Lionel Vane Smith

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Lionel Vane Smith (known as John in adult life[1]) was born on 9 August 1903,[2] in the Wimborne area of Dorset, England,[3] the son of George and Edith Smith.[4] Perhaps he was born in Canford Magna where his parents were living in 1901, and where his older brother Arch was born;[5] perhaps he was born in Wimborne Minster, as stated on the 1911 census;[6] or perhaps he was born in Kinson where he was baptised on 28 November 1903.[4] Unlike his siblings, Lionel grew up with his paternal grandparents, Thomas and Sarah Smith, in Hardley, in the parish of Fawley, Hampshire.[6]

In July 1922 he began work for the AGWI refinery in Fawley which had opened the previous year. He initially worked as a tester in their labs, and remained at ESSO (as it became) in a variety of roles for the rest of his working life.[7] Oil refinery workers were a reserved occupation so he was exempt from conscription during the Second World War.

On 8 September 1934, Lionel married Gwendoline Mary Moody at St James's church, West End. They lived in Holbury in Fawley parish for all their married life, and their two children were born there.[1] Gwendonline died on 26 May 1972, aged 67, and Lionel died on 27 July 1980, aged 76. They are buried at All Saints, Fawley.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Information provided to Richard Smith by his father, Lionel's son.
  2. The National Archives : General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes — Deaths. Digital images on
  3. The National Archives : General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes — Births. Digital images on FreeBMD.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dorset History Centre. Kinson parish, christening registers, 1855–1915 (PE-KIN/RE/2/2). Digital images on
  5. The National Archives. 1901 census for Canford Magna, Dorset, England (RG13/1977), fol 29, p 4. George Smith's household. Digital images on
  6. 6.0 6.1 The National Archives. 1911 census for Fawley, Hampshire, England (RG14/5913), sched 12. Thomas Smith's household. Digital images on
  7. Unknown newspaper clipping, circa 1962. Privately held by Richard Smith.
  8. All Saints Fawley churchyard, Hampshire. Lionel & Gwendoline Smith monumental inscription.
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