John Eric Cox Guest

Rank Second Lieutenant
Service No Unknown
Date of Death 20/09/1918
Age 22
Regiment/Service Royal Warwickshire Regiment 7th Battalion
Cemetery Dueville Communal Cemetery Extension in the Province of Vicenza, Italy. The cemetery is 12 kms north of Vicenza. It now contains 134 Commonwealth burials from the 1st World War, some of which were brought into the cemetery from other burial grounds after the Armistice and in the following years.

 

John was born on 12th October 1895 in Aldridge, Walsall, Staffordshire, and baptised on 2nd January 1896 at St Mary’s Aldridge. His father, Edward Alfred Guest MA, was a Church of England clergyman and had married Elizabeth Ann West in 1893. John had four siblings; Leslie (b.1894), Eileen (b.1900), Mary (b.1902) and Edward (b.1904).  

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family were living with three servants in the vicarage at Sutton Maddock, 6 miles south of Telford in Shropshire. At the time of the 1911 Census, the family were living with two servants at Highcroft, 2, Etchingham Park Road, Finchley

John was educated at Lord Weymouth’s Grammar School, Warminster, and the Polytechnic School, Regent Street, London, where he was an architecture student. He enlisted in the Essex Infantry at Wood Green on 27th October 1916, listing his address as 2 Etchingham Park Road, Finchley, and his profession as 'architect and surveyor's assistant'. The Revd Samuel Mayall, Vicar of St Paul's, gave a reference for John saying that he had known him for six years and that he was ‘of good moral character’. He was made 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment on 27th November 1917. Two days later, his regiment moved to Italy to be part of the Italian Expeditionary Force whose role was to strengthen the Italian Resistance. On the night of 9th to 10th September 1918, John was wounded and taken prisoner during a raid on the Asiago Plateau. He died of his wounds, arising from a penetrating shot to the lung, in an Austrian field hospital on 20th September.

Colonel Gell wrote of him: “[John] had been with the battalion since March last, and had been doing excellent work…he acted Adjutant for a short time in May, and again Intelligence Officer in Italy, and he was an officer of great promise.”

He died intestate, leaving £403 5s 11d. A memorial for John can be found at St. John's Heatherlands Church, Parkstone, Poole, where his father was once a curate. His father moved to be vicar of Sydenham, 3 miles from Thame in Oxfordshire, in 1919.