Reginald was born on 15th Oct 1884 in Blean, Canterbury, Kent and baptised on 5th November, to mother Mercy Court, his father not mentioned on the birth certificate but in September 1887 William Hudson became Reginald’s stepfather. The couple had a son, Wallace in the following spring and the family were recorded on the 1891 census living at 2 St Thomas Hill Cottages (although William was not listed).
Reginald worked as a grocer's boy before joining the Navy for twelve years service and began his training as a Boy 2nd Class. His service record follows:
HMS IMPREGNABLE - 09/08/1900 - 15/08/1900
HMS LION - 16/08/1900 - 07/06/1901, before he was invalided out (reason unknown) and aboard during the 1901 census.
HMS PEMBROKE - 26/07/1901 - 20/06/1904, rising to Domestic 3rd Class on 26th July 0901 and Domestic 2nd Class on 01/01/1903
HMS TRIUMPH - 21/06/1904 - 12/09/1906, rising to Domestic 1st Class on 21/06/1904
HMS ARGYLL - 03/09/1906 - 03/03/1907
HMS PEMBROKE I - 04/03/1907 - 29/04/1907
HMS LEVIATHAN - 30/04/1907 - 30/03/1908, rising to Officer’s Cook 1st Class on 01/10/1907
HMS BLACK PRINCE - 31/03/1908 - 31/03/1908
HMS PEMBROKE I - 01/04/1908 - 24/06/1908,
HMS AGAMEMNON - 05/04/1908 - 21/02/1913, discharge to shore at Portland from 01/01/1911 to 04/04/1911 and while on leave from the shore establishment he married Minnie Elizabeth Alice Clark at Blean in October 1908. The couple were also listed on the 1911 census visiting 2 St Stephens Fields, Canterbury and then quite likely popped to number 7 on the same street where his mother and siblings lived. Mercy had remarried again to Robert Pointer in December 1902 and had a further two children.
HMS PEMBROKE I - 22/02/1913 - 31/03/1913
HMS SHANNON - 01/04/1913 - 08/01/1914
HMS PEMBROKE I - 09/01/1914 - 26/01/1914
HMS SIRIUS - 27/01/1914 - 21/05/1914, discharged to shore and paid off service
HMS VANGUARD - 19/06/1914 - 09/07/1917
Reginald was 5’5” tall when at full height, with brown hair, brown eyes, a scar on his tongue from a bite and a tattoo of rose leaves on his left forearm. Following his death his pension and will contents of £106 were granted to his widow who never remarried. She was also issued with his Star, Victory and British war medals.
Reginald is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial.
(#107 - 206/843)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 FreeBMD
England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
1891, 1901 & 1911 England Census
Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-193 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 369
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; Piece: 007 (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/7; Scan Number: 0910
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 051/0216/COU-COV
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 99
Photos courtesy of Stuart Harding