Private 2178358 Harold William Edward Reynolds

 Reynolds Harold 96 400x600

Killed in Action on Friday, 19th July 1918, age 21.
Buried in Grave III. A. 14. at Bellacourt Military Cemetery, Riviere, Pas De Calais, France.

52nd Bn., Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regt.).

Son of Mr and Mrs Edmund Reynolds, of 37 High Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Dudley, Enlisted: Ottawa, Canada, Resident: Buffalo, Minnesota, USA.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and St. Matthew's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/558092/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
4 Little Street, Dudley, Worcs.
Edmund Reynolds (33, General Labourer, born Dudley, his wife Elizabeth (31, born Bridgnorth, and their 3 children: Annie (5, born Dudley), Harold (4, born Dudley), and Arthur (11 months, born Dudley).

By 1911 Harold's parents had moved to Woodsetton, and Harold was a Farm Boy at Brocton Hall Farm, Shifnal.

1911 Census
6 Regent Street, Swan Village, Woodsetton, Dudley, Worcs.
Edmund Thomas Reynolds (44, General Labourer, born Dudley), his wife Elizabeth Maria (41, born Bridgnorth), and 2 of their 4 surviving children of 9: Henry Orme (4, born Dudley), Louis Sylvester (2, born Tipton).

1911 Census
Brocton Hall, Shifnal, Shropshire.
Living with William Smith (54, Farmer, born Shifnal) and his wife and 4 children was:
Harold William E. Reynolds (14, Boy on Farm, born Dudley).

Personal Data

Harold attested with the 106th Winnipeg Light Infantry on October 20th 1917 in Winnipeg. His address was given as Buffalo, Minnesota, USA, born Dudley. Next of kin was his father Edmund Reynolds at 37 High Street, Tipton. Harold's occupation was given as Farmer, he was a single man, born 15th April 1897. He had previously applied to join the Air Force, but had been rejected due to 'Lack of Education' and no other military experience. At attestation he was 20 years 6 months old, 5ft 3½ inches tall with a 34-inch chest, dark complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair, he was In good health with 20/20 vision. His religion was given as Presbyterian.
From Canadian on-line records.

Action resulting in his death

On July 16th 1918, the Canadian 52nd Battalion moved to the front line just to the East of Neuville Vitasse, about 3 miles South of Arras.

Their War Diary of the 19th July reports shelling of their Support lines near Beaumetz-les-Loges, about 6 miles East of the front line. It also reports that 1 Other Ranks was killed in action – that would be Harold Reynolds.

It is likely that Harold was in the Support lines as the Tipton Herald of 17th August reported that Harold was killed while on Post Duty, that is distributing the post amongst his comrades. The Tipton Herald also reports that Harold died after “a bullet from a machine-gun entering his brain, and he died without regaining consciousness.”

Harold is buried at Bellacourt Military Cemetery, Riviere, which is just over a mile from Beaumetz-les-Loges.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald August 3rd 1918
Private Reynolds, whose parents reside in High Street, Tipton, is reported killed. He was living in America when war broke out, and enlisted voluntarily.

Tipton Herald August 17th 1918
Death of Gallant young Tiptonian
The death of another brave young Tiptonian, who was in the United States at the time the outbreak of war, is reported. He is Private Harold W.E. Reynolds, the son of Mr and Mrs Edmund Reynolds, of 37 High Street, Tipton. Their son was killed in action on July 19th, and was 21 years of age. He joined the Winnipeg Light Infantry in August 1917, and came over to England on February 19th with the 18th Canadian Reserves. He was in the United States when the war broke out, and travelled from Enderlin in North Dakota, USA to Ottawa, Canada in order to join up voluntarily. He was on the post duty when he met his death, a bullet from a machine gun entering his brain, and he died without regaining consciousness. In a letter to his parents, Lieutenant Spicer described him as having a cheerful nature, and liked by all those he came into contact with, always doing his duty cheerfully. The deceased soldier was a grandson of Thomas Reynolds, who emigrated from High Street, Kate's Hill to Bacalo (actually Buffalo), United States some years ago, and who sent for the deceased six years last June.