Victor Vernon Ewart Reed

Service:                Army

Rank:                   Private

Service No:           41823

Unit:                     7th Bn. Somerset Light Infantry

 Victor was born in St George in 1899.  He was the 3rd child of Fred & Eliza Reed.  A 12 year old schoolboy in 1911 he was living with his family at Dundridge Lane, St George Bristol; his father was a  baker & grocer. His mother & elder siblings working in what may have been the family business.

The 7th (Service) Battalion SLI was formed at Taunton in September 1914 and came under command of 61st Brigade, 20th (Light) Division.

This Division was established in September 1914 as part of the Army Orders authorising Kitchener's Second New Army, K2. Early days were somewhat chaotic, the new volunteers having very few trained officers and NCOs to command them, no organised billets or equipment. The units of the Division first assembled in the Aldershot area with brigades at Blackdown, Deepcut and Cowshott. Artillery was particularly hard to come by; 12 old guns arrived from India in February 1915! When in the same month the Division moved to Witley, Godalming and Guildford, the artillery had to go by train as there was insufficient harness for the horses. Another move was made, to Salisbury Plain, in April 1915. The Division was inspected by King George V at Knighton Down on 24 June 1915, by which time all equipment had arrived and the Division was judged ready for war. On 26 July 1915 the Division completed concentration in the Saint-Omer area, all units having crossed to France during the preceding few days. Early trench familiarisation and training took place in the Fleurbaix area. The Division served on the Western Front for the remainder of the war, taking part in many of the significant actions.

Victor died of wounds, received in action on 24th June 1918, probably at the Casualty Clearing Station located at the village of Aubigny, west of Arras and several miles away from the front line.

Victor is buried & remembered with honour in the Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Aubigny-en-Artois, Pas de Calais, France.  Grave Reference IV.L.46.

Image by kind permission of CWGC.

Victor was awarded The British War Medal &  The Victory Medal.

 

References

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

1901 & 1911 UK household census

The Long, Long Trail.