Willie Reeves

Village memories: Back Lane, Loudwater (picture from SWOP website)

No picture available

Private 265981 1st Battalion, Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry
Killed in action on 10th March 1917 aged 19
Remembered with Honour in Hem Farm Military Cemetery in France.

Willie was born in Flackwell Heath in 1898 to John and Susan. By 1911 the family were living at New Villas in Back Lane, Loudwater. John was a farm labourer and Willie and one younger brother and sister were still at school.
Willie enlisted in the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry in Aylesbury where he was attached to the 1st Bucks Battalion and sent to the front early in 1915. His first leave home was not until Christmas in 1916. Private Reeves was killed in action by a gas shell in Flanders on 10th March 1917.
Willie's obituary in the Bucks free Press reports his service number as 2943 and age at death as 26, which conflicts with the 1911 census return so he may have given a false date of birth to enlist underage. It goes on to say that Willie was killed in his trench and both officers and men regret the loss of a good soldier who was always ready to carry out his duties. Willie is remembered with honour in the Hem Farm Military Cemetery in France and his name also appears on the Wycombe Marsh memorial.

Additional information taken from the Buckinghamshire Remembers website:

Name Willie (William) REEVES
Rank/Number Private 265981
Regiment Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry 1/1st Bucks Battalion
Enlisted Aylesbury
Age/Date of death 19? 10 Mar 1917
How died/Theatre of war Killed in action France & Flanders
Last known address Loudwater
Cemetery Hem Farm Military Cemetery, Hem-Monacu, Somme, France
Grave or Memorial Reference II.L.15
Location of memorial Loudwater
Date/Place of birth c1898? Flackwell Heath?
Date/Place of baptism
Pre-war occupation of Casualty
Parents John & Susan Reeves?
Parent's occupation labourer?
Parents’ Address (last known) 1901: Flackwell Heath?
Wife’s Address (last known)

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