In August 1914 John enlisted at Westminster as Rifleman 2747 with the 16th (Queen's Westminster Rifles) Battalion, London Regiment. They were mobilized and moved to the Hemel Hempstead area, being billeted in Leverstock Green in the late summer and early autumn of 1914. The Regiment proceeded to France on the 3rd of November 1914, landing at Le Havre to join 18th Brigade, 6th Division. On the 10th of February 1916 they transferred to the newly reformed 169th Brigade, 56th (London) Division which concentrated in the Hallencourt area. In 1916 they were in action on The Somme taking part in the diversionary attack at Gommecourt on the 1st of July. John was killed in that action.