Project Description

JOHN HENRY MASON 1885–1946

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Born 19th July 1885 in St Dunstan’s, Derby

Baptised 26th August 1885 at St James the Greater Church, Derby

Married on 21st August 1922 to Florrie Leeson, born in Long Bennington, at the Register Office, Basford, Nottingham.  He was a male nurse at Caterham Mental Hospital, Surrey and Florrie was living at 23 Radcliffe Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham.

Sons Victor H born 1923 and Raymond H born 1925 in Godstone District, Surrey

Died March 1946 age 60 in Surrey

1891 Census

Age 5, at school, living on Shaftesbury Street, Litchurch, Derby with father William, 46, engine tenter (overseeing operation of stationary engine), mother Harriet, 46, siblings Harriet L, 19, school teacher, Mabel, 8, and Fred, 3, both scholars.

1901 Census

Age 15, a threader in a lace factory, living at 12, Pear Street, Derby with father William, stationary engine driver, sister Mabel, 18, and brother Frederick, 13, clothier’s apprentice.

Military Service before WWI

Attested in Derby on 19th August 1904

Age on enlistment: 17 years 1 month

Occupation: joiner

Height 5ft 6¼ins, weight 117 lbs, girth 35ins. range of expansion 3½ins. Complexion fresh, eyes brown, hair brown. Distinctive marks: scar under right arm and right great toe. Religion: Church of England.

Considered fit for army and transferred to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

After 6 months service and gymnastics course: height 5ft 7ins, weight 130 lbs, girth 36½ins, range of expansion 3½ins.

1911 Census

Private 8490, serving with the 1st King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in China and Hong Kong.

Military Service WWI

Rank: Private

Service Number: 8490

Military Unit: King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Theatre of War: France and Flanders

There are no surviving service records for John Henry Mason.  The following information is from the UK Service Medal and Award rolls and the War Office casualty lists (available on the Forces War Records website):

30.8.14: Disembarkation (from Service Medal and Award rolls)

Wounded (from Forces War records):

26.11.14: listed as wounded on War Office casualty list

4.8.16: listed as wounded on War Office casualty list. Resided: Hampstead, N.W.

Medals Awarded: British War and Victory, 1914 Star with clasp and roses: qualifying date 30.8.14

From the 1939 Register

Address: 9 Homestead Road, Caterham, Surrey

Occupation: Male mental nurse

Household: Living with wife Florrie, born 7.3.1895, engaged in unpaid domestic duties, and one other person whose record is officially closed, possibly son Raymond.

Other information

John took employment at Notts County Asylum after completion of his pre-war military service. He is listed in their records as an attendant who served in the Armed Forces and was wounded. His future wife Florence (known as Florrie) Leeson was a charge nurse (sister) at the hospital. She passed her Medico-Psychological Association examination in 1919 while working there. On 12 April 1922, nursing staff went on strike after the authorities proposed to increase their hours to sixty-six a week and reduce their wages. John was branch secretary of the National Asylum Workers Union. He was suspended from hospital duties in March, prior to the strike. Florrie took part. Both were among the sixty-six nurses sacked that day. John was re-employed with fellow asylum worker and striker Charles Vickerstaff at Caterham Mental Hospital where he remained for many years. He married Florrie Leeson in August 1922. After John died in 1946, Florrie may have continued with her nursing career. Her name appears in the General Nursing Council for England and Wales Register as a mental nurse, registration date 9.8.55, qualification MPA certificate. Florrie died on 18.11.74. She was still living at 9 Homestead Road, Caterham.

Reasons for inclusion on Radcliffe on Trent Roll of Honour

Worked in the parish of Radcliffe on Trent at Notts County Asylum and Notts County Mental Hospital, Radcliffe on Trent.