A bombardier signaller, John had the unfortunate honour of being wounded at Loos, the Somme and Passchendaele. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his courage.
In civilian life, John worked at the Woolwich Arsenal and as a customs inspector of munitions. He made a big impression on viewers in his appearance on the BBC Great War documentary in 1964. He was the secretary of the Old Contemptibles in Walthamstow until he died in 1972.