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11980 Private Edward John Bassett


Devonshire Regiment

1st July 1916


Born in Torquay Devon in 1883.

His parents were John Bassett(1858-08/02/1901) and Georgina Drew(born in 1864). No record of their marriage has been found.

Edward(but seemed to prefer being called John),had a brother George(born in 1894) and 3 sisters;

Susan(born in 1881),Maud(born on 09/08/1887) and Daisy May(born in 1890). 

In the 1891 census, the family are recorded as living at

20 Queen Street,Tormoham,Torquay. John Snr. was employed as a Cutler(scissor grinder). 

John Jnr. had a few 'run ins'  with the establishment over the years.

In the 02/10/1891 edition of

the Torquay Times & South Devon Advertiser,it carried a report about how John and 2 other boys were charged with stealing 11 cups from a consignment of earthenware on the quay.It stated he had previously been up in front of court for stealing sweets for which he had received

6 strokes with the birch. He also received 6 strokes with the birch for the theft of the cups as well.


In the Tuesday 23/10/1894 edition of the

Exeter & Plymouth Gazette,it was reported that John along with 2 other boys were each fined 3s 6d for throwing stones.

Torquay Times & South Devon Advertiser - Friday 09/12/1898 edition,reported that when john was aged 15, he was charged along with a man with stealing lead and some brass taps value 5s. He was sentenced, having previously been convicted  to 14 days imprisonment with hard labour.   

In the 1901 census, the family had moved down 2 doors to 18 Queen Street. John was employed as a

fish hawker(dealer). 

According to East & South Devon Advertiser - Saturday 04/06/1904 edition,John was summoned for driving a

horse & cart without a light in Newton Abbot on 18/05/1904. He was fined 10s. 

In the Western Times on Wednesday 21/03/1906."John Bassett was summoned for assaulting

Wilfred Royce in Newton(Abbot) Market on the previous Wednesday. Complainant stated that defendant came up and punched him several times. The bench considered it a cowardly assault and fined defendant £1 and costs or 14 days. Defendant " I will do the 14 days" A woman who was in court (probably his mother) exclaimed " No you don't " and came forward and paid the money".

The North Devon Gazette carried the story in its Tuesday 10/04/1906 edition,how John and another man were charged with stealing a quantity of iron from Marldon Reservoir. Both men were sent to gaol for

1 months hard labour. 

The Exeter & Plymouth Gazette reported on Wednesday 02/12/1908, that John had been summoned by

Inspector Brown of RSPCA for cruelty to a pony by working it in an unfit state. He was fined 12s.


His mother,Georgina remarried in 1910 to Frank Hitching(19/11/1882-04/021953).


John enlisted in Newton Abbot and was killed in action on 01/07/1916.

He was awarded the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals. 

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