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John William Smeed [sm.10.6]


John William Smeed was the sixth child of Charles Smeed & Ellen Lindfield born February 15th, 1873 at Hoskins Farm, East Grinstead & christened on April 10th, 1873 at East Grinstead.

By 1881 John & his parents were still living at Hoskins Farm, East Grinstead & he now had 2 brothers & 2 sisters.

John was still living at home in 1891 at Hoskins Farm & he was working as a clerk in a timber merchants.

John married Clarissa Amy Burchett in July-September 1894 at East Grinstead.  Clarissa was christened May 27th, 1871 at East Grinstead, the daughter of Mary Anne & John Burchett, a hay tresser (trusser?). 

By 1901 John & Clarissa & their 4 sons, John L (7), Bernard W (5), Ralph C (3) & Ernest P (11 months) were living at Wood St, East Grinstead.  John was now an assistant foreman at the timber yard.  Sadly son Ernest died on December 5th, 1901.  Intriguingly John was mentioned in an article in the Sussex Agricultural Express of February 23rd, 1901 as being a member of the East Grinstead & District anti-Compulsory Vaccination Society & was summoned for not having his children vaccinated.

John was an accomplished cricketer, being regularly mentioned in the local papers for his prowess at bowling.  In May 1901 at the presentations of the North End East Grinstead cricket club he was given a special award of a bat for the best bowling analysis.  He was also presented with a small 8-day clock, a gift from fellow members of the club in recognition of his services as Honorary Secretary for several years. 

In 1911 John & Clarissa were living at Brockhurst West Lodge, East Grinstead where John was an estate foreman on a private estate.  They had another son, Albert Leslie (8) & 2 daughters, Clarice Evelyn (3) & Hilda Florence (8 months).  Sons John Lancelot, an assistant in a boot shop, Bernard William, a butcher & Ralph Charles (at school) were still at home. 

On February 23rd, 1912 sons John Lancelot & Bernard William sailed from Liverpool to St John, New Brunswick, Canada on  the Empress of Britain.  John was described as a shop assistant & Bernard was a butcher.

 John Lancelot joined the Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario Regiment) during WW1 & was killed on September 28th, 1918 in France.  Tragically this was soon after his marriage to Agnes Baigrie in July-September 1918 at East Grinstead.  Agnes was born c1893 in Scotland, the daughter of Rebecca Dickson & William Baigrie. John was buried at Ontario Cemetery Sains-Les-Marquions, Calais, France.  Brother Bernard William joined the Volunteer Militia in Canada in 1914. Bernard became a sergeant & was listed as wounded in 1916.  In September 1919 Bernard was listed as travelling back to Halifax, Canada on the ship ‘Araguya’ suffering from venereal disease.  On January 17th, 1922 Bernard married his brother John’s widow, Agnes, in Toronto, Canada.  He was married under the name Bernard Williams as it was illegal at that time in Canada to marry your sister-in-law. He was a salesman at the time of his marriage.  Electoral registers of the Toronto area of Ontario show that Bernard reverted to using his correct surname – Smeed & not Williams - & he & Agnes were listed until at least 1972.

Son Ralph Charles joined the Royal Marines in 1915.  Ralph married Violet Ena Perry in Oct-December 1930 at Cuckfield, Sussex. They had a son in 1935 who sadly died in infancy but another son, John Ralph Charles, was born to them in 1936.  The 1939 register shows Ralph, working as a public works checker, living with Helene Leoline Heppell (nee Hunter) at 70 Forsyth Rd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  Helene was listed as Smeed & married.  She was in fact the widow of George Heppell who died in 1937. Ralph & Helene had a daughter later in 1939.  It appears that Violet remained living in the south & died in Brentford in 1985.

Daughter Hilda married Albert E Berry in 1930 at East Grinstead & in 1939 they were living at 217B Preston Drove, Brighton where Albert was an omnibus driver.

In 1933 son Albert married Ellen M Agate at East Grinstead & in 1939 they & their family were living at 20 Sylvan Way, Reigate, Surrey where Albert was a sorting clerk & telegraphist with the GPO.

The 1939 register shows John & Clarissa living at 38 Cantelupe Rd, East Grinstead & John was now a gardener.  With them was daughter Clarice & her husband, William H Andrews, a cowman, who had married in 1934.

John, aged 67, died on August 30th, 1940 in Uckfield, Sussex.

Clarissa, aged 83, died in June 1954 at Barkston Ash, West Riding Yorkshire.

The children of John William Smeed & Clarissa Amy Burchett were:

sm.10.6.1  John Lancelot Smeed born September 3rd, 1893 in East Grinstead; died September 28th, 1918 in France
sm.10.6.2  Bernard William Smeed born October 3rd, 1895 in East Grinstead & christened April 3rd, 1898 at East Grinstead
sm.10.6.3  Ralph Charles Smeed born November 22nd, 1897 in East Grinstead & christened April 3rd, 1898 at East Grinstead; died 1986 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne
sm.10.6.4  Ernest Powell Smeed born April-June 1900 in East Grinstead; died December 5th, 1901 in East Grinstead
sm.10.6.5  Albert Leslie Smeed born November 6th, 1902 in East Grinstead; died December 1972 in Chichester, Sussex
sm.10.6.6  Clarice Evelyn Smeed born November 20th, 1907 in East Grinstead; died August 2005 in Scarborough, Yorkshire
sm.10.6.7  Hilda Florence Smeed born July 28th, 1910 in East Grinstead; died July-September 1987 at Bromley, Kent




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