John Henry Knighton was born in Raunds on 4 April 1869; he married Mary Ann Orton in 1893.
He served with the 3rd Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, service number
3002, in the Boer War and was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal with
clasps: "Cape Colony", "Orange Free State" and "South
Africa 1902". He was also invalided home.
At the outbreak of the Great War, he re-enlisted on 18 September 1914 with a new service number, 3/10667,
and on 12 November 1914
joined "C" Coy, 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, in France.
He was not very lucky as he was reported missing on 21 December 1914 and not heard from
until a postcard arrived from Wittenburg POW Camp in Germany
where he was being held. The Soldiers and Sailors Families Association,
Wellingborough Branch, wrote to the War Office on 6 April 1915, saying that his wife was worrying herself
sick about the fate of her husband.
In his records there is a Swiss Red Cross form saying that he was interned
on 30 May 1916; he was
staying in the Hotel Berthol, Chateaux A'Oex. The form stated that he had been
captured by the Germans at Armentieres
and had been held in Hospital Camps at Giessen
and Wittenburg in Germany.
He was suffering with kidney disease.
On 14 September
1917 he was returned to England
as part of the POW exchange and admitted to 1st London
Camberwell. He was discharged as no longer fit for military service on 27 October 1917 due to debility, age
and bad teeth.
He received the Silver War Badge, and was awarded the 1914
Star with Clasp, the British War and Victory Medals.
According to the Swiss Red Cross form he said that he had served 27 years with
the Northamptonshire Regiment.