A plaque in remembrance of Lieutenant Euan Lucie-Smith, 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who is believed to have been the first black officer commissioned into a British army regiment during the Great War went to auction on Thursday 12th November 2020.
Lieutenant Euan Lucie-Smith was killed in action on April 25th 1915 at the at the Second Battle of Ypres.
Discovered by former Member of the European Parliament, James Carver, who is a keen collector of medals relating to West African soldiers of the Victorian and Edwardian era. He spotted it for sale on the open market, bought it on a hunch, and since researched Lieutenant Lucie-Smith’s military career and family background.
Euan Lucie-Smith hailed from a mixed heritage background. He was born at Crossroads, St. Andrew, Jamaica, on December 14, 1889 to John Barkley Lucie-Smith, (the Postmaster of Jamaica), and Catherine “Katie” Lucie-Smith (nee Peynado Burke).
His father hailed from a line of distinguished white colonial civil servants. His mother was a daughter of the distinguished “coloured” lawyer and politician Samuel Constantine Burke, who campaigned for Jamaican constitutional reform in the late 19th century through his desire for Jamaica to have greater control over her own affairs than Whitehall.
His advocacy on behalf of both the black and “coloured” populations of Jamaica, helped create a reputation that even led him to later be referred to, by name, in an essay of the renowned Black activist, Marcus Garvey.
Thank you for researching and sharing the story about Lieutenant Euan Lucie-Smith and bringing his story to life. It is an extraordinary story.