John Lynn VC
Bury Parish Church
This is the cross of Private John Lynn V.C. D.C.M. It was located on the wall at the rear of the church on the left hand side as you enter. However currently it has been removed due to maintenance taking place in the church and not yet re-installed. There is a visible outline on the wall where the cross was positioned.
Details on cross:
In loving memory of
1272 PTE J. Lynn. V.C D.C.M
2nd Lancashire Fusiliers
Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): Black text and scrolls hand painted on white wood.
Cross dimensions (millimetres please)
Shaft Height: Unable to measure.
Cross beam width: As above.
Width of wood: As above.
Thickness or depth: As above.
Mounting to wall: n/a
Evidence of use in field (earth marking, cracking, staining, shrinkage): From the photograph, it looks like the cross has been sawn off at the bottom, and there is visible evidence of use in the ground.
Surface insertion depth (into ground if apparent): Unable to measure.
Finish (varnish, paint, oiled, unfinished etc): Unable to ascertain.
Condition (cracked, paint peeling, woodwork, damage etc): The cross looks to be in good condition, but visible evidence of cracking/discolouring at the bottom where it has been inserted into the ground.
Notes and observations:
There is also a loose brass plaque on a sill further down the church on the left hand side which was originally underneath the cross. It reads ‘XX The Lancashire Fusiliers. This cross stood in Vlamertinghe cemetery over the grave of No.1272 Private John Lynn V.C. D.C.M. who died of wounds received through conduct for which he was awarded the V.C’. An extract from the London Gazette dated 29th June 1915 also records the following – ‘For the most conspicuous bravery hear Ypres on 2th May 1915. When the Germans were advancing behind their wave of asphyxiating gas, Pte. Lynn, although almost overcome by the deadly fumes, handled his machine gun with very great effect against the enemy, and when he could not see them he moved his gun higher up on the parapet, which enabled him to bring even more effective fire to bear, and eventually checked any further advance. The great courage displayed by this soldier had a fine effect on this comrades in the very trying circumstances. He died from the effects of gas poisoning’. John Lynn is buried at Grootebeek British Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. He was 27 years old.
Bury Parish Church is the garrison church of the Lancashire Fusiliers, and is located a few hundred yards away from the dedicated Fusilier museum on Moss Street. The Fusilier museum also currently has another grave marker on display as part of their Somme exhibition for 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Lines 2nd Salford Pals. Bury Church also has a number of colours hung on display, memorial tables, record books and other artefacts. There is also a large cross of sacrifice and memorial outside the church dedicated to the fallen of both world wars. The church is open to visitors 9.30am to 4.40pm Monday to Saturday (but closed Tuesday). Bury is also the birthplace of Robert Peel and a statue dedicated to him stands outside the church.
Survey and Photographs courtesy of Beverley Goodwin and Margaret Draycott
Photo of cross in situ courtesy of Margaret Hutchinson, Bury Parish Church.
Date of survey: 2nd November 2016.