Private Sydney Ernest Reeves
Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.
Sydney Ernest Reeves was born on the 1st of September 1896 in Reigate, Surrey to tailor Walter Henry and Rose Anna Reeves nee Howard. He was baptised on the 25th of October 1896 at St Mary’s church in Reigate. At the time of his baptism, the family lived at Parkgate Road in Reigate and Isaac was working as a tailor.
At the time of the 1901 Census, the family lived at 10 Parkgate Road in Reigate. Walter was working as tailor’s cutter and Rose was looking after their children: Walter, Sydney, George and Clara.
On the 20th of September 1909, Sydney was admitted into the Dorking High School for Boys. At the time of his admission the family lived at 18 High Street in Dorking. Sydney previously attended St Martin’s Church of England School. After leaving the Dorking High School, Sydney became a tailor’s assistant. In July 1912 he also received the London University Junior Certificate and the Pitmans’ Elementary Shorthand Certificate.
At the time of the 1911 Census, the family lived at 18 High Street, Dorking, Surrey, Walter was working as a master tailor and Rose was at home. The household further comprised of their children: engineering student Walter and scholars Sydney, George and Clara. Rose Anne stated that she had given birth to four children. The accommodation had five rooms.
Sydney enlisted in October 1914 in Brighton, Sussex into the 2/1st Sussex Yeomanry. He was a Private with regimental numbers: 170169 and 2161. At the time of his enlistment he resided in Dorking. He was transferred into the East Surrey Regiment and went out to France in May 1916.
After a short spell of duty he contracted trench fever, which incapacitated him for about two months. (1917 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser)
At the time of his death he was part of the 12th Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment. He was a Private with regimental number G/34114.
Sydney Ernest Reeves was killed in action on the 21st of September 1917 at Zillebeke near Ypres, Belgium. His body was never found.
Pte Reeves is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing in Belgium on panels 79 to 80 and 163A.
He received the British War and Victory medals.
“Pte Reeves was an old High School boy, he was a good athlete, fond of all kinds of sport, and in his last school year he won the ‘Roy Davey’ cup, and also a silver cup for being first boy home in the schools’ inter-team race at Leatherhead.” (1917 Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser)
Sydney Ernest’s sister Clara Fanny Reeves received £12, 6s and 2d on the 6th of November 1918 and a further £14 on the 18th of October 1919 in Soldier’s Effects.
In 1917 his parents lived at 18 High Street in Dorking.
Reeves Family History
Sydney’s father Walter Henry Reeves, born in the 3rd quarter of 1871 in Andover, Hampshire to master baker Jacob Reeves, born about 1840 in Wallop, Hampshire and Fanny Reeves, born about 1845 in Lyndhurst, Hampshire. Walter was baptised on the 3rd of December 1871 in Andover, Hampshire.
Sydney’s mother Rose Anna Howard was born about 1864 in Egham, Surrey to labourer Isaac Howard, born about 1827 Old Windsor, Berkshire and Rosanna Howard, born about 1829 in Windlesham, Surrey. At the time of the 1881 Census, Rose was a housemaid for Sir Thomas Spencer Wells, 1st Baronet at North End Golders Hill House in London. Sir Wells was surgeon to Queen Victoria (1863-1896), a medical professor and President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
Walter and Rose married, by Banns, on the 30th of October 1893 at St Augustine’s church in Paddington, London. At the time of their marriage Isaac was working as a tailor.
Sydney Ernest had three siblings: Walter Arthur born about 1895; George Edgar born about 1898 and Clara Fanny born about 1900, all in Reigate, Surrey.
Born Reigate, Surrey
Son of Walter Henry and Rose Anna Reeves of 18 High Street Buildings, Dorking
School Dorking High School (Ashcombe School)
Regiment 12th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Former Regiment 170169 Surrey Yeomanry
Date of Death 21st September 1917
Place of Death Flanders
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Memorial Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium