street, Newtownards. During the Second World War Violet and Edith Ancham lived with Violet’s mother and stepfather, Jane and William Gabbie.
John Ancham served with the Royal Welch Fusiliers and in 1944 he was wounded in action in Normandy. When he returned to service, he was transferred to the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment and was 24 years old when he was killed on 13 April 1945 during the latter stages of the Allied invasion of Nazi Germany.
In a letter to John’s widow, John’s Commanding Officer wrote, ‘Your husband was a very fine leader and a popular member of the company. We shall all miss him very much indeed’. Corporal John Ancham’s daughter Edith was three years old on 22 April 1945, the day after news came through about her father’s death.
John Ancham’s father, James Lewis Ancham, died on 12 December 1953 in St. Asaph, Montgomeryshire