John Leishman Mitchell
2nd Lieutenant, London Regiment (London Irish Rifles)
John Leishman Mitchell lived at 37 Belvedere Road, Upper Norwood and joined the war effort as part of the London Regiment (London Irish Rifles) after being granted a commission. During his time with the Irish Rifles, he served overseas on the Western Front as a 2nd Lieutenant. In 1917, he was serving in France when he was killed in action on June 21st 1917. He is buried at Abbeville Cemetery.
The penny to the right of this page is known as a ‘dead man's penny’ which was sent to a casualty’s next of kin during the Great War. This particular penny was unearthed in the garden of 37 Belvedere Road during some house renovations in the 1990s to convert the house into flats for a housing association. It was buried at the foot of a tree which the family may well have planted in John's memory. The penny was retained by one of the contractors who would like to return it to proven family members.
With thanks to Peter Smith for the information about the dead man's penny.