1. Memorial:Tyne Cot MemorialPanel 148 to 150.
2. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.132
3. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour33C GQS

Awards & Titles:


Early Life :

John Benjamin Knowlton Preedy was born in the Hampstead.

He was the son of John Knowlton Preedy, a hat maker, and Emily Elizabeth Preedy of Highgate. In 1891, the family boarded for a time with a family friend at Chequers Lane in Walton on the Hill.

Family :

He married Florence Annie Nightingale in Pancras on 31st March 1917. They had a son together, John Robert Preedy.

As the orphaned son of a dead officer JRB Preedy went to Wellington College as a Foundationer (paying no fees) under the terms of the Foundation of Wellington College.

Education & Career :

He attended Dulwich College from 1895-1900 and by 1901, aged 17, he was attending boarding school in Cowley, Oxfordshire.

He was at Dulwich College for five and a half years, starting in the summer of 1895. At the end of 1900 he left, whilst a member of the Classical Remove

Joining the University of London, Preedy took his matriculation exam in June 1903, and registered at King’s College in October 1903.

He studied for Honours in Classics, in the Faculty of Arts. He passed his B.A. in 1906, gaining a Third Class Honours in Classics.

He left King’s College after gaining his degree, but returned to his studies at M.A. level and registered at a different college, University College, in January 1907. His M.A. was in Classical Archaeology. The title of his thesis was “The Chariot Group of the Mausoleum”. This title was accepted (although it was late) on Jan 25th, 1909 and was approved a week later on February 1st. He passed his M.A., and left University College in 1909. In 1910, his thesis was published in The Journal of Hellenic Studies, one of the foremost periodicals in the Classical scholarship field.

In 1911, aged 27, Preedy was boarding with the Smith family, a wife and daughter living in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. He was working as an Assistant Schoolmaster there, at the County Grammar School of King Edward VII. Here, Preedy organised sports games and the school's first Scout troop.

Because of his time here, Preedy was later honoured as one of the former masters of the school who gave their lives in the Great War, and a plaque bearing his name was installed in the main reception of the school.

Later in 1911, he returned to London and was employed by the University of London as a Secretary in the Extension Department.

The Preedy Memorial Library is a trust fund established in his memory.

In July 1922, Mrs. Emily Preedy provided a loan to the University of London, the annual interest of which was to be applied to the purchase of some works on archaeology and art to be kept in the University Library, in memory of her son. He was particularly interested in those subjects and the collection also includes some volumes from his own library, presented by Mrs. Preedy in 1924.

His name appears on the memorial at Senate House, in Leicestershire where he had been a schoolmaster, and on the Horsforth Cenotaph in Yorkshire.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: 2/2 London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 

3/2nd Battalion Formed at Epsom in December 1914. By April 1915, in 3/1st London Brigade at Tadworth. May 1915 : moved to Bury St Edmunds and transferred to 173rd Brigade in 58th (2/1st London) Division. June 1916 : became 2/2nd Bn, when original was disbanded. Moved to Ipswich in June and Sutton Veny in July. 22 January 1917 : landed at Le Havre.

Action : The Battles of Ypres 1917 (Third Ypres, or Passchendaele) 

31 July - 10 November 1917. By the summer of 1917 the British Army was able for the first time to fight on its chosen ground on its terms. Having secured the southern ridges of Ypres at Messines in June, the main attack started on 31st July 1917 accompanied by what seemed like incessant heavy rain, which coupled with the artillery barrages conspired to turn much of the battlefield into a bog. Initial failure prompted changes in the high command and a strategy evolved to take the ring of ridges running across the Ypres salient in a series of 'bite and hold' operations, finally culminating in the capture of the most easterly ridge on which sat the infamous village of Passchendaele. The Official History carries the footnote ?The clerk power to investigate the exact losses was not available? but estimates of British casualties range from the official figure of 244,000 to almost 400,000. Within five months the Germans pushed the British back to the starting line, which was where they had been since May 1915.

Preedy joined the University's Officer Training Corps on 1st November 1914.

The School of Instruction for Officers was formed for 100 officers in 1915, and held courses at various London locations throughout the year. Preedy assisted at the school and to the end of 1915, eight monthly courses were held and more than 900 officers passed through the school.

Preedy left London in 1917, serving as a Lieutenant in the London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), 2nd Battalion. His unit was involved in fighting on many fronts, including The Battle of the Scarpe, the Battle of Langemarck, and The Battle of Broodsiende, fought around the Ypres Salient. In late 1917, the small town of Poelcappelle formed part of the Third Battle of Ypres.

Detail :

He was killed in action by the bursting of a shell in France during an advance at Poelcapelle on 26th October, 1917

He was awarded a Victory Medal and a British War Medal. The application for these medals was made in 1921, by the Nightingale family. He is buried at the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : University of London No. 2033 E.C.London

8th January 1914
12th March 1914
12th November 1914

Source :

The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2020-04-13 06:41:47