John Venning was born in Pitminster, near Taunton, Somerset, c.1856. He enlisted into the 1/13th Regiment at Taunton on 14th April
1875, aged 19 years. With the regiment he served in South Africa, 1876-79, seeing service in the Sekhukhune Campaign 1878 and the
Zulu War 1879. Venning died of disease at Durban, Natal, on 23rd August 1879.