John Corner was born on 15th August 1921 at Islington. His father, John, a native of Scotland, was civil servant and his mother, Elsie, was born at Aldershot. The family clearly moved around in connection with John’s (senior) occupation – John’s brother was born in Chelmsford in 1927.
From 1935 the family was living at 26 Hallam Grange Crescent. They had probably arrived in Sheffield sometime before as John was a pupil at King Edward VII School from age 11. John was awarded a scholarship to Sheffield University in May 1939 to study mining engineering.
John was a Lieutenant with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers based at Naples when he died on 15th September 1945 after a short illness.
The school magazine carried an obituary which suggests that he completed his degree before joining the army – he had been promoted to the most senior rank a cadet could obtain. The obituary began by outlining his achievements at school before reporting tributes by the Commanding Officer of the University Training Corps and his Colonel in Italy.
His excellent record of service to the school, in the Scouts and in many other activities, is well remembered. His many friends will not be surprised to learn of the tributes that have been paid to his abilities and character by those under whom he served in the army.
At the University of Sheffield, he was a student of mining and Cadet CSM (Company Sergeant Major) in the Training Corps.
The Commanding Officer of that unit wrote: ” He was a fine upstanding figure of a man, absolutely sound and reliable, a true gentleman. He will always live in my memory as one of the finest young fellows that ever served in the U.T.C. during the many years that I was privileged to command that unit. In his case “serve” was the correct word, and as Cadet CSM he always set a magnificent example. The world is poorer for the loss of such a man.”
His Colonel described him as “an extremely popular member of the mess, in addition to being one of my most promising young officers, and was well liked and respected both as a soldier and a friend by all personnel under his control. His death came as a great shock to everybody in the unit and we all felt a personal loss.”
Lieutenant John Edward Donald Corner is buried in the war cemetery at Naples and in commemorated on memorials at King Edward VII School, Dore and Fulwood.