Born in Brixton in London, Turner received artistic training by correspondence from Spencer Gore while working as a stockbroker's clerk. This correspondence still exists, and has been used by subsequent artists, for example Esther Freud in her novel The Sea House.
Turner exhibited twelve works with the Camden Town Group in three exhibitions between 1911 and 1912 (see 'Works' below).
During his later life Turner went on to paint four unique scrolls including the Walberswick Scroll, a 123-foot 'Dioramic Pictorial Record of a Suffolk Village' which detailed every dwelling of the Suffolk village of Walberswick. This was followed by the Trinity Fair Scroll, a portrait of a travelling circus, which can be seen at the Swan Hotel, Southwold.
He died from pneumonia at his Streatham home on 3 January 1938.
During the early 1990s Southampton Art Gallery acquired an example of the work of John Doman Turner titled The Joy Wheel Mitcham. Every year the fun fair arrived on Mitcham Common and just a few years before the outbreak of the 1914-18 war JDT went and painted the watercolour.
John Doman Turner's works include the following, as featured at the Camden Town Group exhibitions:
In the 1930s John Doman Turner painted four huge scrolls in watercolour: