Born on 14th January 1889 at Marple Cheshire, son of John Robert (Congregational Minister) and Jessie Legge. 1891: With his family at 2 St John’s Terrace, High Road, Buckhurst Hill, where his father was the Congregational Church Minister. 1901: A Scholar (attended Buckhurst Hill Council School and Chigwell School) with his family at Queens Road Buckhurst Hill. He went on to matriculate at the University of London in 1907. By 1911 his parents and two sisters had moved to a new church, and were living at 22 Abercrombie Street, Chesterfield. John, now a Clerk with Phoenix Insurance, had remained behind, living as a boarder with Ellen Needham and family at “The Limes” Epping New Road, Buckhurst Hill. This is the address noted in his Probate.
He enlisted in London on 26th August 1914, and after training joined the Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli in July 1915. On 7/8 August the Battalion moved forward to Hill 50, and attacked Ismail Oglu Tepe on 9th August. This left 8 Officers and 150 men killed or missing, with a number of the remaining 300 suffering wounds of some sort. John Legge is said to have been buried where he fell, but as he was not subsequently recovered, his name appears on the Helles Memorial.
His father was told that “on service he was absolutely invaluable in encouraging men by his example. He was one of the most respected and popular NCOs of the Battalion. He was specially commended for good work about four days after we landed. A splendid example of the good done in a quiet way, by a man of his position in the Ranks.”
He is also remembered on the Roll of Honour at Buckhurst Hill United Reformed Church (St James).
Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian