John (Jake) Richard Easonsmith DSO, MC
Regiment: Royal Tank Regiment
Rank and number: Lieutenant Colonel
Parents: George and Daisy Aldridge Easonsmith
Marital status: Married
Home address: Lower Hazel, Rudgeway
Date of birth: 12/04/1909
Date of death: 16/11/1943
Buried/Commemorated at: Buried at Leros War Cemetery, Greece. Commemorated on Olveston War Memorial
John was the son of a well-known Bristol printer. He had one sister Nancy and was educated at Mill Hill School London and Clifton College Bristol. After leaving school he joined Wills tobacco company then went on to work in the wine trade. He played rugby for Clifton RFC, married Honour in 1935 and together they had a daughter.
John joined the 4th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment in 1939 and transferred to the Tank Regiment in 1940 undertaking officer training. He took part in the North Africa Campaign before joining the Long Range Desert Group that functioned behind enemy lines. He was steadily promoted until he reached the rank of lieutenant Colonel in October 1943. He was described as "brave, wise, with an uprightness that shamed lesser men." At the time of his death, John was taking part in the Dodecanese Campaign on the Island of Leros, when he was shot by a German sniper whilst carrying out a lone reconnaissance of a village.
By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):
With kind permission of Morgan. William. 2005. The War Memorial Book for the parishes of Olveston and Aust, South Gloucestershire
With kind permission of Sarah Hands, Volunteer Researcher for the South Gloucestershire War Memorials Web Site.