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Remembered Today:

Pte Reginald Tite, SD/4242, 13th Royal Sussex, Shot at Dawn


Jim Hastings
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Dear All,

For part of an educational presentation at my Sussex school I am researching Pte Tite who was executed on 25th November 1916. I have found a lot of info online and have access to his service records via Ancestry, and it is info in these latter records I'd like some advice upon. The Casualty Form has listed that after his Field General Court Martial on 2nd Nov, Tite was admitted to the PUU (or PU4??) to DRS on the 4th and (if I'm reading it correctly), from PUU (or PUO??) to 4644S, before being brought back to duty (under arrest) on 22nd Nov, to be executed by men of the 13th Royal Sussex on the 25th. My query, what do the PUU (or derivatives), DRS, 4644S mean please. SAD/ Court Martials are not something I have really looked into, so all new to me, any advice gratefully received.

Many thanks in advance

Jim

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You have probably seen this?

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Grave in Poperinghe New Military Cemetery of SD/4242 Private Reginald Thomas Tite, 13th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment executed for desertion 2nd November 1916. Private Tite volunteered for service in the Army in October 1915 and probably went to France in the Summer of 1916. The Battalion, part of 116th Brigade, 39th Division arrived on the Somme on the 27th August 1916 but already on the 1st August 1916 Private Tite had disobeyed a lawful command subsequently being convicted by Court Martial and being sentenced to 4 years penal servitude which was as usual then suspended. The Battalion was in support to 11th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment on the 3rd September when the 11th succeeded in entering the enemy’s front line trenches in front of Hamel and from then were in rotation in the front line trenches in the Beaumont-Hamel sector. Private Tite was a member of the Lewis gun team and on the 9th October 1916 he asked the Private in charge of the team for permission to leave the trench. An officer refused his request but did show Private Tite a safe place to stay during a trench mortar demonstration. Shortly thereafter he had disappeared, returning later and was put on periscope duty whilst the officer and the Private in charge went to look for another position for the gun. Private Tite then left the trench again and asked a Sergeant for permission to stay out, this was refused but Private Tite would not return and was arrested and later charged. On the 16th October the Battalion was carrying out work in preparation for the attack on Stuff Trench, digging communication trenches and forming dumps. The Battalion moved up on the 20th October for the attack on the 21st October. Stuff Trench was captured but the Battalion had something of a struggle in bombing forward beyond the original objective in gaining 50 yards of German trench, whilst the other battalions in the Brigade attacking achieved their objectives without much trouble. Still the captured positions were held by the Brigade until the battalions were relieved. Private Tite had not been present however. The Court Martial was at Aveluy on the 2nd November 1916 and in mid November the 39th Division left for the Ypres Salient Private Tite being shot at Poperinghe on the 25th November 1916.

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  • Admin

PUO = Pyrexia of Unknown Origin

Officer commanding OC 134 FA (Field Ambulance) admitted 7th November moved on to the DRS (Divisional Rest Station?) (133FA DRS - see next line) same day

OC 133 FA DRS admitted 7/11/16 PUO then to 132 FA and from there to 46 CCS 19/11/1916

OC 46 CCS admitted 19/11/1916 Bronchial Catarahh then To Duty (under arrest) 22/11/1916

Sentence carried out 25/11/1916

I don't think it was the 4th he was admitted to the FA and casualty evacuation chain as the character in the date is quite different from that on 134 FA and on the top entry '5574'

Obviously a later entry as the court martial is out of sequence and I think care was taken to track his movements. The only anomaly seems to be his movements on the 7th, it seems he went into each of the FA attached to the 39th Division on the same day, i.e each entry shows admitted 7th November but the date of event

against each entry is the 7th; 12th and 18th. What is clear is the date he went to 46 CCS at Mendighem (LLT). The fact he was under sentence of death may be why he was moved on within the Divisional medical facilities but I don't know.

So it reads court martialled and sentenced 2nd November 1916; following sentence he was admitted to the Field Ambulance on the 7th November suffering from a raised temperature and condition which was not diagnosed until he was seen at the CCS on the 19th and diagnosed with bronchial catarrh. He was discharged on the 22nd (under arrest) for sentence to be carried out at 6.53a.m. on the 25th.

Chilling he was transferred to the CCS after his sentence was confirmed on the 10th by the GOC.

Ken

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Nothing to do with the above, except a virtual namesake, also in 13th Battalion RSR.... what are the odds on two unrelated people with almost the same Names, in the same battalion at possibly the same time...

It may have been uncomfortable for this lad, knowing what happened to Reginald Thomas, from Peckham...

TITE, REGINALD GEORGE. Rank: Private. Service No: G/17468. Date of Death: 27/09/1917.
Regiment/Service: Royal Sussex Regiment 13th Bn.
Panel Reference: Panel 86 to 88. Memorial: TYNE COT MEMORIAL.
NAME: Reginald George Tite. BIRTH PLACE: All Saints, Northants. DEATH DATE: 27 Sep 1917. ENLISTMENT PLACE: Northampton
RANK: Private. REGIMENT: Royal Sussex Regiment. BATTALION: 13th Battalion. REGIMENTAL NUMBER: G/17468.
TYPE OF CASUALTY: Killed in action.
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Many thanks gentlemen, especially Ken for the medical clear up. Tite decided to join his brother Joseph's Bn on enlistment, Joseph being an original Lowther's Lamb. Joseph later died with a Queen's Regt labour battalion in 1917 in Salonika. Reginald joined up with two cousins who served in the 13th with him and Joseph. Both cousins were killed with the 13th.

Appreciate your time and effort gents

All the best

Jim

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Nothing like being executed by a firing squad from your own Bn. to make a point to the rest of the Bn.

Is it known whether such squads were selected from the condemned's own company ?

Regards,

JMB

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  • 6 months later...

Hello,

Whilst reseaching my family, whose roots are in Northampton I came across 1 of 2 brothers and one Ernest Tite who joined the local regiment

and then promptly re-joined the Royal Sussex regiment, the other brother served with the local regiment. All three names are close by on the Tyne Cot cemetary walls of remembrance.

I know that 2 cousins signed up with Reginald and died in the war, could these two be those cousins?

Reginald Tite's father came from Northamton originally.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

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