Johnny was the youngest of the Atkinson boys, and by all accounts, 'a bit wild'! Like his brother James, he ran away to sea as soon as he could, and signed on as an assistant cook on a Merchant Vessel. He soon decided that the seafaring life was not for him, and after his discharge from the Army at the end of WW1, he began training as an accountant and bookkeeper. He worked for many years as head bookkeeper for Rolls Royce in Coventry.
He had married Florence Lydall, in Hartlepool, on 28 May 1917.
He and his wife "Floss" had two sons, and it was to their home that James and Marion Atkinson sent their only
son Eric, for safety, during WW2. The Northeast Coast was
enduring nightly air-raids, and they believed that a city like
Coventry, far from the vulnerable coast, would provide a safe haven. Hermann Goering and his Luftwaffe pilots had other ideas, and a few days after "Rickie" arrived in Coventry, on the evening of November 14 1940, the medieval city was obliterated when 500 German bombers dropped 500 tons of explosives and nearly 900 incendiary bombs in ten hours of unrelenting bombardment. John brought his nephew straight home, to the great relief of his parents.
John died in Chevy Chase, in Coventry, on 3 September 1964, just before his seventieth birthday.