It is not known when John decided to enlist as his military record has not survived. What is known is that he served with the 2/5th Battalion King’s Liverpool Regiment. His service number was 59412.
This second line battalion was formed in Liverpool in September 1914. On the 8th February 1915 they became part of the 57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division. John may have been sent to Canterbury for training, or if he joined later or was conscripted he would have trained in the Aldershot area.
In February this Division departed for France and remained in France and Flanders. It is possible that John saw action at Passchendaele.
The 2/5th Battalion disbanded on 1st February 1918, with men transferring to other Battalions, but where John served it is not known.