John was born on 15th January 1890 and he started as part of the Ilford County High School’s first cohort on 8th July 1901. Prior to this, he had been a pupil at Seven King’s Grammar School. When the Cleveland School War Memorial was revealed from behind the wooden panelling in the main school hall in 2011, his name was included, suggesting that this had been his elementary school.
Unusually, no father’s name is recorded on the school register. However, the family address is given as 85 St. Mary Road, Ilford. From 1901 census records, it is possible to trace his parents as John and Susan Silcock. His father was a builder in 1891, but unfortunately died on 20th January 1911. John had five brothers (Edward, Thomas, Henry, Bertie and George) and a sister (Sarah)- all born in Ilford. Sarah died in 1895.
John served in the 1st/4th Battalion of the Essex Regiment (service number 200751) and died in Gaza, Palestine on 3rd November 1917. Sadly, his brother, Henry had also died two years earlier whilst serving in the Dardenelles. John was buried in the Gaza War Cemetery (Grave XIX. C. 4).
Research by Andrew Emeny, History Teacher at ICHS
ICHS school records and magazines
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Ilford County High School started life as the Park Higher Grade School in 1901 in Balfour Road, Ilford. It was renamed Ilford County High School (or initially County High School, Ilford) in the years after the school’s management was transferred from Ilford School Board to Essex Education Committee in 1904.