Seeley, John

Poppy on a wooden cross

Age: 36
Date of birth: 1878 (Q4)

Parents: John and Mary Seeley
Wife: Single
Address: 1A Picketts Court, Swan Street

Occupation: General labourer

John was baptised on 14th November 1878 at All Saints, Emscote, Warwick. At the time his parents, John and Mary Seeley, were living at 21 Emscote Place and his father was a bricklayer.

Three years before John’s birth a brother (also named John – full name John Richard Seeley) was baptised on 1st August 1875 at St Marys, Warwick but died a year later.  Various census records show that John and Mary’s marriage had borne 9 children of whom only 3 survived – John, an older sister, Martha and a younger sister, Lucy.

In 1881 John (2) and Martha (10) were the only children in the household at 2 Dark Lane. In the 1891 and 1901 censuses only Lucy (b.1882) was living with her parents.

Both sisters married young and John had several nieces and nephews.

John’s mother Mary died in 1907 and in 1911 John was living with his widower father. Both were working for a builder, John Snr as a bricklayer, John Jnr as a general labourer.

John seems to have been a combative character. He appeared before the magistrates in June 1903 and in September 1905 for being drunk and disorderly, in the latter case with his sister Lucy.

Warwick Advertiser 13th June 1903

Warwick Advertiser September 23rd 1905
DRUNK AND DISORDERLY – John Seeley, Labourer, 12 Humphriss St, and his married sister, Lucy Battle, living at the same address, were charged with being drunk and disorderly in Market Street the previous night. – They pleaded guilty. – P.C. Young said his attention was called to the disturbance which the prisoners were making. He found that they were fighting with a soldier, whose face was badly scratched. – Superintendent Ravenhall said the woman was so very drunk that she did not know what she was doing. – Each prisoner was fined 10s including costs.

Military Service

Rank & Number: Private, 1727
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Brigade/Division: 22nd Brigade, 7th Division
Date of death: Saturday, January 02, 1915
Cause of death/Battle: Killed in action
Commemorated/Buried: Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium
Awards: 1914 Star and Clasp, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Commemorated locally at:



John’s absence from his parents’ house in 1891 may have been due to being in the army. This newspaper article from the Warwick Advertiser 24th June 1899, describes how he was arrested – apparently in error – as a deserter from the Liverpool Regiment in 1899. (John’s mother was from Birkenhead, near Liverpool).




  • Unlocking Warwick Research Group
  • Warwick Advertiser excerpts courtesy of Warwickshire County Record Office

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