Victor Vernon Ewart Reed

Service:                Army

Rank:                    Private

Service No:           41823

Unit:                     7th Bn. Somerset Light Infantry

 

 

Stanley was born in St George, Bristol in 1884.  He was the 4th child of George & Kate Reed.  Before he reached the age of 7 sadly Stan’s mother died. However, as was quite common in those times, his father remarried to provide a new mother for his young family, Stanley’s step mother was to have a further 6 children. In 1911Stanly, now 25, was living at home with his parents & 6 siblings at Hudds Hill Road, St. George Bristol. He was employed as a chocolate packer, his father & eldest brother were stay pressers.

Stanley was originally recruited into the Gloucestershire Regiment (Service Number 26111) and subsequently became part of Cheshire Regiment with new service number of 57051.

15th (Service) Battalion (1st Birkenhead) The Cheshire Regiment were formed at Birkenhead on 18 November 1914 by Alfred Bigland MP. The Division was largely comprised of locally raised units known as "Bantams", manned by troops who were under the normal regulation minimum height of 5 feet 3 inches. Bantams. After early training near home, the units concentrated in June 1915 in North Yorkshire. Divisional HQ was at Masham and units were at Roomer Common, Marfield, Fearby and Masham. In August 1915 the Division moved to Salisbury Plain, HQ being set up at Marlborough. Over the next few weeks moves were made to Chiseldon and Cholderton. In late 1915 orders were received to kit for a move to Egypt but this was soon rescinded.

On 28 January 1916 the Division began to cross the English Channel and by early on 6 February all units were concentrated east of St Omer. The Division then remained on the Western Front for the remainder of the war and took part in many actions, including 1917 actions:-

 The pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The fighting in Houthulst Forest, The Second Battle of Passchendaele and The Cambrai operations 20 November - 30 December 1917.

Stanley was killed in action on 24th November 1917 and remembered with honour on the Tyne Cot Memorial Panel 61 to 63.

Image by Doug Crew

 

References

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

1901 & 1911 UK household census

The Long, Long Trail.