John Edward PASK was born on 20 May 1873 in Manthorpe, Lincolnshire. He was the youngest son of John and Ann PASK née BELL.
His father died on 30 April 1880 in Manthorpe, at the age of 62, leaving his mother with their two sons George Thomas PASK (1863-1919), and John Edward PASK, to bring up.
In the census of 3 April 1881 in Bottom Road, Manthorpe, Lincolnshire, John was listed as aged 7 born in Manthorpe, living with his mother Ann, and his brother George, an unemployed Miller aged 18. Shortly afterwards, on 16 January 1882, George enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery.
In the census of 5 April 1891 in Manthorpe, Lincolnshire, John was listed as a General Labourer, aged 17 born in Manthorpe, the son of Ann PASK. His mother, Ann, died in 1892. He enlisted in the Army (Service No. 7080) and served for 19 years, attaining the rank Sergeant in the Royal Garrison Artillery 28th Company. His Attestation papers show:
He enlisted in Sheffield on 19 October 1893 into the Coldstream Guards. He was a Labourer, 20 years and 5 months old, born in Manthorpe near Grantham, height 5 feet 10¼, weight 156 lbs of fresh complexion with brown eyes and hair. He originally enlisted for 3 years in Army Service, with 9 years’ Reserve Services. His Terms of Service were altered to 7 years on his transfer to the Royal Artillery 9th Company on 25 September 1894. He extended his service to complete 12 years with the Colors on 25 October 1900, and again on 9 October 1905 to 21 years.
He became a Corporal on 4 December 1905, and was promoted to Sergeant provisionally on 1 March 1907, and posted as a Sergeant on 30 November 1910. He was discharged in Plymouth after 18 years + 362 days on 14 October 1912.
He served in India for 4 years from 11 October 1894 to 17 December 1898, and was invalided home on 18 December 1898. After a period of home service, he served in Hong Kong from 30 September 1909 until 26 August 1912, when he returned from Hong Kong, accompanying his children John, Eileen, and Charles to their school.
His character was exemplary, with no offences during the whole of his service. He left at his own request [probably due to compassionate reasons as his wife had recently died.]
His military record also shows his marriage to his wife Elizabeth Ann MAGEE, and the births, and baptisms of their children John, Eileen, Charles, and George. It also shows information on the death of Elizabeth, and George, and his own death on 10 June 1912 in Portland, Dorset.
John married Elizabeth Ann MAGEE on 1 December 1905 in Maker, Cornwall. During their early married life they travelled with the Army, and lived in Northern Ireland, and for four years in Hong Kong. His wife, Elizabeth, died in childbirth on 9 June 1912 in Hong Kong. He returned from Hong Kong on 10 July 1912 sailing on the SS Simla with his children John, Eileen, and Charles, arriving in Plymouth on 29 August 1912. He was discharged from the Army in Plymouth on 14 October 1912.
On leaving the Army he became a Coal Miner in one of Tibshelf’s collieries. John married Lizzie L. TOMPKINS in 1914. They lived together with his children at Elm Tree Terrace, Tibshelf, Derbyshire. Their youngest son Philip Gordon Lynn PASK was born in 1915.
In accordance with army rules, he remained on ‘reserve’, i.e. he could be recalled to the colours if an emergency warranted it. Therefore, at the outbreak of World War I, John was recalled on August 4 1914. He served initially in the Royal Field Artillery, and then joined his old Regiment 28 Coy RGA in July 1915, which was based at Weymouth on Southern Coast Defences. John died of natural causes on 17 May 1916 in Portland, Dorset, at the age of 42. At the time he was stationed in Portland.
John’s obituary was recorded in The Derbyshire Times possibly Saturday 20 May 1916. The obituary reads:
“Tibshelf has lost by death a very amiable and experienced soldier who, during his comparatively short sojourn in the parish, made many friends by his urbanity and soldierly bearing. We refer to Sergeant J E Pask of the RGA, the announcement of whose death on Tuesday came like a thunderbolt on the grief stricken widow and four young children, who reside in Elm Tree Terrace, Tibshelf. The fateful message was flashed across the wires from Portland merely intimating his death without any explanation of the circumstances. Presumably he died of natural causes. It was all inexplicable as Mrs. Pask had heard from the deceased as recently as last Saturday without the least indication of any illness.
The deceased, who was of magnificent physique, would have been 43 years old if he had lived until last Thursday, and he was expected home this weekend. He was last in Tibshelf on 10th March. He was an old soldier, having served 19 years in the RGA. For about four years he had been in China, evidence of which is seen in his home of a number of handsome Oriental vases and other ornaments. Having concluded his army service he returned to civil life in Lincolnshire and then removed to Newark. It was through the kindly offices of Col. R P Leach who, until he returned to the Army, resided as Nethermoor, Tibshelf, that Sergeant Pask came to Tibshelf two years ago last month and was found work at Tibshelf collieries, while he undertook the duties of drill-Sergeant to the local Church Lad’s Brigade, in which capacity he rendered very useful service and secured the esteem of those who became associated with him.
When war broke out, the spirit of the old soldier asserted itself and he enlisted in September 1914 in the Royal Field Artillery, while last July he went into his old Regiment, the RGA. He was a fine type of soldier, and one who commanded respect in Tibshelf. The loss for the young widow and her family is great.”
John was buried in St. John the Baptist Churchyard, Tibshelf, Derbyshire.
His full narrative, together with sources and citations is available on http://www.pask.org.uk/Pask-p/p31.htm#i774.