Private Basil Daughtry

Regiment:  2/6th Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment.
Service No:  TF266596
Date & place of birth: 1st quarter 1885, Heyshott.
Date & place of death: 21 October 1918 (aged 33) in India.

Basil Daughtry joined The Royal Sussex Regiment and served in India. He died of Influenza while still in India, just before the end of the war. He is commemorated on the Karachi 1914-18 War Memorial

Family background

Basil was the eldest son of James Alfred Daughtry (1855–1945) from Heyshott and his wife Rosetta née Miles (1861–1938), also from Heyshott.  James, a labourer, married Rosetta in the last quarter of 1883 and Basil was born in the first quarter of 1885.  His younger brother Ralph was born almost four years later in January 1889.

At the time of 1891 Census they were living in Heyshott Street and James was now a wood hoop maker. Ten years later they had moved into Coldharbour, a cottage opposite Heyshott Green.  James describes himself as an underwood buyer and an employer, and his two sons also work with wood as hoop makers.  Among their neighbours were George and Charlotte Wrapson and their son, Herbert who is also commemorated on the Heyshott war memorial, having died of heart failure in 1917.

At the time of the 1911 census, the family had moved to Browns Copse Cottage but Basil, who was no longer living at home, cannot be traced. James was working as a jobbing gardener and Ralph is described as a general labourer.

Military service

Basil Daughtry enlisted into The Royal Sussex Regiment at Horsham. He joined ‘D’ Company of 2/6th battalion. This was originally a cyclist battalion of the Territorial Force which was formed at Brighton in November 1914.  In February 1916 it formed a brigade with the 1/9th Hampshire, 1/25th London and 1/1st Kent Battalions and converted to infantry. It was intended that this brigade would go to East Africa but on 4 February 1916, the Brigade embarked for India from Devonport.

Death and commemoration

Less than a month before the end of the war, Basil contracted influenza and died on 21 October 1918, aged 33. He was buried in Lahore Cantonment Cemetery.

In addition to his commemoration on the Karachi 1914–18 War Memorial, he is included on the Heyshott War Memorial window, with other fallen comrades from his home village.

His Medal Roll Index Card shows that he was entitled to the British War Medal and Victory Medal. His card is marked “Returned (1743 KR)/7860 Adt”: under King’s Regulation 1743 any medals not claimed were sent to be broken up. A second note, however, says that they were re-issued on 19 January 1924, so presumably his parents eventually obtained his medals.

Subsequent family history

When Basil died, his younger brother Ralph was already dead.  He had died after serving in France in September 1916. James and Rosetta, after losing both of their sons in The Great War, continued to live in the area until their deaths in 1945 and 1938 respectively.

James’ brother, William also lost his son Frank in the war and he is commemorated next to his cousins in the Heyshott Memorial window


Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project