Lance Corporal John Henry Tooth was born as John Henry Conway in Glovers Hill, Brereton on 13th January 1895 and was the son of domestic servant Rosanna Tooth.
His mother later married local man Harry Bott and John became known as ‘Jack’ Tooth-Bott.
Before the outbreak of war, John is known to have worked in the coal mining industry – the 1911 census records him as a ‘horse driver’.
John enlisted with the Staffordshire Yeomanry and went on to serve with the 21st Battalion Machine Gun Corps (Infantry).
He died on 27th May 1918 – the first day of the German Spring Offensive, 3rd Battle of the Aisne.
He was originally buried at the Neufchatel Communal Cemetery, German Extension but his body was exhumed on 10th July 1924 and moved to his final resting place at the Sissone British Cemetery in France.
John is also commemorated on the Heath Hayes War Memorial.
After Armistice the Silver jug (pictured here) was presented to St. John’s Church, Heath Hayes. The engraving on the back reads: ‘To the Glory of God & in memory of: W. Cockin [Cockayne], W.T. Archer, A.E. Morris, E. Yates, J.H. Shirley, C.H. Clayton & J. Tooth – who died on active service in France 1914-18. Also as a thanks offering, for the safe return of sons from the war and for the blessing of Victory and Peace. May 1919′.
Although it is nearly one hundred years old, it is still used in weekly services at St. John’s Church on Hednesford Road, Heath Hayes.