King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Larkins, John Colin

Lieutenant ▪ 3rd Bham Pals, 16th Royal Warwickshire Reg

John Colin Larkins, born on 22nd September 1894, was admitted to King Edward’s School in September 1907. His father, Charles, was a textiles merchant, and the family, including his mother, Emily, his brother, Dennis, and his six sisters, lived at Mayfield House, Penn’s Lane, Erdington.

At School, John was not a particularly academic boy, but he was an exemplary gymnast, winning the School competitions easily in 1908 and 1910. After School, he was employed in the family firm, SC Larkins and Sons of Livery Street, Birmingham, which manufactured drapes and millinery. He was also a prominent member of Walmley Golf Club, winning the Pwllhei Cup in 1913.

In September 1914, John enlisted in the 3rd Birmingham Pals Battalion (16th Royal Warwickshire Regiment). In October, he gained a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the 15th Battalion and on 23rd November 1915, was promoted to Lieutenant. On 4th June 1916, aged twenty-two, he was sheltering in a dugout in Arras when it was hit by an 11 inch armour-piercing shell, probably fired by a rail-mounted naval gun. John and six others, including the officer in command, Captain Tatlow, were killed. Colonel Colin Harding personally visited John’s parents, saying that the much-lamented Lieutenant was one of his best officers and friends, and was extremely popular in the regiment. John is buried in Faubourg D’Amiens Cemetery, Arras, and is commemorated on the King Edward’s Square Memorial, Sutton Coldfield.