Reeves, William Harold (c1891 SSX - 1914 Belgium)


Reeves, William Harold (aka Reeves, Harold William)


Father: William REEVES
Mother: Mary Ann LANGLEY (subsequently LAHIFF)

Birth: c1891
Birth Source: FreeBMD and Census

Death: 1914
Death Source: CWGC.org



William Harold REEVES is the eldest of three known children of William REEVES and his wife mary Ann (nee LANGLEY). William's birth was registered during the first quarter of 1891 in the Brighton Registration District.

William and his parents have yet to be identified on the 1891 census, when he would have been less than six months old and perhaps only days old.

It is likely the death of his father is that registered during the fourth quarter of 1900 in the Brighton Registration District. On the 1901 census William appears in the household of his widowed mother Mary Ann REEVES. The family are living in two rooms at 12 Coombe Terrace, Preston in Brighton, Sussex. William is 10 years old and, like his siblings, was born in Brighton, Sussex. In addition to his mother Mary A Reeves (aged 33, born Moulton, Suffolk) are his brother Horace L Reeves (6) and his sister Gladys M Reeves (3).

Based on his service number 18994, it is likely William enlisted in the Royal Engineers in the summer of 1909 (see Research Note 2 below).

It is most probable that William is the individual listed in the Royal Engineers Barracks at Brompton, Chatham in Kent. This and all subsequent military references to this individual show his name as Harold William REEVES. His age is given as 18 and his place of birth as Brighton, Essex (sic rather than Sussex). He is single and a Sapper with the trade of Riveter.

It is believed that William's death is that recorded on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website as Harold William Reeves.  He was serving as Lance Corporal 18994 in the 54th Field Company, Royal Engineers and died in October 1914. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in the town of Ypres (now Ieper), West-Vlaanderen, Belgium (BE-VWV).   The CWGC website additionally notes "Son of Mary A. Latriff (formerly Reeves), of 59, Riley Rd., Brighton, and the late William Reeves". The CWGC is alone in showing his mother's new surname as LATRIFF. The 1911 census return clearly show LAHIFF at the same street address and the index to marriage registrations is also as LAHIFF.

The death of L/Cpl 18994 of the Royal Engineers is included in the GRO Index to War Deaths 1914-1921. Army (other Ranks) page 3013 as Harold W Reeves, year 1914, vol E.1, page 201.

His death is recorded on the Brighton War Memorial in Old Steine Gardens, Brighton as William Harold REEVES. There are three other individuals sharing the surname Reeves commemorated there; Albert Reeves and George Reeves who were brothers and Ernest Reeves.

Research Notes

(1) The marriage of William's mother Mary Ann to John LAHIFF was registered during the fourth quarter of 1903 in the Brighton Registration District and although William is not living in his step-father's household at 59 Riley Road, Brighton at the time of the 1911 census, his younger brother Horace Langley REEVES was.

(2) The likely date of Harold's enlistment in the Royal Engineers is based on information found at http://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/royal-engineers-1881-1914.html. It shows that sapper 18313 joined on 12 January 1909 and 19801 on 25 January 1910.

(3) The Long, Long Trail website http://www.1914-1918.net/re.htm notes that the 54th Field Company, RE was allocated to the 7th Division of the British Army in September 1914.


Birth:        FreeBMD 1891, March quarter, Brighton Registration District
Death:      GRO Index to War Deaths 1914-1921 Army (Other Ranks) page 3013
                 CWGC http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1625745/REEVES, HAROLD WILLIAM
1891 Census:
1901 Census: RG13, Piece 0942, Folio 84 face, Page 11
1911 Census: RG14, Piece 3961, Reg. Dist. 47 (Medway), Sub Dist. 2 (Gillingham), Enum. Dist. 32, Book 5, Page 1, Row 18

1911 Census: Mother - RG14, Piece 5170, Reg.Dist. 080 (Steyning), Sub Dist. 1 (Preston), Enum.Dist. 18, Schedule 318

Brighton War Memorial http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Sussex/Brighton.html
Contributors to this page: MartinB. .
Page last modified on Thursday 02 of July, 2015 12:02:04 CDT by MartinB..