NUMBER: C/JX223480

RANK: Able Seaman

UNIT: H.M.S. President 111



OCCUPATION: Delivery Boy

STATUS: Killed in Action

DATE OF DEATH: 1st October 1941

WHERE BURIED: Chatham Naval Memorial

MEDALS: 1939-45 Star, Defence Medal, Victory Medal

John Willis was born in Brompton in 1916 and was the son of Wilson and Jane Willis. John worked as a delivery lad for Boston's Bakery and was married to Eva Jones of Brompton. They lived in Vicarscroft, which was the first and newest design of council estates to be built in Northallerton.

On the outbreak of war, John volunteered for the Royal Navy and after training he was posted to HMS President 111. This ship was a supply depot vessel for other ships and was stationed in the West Indies. In September 1941, John boarded the SS Empire Wave, a merchantman, and set sail to join HMS President 111. On October 1st the Empire Wave was attacked by a U-Boat and torpedoed close to Cape Farewell Iceland. John went down the crew and ship. John is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial in Kent, Panel 44, Column 1, the Northallerton War Memorial and the Memorial in All Saints Parish Church.

John was aged 25 years.