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John was the only child of William Frederick and Isabel Edith Holroyde.
He attended Yardley Court School, Tonbridge before going to Dulwich College in 1911. On leaving the College at the age of 16 he joined the Kent Motor Cyclists, afterwards transferring to the London Scottish (14th Battalion LonŽdon Regiment). Early in 1915 he passed into the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and in November the same year was gazetted Lieutenant to the East Yorkshire Regiment, being attached to the Royal Flying Corps.
He went to France in March, 1917, and joined the 55th Squadron Royal Flying Corps. He was out with five other machines on a long distance reconnaissance, when they had to fight their way out and back. Just as they turned to come back his aircraft was hit by one of the hostile machines. It fell out of the formation and was seen diving steeply with smoke issuing from it. A German machine dived after it, Holroyde opened fire and shot it down. Both machines were seen to crash almost in the same field. He would have been killed instantaneously.
He was at Dulwich College with, and a neighbour of, Cecil Barnaby Cook who died on 20th August 1917.
Thank you to Dulwich College for their assistance.
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