Reeves, Ernest Henry (aka Reeves, Joe) (1891 HAM - 1917 at sea)

Reeves, Ernest Henry

Reeves, Ernest Henry (aka Joe)


Father: Samuel REEVES
Mother: Matilda REEVES/Reed

Birth: 1891
Birth Source: 1891 Census & FreeBMD

Death: March 1917
Death Source: GRO Death Certificate

Spouse1: unmarried


Ernest Henry REEVES was the ninth known child tenth of thirteen children of Samuel Reeves and his wife Matilda (nee REED/REEVES). Within the family he was known as Joe.

Ernest appears on the 1891 census as a one month old infant in his parent's household at 14 Longcroft Street, in the St Marys area of Southampton. He was baptised on 20 April 1891 at the Parish Church of St Mary, Southampton, when again the family's place of residence was given as 14 Longcroft Street.

By the time of the 1901 census, he appears as the 10 year old son of Samuel, still living at 14 Longcroft Street, along with his mother, five siblings and his widowed grandfather Samuel Reeves, the elder.

On the 1911 census, Ernest is still living in his parent's home at 14 Longcroft Street. He is 20 years old and employed as a Butcher.

On the night of 20/21 March, His Majesty's Hospital Ship (HMHS) Asturias 1 2 was torpedoed by German submarine UC66 3 approximately six mile south of Start Point, Devon.   35 members of her crew and medical staff were killed by the explosion, including Ernest who was a crew member, serving as a Butcher's Mate. The ship was subsequently beached in Starehole Bay, Devon. 4

Ernest's death is recorded on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website at http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/3031920/REEVES,%20ERNEST%20HENRY.
For many years that entry indicated he had no known grave and that he was commemorated on the Merchant Navy Memorial at Tower Hill in London. However, more recently it has been updated to reflect that Ernest was buried in a family grave in Southampton (Hollybrook) Cemetery. 5 6

Ernest's sacrifice is recorded on the Southampton Cenotaph and the modern Memorial Wall in Watts Park, Southampton along with four other individuals who share the surname Reeves; Arthur Harry REEVES, Edward Alec REEVES, Ernest James Benjamin REEVES and Frank H REEVES 7 8

Research Notes

(1) Oral family tradition, confirmed by the release of the 1911 census in 2012, indicated that Samuel and Matilda had thirteen children. However, prior to November 2016 the identities of only twelve children were known to family researchers. It transpires the missing child, now known to be Ellen Matilda Reeves, was their eldest. This has necessitated the renumbering the remaining 12 children.


Birth:       1891, June quarter, Southampton Registration District, vol 2c page 21
Baptism:   1891 Register (1/17) of St Mary Southampton, page 209, entry 1665
Marriage: n/a
Death:     GRO Death Certificate
1891 Census: RG12, Piece 919, Folio 60f, Page 13
1901 Census: RG13, Piece 1055, Folio 157 face, Page 53
1911 Census: RG14, Piece 5955, Registration District 99 (Southampton), Enumeration District 32, Schedule 291

1   HMHS Asturias - http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Ships/HMHSAsturias.html
2   HMHS Asturias - http://uboat.net/wwi/ships_hit/515.html
3   SM UC-66 - http://uboat.net/wwi/boats/index.html?boat=UC+66
4   Book - Shipwrecks of The South Hams by Kendall McDONALD First Published 1996 ISBN 1 871330 18 1 Page 84
5   HMHS Asturias Crew Graves - https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/134145-hmhs-asturias/ - accessed July 22020
6   Focus On Southampton Cemeteries - http://fosoc.net/pdfs/NewsAsturias.pdf
7   Southampton Cenotaph - http://www.southampton.gov.uk/arts-heritage/collections-monuments/cenotaph.aspx - accessed July 2020
8   Southampton's Fallen Heroes - http://www.southampton.gov.uk/images/names-cenotaph-memorial-walls_tcm63-367555.pdf - accessed July 2020
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Page last modified on Friday 03 of July, 2020 03:09:27 CDT by MartinB..