Chiseldon, Wiltshire - Holy Cross War Memorial
IntroductionThe Chiseldon Local History Group notes the names recorded on the Memorial Plaque in the Parish Church of Holy Cross, Chiseldon at http://www.chiseldonlhg.org.uk/war-memorials.html. There are twenty one names in total, including three with the surname Reeves..
Reeves William H. 4th Gloucesters Reeves Montague J. 3rd Wilts Reeves Frederick J. 1st Wilts
CommentaryTwo of the individual have been relatively easy to identify. William Henry Reeves and Montague John Reeves were brothers, the sons of Robert Henry Reeves and his wife Agnes (nee Coombes). Montague & William both have a clear association with Chiseldon, having been born and lived in the village of Badbury which lies within the parish of Chiseldon.
However, the identification of Frederick J Reeves, based on the information currently to hand, is more problematic.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website records the death of Private 7912 Frederick J REEVES of the 1st Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment. However this individual, Frederick John Reeves was born and grew up in Preston, Wiltshire and there is no current known association between Frederick John and Chiseldon. There is no other obvious candidate on the CWGC site for this individual, but it should be born in mind that the criteria for inclusion on each war memorial was the responsibility of the local organisers.
The Reeves Project has elsewhere noted the local inclusion of an individual not recorded by the Commonwealth War Grave Commission. For example, Ernest James Benjamin Reeves who was discharged from the Army with TB in July 1918 and who died in the fourth quarter of the same year is included on Southampton Cenotaph but was not obviously included in the CWGC list (last checked in November 2014). The Chiseldon Local History Group also note that another of the names recorded on the memorial (Sydney Noble) appears not to be included on the CWGC list.
It is therefore worthwhile keeping an open mind and considering other possible candidates, including Frederick Joseph Reeves. He was born in the neighbouring parish of Wroughton, his birth being registered in the first quarter of 1883. His parents were Sydney Samuel Edwin Reeves and his wife Ann (nee COLLIER). Based on name & age it is highly probably his is the death registered in Dorchester Registration District in the fourth quarter of 1918, age 36. The entry is in the civil list for 4q1918 rather than a military GRO list. As yet, no trace of Frederick Joseph Reeves has been found in the surviving WO 363 records nor the medal roll, but based on his age, it is likely he would have been called for military service.
The sequence in which the names are listed on the memorial is potentially significant; it is clearly not alphabetic. Their births and deaths are as follows..
Frederick John B.Reg 2q1888 Died October 1914 Frederick Joseph B.Reg 1q1883 D.Reg 4q 1918 Montague John B.Reg 4q1893 Died September 1916 William Henry B.Reg 2q1897 Died May 1916It might be reverse age (youngest first), in which case Frederick J might be either John or Joseph. But if it is the date on which they died, then Frederick J is more likely to be Frederick Joseph REEVES.
One final factor might hint at it being Frederick Joseph Reeves; he and the brothers are believed to be second cousins; their common great grandfather was John Reeves, who seems to have lived in Chiseldon throughout is life. John's son Charles, the grandfather of the two brothers also had strong ties to Badbury. John's daughter Elizabeth and her son Sydney were both baptised at Holy Cross, Chiseldon.