Alexandra,  Princess   of   Wales's   Own


Capt John Vivian Nancarrow. Memorial Service and Tablet.

Capt John Vivian Nancarrow.

The photograph of Captain Nancarrow and the Memorial Service page below have been kindly contributed by his Great Niece, Hilda McCoy of the USA.

Capt John Vivian Nancarrow was killed in action, aged 29, on the 24th of April 1915 near Fortuin, Ypres. He was the eldest son of George Bennett Nancarrow and Charlotte Alice Nancarrow, of "Ravenscroft," Grove Hill, Middlesbrough.
He was born in Middlesbrough, N Yorks on the 6th June 1885 and educated at Leys School and Kings College, Cambridge [M.A. and LL.B.]. Admitted a Solicitor in 1909 and became Secretary to Middlesbrough Chamber of Commerce. At the 1911 census he was boarding at 19 Basset St, Camborne, Cornwall.
He joined the 1st Vol Bn of the Durham Light Infantry in 1907 and was later attached to the Northumberland Fusiliers at Newcastle and then to the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry before settling in Middlesbrough, where he became a Lieut in the 4th Yorks. He took a very active part in the Boy Scouts movement in connection with the settlement in Newport Rd, Middlesbrough. After a school of instruction he was promoted to Captain in the latter part of 1913.
During the day of the 24th April in the attack at Fortuin he was seen cheering on his men and in the advance he stopped to bind up the wound of a Private who had fallen and then hurried forward. After making several rushes at the head of his men towards the enemy's position, he was shot and died almost instantaneously.
His Colonel wrote of him that "he behaved like a hero".
He was engaged to be married to Miss Elizabeth Ethel "Elsie" Harkess of Stokesley, N Yorks.
[She died aged 73 on the 13th June 1965 on the Isle of Wight. Her father was Hedley Harkess, Chairman of Harkess Shipbuilders of Middlesbrough, of which town he was Lord Mayor in 1907. The family lived at Levenside, Stokesley. Her brother, William Ridley Harkess, served with the 5th Bn Yorkshire Regiment from 1914 till after the end of hostilities attaining the rank of Captain in 1921.

The Memorial Tablet below has been photographed and kindly contributed along with portrait and local newspaper cuttings, dated 16th January 1916 and 11th May 1916, by Ray Wilkins of Middlesbrough.
He adds the information that Captain Nancarrow is commemorated on no less than eight memorials:-
Ypers (Menin Gate) Memorial France (panel 33).
Middlesbrough War Memorial.
St Barnabas Church Roll Of Honour (Middlesbrough).
Leys School and Kings College Cambridge Memorial.
Danby/ Castleton War Memorial.
Church of St Hilda, Danby Dale Memorial.
Middlesbrough High School Roll of Honour Plaque.
The Settlement Centre St Pauls Road/Union Street Middlesbrough (Plaque).
Nancarrow is a Cornish locational surname Olde English and Cornish-Breton "nans carow", meaning the valley of the deer.


Captain J. V. NANCARROW of Ravenscroft, Grove Hill, Middlesbrough. [killed in action] 1,629.

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