Reigate, St Mary Magdalene

Like Redhill, Reigate sent seven ringers to war. Two of the Reigate ringers did not return. Henry John Dewey had initially enlisted underage in the Grenadier Guards, but was discharged after little over a week. In 1915 he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps instead. His service in France was eventful, twice receiving “Blighty” wounds requiring evacuation to the UK. He was then posted to India and there drowned in an accident. He is buried in the Bolarum Cavalry Barracks Cemetery, but that is no longer maintained, so he is commemorated on the Madras 1914-1918 Memorial. William Frank Smith also volunteered for service with a prestigious unit, in his case the Royal Horse Guards. However trench warfare showed we had a surfeit of cavalry and he was one of many men of the Household Cavalry who were transferred to the Household Battalion, though they retained their status as part of the Household Cavalry this was actually an infantry unit.

Of the men who surived there are the two Hoad brothers George Frederick and Henry Albert. Details of their service are confirmed by Ringing World mentions (and surviving service papers for George). The RAF record of Henry Frederick Ewins also survives. The identities of Harold Bennett and James Henry Judd are harder to be completely sure about.

  • Private Henry John Dewey † Drowned accidentally, 10 February 1917; twice wounded previously — Grenadier Guards; Calaba War Hospital (Bombay), Royal Army Medical Corps. [Enlisted under age in the Grenadier Guards on 6 September 1914, discharged just over a week later as “inefficient”. Joined RAMC in 1915 having actually turned 18, entered France 20 July 1915, and was twice injured and returned to England, before being posted to India.]
  • Acting Corporal William Frank Smith † Killed in Action 6 May 1917 — Royal Horse Guards, Household Battalion. [Although he was still serving with the Household Cavalry, the Household Battalion was actually an infantry unit, formed from men who had proved surplus to requirements as cavalry, given the situation on the Western Front.]
  • Private [?Acting Corporal?] ?Harold? Bennett — Army Ordnance Corps. [There is only one H Bennett in the Medal Index Cards who served in the Ordnance Corps, he is shown as an acting corporal, the original roll lists H Bennett as a private. There is a Reigate-resident Harold Bennett in the 1911 census, but nothing to definitively link the two.]
  • 2nd Class Air Mechanic Henry Frederick Ewins — Royal Air Force. [RAF record not yet viewed.]
  • Sapper George Frederick Hoad — 2nd Reserve Battalion, 158th Army Troops Company, 206th (Glasgow) Field Company, Royal Engineers. [Brother of Henry Albert below.]
  • Gunner Henry Albert Hoad — Royal Garrison Artillery. [Brother of George Frederick above.]
  • Private James Henry Judd — the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment); East Kent Regiment. [No definite link between man in census and Medal Index Card – only Queen’s service shown on original roll]

Information about the ringers today can be found on the Surrey Association website.

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3 thoughts on “Reigate, St Mary Magdalene

  1. Pingback: St Mary Magdalene, Reigate – the Hoad brothers | halfmuffled

  2. Pingback: Leonard Francis Goodwin (1880-1934) | halfmuffled

  3. Pingback: Albert Arthur Stoner (1896-7 July 1916†) | halfmuffled

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