Smith, John Basil

Age: 23
Date of birth: 30th March 1884

Parents: Albert Edward and Mabel Lucie Smith
Address: The Quarry, Cliffe Hill, Warwick

Occupation: Clerk at Budbrooke Barracks

John was born in Kenilworth in 1884

At the time of the 1901 census his family were living on Station Road in Lapworth. The household consisted of parents Albert and Mabel, John (7) and Elsie (4) and two servants, a cook and a nurse. Albert had a metal refinery business.

By the time of the 1911 census the family had moved to Warwick and were living at The Quarry, Cliffe Hill. John now had a second sister, Joan, aged 10. The two girls were at school and John was working as an apprentice solder maker in his father’s business. The domestic staff consisted of a housemaid and a cook.

Warwick Advertiser 1st September 1917

The 1939 register shows Albert, Mabel and Elsie still living at The Quarry (off Coventry Road, Warwick)

Military Service

Rank & Number: Second Lieutenant, 52897
Regiment/Service: A Company, 14th (Service) Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Brigade/Division: 13th Brigade, 5th Division
Date of death: Sunday, August 19, 1917
Cause of death/Battle: Died of wounds
Commemorated/Buried: Duisans British Cemetery, Pas de Calais
Awards: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Commemorated locally at: St Nicholas Church

The Warwick Advertiser item tells us that John went into training at the outbreak of war and received his commission in April 1915.

The inscription on his memorial at the Duisans Cemetery reads: “UNTIL THE DAY BREAK AND THE SHADOWS FLEE AWAY”

Duisans Cemetery


  • Unlocking Warwick Research Group
  • Warwick Advertiser excerpt courtesy of Warwickshire County Record Office
  • CWGC image of Duisans courtesy of

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