No. T/214847, Royal Army Service Corps
Died on active service on Saturday 24 January 1942 (aged 33)
Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya (Grave 4. E. 10)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Mark’s)
John Hutchinson was born on 28 October 1908 in George’s Street, Newtownards and he was a son of John and Eleanor (Ellen) Hutchinson (nee Magowan, sometimes McGowan) who were married on 24 September 1906 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Mark’s). John Hutchinson, a labourer from Cunningburn, was a son of John Hutchinson. Eleanor Magowan from George’s Street, Newtownards was a daughter of William Magowan, a labourer.
The Hutchinson family lived at 7 George’s Street, Newtownards and they had at least five children:
Mary (born 18 February 1907 in George’s Street, Newtownards)
John (born 28 October 1908 in George’s Street, Newtownards)
William Magowan (born 21 April 1911 in George’s Street, Newtownards)
Ellie (born 11 December 1912 in Newtownards Workhouse Hospital)
Mary (born 26 December 1914 in George’s Street, Newtownards while her father was on active service with the Royal Irish Rifles)
Driver John Hutchinson’s death was reported in the 14 February 1942 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle. The report stated that he had served with the Royal Artillery since the outbreak of war and before that he had worked for some 19 years (since he was 12 years old) for Messrs Robert Christie and Sons, Newtownards. He had been a keen supporter of Ards Football Club. There were Killed in Action notices in the 28 February 1942 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle from his father and mother and his brother William (on active service) and sister-in-law Winnie Hutchinson of 32 James Street, Newtownards; his sister Mary and brother-in-law Thomas Armstrong (prisoner-of-war) and his nephews and nieces of 6 West Street, Newtownards; his aunt Maria and cousins at 25 George’s Street; his aunt Maggie and cousins at 27 George’s Street, Newtownards. These notices included the following verses:
Sleep on, dear son, in your foreign grave,
A grave we may never see,
But as long as life and memory last,
We will remember thee.
The news was sad, the blow was hard,
God’s will it shall be done,
With a manly heart he did his part,
And a crown of victory won.
Peaceful be thy rest, dear John,
Tis sweet to breathe thy name,
In life we loved you dearly,
In death we’ll do the same.
Our Heroes – In Memoriam notices in 1943 contained the texts:
No morning dawns, no night returns but we remember thee
Silent thoughts bring many a tear.
Our Heroes – In Memoriam notices in 1944 contained the verses:
Deep down in our hearts we silently grieve
For our son who died with a smile,
He gave his young life that others may live
In peace and content for all time.
Not just today, but every day,
In silence we remember.
Our Heroes – In Memoriam notices in 1945 contained the verses:
A soldier’s grave in an unknown land
Holds one we loved so dear,
A smiling face that won’t come home
When they sound the last all clear.
Thoughts drift back to days gone past;
Life moves on but memories last.
John Hutchinson and Jane Foster were married on 24 March 1932 in Ulsterville Presbyterian Church, Belfast. They had one child and they lived at 32 James Street, Newtownards and later at 19 Donegall Avenue, Belfast. Jane Hutchinson received the news of her husband’s death while she was in hospital recovering from a serious operation.
Driver John Hutchinson (No. T/214847) was 33 when he died, he was buried in Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
THE LIFE THOU GAVEST,
LORD, IS ENDED
Driver John Hutchinson (No. T/214847) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Mark’s).