Reeves, Ernest William (aka Gibb, Ernest William) (1899 SSX - 1916 France)


Reeves, Ernest William (aka Gibb, Ernest William)


Father: probably Reeves, Ernest
Mother: Gibb, Orpah Elizabeth

Birth: 1899 at Wadhurst, Sussex
Birth Source: 1911 Census

Death: April 1916, France
Death Source: CWGC



Our starting points for Ernest Reeves are just twofold
  1. the entry in "Soldiers Died in the Great War" indicates he was born at Wadhurst in Sussex.
  2. the entry in the "UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929" shows his father's name as also being Ernest.
It is believed Ernest is the individual who appears on the 1901 census in the household of Ernest Reeves and Orpah Elizabeth (nee GIBB) at Fox in (the) Wood, Wadhurst, Sussex. He is named as Ernest W REEVES, his relationship is given as son and he is shown as being just one month old with his place of birth noted as Wadhurst, Sussex. See Research Note 1 below.

On the 1911 census Ernest again appears in the household of Ernest Reeves and his wife Orpah Elizabeth REEVES who are still living at Fox in the Wood, Wadhurst, Sussex. The census records that his parents have been married for ten years and have had six children, all then surviving. Their first named child, whose relationship to the head of household is shown as son, is Ernest William GIBB (sic), aged 11 (sic), born Wadhurst, Sussex. His five younger siblings are listed with the surname REEVES. It is strongly suspected this is the same individual as Ernest W Reeves from the 1901 census and whilst he may have been known by the surname REEVES, his parents have recorded his legal name on this census return. There is a birth registration for Ernest William GIBB in the Ticehurst Registration District during the fourth quarter of 1899, which would fit this individual.

Ernest's death is recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website as simply E Reeves.   He was serving as Private SD/5059 in the 12th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment and died in April 1916. He is buried in the Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner near the village of Cuinchy in the Pas de Calais d√©partement of France (FR-62).   The CWGC website has no additional notes for this individual. See Research Note 2 below.

The death of Private SD/5059 of the Royal Sussex Regiment is included in the GRO Index to War Deaths 1914-1921. Army (Other Ranks) page 3012 as Ernest Reeves, year 1916, vol I.73, page 172.

The "UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929" entry for Private 5059 Ernest Reeves also shows him serving with the 12th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. It shows he was killed in action in either France or Belgium on 27 April 1916. The distribution of his effects was made to his father Ernest between September 1916 and September 1919.

Research Notes

(1) It is strongly believed that the 1901 census significantly under states Ernest's true age. The age given of one month places his birth after his parent's marriage in 4q1900.

"Soldiers Died" shows the place of birth for Ernest as Wadhurst, Sussex. However FreeBMD has no birth registration for an Ernest Reeves in the Ticehurst Registration District (1870-1905) which includes Wadhurst.

Searching Kent and Sussex (since Wadhurst sits very close to the Sussex/Kent county boundary) for Er* Reeves 1870-1905 gives 31 results, the vast majority have two given names. A similar search for * Er* Reeves yields 20 results. However, the 1911 census points to this line of enquiry being unnecessary.

(2) It has not been possible to use Ernest's Regimental Number to estimate his date of enlistment. However, http://battlefields1418.50megs.com/12sussex.htm indicates that the 12th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment crossed to France via Southampton on 5th/6th March 1916, landing at Havre. Ernest was to died within a few weeks of his arrival in France at 16 years of age.


Birth:        FreeBMD 1899, December quarter, Ticehurst Reg.Dist. as Ernest William GIBB
Death:      GRO Index to War Deaths 1914-1921. Army (Other Ranks) page 3012 as Ernest Reeves
                 CWGC http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/195326/REEVES, E

1901 Census: RG13, Piece 0894, Folio 25 face, Page 17
1911 Census: RG14, Piece 4909, Reg.Dist. 73 (Ticehurst), Sub Dist. 2 (Wadhurst), Enum.Dist. 2, Schedule 21

From Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1918 at FindMyPast
First name(s)           ERNEST
Last name               REEVES
Service number          SD/5059
Rank                    PRIVATE
Regiment                Royal Sussex Regiment
Battalion               12th Battalion.
Birth place             WADHURST, SUSSEX
Residence               -
Enlistment place        HASTINGS
Death year              1916
Death day               27
Death month             4
Cause of death          Killed in action
Death place             British Expeditionary Force
Theatre of war          Western European Theatre
Supplementary Notes     -

Contributors to this page: MartinB. .
Page last modified on Wednesday 06 of January, 2016 05:59:18 CST by MartinB..