189590 Corporal John Robert Smith 18th Battalion Canadian Infantry

Corporal John Robert Smith


18th Battalion Canadian Infantry


John Robert Smith was born in Newark on the 6th February 1890 (we know this from his date of birth on his Attestation papers and census reports).

John Robert Smith’s mother Mary Ann Smith (nee Cavey) was (half) sister to Harold Cooper’s mum (Jane Cottam and Mary Ann Cavey shared the same mother). Mary Ann Cavey was born abt1869 in Newark.

John Robert Smith’s dad - John William Smith - was born in Gosberton, Lincolnshire and baptised on 12 July 1866 at St Peter and St Paul church in Gosberton Lincolnshire.

In the 1881 census John William Smith now 14 years old is living with his dad and brother at 19 Crown Street, Newark.

John William Smith marries Mary Ann Cavey in Newark about 1889.

In the 1891 census the John Robert Smith and his parents are living at number 27 Taplow Hill Road, Ecclesall, Sheffield. John William Smith is described as a painter and paperhanger.

Sadly in 1897 at aged just 30 John William Smith dies. At this time John Robert is only 7 years old. John Robert and his young sister Mary Ellen (she is only 3 years old) return to East Stoke with their mum.

We can see that in the census of 1901 John and his sister Mary Ellen (born about 1894) are living with their uncle Henry Cooper and aunt Jane Cooper with his cousin Harold Cooper at the Cooper’s house. (John is now 11 years old and his cousin Harold who is 9 years old). It is quite probable that his mum is living at East Stoke too, the census shows her working as a domestic at Newark Hospital.

On June 9th 1903 John Robert’s mum remarries to John Padgett at St Oswald’s East Stoke.

The census of 1911 shows the new (Padgett) family without Mary Ellen living together in East Stoke. There are new additions to John Robert’s family he now has a brother Alfred Smith born about 1902. There are also William (aged 4 years), John(aged 3 years) and Alice Padgett (1 year old) who are children born into this marriage.