Todays layout features my Great Grandfather John Lowe. He was my fathers maternal Grandfather.
Id like to thank Geoff Parton for the copies of the letter from the bandmaster and for the contract from the Grand Derby Theatre that I used in this layout. Geoff took on the mighty job of researching the soldiers named in the War Memorial in Derby and collected a wonderful archive of material in the process . He was very kind to share the information and material that pertained to my family with me.
John Lowe, like many others in his family and in his group of close friends had been a member of the Sherwood Forresters as a volunteer well before the start of World War I , in fact he had first signed on on 16th April 1902 with the 1st Volunteer Battalion, aged just under 17. He re attested
on the 16th June 1908 in the Territorial Force - The 5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters. While his “day” job was an Iron Moulder, the time with the Sherwood Forresters would have been a social outlet for him, and in addition he received a bounty for each year he served.
It is likely that he learned the drums during his time in the Territorials., and this would shape his life through the war and after.
On the 20th November 1911 he was transferred to the Derbyshire Yeomanry. and this was the division he served in during World War I .
John served in the Middle East Expeditionary Force and was in Egypt and at Gallipoli where his younger brother died. He was discharged on 16th November 1916 having completed the terms of engagement having served 14 years and 215 days. During and after the war he was known to all as “Drummer Lowe”, however in 1912 he is listed as a Bugler.
After his discharge, and with a war pension of Fifteen Pounds, John resumed his work as an Iron Moulder at Haslams Foundry but in October 1921 he he signed a contract with Vinto Theatres Ltd to be a drummer at the Grand Theatre, Derby with a salary of £3 - 10s per week .