Corporal 3/3105 John Tippins

John was born at Winsford , Somerset on 10 March 1887 to schoolteachers,  Luke and Rose Tippins

The family then moved to Mistley where father and son developed a reputation for fine shots and rifle makers with Colchester Rifle Club.

John Tippins won many prizes in competition for the rifle club and for the Territorial Army Battalions of the 5th Essex and the 8th Essex.

He reached the final stages of the prestigious Kings Prize at Bisley in 1908, 1909.1910.1911 and 1913. He won the Association Cup in 1910, The Wimbledon Cup in 1910, The Aggregate Service Rifle Championship in 1911 and took first place in the second stage of the Albert Competition in 1911.

In 1910 in a competition at Bisley he became the first man to score over 100 in each of the four rounds at Bisley.

He was an enthusiastic soldier having served with the Essex Territorial Army since he was 17 years old.

His first post was as a Private with the 2nd VB moving the 5th Essex TA as a Machine Gun Sergeant and then on to the 8th Essex as a Motorcycle Sergeant.

His skill led him to preform trick shots for entertainment. In 1912 at a social event organised by the 5th Essex he shot the ash from a lighted cigar in the mouth of a fellow soldier, extinguished 3 candles in quick succession and cut a string with a shot to unveil a banner reading 5th Essex - Second to None.

When the war broke out he was so enthusiastic to join in the fighting that on 18 September 1914 he transferred from the 5th Essex to the 2nd Essex who were going to the front line even though his rank was reduced from Sergeant to Corporal.

He was able to turn his skill to the advantage of the British Army and was credited with killing 36 German soldiers by his deadly aim and rapid fire as a sniper with his own rifle

Acting Sergeant John Tippins was killed on 26 November 1914 near Armentieres and is buried at Calvaire Cemetery near to Ypres.

Information published at the time suggested that he was shot while carrying water for a maxim gun during daylight which was a dangerous activity given the number of German snipers.

After his death, Captain Binstead said " He had already gained for himself a reputation as a daring sniper and a splendid shot which had spread far beyond his own Regiment, and which, had he not been shot, would I feel sure have obtained for him a coveted distinction".