John Brian Blackhurst

Born in February 1920 in Sheffield, John Blackhurst was the second and youngest child of John and Marion Blackhurst.

The eldest child, Derrick Lawton Blackhurst, was four years older than his brother. Having completed his school certificate in 1931, he received a scholarship from the ‘Sheffield Lancasterian Scholarship Committee’ that may have enabled him to stay on at school. By 1939, Derrick was working as a clerk for the London County Council at its emergency headquarters at Egham.

John Brian completed his School Certificate in 1935 at Nether Edge Secondary School (this transferred to Millhouses to become Abbeydale Grange in 1957). He may have joined the RAF soon after he left school.

By 1942 he was serving in the RAF with the rank of Leading Aircraftman. He was based in Java in the East Indies and was taken prisoner in 8th March when the Japanese invaded the Island. He survived for over two years but eventually died on12 September 1944 of cardial (sic) beriberi which damages heart and blood vessels.

Leading Aircraftman John Brian Blackhurst is buried in the war cemetery at Ambon on the Island of Seram which is part of Indonesia. Ambon is about 500Km north of Darwin, Australia. Each grave has a low-level marker (unlike the GWCG headstone found in European cemeteries) Blackhurst’s grave has the dedication:

Ever dear memories. father, mother, brother, family and many friends

Ambon Cemetery