Lewis Reeve

Birth:  ca 1887 Eastwood, Notts
Occupation:  Coal horse driver (1901)
Father:  Enoch REEVE (1861 - 1924)
Mother:  Mary NAYLOR (1865 - 1908)
Spouse:  Harriett HICKING
Birth:  ca 1890
Death:  8 Aug 1915 Eastwood
Marriage:  27 May 1912 Eastwood St. Mary, Notts.

 

Lewis had a terrible start to his life in the army.  While home on leave before his first posting, his wife suddenly died.

Deaths.
Reeve on August 8th at 20 Scargill-street, Harriet, wife of Lewis Reeve (on active service) aged 25 years.
Eastwood Soldier's Sad Homecoming
Pathetically sad has been the home-coming of Pte Lewis Reeve, 18643 3rd Leicesters, of 20 Scargill-street, Eastwood. Arriving home on Friday last on a four days leave from Burstwick Camp, in anticipation of shortly being on draft, the soldier's wife the next day fell into a state of collapse, and died in the early hours of Sunday morning. The interment took place on Wednesday in the Eastwood Cemetery, Pte. Reeve securing an extension of time to carry out this mournful duty.

Lewis suffered severe injury in WW1, and was at first believed to have been killed. Initially he lost his memory and speech, but recovered when visited in hospital by friends. It was reported by the Eastwood and Kimberley advertiser thus:

Jack Reeve  Jesse  Lewis

Our photograph gives another illustration of an Eastwood family which has been represented by three sons in this titanic struggle. The above are sons of Mr. Enoch Reeve, 45, Princes-street, and one (Lewis) has, we regret to state, been killed in action in France during the last few days. The news is not official, but there can be no doubt as to its accuracy.
The information was contained in a letter written in the trenches on March 14th by Pte. Geo. Radband, to his father, Mr. J. Radband, 19, Scargill-street, Eastwood. The two soldiers had been bosom companions, enlisting together on the 25th May 1915, and although Reeve was drafted to France earlier y two months than his companion, it was only a temporary separation, and they joined hands again in the trenches, and for the last three months had been fighting side-by-side. Referring to the sad event, Pte. Radband writes :- “A thing has happened this morning which has spoilt everything for me. I regret to have to tell you our dear friend Pte. Lewis Reeve was shot in the head this morning at 4a.m. I saw him directly afterwards, but he was quite unconscious, and had not spoken up to the time they carried him to the dressing station.  When the stretcher bearers returned about 6a.m.they told me he was rallying a bit and regaining his senses, and ten hours later he was reported to be a lot better and the wound not so bad as at first thought.” Expressing his confident hope that Lewis would get over it, Pte. Radband enclosed the unfortunate soldier’s cap badge showing where the bullet had passed clean through the tiger, and adds “You will see what a narrow shave he has had.” Making further enquiries the same evening at 7.30, however, he learnt the worst had happened, and that his friend had died in the motor ambulance on his way to hospital.
Pte. Lewis Reeve was a young widower, his wife dying suddenly whilst he was home on leave last autumn.

Six weeks later, the paper published a second article:

REPORTED KILLED-BUT STILL ALIVE
REMARKABLE CASE OF AN EASTWOOD SOLDIER
REGAINS SPEECH AFTER EIGHT WEEKS

Remarkable facts have just come to light in the case of Pte. Lewis Reeve, an Eastwood soldier in the Leicester Regiment, and the most pleasing fact of all is that he is alive, but suffering from loss of memory and speech. Pte. Lewis Reeve, one of three sons serving with the Colours, belonging to Mr. Enoch Reeve (45, Princes-street, Eastwood) was reported as being killed in action on March 14th, and the news was undoubtedly conveyed in all good faith as being correct.  The news came from his most intimate friend and companion-in-arms, Pte. George Radband, who ...... will receive the good news with equal surprise and pleasure as those of his friends have done locally.
It has since transpired that Reeve has been in hospital in France, and was later transferred to Epsom, where he now lies.  Reeves' injury was caused by a rifle shot wound, the bullet passing through his hat badge into the skull and out behind the left ear. As a result of the injury he became paralysed in the right arm, side, and leg, and it is alleged that never from that date (March 14th) until last Wednesday [May 3rd]had he spoken anything but a mere monosyllable, and his memory also seems to have been a complete blank. He has gradually been regaining the use of the limbs affected, and on Wednesday, when visited by three Eastwood associates, he astounded the attendants and inmates of the ward by bursting into speech when he recognised who were his visitors. He spoke in short disjointed sentences, but as actual intelligible conversation took place between the unfortunate soldier and his friends, and he, apparently regaining some of his memory at the same time, made enquiries which his friends rightly interpreted to be respecting his little son, and he is said to have shown infinite delight on hearing good news of him and made a resolve forthwith to get better for his sake. His memory afterwards took him back to his friend Radband in the fighting line, and he expressed a desire to get better and rejoin him. The sudden shock and excitement of seeing old friends had undoubtedly performed a miracle, and, added our informant, "I have every confidence now that Reeve will get better. Anyway, after two hours conversation we left him singing, 'It's a long way to Tipperary.'"

 

1891 Census: Brinsley RG12/2661/23/234
1901 Census: Old Brinsley RG13/3143/35/50
1911 Census: 60 Princes St., Eastwood.  

 

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