John Smith obituary

By Dan, Martin and Tim Smith

Our father, John Smith, who has died aged 94, served during the second world war in the Royal Engineers and was later a teacher and accomplished architectural historian.

He was born in Birmingham, the son of Thomas, a clerk at the Co-op, and his wife, Gertrude (nee Walker). From an early age, John was a railway enthusiast and as soon as he could, he travelled around Britain to collect engine numbers. Educated at Camp Hill grammar school, he went on to Birmingham University to study English and history. After starting his degree, he was called up in 1942, taking part in the Normandy landings from D-Day+1 and serving in Europe until 1946, finishing as a teacher for the Army College of the Rhine.

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