war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War I



Surnames R

Rawlings, G.  
George Rawlings, G/3929, was born in Bow, but lived and enlisted in Dover. In 1911 he was working as a beer bar manager and living at 1 Westbury Road, Dover, with his wife, Ellen, his mother-in-law Sarah Bond, and his sons Charles, George, and Alfred, and his daughters Alice and May.

He became a Corporal in The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment). He served in the 1st battalion, and died on 25th September 1915. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial in France, panel 13-15.

Note: George Rawlings' medal card states that his death was presumed on 29/5/15 

Raysbrook, E. A.  
Ernest Albert Raysbrook, 305485, was born in Dover on 22 August 1884. He was the son of Frederick Raysbrook, a basket maker born in Ashford, and his wife Agnes, née Pattison, born in Smeeth, Kent. In 1891 the family were living at 131 London Road, Dover, with two sons and a daughter having been born at Peckham, and Ernest and his younger brother Sidney having been born at Hougham. In 1901, the family were living at 10 Eric Street, Buckland, Dover, and Ernest, then aged 16, was working as a builder's labourer.

Ernest lost his life on 28 April 1916, and is buried at the Malta Capuccini Naval Cemetery, 316. He was a 1st class Stoker in the Royal Navy, last serving on HMS "Russell". At the time of his death, his wife, Rebecca, was living at 24 Clarendon Street, Dover.

Note: Ernest's nephew, Sidney Ernest F. Raysbrook, died in World War II, with the HMS Repute. In 1988 Sidney's sisters, Ivy, Rose, and Daisy, laid a simple wreath of flowers at the War Memorial during the Remembrance service.

Research note: Ernest Raybrook (sic) according to the National Archives was born in Dover on 22 Aug 1884. No middle name is noted. He is known as "Raybrook" on both the national archives and the CWGC; the CWGC records him just by the initial "E", no forename. The 1901 census has for Ernest Raysbrook an aged of 16, which suggests a date of birth before 31 March 1885. FreeBMD has an Ernest Albert Raysbrook registered in Dover in the December quarter 1885. FreeBMD does not have a "Raybrook" born in Dover.

Reader, F.  
This was Frank Reader, and could be Frank Reader, the son of Henry and Mary Reader. In 1891 they were living at 58 East Cliff, Dover. Henry was then a Bath Chair Man, but previously had been living at The Barracks, Kingsthorpe Road, Northamptonshire and was a militia man. Frank was born around 1881 in Northampton; he is recorded as Harry in that census, but as Frank in the 1891 cenus. One of Frank's brothers, Henry in the 1881 census and Harry in the 1891 cenus, four years older than Frank, had been born at the Shorncliffe Army Camp. By 1901 Henry was a widower, living at Douro Cottage, St James.

Frank's name may have been Henry Frank Reader; if so then he is probably the man who was born on 6 April 1880 in Northampton, and who lost his life on 15 October 1914, serving with HMS Hawke. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, England, panel 3. He was married to Mary Jane Reader, from 143 Cowick Road, Upper Tooting, SW17

PS Reader, courtesy Dover ExpressReader, P. S.  
Percival Stanley Reader, 16, enlisted in Dover, and was a Private in the 7th Dragoon Guards (Princess Royal's) of the Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line (including Yeomanry and Imperial Camel Corps).. He was reported wounded and missing on 21st December 1914, and later was notified as killed in action. He was 27, and is commemorated on Le Touret memorial in France. On Wednesday, 29th September 1915, a memorial service was held at Buckland church for him and a number of other parishioners who had become casualties. Two of his brothers sang in the choir. 

He was born at Tunbridge Wells, and enlisted in Dover. He was the son of William Nicholas Reader, who was a goods agent at the Dover Town Station for the SECR, and his wife Clara Jane. They lived at 62 Buckland Avenue, Barton Road, Dover, and later at 13 Buckland Avenue. They lost a second son, Reginald, below. They also had two other sons on active service.

RE Reader, courtesy Dover ExpressReader, R. E.  
Reginald Edward Reader, S/27441, enlisted in Brighton and had lived in Dover, and was a Rifleman in the 1st battalion of the Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) (formerly R/30199 of the KRRC), and attached to the Royal Flying Corps. He was 31 when he died of wounds on 17th May 1917. He is buried at Etaples Military cemetery in France.

Reginald was brother to Percival, above, and also born at Tunbridge Wells. His wife was Phoebe Clara Reader, who lived at 11 Western Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. She had previously been living in Burgess Hill, Sussex, and her parents, Mr and Mrs Sharp, lived at 1 Alfred Road, Dover.   

G W Redgate, grave, by Simon ChambersRedgate, G. W. 
George Williams Redgate.  He was 42, and an Artificer Engineer, when he died on 9th January 1918. He served with the HMS "Racoon", which was wrecked off the Irish coast.   He is buried at Saint Peter and St Paul's, River, Dover in the United Kingdom.

He was the son of John and Mary Ann Redgate, husband of Helena Redgate, of 1 Ellas Road, Crouch Hill, London.

To be confirmed is whether George was the person who wrote of the sinking of the "Bluecher" when he was aboard the "Princess Royal"  That George's parents were Mr and Mrs Redgate, of 1 Glebe Land Cottages, River, and Mr Redgate worked for 30 years at the Packet Yard in Dover. George also worked there and was considered well-known in Dover. He wrote thus:

"It is evident the Germans did not expect us, as some of the "Bluecher's" officers had their pyjamas on under their uniform as though they had turned out hurriedly. One who was saved had not been touched by anything, but the blast from a busting shell had driven his pyjamas right into his flesh so that as long as he lives he will always be ready for bed. It was a sight to see the "Bluecher" gradually settling and then disappear, and the Zeppelins hovering overhead dropping bombs on their own unfortunate countrymen. They carefully lept out of range of our 13.5's however and we could not afford to stop as the submarines were getting busy. We fired our first round at 9.7 and finished up just before "opening time". The "Molkte" will remember the "Princess Royal" and I am very doubtful as to her reaching harbour. She was badly on fire when we saw her last."

Reeder, R.  
Robert Reeder was a Captain and Flight Commander with the Royal Flying Corps, and from the Manchester Regiment, with the 10th, formerly 6th, battalion. He was killed in action in France on 6 January 1918  when he was 24, and is buried at the Doullens Communal Cemetery Extension No 1 in France.

He had been a scholar and pupil teacher at St Martin's and from St Martin's had won a scholarship to the County (now Grammar) School in 1907. He had also been an Assistant Master at the Barton Road School. He enlisted in the Artists' Rifles while a student at St John's College, Battersea, from which he graduated in 1916. He is named on the memorial there. He was eventually commissioned in the Manchester Regiment TF.

He was the son of Captain R J Reeder (Royal Engineers) and Lilian Maud Reeder, from 19a Emmanuel Road, Balham, London, formerly 9 Staff Colony, Tidworth, Hampshire. In 1911 he and his brother Charles were living with their mother at 19 Malmains Road, Dover, where Robert, aged 14, was a student teacher. His nephew, Robert Reeder, son of his brother Charles, lost his life in WWII. His brother-in-law, Leslie Nowers,  was lost in the Atlantic Ocean on 27 June 1918.

Resources (.pdf)

Robert Reeder was a trainee teacher, and knew casualty A T Eaves. He is one of the casualties for whom resources were found for the "Unknown Warrior 90th Anniversary" project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Reeve, W. D'A. 
Wentworth D'Arcy Reeve (Charles D'Arcy Edmund Wentworth Reeve) was a Captain in the Royal Flying Corps and Suffolk Regiment. He died on 18th July 1916 at Hounslow Heath, and is buried in Great Livermere (St Peter) Churchyard, Suffolk.

He was the son of Mr Charles Sydney Wentworth Reeve and Annie Beatrice Reeve, née Holden, from Thorpe Satchville, Melton Mowbray and Livermere Park, Bury St. Edmunds, where they kept a number of servants. The couple were married on 9 May 1889 at St Mary the Virgin, Dover. Then Mr Reeve was living at Beach Street and was a Lieutenant in the 19th Prince of Wales Own Hussars. Miss Holden was the daughter of John Rose Holden, a barrister, and living at Victoria Park.

Charles was the youngest of four children;  he had two sisters,  Helen Laura Wentworth Reeve and Margery Beatrice Wentworth Reeve, and a brother John. Talbot Wentworth Reeve. These three were all christened at St Mary the Virgin, Dover, between 1890 and 1892; the Reeves were then liviing at Victoria Park (no 13 in 1892, the home of the Holden family). Born in Owsden, Suffolk, on 5 August 1894, Charles was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Suffolk Regiment, while training to fly at the Military School, Farnborough, on a Maurice Farman Biplane.

E Reeves, courtesy Dover ExpressReeves, E.  
Edward Reeves, 156975, enlisted in Dover and was a Gunner in the 174th Siege Battery of the RGA. He died on 17th/18th September 1918 from shell wounds that he had received in action at St Quentin. He is buried at Heath Cemetery, Harbonnieres, France.

His parents were Mr G R and Mrs S Reeves, from 4 Durham Place, Dover, in which town he was born. He was their fourth son. His wife was Mrs H E S Reeves, who lived at 39 Limekiln Street, and later at 22 (CWGC says 2) Victoria Dwellings, Dover.

In September 1940, his sister Lizzie and brother-in-law Charlie, and his nieces, from Hull, inserted an in memoriam notice "In loving memory of our dear brother (Ted)... dearly loved and sadly missed".

"To the cherished memory of Gnr. Edward (Ted) Reeves ..."Sleep lightly Ted, thou art for King's guard in the morning" - Stewart." - 1950

Reeves, M. B. 
Michael Bridgland Reeves, 15114, was a Private in the South African Infantry, in the 2nd regiment. He died on 15th December 1917, when he was 43. He is buried in the Fins New British Cemetery, Sorel-Le-Grand in France.

Born in Middlesex, his mother was Mrs Mary Thornton Reeves, from London. His wife was Minnie Reeves, of 25 Leathern Road, Durban, South Africa. She was born in Tonbridge in Kent. In 1901 they were living at 13 Barton Gardens, Dover, with their then two-year-old son, Basil, who had been born in Clapham. 

AV Reid gravestone, by Andy and Michelle CooperReid, A. V.  
Albert Victor Reid, 149957, was a Gunner in the 265th Siege battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery (formerly 358677, Kent RGA (T)). He died of wounds on 27 March 1918, when he was 19, and now lies in the St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen in France.

He was the son of Mr Harry Reid, a stoker at the paper mill, and Mrs Mary Reid, of 181 London Road, Buckland, Dover, and was born and enlisted in that town. In 1911 he was living at 153 London Road with his parents, his brothers Henry and Albert, and his sisters Florence and Lucy.

The words at the bottom of the headstone say:

His duty was well done
Gone but not forgotten

It is probable that Alfred George Reid, a civilian casualty in 1940, was his brother

Rich, F.  
Frederick Rich, G/25996, was a Private in the 11th battalion of the Royal West Surrey Regiment (The Queen's) (formerly 30601, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry). He died of wounds on 2 October 1918 at the 105 Field Ambulance in France, and is buried at the Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery in Belgium.

He was born in Shorncliffe, and enlisted and lived in Dover. In 1911 he was living at 49 Winchelsea Street, Dover, with his parents, Edmond, an Army Pensioner who was a labourer at the Admiralty Works, and who was born in Taranaki, New Zealand, and Emily Rich, and his sister Florence and brothers William and Francis. He worked at the Dover Express offices before joining up, and was a great friend of George Cyril Dennis.

Mrs E M Rich, of 49 Winchelsea Street, Dover, probably his mother, Emily, requested that he should be named on the Town Memorial.  .

Richards, E. J.  
Edwin James Richards, 141973, was a Private in the Machine Gun Corps, 6th battalion Infantry (formerly 8424, The Buffs). He died on 23rd April 1918.  He is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery in France.

He was was born in 1891 at Temple Ewell, and enlisted in Dover. He was the brother of Mr. Frederick Charles Richards, of 4 Cecil Cottages, Westbere, Sturry, Canterbury. In 1911 he was living with his parents, Edwin Richards, a labourer and his wife Eliza, and his brother Frederick at 9 Dublin Cottages. Also in the home was Horace Holmans, an adopted son, born at Alkham and then aged 15.


Horace Benjamin Holmans was born in 1895 at Alkham, the son of John Graves Holmans and Sarah Elizabeth, formerly Standing, née Chadwick. Horace's middle name comes from his paternal grandfather, Benjamin Holmans, born in 1822 at Great Mongeham, who married Margaret Mary Banks in 1849.

Horace's parents married in 1891 and Mrs Holmans died in 1895. In 1901 Horace was living with his father and his sister Olive at "The Hermitage", Church Alkham, near Dover. By 1911 he had moved to 9 Dublin Cottages, River, where he was living in the home of his adopted father, Edwin John Richards. He was working as a baker.

On 20 September 1913, he joined the 3rd Home Counties (Cinque Ports) Brigade of the RAF, becoming 910246. On his attestation his father is noted as living at 9 Dublin Cottages and later at 10 Valley Road, River. He served in India and Mesopotamia, and was discharged as physically unfit on 4 April 1917. He died at the age of 25 in Dover in 1920. His funeral was semi-military, with a band of the Royal Irish Fusiliers attending and bearing and a chaplain to the forces officiating at the graveside. He left a widow, Elizabeth, née Smith, whom he had married in 1918.

Richardson, C. W.  
Charles William Richardson, 71637, was a Gunner in the 287th Siege Battery of the RGA. He died of wounds at Cambrai on 29th November 1918. He is buried in the Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Belgium, III I 13

He was born and enlisted in Dover, and C F Richardson from 42 Mayfield Avenue, Dover, asked that his name should be placed on the Town Memorial.

Note: CWGC and Soldiers Died have his date of death as 1917, the memorial card states "1918"

Richardson, E.  
Edward Richardson, 49196, was a Lance Corporal in the 4th battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment. He was 19 when he was killed in action on 14th April 1918. He is commemorated on the Pozières memorial in France.

He was the son of Annie Pendleton Richardson, of 8 West Mount Terrace, Priory Hill, Dover, and the late Francis Fox Richardson, who died on 11 January 1918, aged 61, after a month's illness. Mr Richardson had been a carpenter on the Admiralty Works; his brother, Harry Richardson, built the Royal Hippodrome at Dover.

Edward was born, enlisted, and lived in Dover, and in 1911 was living at home with his parents, his sister Dorothy, and his brothers Francis, Douglas, Stephen, and Cecil. There had been four more children in the family, who had died in infancy.

headstone, Michelle and Andy CooperRichardson, R. J.  
Richard John Richardson, T/2167, was a Private in the  in the (1st)2nd/4th of The Buffs. He died at the Citadel Hospital, Cairo, Cairo cemetery, Andy and Michelle Cooperon 21st Sept 1915, and is buried in the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt, D17.

He was born in Guston and enlisted and lived at Dover.


Pictures: Michelle and Andy Cooper; Private Richardson's grave is at this end of the cemetery, on the right. 

W A Richardson, courtesy Dover ExpressRichardson, W. A.  
Walter Allan Richardson, 8799, was a Corporal from the 2nd battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He died of wounds at Ypres on 31st October 1914, and is commemorated on the Menin Gate. He was the eldest son of Pipe-Major and Mrs Richardson, of 16 Selbourne Terrace, Folkestone Road, Dover. He was born and enlisted in that town, but lived at Waterside, Londonderry. 

A letter dated 26th March 1915 from his Commanding Officer in the Field,  JHW Pollard, stated: "I should like to add that Corporal Richardson was a most promising non-commissioned officer and did well during the present campaign. Prior to the War he had been one of our best pipers, and had been employed as orderly to the Commanding Officer for two years during training and manoeuvres. I am very sorry to have lost him."

His father gave this epitaph, "A soldier born, as a soldier he died, facing the murderous Hun". 

Riches, W. V.  
William Victor Riches, 9737, was a Private in the East Yorkshire Regiment, 1st battalion. He was killed in action 16th September 1916, when he was 25. He is buried in the AIF Burial Ground, Flers in France, 3 A 29.

He was born and enlisted in Dover, and lived at Crabble Hill, Dover, the son of James Riches, of 57 Crabble Hill. (CWGC entry under J V Riches)

George Rigden. courtesy Dover ExpressRigden, G.
George Rigden, L/10001, was a Lance Corporal in the 2nd battalion of The Buffs. He was wounded at Mons on 6th November 1914 in the right (another report says left) shoulder, and returned George Rigden in hospital, courtesy Dover Expresshome for convalescence. He returned to the trenches in March 1915, and just six weeks later, on 12th (another report says 18th) May, he was wounded by shrapnel in both thighs and in his spine. He was taken to the General Hospital in France, and was then brought home to England (one report says on 30th May, another says two months after being wounded) and taken to the King George Hospital in London. There he died on  2nd December 1915, at the age of 20. .

His funeral took place with full military honours on Tuesday 7th December at Buckland cemetery, Dover in the United Kingdom. The Rev H Hopkinson officiated, and there were a hundred NCOs and men, with CSM C H Grist, and led by Lieutenant E G Port, present as a mark of their respect for George.

Many floral tributes were laid, including one from The Buffs. Those from his family included the cards

:"in loving memory, from his broken-hearted mother and father"
"from his sister, Annie"
"from his sisters, Daisy and Esther"
"from sister Hilda"
"from Mr and Mrs Richardson, sister and brother-in-law"
"from his brother in the trenches"
"from his little brothers and sisters"

At the bottom of his gravestone are the words: 

"God took him from his home but never from our thoughts"

set 2186

Born at Buckland in Dover, and enlisting and residing in that town, George was the son of Mr and Mrs M Rigden, later of 28 Limekiln Street, Dover. They had two other sons, a son-in-law, and a nephew also serving at the Front.

G Rigden, announcement, courtesy Dover Express

In ever loving memory of my dear son, Lance-Corporal George Rigden, who died of wounds in King George's Hospital, London, December 2nd 1915, aged 20 years. Never forgotten by his loving mother, Mrs Gear. peace, perfect peace. Until we meet.

December 1939

*Roberts, A. H.  
Arthur Harold Roberts. Arthur Bertram Howard Roberts, L/8935, was in the 1st battalion of The Buffs. he was awarded the Military Medal. He was 24 when he died on 2nd December 1917, and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval in France.

He was one of three brothers who served, and was the son of Arthur John Howard Roberts (Q.M.S of the 1st Battalion of  The Buffs) and the late Edith Roberts. He was born in Athlone, County Rocommon, and lived and enlisted in Dover.

This could also be Arthur Harold Roberts, M2/166964, bellringer at St Mary's, who was a Private in the Army Service Corps, No 1 Reserve M T Depot. He died on 5th May 1916 at the fourth London General Hospital, and is buried at St Mary's, F L 5. He was  the "dearly loved" husband of Ethel Roberts, from 21 Lorne Road. 

Bellringing information from research by Hazel Basford, Librarian, Kent County Association of Change Ringers

Roberts I.  
Isaac Roberts, 111903, was a Pioneer in the Royal Engineers. He was 54 when he died on 9th May 1916, and is buried at St Mary's cemetery, Dover in the United Kingdom, in which town he died. Mrs E Roberts, of Portland Place, requested that his name should go on the Town Memorial. The CWGC records that his wife was Mrs E. Roberts, of 4 Albany Flats, Dover.  

Robinson, C. E. B. 
Charles Eugene Barnes Robinson was a freemason in the Orion in the West Lodge, London. The brother of  Herbert, below, he was born in 1872 and was serving as a Major in the 117th Mahrattas when lost his life on 27 September 1915 at the aged of 43. He is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Mesopotamia - present-day Iraq.

Robinson, H. P. 
Herbert Pollexfen Robinson, 2020295, was a Private in the Canadian Infantry, 7th Battalion. He was the son of Colonel Barnes Slyfield Robinson, born in Dublin and Mrs Marion Stone Robinson, née Pollexfen, born in Cheshire, who had married in the Birkenhead area in 1867. He was born on 7 October 1876 at Thactunjo, British Burma, India.

His father died on 25 October 1887, having then been living at 2 Leyburne Terrace, Dover, and is said to be buried at Dover Castle. In the 1891 census Herbert was living with his widowed mother at 1 Harold Terrace, Dover. There too were his brother Charles, above, aged 18, born in Cheshire, and his sister Pearl, then 15, and possibly born in Burma. All three were scholars.  There were other children: Eva Marion Pollexfen, born in 1868, Lillie, born in 1869,  Maud June, born in 1871, and Arthur Pollexfen, born in 1873.

On enlistment in Canada, Herbert was described as having grey eyes and light brown hair, and being 5ft 7½ ins tall. He had seen previous service as a Lieutenant, and had served with the Manchester Regiment, 2nd Irish Fusiliers, and 1st West India Regiment, but was working as a rancher. He had spent around fifteen years in Fresno county, on a ranch near Wahtoke, which he bought.

Four years before his death, he and his family had moved to 1240 Collins Avenue, Fresno, California, USA, where he was connected with the Metropolitan Life Insurance company. He was married to Ida Rose Lena Robinson, who later lived at 538 North Manhattan Place, Los Angeles, California, and the couple had a son, Nelson, 13 at the time of his father's death.

Herbert was shot in the head by a sniper at about 5.30am on 2 September 1918, during an attack on the Drocout-Queant Line south west of Dury, and is buried at Upton Wood Cemetery, Hendecourt-Les-Cagnicourt, France, in grave A 30. He was  41 years old. A memorial service was held for him at St James' Pro-Cathedral, Fresno.

Arthur Pollexfen Robinson was born in 1873, and in 1899 married Helen Janet Parsons in Dover. She was the sister of Raymond Steriker Parsons. Arthur too was on service; the couple's first child, Lancelot, was born in 1901 in Cooner, India. They later had a daughter, Helen Mary F Robinson, born in Dover in 1909. Sadly, her mother died on 12 March 1909 at the age of 37. The couple had lived at 1 Marine Court, Dover.

with thanks to Joyce Banks

G Rogers, courtesy Dover ExpressRogers, G. 
George Rogers, S/418, was an Army Pensioner, working as a porter at the Grand Hotel. He lived at 2 Stembrook, Dover, and had friends living at 116 Clarendon Place, Dover. He was born in Paris, and re-enlisted in Canterbury as a Private in The Buffs, 2nd battalion.

He was reported missing on 24th May 1915, and a year later as having died.  He is commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial in Belgium.

Rouse, A. C.  
Albert Charles Rouse, was a Lieutenant from the Worcestershire Regiment, attached to the 32nd Signal Company, Royal Engineers. Born in Maidstone, he was a career soldier, being in 1911 a corporal, stationed at the Shaft Barracks at the Western Heights in Dover.

He was promoted and awarded the DCM for bravery, and he was mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig's dispatches. He was 26 when he died from wounds on 20th March 1916, and is buried at Millancourt Communal cemetery, France.  

He was the son of Charles and Caroline Rouse, of Maidstone, and the husband of Annie Rouse. Annie (née Small) was living in Maidstone in March 1915, and later went to 30, York Street, Dover.

H Russell, courtesy Dover EpxressRussell, H.  
Harry Russell, 52556, was the eldest son of Mr William John and Mrs Ellen Annie   Russell, of 80 Oswald Road, Dover, and lived in that town. Before he enlisted in Canterbury he was employed by the River and District Co-operative Society (Biggin Street Branch).

He served as a Lance Corporal in D company of the 4th battalion of the Duke of Cambridge's Own Middlesex Regiment. He was killed in action on 29th June 1918, at the age of 20, and is buried at Couin New British cemetery, France. 


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