Basil Bourchier was born at Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire, on 13 February 1881, the second son of the vicar of that parish, the Reverend Walter Bourchier, Fellow of New College, Oxford. He was educated at Bloxham School (St Mary's Lodge Preparatory), Merchant Taylors' School (1892-99), and Queens' College, Cambridge (BA 1903, MA 1906). He was ordained deacon in 1904, priest in 1905, and served in in the parish of Hebden Bridge until 1908, followed by a year at St Anne's Soho. In 1909 he was appointed London Diocesan Home Missioner of St Jude-on-the-Hill, becoming the first vicar when the church was consecrated and the new parish created in 1911.
"That got 'em. Didn't it", he said as he returned to the Rectory and disappeared into his study, according to Roe, "leaving us all speechless and horrified". The next day he set off on one of his many sea trips to South Africa. But three months later on 16 March 1933, he died, aged 53,in a nursing home in Cambridge nursed by his 80-odd year old mother. Newspapers across the Empire carried the story of his last sermon again, interpreting it now as a prophecy of his death.