John Henry was the youngest of five siblings, born 2 March 1892 in Tollerton, to Elizabeth Ann Headley and Charles Bainbridge, a platelayer for North Eastern Railways. John Henry was named after his great grandfather John Bainbridge and grandfather Henry Bainbridge.
Unlike his elder siblings in domestic service, John Henry, took an apprenticeship with a clothing and outfitting retailer in York, living with his elder sister’s family, Elizabeth, in Brownlow Street in The Groves neighbourhood.
The 21 year old bachelor, John Henry Bainbridge, married 24 year old spinster, Adelaide Edgar, at St Maurice Parish Church in York, 9 April 1913.
The newly weds settled in the village of Newton on Ouse, 9 miles northwest of York, where John Henry opened a grocery shop on Moor Lane, the main street entering the village, opposite the school.