John William Common, always known as Jack, was born on 15 August 1903 at 44 Third Avenue, Heaton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. His parents were Isabella Johnson, born in Newcastle, and John Common, born in High Buston near Alnwick. The Commons had been farmers and millwrights in rural Northumberland since the middle of the eighteenth century, but Jack Common's father left to work as a locomotive fireman at the Shields Road railway works in Heaton. He was ambitious and hoped for a better life for himself and the family he might have.
Jack Common was the second of four children, the others all girls. His older sister died as a child. Common attended the local Chillingham Road School from 1908 to 1917. His family encouraged his interest in literature and writing, and when he left school at 14 it was
Citation: Fenwick, Gillian. "Jack Common". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 February 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12571, accessed 09 December 2023.]