In 1911, John Devonish, is shown on the Census as being in the Military, aged 26 years (he was 31 years old), as a Private, Regimental No. 7991, serving with the 2nd Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment in India. The Regiment was sent to India in 1905 and arrived home in the UK in December 1914. At some point John was transferred to the 8th Battalion, which had recently formed at Beverley on 22 September 1914 as part of K3 and came under orders of 62nd Brigade, 21st Division. On the 9th September 1915 the Brigade landed at Boulogne.