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3333 Robert Ernest Reed 2nd battalion 8th London Post Office Rifles


Alisonmallen62
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Can anyone tell me about how to find documents on how my great uncle died. Ancestry site records his death as being in Mexico but I doubt he fought his war there! I have some detail of his job in Londonderry as a post office manager and I know he didn't die there but that he died in Sutton Veny I guess in hospital on 11th Nov 1916. He does not have a standard war grave it is one erected by comrades, can anyone explain why this is please? Would dearly love to know if he was ill or died of wounds please. Thank you

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From Long Long Trail top left of this page

2/6th (City of London) Battalion (Rifles)
Formed in London in August 1914. Moved in October to Walton-on-Thames, then Burgess Hill in November where placed under orders of 2/1st London Brigade in 2/1st London Division.
Moved to Norwich in May 1915 and formation retitled as 174th Brigade in 58th (2/1st London) Division. Moved on to Ipswich next month, then Stowmarket and Sudbury and then to Sutton Veny in July 1916.
25 January 1917 : landed at Le Havre.
31 January 1918 : absorbed by 1/6th Bn.

2/7th (City of London) Battalion
Formed in London in September 1914. Moved in November to Burgess Hill. Record same as 2/6th Bn.
6 February 1918 : absorbed by 1/7th Bn at Domart.

2/8th (City of London) Battalion (Post Office Rifles)
Formed in London in September 1914. Moved in November to Cuckfield. Record same as 2/6th Bn.
6 February 1918 : absorbed by 1/8th Bn.

From the above it seems that he did not service overseas and was based at Sutton Veny. More likely died of illness than wounds.

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Thank you for this information. In response to dob etc Robert Ernest Reid was born in Derry Mar 23 1871 and his service number was 3333. Are you able to tell me why there was no service abroad please, what would his role have been, as a family we believed he had fought but looks like he didn't. Also, how can you tell there are two men in the grave and why would he have a different headstone to the usual ones please. Am new to this so unsure where to look, many thanks much appreciated

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The reason for no overseas service is given in my post 3. His battalion did not go overseas until January 1917.

I am a bit puzzled myself about two men in the same grave. I will try and post what I have seen. The reason I am puzzled is because I have seen the pic of his gravestone. His name is legible but the rest pixalates when trying to enlarge it.

His widow probably could not afford to have his body taken for a home burial.

If you go CWGC site and enter his details you will see his page. Further down you will see some docs listed. Click on them and you will see burial records and his name and grave number. It looked to me like his name was bracketed with another and the notation one grave [no3].

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Thank you I have now found that info but if the gravestone was just for him seems odd that another man lies there, possibly a space issue as I have found out it is a small graveyard. I realise he was not posted overseas but just meant I wondered what he was doing so assume he was in training or involved with office work maybe, he was older too if that mattered. His family were wealthy and he had a responsible position likely well paid considering where he was living so I can only assume his gravestone was not a regular one because his comrades felt he should have something else. My family believe him to have been a good living man which his brother and black sheep was not - he turned out to be my great grandfather much to the dismay of his wife and daughter my gran. I have found what pay was sent on to Robert's wife too but it all very sad. Thank you for this great help

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I have found what pay was sent on to Robert's wife too but it all very sad. Thank you for this great help

Where did you find his pay? If it was Soldiers Effects on Ancestry does it say what he died of?

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I had a photo of the headstone taken by my sister and it is dedicated to Robert and the inscription says erected by his comrades of 2nd btn. I got the pay detail from ancestry but could see no death details so must have been ill or even an accident. The headstone is arch shaped with leaves across the top, quite ornate. Have now got copies from CWGC of grave detail and Driver Cooper in the same grave.

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Looking at the Effects info above the word hospital it could be ill but other words beginning 'I' look different. I think I believed him to have been wounded looking at others on the sheet. Also cannot read all of the entry further along, something like 'extra' under who the effects were authorised to.

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Looking at the Effects info above the word hospital it could be ill but other words beginning 'I' look different. I think I believed him to have been wounded looking at others on the sheet. Also cannot read all of the entry further along, something like 'extra' under who the effects were authorised to.

Register of Soldiers Effects - 3333 Pte Robert Ernest Reid, 2/8 Bn Lon. Reg:

Date and Place of Death: 7.11.16, Home, Mil Hosp (Military Hospital)

There are 4 others on the page. One died of wounds in France and three were killed in action in France

Ireland, Casualties of World War 1:

Ancestry.co.uk - Ireland, Casualties of World War I, 1914-1922

Executrix = a female responsible for managing the affairs of a deceased person during probate.

JP

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Robert had died shortly before this event: https://suttonveny.co.uk/resources/Download-Files/sutton_veny_murder.pdf

On the same CWGC page it is noted at the bottom that one civilian employed by the Royal Engineers was buried from Military Hospital Sutton Veny.

Unusually, there appears to be a number of corrections to the typed dates of several men, including Robert.

His Date of Death was typed as 17 November and corrected to 11th, yet CWGC then show the Date as 7th November.

Cooper (in same grave) is originally typed as 8th then amended to 7th.

Have the CWGC confused Roberts Date of death with Coopers?

If the 2 men died 3 or 4 days apart, it would seem strange to use the same grave - but Monnoyer (died 3 October) and Lacey (died 10 AUGUST) also share one grave.

Let's see if johnboy can produce some magic!

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Robert had died shortly before this event: https://suttonveny.co.uk/resources/Download-Files/sutton_veny_murder.pdf

On the same CWGC page it is noted at the bottom that one civilian employed by the Royal Engineers was buried from Military Hospital Sutton Veny.

Unusually, there appears to be a number of corrections to the typed dates of several men, including Robert.

His Date of Death was typed as 17 November and corrected to 11th, yet CWGC then show the Date as 7th November.

Cooper (in same grave) is originally typed as 8th then amended to 7th.

Have the CWGC confused Roberts Date of death with Coopers?

If the 2 men died 3 or 4 days apart, it would seem strange to use the same grave - but Monnoyer (died 3 October) and Lacey (died 10 AUGUST) also share one grave.

Let's see if johnboy can produce some magic!

5372 Corporal Joseph Harold Durkin, AIF, was murdered on 27 November 1917 - over a year after Robert Ernest Reid died.

JP

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Maybe the cemetry itself has records?

I would have thought that his wife would have been consulted as to which headstone she wanted and if his comrades chipped in for the headstone would they have not wanted a CWGC type with the regimimental badge?

Maybe his death certificate might shed some light.

What still puzzles me is the fact that it appears that two men are in the grave but only one headstone. The other man appears to be qualified for a CWGC headstone. I have seen before in these cases two headstones side by side.

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Photo of Robert's headstone:

Robert Ernest Reid ( - 1916) - Find A Grave Photos

A copy of Robert's death certificate will give you the date and cause of death.

You will need the following information from the England and Wales Death Index to get a copy:

Name: Robert E Reid

Birth Date: about 1875

Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1916

Age at Death: 41

Registration district: Warminster

Inferred county: Wiltshire

Volume: 5a

Page: 166

You can order a copy here:

Order a copy of a birth, death or marriage certificate - GOV.UK

Ireland Casualties of World War 1, UK Soldiers Died in the Great War and UK Army Registers of Soldiers Effects give Robert's date of death as 7 November 1916 - as does the Northern Ireland Will Calendar Index

Web: Northern Ireland, Will Calendar Index, 1858-1943 - Ancestry.co.uk

Have you seen this?

Diamond War Memorial Project

PS Is the moss/allen Family Tree on ancestry yours? If not, the author may have information.

JP

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Alison,

For your information just to add a little background to Robert.

I trust you have looked at the Irish Census for 1901/11.

Just before the war you may be aware that Ireland was looking for Home Rule to give itself some independance from the rest of the UK. To counter this an organisation was set up in the 9 Northern Irish Counties called the Unlster Unionist Council. As part of their plans to defend themselves against being forced into a 'Home Rule' Ireland they set up an independent armed force called the 'Ulster Volunteer Force'.

Robert Ernest Reid was a member of the 3rd Battalion of the City of Derry Ulster Volunteers, membership number 970. He gave his address as No 6 Marlborough Terrace Londonderry.

He also signed the Ulster Covenant in 1912, as did his wife Frances, again giving this address also as part of the anti-Home Rule Movement.

He is named on the Londonderry War Memorial in the centre of the city at the Diamond and also on the 1st Derry Presbyterian Church roll of Honour. The Church is located on the City walls and the two memorial plaques with the names of the fallen and those who served and returned are mounted in the lobby. Note on this roll in the book it is listed as 'Reed', not sure what the actual plaque says could just be a spelling mistake on the book transcript.

Against his war memorial roll Frances has given the address of 15 Princes Street.

Have a look at the link JP posted for the Diamond War Memorial.

Although Princes Street and Marlborough Terrace were very good areas they were not what would be regarded as wealthy in Londonderry. A mixture of middle/lower middle and rented accommodation. Princes Street can be seen on google street view and has not changed too much.

There is a Forest Reid listed on the Presbyterian Rolls as serving with the Canadians.

Would he have qualified for a Silver War Badge if he was a serving member of the forces at the time of death?

The Londonderry newspapers may be of help for the time he died, may mention him, particularly if he held a good position in the PO before the war.

Rob

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I may have missed this but has he been checked for a MIC to learn if he did in fact serve overseas? He could have been 1/8 Bn & then sick or wounded & sent home to recover then posted to the 2/8 bn as not fit for overseas service anymore. Given his age that could have undermined his health & made him vulnerable to illness that may have killed him. Just a thought on this one. I too am puzzled by the headstone & the 2 in 1 grave arrangement, especially at home. Hope you can solve this one, good luck.

As a veteran with service at the front he would have been useful in any number of duties with the 2/8th giving advice & his experiences at the front to the soldiers who were training & would eventually go to the front.

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It looks like two men are in the same grave.

The reason for no overseas service is given in my post 3. His battalion did not go overseas until January 1917.

I am a bit puzzled myself about two men in the same grave. I will try and post what I have seen. The reason I am puzzled is because I have seen the pic of his gravestone. His name is legible but the rest pixalates when trying to enlarge it.

His widow probably could not afford to have his body taken for a home burial.

If you go CWGC site and enter his details you will see his page. Further down you will see some docs listed. Click on them and you will see burial records and his name and grave number. It looked to me like his name was bracketed with another and the notation one grave [no3].

This is the link to his CWGC entry. Go to the Grave Registration form under it , Also look at Headstone sheet

http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/406820/REID,%20ROBERT%20ERNEST

A photo of 154149 Driver RC Cooper's headstone at Sutton Veny:

R C Cooper ( - 1916) - Find A Grave Photos

JP

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Does this mean that there are two seperate graves?

To the left seem to be two headstones side by side which normally indicate two burials in the same grave

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Does this mean that there are two seperate graves?

To the left seem to be two headstones side by side which normally indicate two burials in the same grave

CWGC grave registration documents indicate that RC Cooper and RE Reid have one grave.

CWGC - Casualty Details

See #17 for photo of RE Reid's headstone.

JP

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A check with the cemetry is needed. In neither pic does there appear to be the other stone. I am nearly certain that the stones would be side by side.

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Unable to establish what is recorded on the effects death reason

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Unable to establish what is recorded on the effects death reason

The Register of Soldiers Effects only records that Robert died in a Military Hospital on 7 November 1916, see #13. It does not give the cause of Robert's death but his death certificate certainly will, see #17.

JP

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