John and Arthur Reynolds

John and Arthur Reynolds were brothers.  Their parents were Thomas (a shepherd) and Louisa (a dressmaker).  The boys were born in 1881 and 1884 in Thurning, near Oundle.  Around 1888 the family moved to Dainty Cottage, Wittering.  By 1901 Thomas and Louisa were living at Leadenham.

In 1901 John was at Milton, West Markham, where he worked as a horseman on a farm.  Ten years later he was a farm waggoner at Potterhanworth Booths.  In Jan 1913 he married Amy Darling Chapman Goodyear in Leadenham.  She was from Southrey, near Bardney but had been working as a servant in Yorkshire.  A daughter, Esther, was born later that year but died in 1916.  By 1914 they were living in Southrey.  Another daughter Gladys Mary was born in 1915. 

Before the war both John and Arthur had been in the Army (presumably Lincolnshire Regiment). Both had been in India and John had served in the Boer War.   They must have been called up from the reserves, as in 1914 they joined 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment and soon found themselves in France.  As the Battle of the Aisne ended in stalemate and the first trenches were dug, both Armies moved north, trying to outflank each other.  The British Expeditionary Force moved to Flanders, with 1st Lincolnshires reaching Bethune in mid-October 1914.  From just north of Bethune they advanced east and made contact with the German army at La Bassée.  But on 25th October the German launched a strong attack, pushing the British back until the line was held on 2nd Nov. 1st Lincolnshires were just north of Neuve Chappelle, facing the centre of the German attack. 

Both John and Arthur were reported missing during this action and later assumed to have been killed on 1 Nov.  John’s body was not identified and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate.  Arthur’s body was found after the war (identified from his ID tag) and moved to Wytschaete Military Cemetery.  Presumably he was found somewhere near here, but it not clear why as the cemetery is some 13 miles north of the Lincolnshire’s position (towards Ypres).  Both are listed on the Leadenham war memorial.  John’s name is also on the Southrey war memorial.