John Weeks

John Weeks
Second Lieutenant
11th Battalion  Devon Regiment attached to Hampshire Regiment

 Division 8

Weeks John photo Weeks J Royal Edward ship

John Weeks home address was 39, Northumberland Avenue, Reading.  He joined the army in Exeter  in September 1914 and was quickly awarded a commission. Census evidence suggests that he was a law clerk in 1911 and boarding with a family in Exmouth. His father was William Weeks; his name is on John Weeks attestation papers.

 John Weeks was 26 years of age when he was lost at sea in the “Royal Edward” disaster, 13th August 1915.  The transport ship was carrying 1,380 officers and troops and a ship’s crew of 220 officers and men, when it was sunk by a German submarine in the Ægean Sea with great loss of life.  Only 600 were saved.  The disaster was particularly tragic, because so many lives were lost.  The men had spent a long time in training.  In the report the men were described as “burning to meet the foe”.  The ship’s destination was  the Gallipoli peninsula.  Details outlining the history of the ship and how it was sunk can be found on Wikipedia.

 John Weeks was buried in Syra New British Cemetery, Greece.  The grave location II.A.5.  The cemetery is on an island in the Cyclades, about 75 miles south-east of Athens.  The cemetery was made in 1921, to take the scattered British War graves from the islands of the Cyclades.  In total there are 111 War Graves registered. 

The commemoration on the grave in the cemetery has been recorded by the Berkshire Family History Society but the author has mislaid the details of the headstone inscription.