Lance Corporal Reginald Lee

Service: 5th Battalion. Australian Imperial Force
Service No: 1574
Date & place of birth: 29 January 1895. Brighton
Date & place of death: 16 May 1915 (aged 20) on board Hospital Ship Royal George

Reginald Lee was the son of a West Sussex Police Constable and in his early years moved around the county. He joined the army at the age of 15 and after serving in South Africa went to Australia. He was also known under the alias of ‘Thomas’. One of his younger brothers, Harold,  was killed later in the War.

Family background

Reginald Lee was born in Brighton, the eldest son of seven children of Thomas Lee, a West Sussex Police Constable, who was born in Slaugham, and Ellen Sarah Lee,  who was from Great Baddow in Essex. In 1901, the family was living in Amberley but by 1911 had moved to Cowfold with a spell in Funtington between these dates. Reginald was educated in Amberley, Bognor and Funtington. At the time of Reginald’s death the family was living in Elsted.

Military service

On 9 November 1910 (aged 15), Reginald Lee enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery and served three years taking his discharge on 9 May 1913 in Simon’s Town, South Africa. He then went to Adelaide in Australia. When war was declared, he immediately joined the Commonwealth Expeditionary Force and after a short period of training at Melbourne was sent to Egypt and from there to the Dardanelles.

Death and commemoration

At the Dardanelles, he was wounded by a shell while loading up ammunition and died on board the Hospital Ship Royal George, between Alexandria and Malta on 16 May 1915.

The West Sussex Gazette printed a small notice about Reginald’s death in the edition of 20 May 1915.

He is commemorated on the Rogate War Memorial.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project