Date of birth: 1889 (Q2)
Parents: Joseph and Frances Smith
Address: Coventry Road
Occupation: Articled Clerk - to an Accountant in London
Francis was baptised at St Mary’s, Warwick on 7th July 1889 and the baptism register shows his parents address as 22 Bowling Green Street, Warwick and his father Joseph was a Labourer.
According to the 1891 census, Francis must have been the first child of Frances’s second marriage because the household at 22 Bowling Green Street consisted of Joseph and Frances, step-daughters Edith, Winifred and Marion Gibbs, stepson Edgar Gibbs and son Francis. Edgar (13) was working as an errand boy, Edith (15) is recorded as of no occupation and Winifred and Marion were at school.
By the 1901 census the family had moved to 38 Coventry Road, Warwick and another son, Herbert, had been born. Joseph was employed as a builder’s carter and Frances as a dressmaker (at home) as were Winifred and Marion. Edgar was working as a groom (domestic). Edith was no longer part of the household.
Francis was a keen sportsman but an exceptional scholar. He was also a prefect at Warwick School 1907-1908:
By 1911, still at 38 Coventry Road, the household consisted of Joseph and Frances, Marion, Francis and Herbert (and a visitor on census night, Frederick Smith). Frances (21) is recorded as a student and Herbert (17) as a scholar.
This item from the Warwick Advertiser tells more about his life and achievements. It mentions his academic prowess, which explains how he was able to attend Warwick School, when his father was earning a labourer’s wage.
Warwick Advertiser 30th November 1918
Francis is buried in Warwick Cemetery
Rank & Number: Captain, 288708
Regiment/Service: 1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment
Date of death: Monday, November 18, 1918
Cause of death/Battle: Died of pneumonia in the Central Military Hospital at Eastbourne
Commemorated/Buried: Warwick Cemetery - CWGC section - 26A C 13
Awards: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Commemorated locally at: St Nicholas Church, Warwick School
- Unlocking Warwick Research Group
- Gervald Frykman – Warwick School Archivist
- Warwick Advertiser excerpts courtesy of Warwickshire County Record Office