S/13163 Rifleman Harry Claude REED (d. 25 September 1915)

Killed in Action on 25 September 1915 during the Battle of Loos

Ian Valentine based on research by Ivan and Ann Stedman (great niece)

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West Vlaanderen, Belgium
Photo from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

S/13163 Rifleman Harry Claud Reed  was born on 4 October 1891, first son of Police Sergeant Frederick and Linda Reed, of Belgrave Cottage, High Street, Wivenhoe.  Sometime between 1901 and 1911 the family moved to Belle Vue Road, Wivenhoe.

In the 1911 Census he was a Barman at The Garland Hotel, Parkeston, Ramsey, Essex.

He enlisted at Chelmsford 17 August 1914, and joined the 9th Bn Kings Royal Rifle Brigade.  He landed with his regiment at Boulogne on 19 May 1915.  Under command of 42nd Brigade of the 14th (Light) Division the first attack at Bellewaarde on 2 June 1915 was followed by the German gas attack at Hooge, where jets of flame shot across from the German trenches – the first time in warfare that liquid flamethrowers were used by the Germans against the British.

The Battle of Loos lasted  from 25 September to 18 October 1915, and was the first time the British used poison gas.  9th Bn Rifle Brigade came under a major bombing attack and faltered.  On the rest of the front the attack petered out and by 8.30 am troops were scrambling back into their jump-off trenches.  Harry’s Brigade fought on until being forced to do the same at 4.00 pm.  There were heavy casualties and Rifleman Harry Reed was one of those who died on 25 September 1915, aged 23.

He has no known grave.  He is named on panels 46-48 and 50 of the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial and on Wivenhoe War Memorial.

This page was added on 24/01/2016.

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