Project Description



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, now 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 was employed at Notts County Asylum (Saxondale) before WW1; he is listed in their records as an attendant who served in the Armed Forces and was wounded.  His future wife Florrie Leeson was a charge nurse (sister) at the hospital (see biography). John returned to the hospital after the war where his old job had been kept open, He was a Staff Nurse. In 1922, nursing staff went on strike after the Committee of Visitors from Notts County Council  insisted on increasing their hours to sixty six a week and reducing their wages. John was the branch secretary of the National Asylum Workers Union. He was suspended from the hospital on 13 April 1922 over a trivial matter. Florrie took part in the strike but John was unable to be actively involved. Nevertheless, he was sacked as a result of his union activity, along with two men and two women who were also on suspension, two men who were on leave during the strike and fifty-nine striking staff members (including Florrie). John then moved to Caterham Mental Hospital, with fellow asylum worker Charles Vickerstaff, where he became a male nurse, marrying Florrie in August 1922.

Florrie may have continued with her nursing career after John died in 1946 . Her name appears in the General Nursing Council for England and Wales Register as a mental nurse, registration date 9.8.55, qualification M.P.A. certificate. Florrie died on 18th November 1974. 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.