John Henry Gilbert Reynolds was born in Long Lawford, near Rugby in late 1891. His father was Tom Reynolds and his mother Emma Julia (nee Burnham). They had married in Church Lawford parish church in 30th August 1897. John Henry Gilbert (known as Jack) was the second of four sons. At the time, Tom was a bricklayer living at 3 Burnham Cottage, Long Lawford.
Emma died two years later in 1899, at the age of 33. Tom remarried in 1900 to Maria Bagnall. Together they had three more children, two girls and then another boy.
In 1901 the family were living in Campbell Street, New Bilton. By 1911 they had moved to 18 Dunchurch Road. Tom was a Builder/Bricklayer working on his own account. Jack was not with the family. He was in the Metropolitan Police Force. By the time the war started he was expecting promotion.
It is not known when Jack enlisted, probably early 1915 (he was awarded the 1915 star medal) He was mentioned as “a London policeman, being a corporal in the Grenadier Guards” in an article in the Rugby Advertiser in June 1915. His brother Frank had been reported missing at this time.
According to his Medal Roll card, he arrived in France on 6th November 1915. When he died, just aver a year later he was a Lance Corporal in the 5th Reserve Battalion, Grenadier Guards. This battalion spent the war on home soil, at Chelsea. Perhaps Jack was transferred to the 1st or 2nd Battalion, both of which took part in the final actions of the Battle of the Somme – The Battles of Flers-Courcelette and Morval in September 1916.
On 7th October it was reported that he had been seriously wounded and was in Chichester Hospital. He died there on 20th November and was buried in Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.
He is listed in the order of service for service at Westminster Abbey on 17th May 1919 “In Memory of the Officers and Constables of the Metropolitan Police, who in the Great War have laid down their lives for their King and their Country”
He is listed there as P.C. 893 Reynolds J. H. G. of N Division
His brother Frank died in 1915 and Herbert had died only a few weeks before on 5th September 1916. Two cousins also died in the war.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM