John Faulkner was the eldest son of William and Sarah Jane Faulkner. He was born in the Cookstown area on 5th October 1896. He was the eldest of seven children, six surviving. The family lived in Coolkeeghan, Cookstown. His father was a farmer. At the outbreak of the First World War John Faulkner enlisted at Randalstown, County Antrim, and was trained at Finner Camp, Ballyshannon, County Donegal. Rifleman John Faulkner was serving with the 14th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles when he was killed in action in his first major engagement, on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on Saturday 1st July 1916.