6 June 1897 – 27 October 1918:-
Jack was born in Thornley, County Durham. He worked as an apprentice electrician at Thornley Colliery. Upon the outbreak of the war, he joined the Army as a sapper in the Royal Engineers Durham Territorials, 1st Durham Field Company. He did so well that he was recommended for a commission, returning home for officer training on 22 February 1917. In June he was gazetted to the Northumberland Fusiliers and returned to France at the end of July, eventually joining the 11th Battalion. He was mentioned in despatches for his part in fierce fighting in various campaigns.
On 15th June 1918 south west of Asiago, Italy, Second Lieutenant Youll was commanding a patrol which came under heavy enemy fire. Sending his men back to safety he remained to watch the situation and then, unable to rejoin his company, he reported to a neighbouring unit where he took command of a party of men from different units, holding his position against enemy attack until a machine-gun opened fire behind him. He rushed and captured the gun, killing most of the team and opened fire, inflicting heavy casualties. He then carried out three separate counterattacks, driving the enemy back each time.
Tragically, just over a month later, on 27 October 1918, John was killed during an attack across the River Piave.
He was first buried at Lonadina BC Spresiano and, later, in June 1919, reburied at Giavera British Cemetery. His family were notified of his death on 10 November 1918, the day before the Armistice was signed.
His VC is held at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum London.