REGINALD DIVALL

Private, SD/4882, 11th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
Killed in Action on 6 December 1917 near Ypres, Belgium, aged 26
Buried in White House Cemetery, St. Jean-les-Ypres
 

White House Cemetery, St Jean-les-Ypres
(Click to enlarge)

Private Reginald Divall was born in Coleman's Hatch in 1891. He was the son of Leonard Divall (b. 1849) and Hannah Tasker Divall (née Weeding) (b. 1852). Reginald's father was recorded as a farming and carting contractor in the 1911 census. Reginald's pre-war occupation was gardener. He married Sarah Carpenter on 12 February 1916 in the parish church at West Hoathly, Sussex. He was the brother of Ada Wheatley, whose son, Charlie Wheatley, serving with the Royal Navy, died in a drowning accident after the war had ended.

Reginald lived in Bishopstoke, Hampshire. He enlisted on 6 September 1915 in Tonbridge, and was listed as living in Tunbridge Wells at the time.

In December 1917 Reginald was serving on the Western Front with the 11th Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment, based in a camp near Ypres, Belgium. It was on 6 December that he was killed in action by a bomb dropped from an enemy aircraft near Ypres. The Battalion War Diaries give more background about circumstances of Reginald's death. On 3 December recorded enemy aircraft overhead and dropping bombs which caused some casualties among the Middlesex Regiment camp nearby. Weather conditions were cold and snowing and the soldiers were billeted in tents. Floor boards were put down on 5 December. On 6 December three men were recorded as being wounded in a working party and later enemy aircraft bombed the camp including the latrines and one of 'B' Company's tents. This resulted in six killed and ten wounded. One of the dead is likely to have been Reginald.

Reginald was 26 when he died. He was buried in White House Cemetery, St. Jean-les-Ypres: Special Memorial 10.

Coleman's Hatch War Memorial
(Click to enlarge)

Reginald left three pounds, nineteen shillings and ninepence to his wife Sarah in his will.

He is listed on the war memorials in Coleman's Hatch, Hartfield and Bishopstoke.

Carol O'Driscoll