W2WJohn Peter Webb Pennington was born on 18th June 1882 at Preston-on-the-Hill. He was the son of Edward Pennington (born Newton-by-Daresbury) and his wife Esther (nee Webb) who was born in Preston Brook. (His naval records said that he was born in 1883).
The Census of 1891 recorded the family as living on Chester Road in Preston-on-the-Hill, near the post office. The father was a wheelwright. There were four children: Lillian Ann aged fifteen years, Percy Gleave aged eleven years, John Peter Webb aged eight years and Amy Mary aged six years.
Ten years later they were living on Aston Lane, near the Wesleyan Chapel House. Edward Pennington was still working as a journeyman wheelwright, Percy was a road labourer and John was a clerk in a chemical works. Lillian Ann was living away at the time, but Amy Mary was still at home.
Sadly, both of the parents died within the next decade. Esther passed away in 1906 at the age of 63 years and Edward passed away in 1910 at the age of 68 years. They were both buried at Daresbury.
By 1911 the two brothers and Amy Mary were living in Stockton Heath at 22, Farrell Road. John was an insurance clerk and Percy was a hawker. Amy looked after the house and family.
John married Mary Blundell at West Derby in early 1913 and they lived at 3, Farrell Road in Stockton Heath. They had two sons, James in 1914 and John J. in 1916. However James died within a year of his birth as did John J.
John enlisted in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as an Able Seaman. He was given the service number Mersey Z/1741. John was 5’ 10’’ tall with dark hair and brown eyes. He was an ordinary seaman on HMS Victory VI, also known as HMS Crystal Palace, which was a training establishment for the Royal Navy. He served there from 18thAugust 1916 until 17th October 1916. On 7th February 1917 he joined HMS Changuinola, which was an armed merchant cruiser which came into operation in December 1914. He was sent to Shetland as a signaller.
Sadly, John fell ill whilst at sea and died of septic (bronchial) pneumonia on 16th March 1917. His remains were taken back to shore on the Shetland Islands and he was buried in Old Voe Churchyard. He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service.
John is commemorated on the war memorial inside St Thomas’ church at Stockton Heath, on the Stockton Heath Memorial in the village and on the War Memorial of the Refuge Assurance Company in the grounds of Fulshaw Hall at Wilmslow, as he had been on the staff of that company.
His widow Mary emigrated to Australia in 1921 and worked there as a private nurse.
John Peter Webb Pennington was 33 or 34 years old when he passed away.