John Arthur Steel was born around 1885 in Swinton, near Mexborough. He lived with his family at 7 Walker Street, Swinton and later at 6 Dun Street, Swinton. Prior to enlisting, John, worked as labour at the glass works along with his brother, George William.
John joined the Grenadier Guards as a Private in November 1914. He served with the 5th Reserve Battalion, then transferred to the 4th Battalion in July of 1915 and went out to France in August 1915.
In April 1916, whilst serving with the 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards, he won the Military Medal for his service and support and showing great gallantry. His citation appeared in the London Gazette on the 10th October 1916.
John was repeatedly wounded during his time at the front. First in July 1916 and again in December 1916 when he was sent home to recover. He was at home for almost a year until he was sent out to the front in October 1917.
He transferred to the Guards Machine Gun Regiment and served with them until he was shot in the back in November 1918. 4 days later, on the 9 November 1918 he died of his wounds. Armistice put an end to the fighting just two days later on the 11 November.
In a letter to John’s mother, his comrade Stewart Forbes described John has having an ‘enviable record’.
John is buried in the Awoingt British Cemetery, Nord, France.
Story submitted by Ann Chester.