John was born on the 23rd March 1886 in the Nursery, Barnton, the eldest of seven children to Thomas and Hannah Astbury. His father had been born in Barnton around 1862 and worked as a foreman at the alkali works. His mother, Hannah Norman, had been born in Preston Brook around 1861
John’s sisters were born in Barnton, Helena Mary, around1888, and Sarah, around 1890.
In 1891 the family were living at Stanley Mount, Barnton but by 1901 they were at 90 Lydyett Lane. Four more children had been born: Hannah around 1892, Edward around 1894, Alice Norman on the 29th November 1897 and Thomas Norman around 1900. By then their father was working as a driver on a tug-boat.
In 1901 John was working as an office boy in the chemical works.
By 1906 the family were living at one of the canal-side cottages at Preston Brook as Edward’s sister Alice was admitted to Daresbury School on the 20th August 1906. His brother Thomas followed on 10th August 1908.
John however had stayed in Barnton with his widowed grand-mother, Sarah Astbury, at 125 Runcorn Road, and by 1911 he was a time-keeper at the chemical works.
His sister Sarah was married on the 12th July 1913 at Daresbury Church.
By February 1915 John had possibly enlisted to serve with the Cheshire Regiment (number 79330).
On the 3rd March 1915 John married Mary Elizabeth Hodgkinson from Newton. John’s occupation was stated as being a clerk.
On the 5th April 1926 his brother, Edward, married Kathleen Prince at Daresbury Church.