Private/2nd Lieutenant John Charles Miller Stewart
Killed In Action 3/7/1916.
John Charles Miller Stewart was the eldest son of Dr Joseph Stewart of Lovell House, North Street, Leeds.
After his education, at the Leeds Grammar School, he trained as an engineer, first with Messrs J & J Mclaren in Leeds and afterwards as chief experimenter at Messrs. Wolseley’s works in Birmingham. He also invented a new four-speed gear system for motor cycles and at the commencement of the war was engaged in forming his own company for its development.
A director of Noel Paton Limited, engineers, of Dewsbury Road, when war broke out he immediately joined the rank and file of the Leeds Pals’ Battalion. He enlisted in September 1914. Shortly after, on the 30th of March 1915, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the 7th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment (Leeds Rifles).
In February 1916, he was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps where he became a qualified Observer and was first on the list for Pilot.
On the 3rd July 1916, after being on a bombing expedition in enemy lines, he was “planning down “on his way back when a shell, fired at long range, hit his aircraft and annihilated it.
In a letter to his parents, his Major wrote:
“It was just bad luck, the hardest luck any of our squadron ever had!"
He is buried a little behind the lines, where other gallant observers are buried.
John Charles Miller Stewart is buried in Lapugnoy military cemetery, Bethune.