Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own)
Place of birth:
Hornsey - London
Date of death:
Cause of death:
Killed in action
Grave or panel reference:
Panel 113 to 115
Name of father:
Name of siblings:
Name(s) of children:
John William, Leonard Frank
Date of birth:
Place of enlistment:
Mill Hill - London
France and Flanders
Age at death:
Cemetery or memorial:
Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium
St Mellitus Church
Name of mother:
Mary Elizabeth Pink (née Hall)
Name of spouse:
Edith Jane Lucy Pink (née Clarke)
1891: 17 Perth Road, Stroud Green (with parents)
1901: 19 Victoria Road, Stroud Green (with parents)
1911: 4 Cornwall Road, Stroud Green (with wife)
John Henry Pink was born in 1883 and his family lived in Perth Road, Stroud Green, next to the Sir Walter Scott pub that is now the Faltering Fullback. He was the middle child of John Pink, a toy drum maker, and Mary Elizabeth Pink (née Hall), and had an older sister, Flora, and a younger brother, Horace.
All three children were connected with the First World War. Flora married Stanley Page Edwards, who worked as a stockbroker’s clerk at the Stock Exchange before serving on HMS President, a stone frigate (naval establishment on land) that served as an accounting base for the Royal Naval Reserve. Horace, who had worked as an estate agent’s clerk when the family moved to nearby Victoria Road, enlisted with the Army Service Corps and joined the Suffolk Regiment before returning safely home.
John had become a solicitor’s clerk by the age of 18 and in 1908 he married Edith Jane Lucy Clarke. The couple lived in Cornwall Road, Stroud Green, a few minutes’ walk from John’s parents in Florence Road, and had two sons, John William, born in October 1909, and Leonard Frank, who arrived in May 1914.
John enlisted with the 2nd Battalion, Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) and served on the Western Front. He and Horace both appear on the Roll of Honour the New Court Congregational Church manual that was published each year, but in the 1919 volume John is marked as ‘reported missing’.
In fact by that time, more than a year had passed since John had last been seen. The 2nd Battalion had been engaged in the Battle of Langemarck, part of the Third Battle of Ypres, from 16-18 August 1917, and the UK Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects gives the first day of the battle as John’s last. The date on his entry carries the words that were an epitaph for so many of the fallen: ‘on or since, death presumed.’
John Henry Pink was 34 when he died. He is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium, as well as at Islington Cemetery on the headstone of his mother and father’s grave. His parents remained members of New Court Congregational Church after his death.
A few years after the First World War, Edith took her sons to Australia and they settled in New South Wales. According to a memoir written by Stanley Edwards’ daughter Margery, Edith did not want to be dependent on the Pink family. In the Second World War, John William served as a Leading Aircraftman the Royal Australian Air Force and Leonard as a Sergeant with the Army Ordnance Depot.