According to his naval record, John Flynn was born on 12 November 1882 at Togher, County Louth. Nothing is known of his family.
He joined the Royal Navy in June 1898 at HMS CALEDONIA, the Boys’ Training Ship on the Firth of Forth, and continued his training in HMS MINOTAUR at Portland. After service in several ships, he was rated Able Seaman in April 1903 and undertook Torpedoman training at HMS DEFIANCE at Devonport. From April 1906 to April 1908 he served in the pre-dreadnought battleship HMS RUSSELL.
In April 1908, he joined HMS FORTH, the Devonport submarine depot ship where he remained until September 1911, although actual service in submarines is unknown. He re-engaged to complete 22 years service in October 1911, and was sent back to his native country as a Boatman with HM Coastguard, at Bar of Lough, Duncormick, County Wexford, where he remained until the start of WW1.
On 1 August 1914 he was drafted to HMS DOLPHIN for the new submarine HMS E12, and transferred to the books of HMS MAIDSTONE on 14 October, the date of E12’s commissioning. HMS MAIDSTONE was the principal depot ship for the large Eighth Submarine Flotilla based at Harwich. In June 1915, E12 (along with E2 and E7) transferred to the Mediterranean, under the depot ship HMS ADAMANT, in support of the Gallipoli campaign. E12 (Commander K M BRUCE DSO) conducted several successful patrols in the sea of Marmara during the second half of 1915.
John Flynn’s record shows that he transferred to HMS EUROPA II, a tender to the Mudros flagship, on 1 April 1916. He is recorded as having drowned in Mudros harbour on 25 September 1916.
His casualty record gives his rank as Able Seaman (Leading Boatman CG) and his next of kin as his wife Edith, of HM Coastguard Station, Bar of Lough, County Wexford.
He is buried at East Mudros Military Cemetery.