Lance Corporal Reginald Courtenay

Regiment: 33rd Battalion Machine Gun Corps
Service No: S4/158390 then 88669

Date & place of birth: 1894 in Lodsworth
Date & place of death:
17 April 1918 near Ypres, aged 24

Reginald Courtenay was born in Lodsworth but his family moved around the Tillington – Selham – Lodsworth area. Reginald enlisted early in the war and served firstly in the Royal Army Service Corps and then in the 33rd Battalion Machine Gun Corps. He was killed near Ypres, probably in the Battle of the Lys.

Family background

Reginald Courtenay was born in Lodsworth in 1894 and baptised on 11 November 1894 at St Peter’s church in Lodsworth. He was the son of Caleb Courtenay, a gardener originally from Tillington, and his wife Fanny née Devereux from Compton, Bedfordshire. They were then living in Well Cottage, Vicarage Lane, Lodsworth.

By 1901 the family was living in The Kennels, Tillington. In 1911 they were living at Sickleham, between Tillington and Selham, and Reginald was working as a carter on a farm. At the time he enlisted in 1915 he was a baker, living at Halfway Bridge, Lodsworth.

Military service

Reginald’s attestation papers show that he enlisted in Lodsworth on 9 December 1915. He served in the Royal Army Service Corps with service number S4/158390. Subsequently he was promoted to Lance Corporal 88669 in the 33rd Battalion Machine Gun Corps.

Death & commemoration

Reginald was killed in action near Ypres, Belgium on 17 April 1918 aged 24. This was probably during the Battle of the Lys. From 17 to 19 April the German Fourth Army attacked The Kemmelberg, a height commanding the area between Armentières and Ypres, but was repulsed by the British.

Reginald has no known grave and is commemorated on The Tyne Cot Memorial, south-west of Passchendaele, and on the Lodsworth war memorial.

Subsequent family history

Reginald’s younger brother James appears to have been just too young to have served in World War 1.

His mother Fanny probably died in 1952 aged 84 and his father Caleb in 1953 aged 85.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project