People of Chatterley Whitfield – Lance Sergeant John Harold Rhodes VC, DCM & Bar

John Harold Rhodes
John was born in Mellor Street, Packmoor, Staffs, on 17th May 1891, the son of an ex-soldier Ernest Rhodes. He went to school in Newchapel. After leaving school worked as a miner.
About 1910 he joined the Grenadier Guards and served for three years. He returned to the Potteries to work at Chatterley Whitfield Colliery.
On the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, John was recalled to the forces as a reservist. He won the Distinguished Conduct Medal on 17th May 1915 and three months later was awarded a bar to this medal.
He returned to England to recover from his wounds and in 1915 married Elizabeth Meir of Pittshill. There was only one child from this union who was named after his father, but sadly John did not live to see his son.
He returned to the front and on the 9th October 1917 he was awarded the Victoria Cross and the Croix De Guerre for storming an enemy pillbox and capturing nine prisoners single-handed. Later in the war, he was wounded and subsequently died of his injuries.
Memorial services were held in Newchapel parish church in 16th December 1917, in Packmoor Primitive Methodist Chapel on 30th December 1917.
A memorial plaque was unveiled at Chatterley Whitfield Mining Museum on 20th April 1984.

Research by BDGHS