Lance Corporal Reginald Adlard
Died: 14th May 1920 aged 26
Reginald Adlard was born in 1894 to Frederick and Catherine Adlard and was the eldest of their four children. His birth is registered in the district of Warrington where his father was born. Catherine hailed from Birmingham. We know that Reginald lived in Warrington until he was about 4 but by the time of the 1901 census, the family where living in Ashover in Derbyshire where his father is listed as a laundry manager and his mother as a laundress.
By the time of the 1911 census, the family had moved to Church Stretton. They lived at 24 Sandford Avenue and Reginald’s father, Frederick was a “Dealer. Hairdresser, Tobacconist, Toys and fancy goods.” They also took in boarders as they had 4 on the night of the 1911 census. Reginald is listed as “Apprentice to motoring” which presumably means that he was training to be a mechanic rather than work in his father’s shop. By 1936, the Adlards are listed as living at number 26. Today 24 Sandford Avenue is occupied by AB Optics and it is unclear if the road was renumbered or they moved next door. Reginald’s nephew tells that both Reginald and his brother Frederick were keen hockey players in the Church Stretton team. They were, apparently, very good goal scorers.
Reginald must have enlisted with the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (KSLI) soon after war was declared as we know that he was on the troopship Braemar Castle when it left Southampton on the 8th September 1914. We also know that his younger brother Frederick enlisted on the 8th August 1914 with the Royal Horse Artillery.
The KSLI unloaded on the 11th September at St Nazaire then marched to Grand Marais before starting a 26 hour train journey to Mortcerf.
We learn that Reginald was injured about the 28th October 1915 at the front at Morteldje where the 1st Battalion of the KSLI had been since early on in the war. It is not known if this was the end of his military life or if he returned to the front-line.
Reginald received the 1914 Star medal for action in France or Belgium between August and November 1914 ( The Battle of Ypres). He also received a clasp, one of 145,000 awarded to “those who served under fire or who had operated within range of enemy mobile artillery”.
Reginald seems to have returned to his previous occupation of mechanic as that is his occupation listed on his probate record.
He died in hospital in Shrewsbury 14th May 1920 and he is buried in a war grave in Cunnery Rd cemetery. Despite the fact that he died 18 months after the Armistice, L. Corporal Adlard is buried in a war grave so his death was directly attributed to his war injuries. His death certificate states that he died of tubercular meningitis and so we can assume that he must have caught TB while in the trenches. He is the last person to die to be recorded on the War Memorial. A page from the Medal Roll shows that Lt. Corporal Adlard was awarded the Victory medal on 9th July 1920 two months after his death.
Reginald was not the only member of his family to go to the front line. His brother Frederick also served in WW1 and his service record shows that he suffered a gunshot wound to his left arm. He returned home after the war but was “badly beaten up” by his experiences which he never spoke of. Their younger brother Henry Martin Adlard was just 4 years old at the start of WW1 but fought in WW2. He was a driver in the Royal Engineers and died in India in 1944 and is buried in a war cemetery there.
Reginald’s family remained in Church Stretton until the 1960’s. They then moved to Shrewsbury where there was still an Adlards tobacconist until January, 2021 when it finally closed its doors for good during the Coronovirus pandemic.
English census records
Thanks especially to the Adlard family.