( 3) Reginald Weller
Killed in Trenches at Kemmel Chateau
The 3rd Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers went to France in mid January 1915 and by early March they were holding the trenches east of Kemmel.
On the 9th March they were under attack from a artillery bombardment when their CO, Lt-Col Guy du Maurier, was killed by a direct hit on his HQ. Guy du Maurier was the uncle of the writer Daphne du Maurier.
A war letter from Pte. Leonard Rawson who was in the Derbyshire Territorial’s who were stationed here at the same time says:
On our front is the long line of German trenches and about fifty yards away is ours. To the rear of us there is only one mass of ruins, dead cattle and men meet the eye on every side and there is not a human being bar the dead visible. It is sudden death to show yourself even for a second, but we are getting hardened to it, and bar the shells are pretty safe.
Private Reginald Weller (3) of F Company, 3rd Royal Fusiliers joined up in September 1914 and was deployed to France on 7th March 1915. Five days later on 12th March he was killed in action. We do not know how he died but it is most likely to be shell fire, mortar grenade or a sniper. He was 19 years old.
Reginald Weller was born in Hampstead in 1896 to Arthur and Rhoda Weller. He had a brother Archibald Arthur Weller (33) who also died in the war. In 1911 the family lived in Benfleet at Ryecroft (No. 21), South View Road and Reginald was a boot shop assistant. The parents still lived in Benfleet in 1918 and ensured both their sons names were on the War memorial.