John Kippax

John Kippax (known as Jack) was born in Acton Grange on 24th April 1893. He was the son of Lewis James Kippax (born Norley) and his wife Mary (nee Thompson) who was also born in Norley.

In 1901 the family were living in Hatton and John had siblings James (5) and Martha A. (2). Also living with them was his father’s cousin Lewis Clarke (21), who would also serve in the Great War and John Kippax, John’s grandfather. His father was an agricultural labourer on a farm. His brother James would also serve in the Great War.

Ten years later, John was an apprentice gardener, living in Hatton with the family (which now included 9-month old Nellie). His father was a woodman on the estate.

John’s service records for the Great War showed that he was 22 years and 7 months of age on enlistment at Longmoor in Hampshire on 19th November 1915. Longmoor Military Railway was built by the Royal Engineers in 1903 in order to train soldiers in railway construction and operations. His occupation was given as a platelayer for the railways. He was 5’7’’ in height. At this time the family lived at the New Houses in Hatton.

It was a year later that he was authorized to join the Railway Troops section of the Royal Engineers at Longmoor and was given the rank of Sapper and the service number 210268. He sailed with the British Expeditionary Force to France on 3rd January 1917 as part of the 269th Railway Company. Records showed that he was a casualty admitted to hospital in France for two weeks in December 1917, but it was not clear as to the reason. Whilst serving in France he played in an army football team.

Having been assessed as a skilled platelayer in January 1917, his pay was raised to a superior rate in June 1918 and then to a very superior rate in January 1919. At this time his regimental number changed to 261670. Having been examined on the Meuse in France on 7th July 1919, he was despatched to England four days later and demobilized. He was transferred to Class Z Army Reserve. John was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his service in the Great War.

He returned to New Houses in Hatton having been recorded as an absent voter in 1918 and spring 1919. In the 1939 Register John was recorded as a permanent way labourer living at home with his parents.
In 1941 he married Hannah Jane Warburton, who lived nearby at Hatton House in Hatton and they had one child, Marjorie Hannah Warburton Kippax. John worked for the railway company at Arpley sidings and the 12-arch bridge.

John enjoyed going to the Hatton Arms for a drink and playing dominoes there. He also enjoyed tending his garden, especially his vegetable plot. He continued to live in Hatton.

John Kippax died on 28th March 1968, within three weeks of his wife’s passing away. His funeral service was at Daresbury Parish Church followed by cremation at Walton Crematorium. He was 74 years of age.