Date of birth: 1893
Parents: James and Fanny Ravenhall
Address: Barrack Street
Occupation: Soldier with the Warwickshire Yeomanry
John was born in Acocks Green, Birmingham in 1893. He was one of eight children. He had one older brother James and a younger brother Alfred. He had three older sisters Fanny, Annie and Florence and two younger sisters Dorothy and Charlotte.
According to the census of 1911 John’s father James was a Police Superintendant and the family were living at the Police Station in Warwick. John aged 17 was working as a Solicitor’s Clerk. At that time, John’s brother James aged 26 was in the Royal Engineers and was serving abroad. He survived the war, in spite of the narrow escape described in this newspaper item, and died in 1951.
John’s father became Deputy Chief Constable and in 1921 was awarded the King’s Police Medal in the New Year Honour’s list. Fanny died on 7th February 1922, aged 61. James died in February 1950, aged 90. They are buried together in Warwick’s Birmingham Road cemetery. Alfred followed in his father’s footsteps and became a police officer.
The following appeared in the Warwick Advertiser on 1st January 1916:
Rank & Number: Lance Sergeant, 1842
Regiment/Service: Maxim Gun Section, 1st/1st Warwickshire Yeomanry
Brigade/Division: 1st Mounted Brigade (1st South Midland)
Date of death: Saturday, December 11, 1915
Cause of death/Battle: Killed in action at Messa Matruhi
Commemorated/Buried: Jerusalem Memorial, Israel
Awards: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Commemorated locally at: Warwick School, Westgate School, Yeomanry Memorial St Mary's Church
John Ravenhall’s medals were recently on display at a local auction room:
John is commemorated at St Mary’s Church where this plaque honours the men of the Warwickshire Yeomanry cavalry regiment:
- Photo of medals courtesy of Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum Trustee and Archivist
- Warwick Advertiser excerpt courtesy of Warwickshire County Record Office
- Unlocking Warwick Research Group