LOOKING BACK - March 23, 2017 edition

Tom Reynolds with his three sons who died, (from left) Herbert, Jack and Frank.
Tom Reynolds with his three sons who died, (from left) Herbert, Jack and Frank.

Tom Reynolds and his sons

Today’s Memory Lane story follows on from last week’s dedication of the Memorial Gates in March 1922.

Ernest Reynolds who was injured but survived

Ernest Reynolds who was injured but survived

The Rugby man given the honour of opening the gates at the service was Tom Reynolds, who was the sad subject of our 100 years ago archive on November 24 last year, when the council granted him a free grave for his third son, who had been killed in the fighting. His fourth son was wounded and still in hospital in Birmingham. Just before the war Mr Reynolds had also lost his wife.

When I printed the story I did wonder if the fourth son survived. So I need to say a huge thank you to his granddaughter Barbara Coleman, who was pleased to tell us that he did. The four brothers were Ernest (her grandfather, the eldest and the only one married at the time of WW1), Jack (the one whose body was returning from Chichester in our 1916 story - he was wounded on the Somme), Frank (who was killed early in the war and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing in Belgium) and Herbert (killed on the Somme and commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France).

At the opening of the Memorial Gates, their father Tom was presented with a commemorative key, which has now passed to Barbara, his great-granddaughter.

She tells us that Tom Reynolds married three times and his first wife was the mother of the three sons killed in the first world war, along with the surviving brother.

Tom Reynolds is on the very left of this cutting from the gates dedication

Tom Reynolds is on the very left of this cutting from the gates dedication

However, she died while the boys were quite young and Tom married his second wife. It was presumably this wife who was mentioned in the Advertiser 1916 archive.

Tom married a third time and Barbara says there are relatives in Rugby to whom Tom was grandfather.

Tom Reynolds is pictured in the Advertiser cutting with his three sons who died, (from left) Herbert, Jack and Frank.

Ernest is inset, taken from a family photograph with his wife Ethel and two daughters, Marjorie and Muriel. Marjorie was Barbara’s mother.