John Garlick

Private 7474, 1st Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’ (Royal Berkshire) Regiment. In India in 1911 with the Royal Berkshires.

1885 - 1914

Laid to rest: La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.

Born in Sotwell, March 1885 and enlisted in Reading he was killed in action 26 August 1914 in Flanders, France, aged 29. John Garlick was the first village casualty – just 22 days after the start of the war.

We are grateful to John’s grandson, Clifford Garlick, and great-grandson Simon Pratt for the following researched details and photos. John was still in India with the Royal Berks in early 1911 but returned and married Elsie Jane later that year. A photo shows them on the footpath outside their cottage at Slade End. Violet Cottage was one of two dwellings in what is now Honeysuckle Cottage. As a Reservist he “rejoined the colours immediately after the outbreak of war”. In their first battle engagement, holding a small bridge at Maroilles, 22 Royal Berks soldiers were killed, 17 being buried in the small village cemetery at Maroilles. John Garlick was one of five bodies not recovered and his name is on the Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial along with over 3,000 British soldiers killed in the retreat from Mons to the Marne in 1914 and whose bodies were also not recovered. John was with two brothers from Mackney, Albert and Arthur Saunders, one of whom was badly injured. John managed to pull him back to where he could receive help, returned to the battle – and was never seen or heard of again. Both the Saunders men survived the war with one of them going to see John’s widow, Elsie, to tell her about her husband’s bravery.