John William Banner was born on 11 September 1880 at 49 Tyneside Terrace, Elswick, Newcastle-On-Tyne, Northumberland, the eldest of the four children of Charles Banner (1845-1918) and Margaret Ann Banner née Morrison (1856-1944). The 1881 census confirms that he was still living at this address with his parents and that his father was described as a lithographic printer.
When his brother, Charles Banner, was born on 22 June 1884 the birth was registered in the Pancras registration district. From 10 May 1886 to 22 September 1886 he attended the Camden Street School, where the school register shows the family address to have been 53 King Street, Camden. (King Street was subsequently renamed and is now Plender Street).
In the 1891 census he is recorded as a scholar, still residing at 53 King Street, Camden, with his parents and two siblings: Charles Banner (b.1884) and Ellen Elizabeth Banner (1885-1962). His father was still a lithographic printer. His youngest brother, James Morrison Banner (1895-1914) was born on 7 February 1895 and his birth was registered in the Pancras registration district. However, when this brother was baptised on 14 April 1895 in the Parish Church of St Thomas in Camden, the baptismal register showed the family address as 104 Kentish Town Road, Camden. (This brother was to die, aged 19 years, on 14 October 1914 whilst serving in the 4th Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment, in France).
The 1901 census shows him as a lithographic printer living in three rooms at 32, 34 & 36 Bidborough Street, St Pancras, with his parents and his three siblings. Both his father and brother, Charles, were also shown as lithographic printers, whilst his sister was a book binder, folder & server.
On 24 July 1904 he married Maria Emily Collier (1880-1970) at St Michael's Church, Camden Town, where the marriage register shows him as aged 23 years, a bachelor and a conductor living at 166 Arlington Road, Camden, whilst his wife was described as aged 24 years, a spinster, residing at 248 High Street, Camden, the daughter of Samuel Collier who was a printer. They had five children: Alfred John Charles Banner (1905-1965) who was born at 12 Hercules Road, Holloway, Frank Leslie Banner (1906-1986) who was born in Bayham Street, Camden Town, Louise Hellen Banner (1909-2002) who was born at 19 Playfair Street, Fulham, Margaret Jessie Banner (1912-1997) and James William Banner (1916-1963).
In the April 1911 census he described himself as an Inspector of Omnibuses at the Metropolitan Steam Omnibus Company, living at 88 Devonport Road, Shepherds Bush, with his wife and three children. When these three children were baptised together on 5 July 1911 at St James's Church, Fulham, the baptismal register show the family to be living at 565 Kings Road, Fulham. When their fourth child, Margaret, was baptised on 31 July 1912 at St James's Church, Fulham, the baptismal register shows the family address as 48 Cedar Road, Fulham. (Cedar Road was subsequently renamed and is now Cedarne Road). Their fifth child, James, birth was registered in the Islington registration district.
He enlisted at St Pancras serving as a Private in the 20th Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment, service number G/6696, and entered France on 25 July 1915. He was wounded three times but on each occasion he returned to the front. He died, aged 37 years, on 23 November 1917 and as he has no known grave he is commemorated on Panel 9, Stone D, on the Cambrai Memorial to the Missing, 1 Rue de Malet, 62147 Doignies, France.
On 17 April 1918 his widow was sent his army effects totalling £9-16s-10d and his war gratuity of £14-0s-0d was sent to her on 15 November 1919. He was posthumously awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal 1914-1918 and the Victory Medal. He is also commemorated in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website and on the Imperial War Museum's Lives of the First World War website,
Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.