Able Seaman Reginald Hannington Biggs

© Royston Williamson 2015

Reginald was born on 17 December 1886, and baptised at St Mary’s Islington on 7th February 1886; his parents are Francis, a Doorkeeper and Caroline.

In the 1901 census his family are living in Muswell Avenue, Muswell Hill. Reginald has a sister; Constance aged 23, and a brother Raymond aged 19. Reginald is a junior clerk to a Stock Broker. His father Francis is a Doorkeeper at the Stock Exchange.

The family are living at the same address in the 1911 census. Francis, Reginald’s father is now a widower.

After the census, Francis, Constance and Reginald moved to Norfolk Road in Dorking. Raymond stayed in London.

On the 17th June 1915, Reginald joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. His occupation at the time was Poultry Farmer. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall and has brown hair and blue eyes. On 28th June 1916 he was transferred to The Hood Battalion. The Hood Battalion was one of several Battalions that were formed from a surplus of Royal Naval Reserves [who would not have found a job on a ship of war], for operations on land. The division served in Gallipoli then moved to Marseilles in May 1916. They then moved to the Western Front where they remained for the duration of the war.

Reginald died on 23rd April 1917, the first day of the first battle of the Scarpe. His name appears on the Arras Memorial, Bay 1. This Memorial commemorates almost 35,000 men who died in the Arras Sector during the spring of 1916 and August 1918.

His father, Francis and his sister, Constance continued to live in Dorking. Francis died in 1935; Constance did not marry and died in 1961. Raymond married Marion Smith; he died in Worthing in 1962.

Born                         Islington, London

Son of                      Francis and the late Caroline Biggs of 12 Norfolk Road, Dorking

Regiment                 Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve Hood Battalion. R.N.D.
Number                   LZ/2389

Date of Death          23rd April 1917
Place of Death         France
Cause of Death        Killed in action

Age                           31

Memorial                 Arras Memorial, France