Reginald Allen Botting

Date of birth: 1899
Place of birth: Steyning, Brighton
Service No.: 537389
Rank: Private
Regiment: London (Prince of Wales Own Civil Service Rifles)
Battalion: 1/15th battalion
Died: 1 September 1918, aged 17 years
Buried: Rancourt Military Cemetery, France (Row A, Grave 4)

Life before the War

Reginald was the younger of 2 siblings born to William Allen and Esther Florence Botting (nee Edwards), who married in Southampton in 1893.

William was born in 1869 in Southwick, near Brighton; he passed away in Brighton in 1907.

Esther was born in 1873 in Canning Town and she passed away in the New Forest in 1947.

After William’s premature death, Esther married again a further twice… Claude Hanbury in Steyning in 1910

and to Henry D. Colliver in Southampton in 1930.

Reginald’s brother was….

William Frederick J.     b. 30 June 1894 Steyning   d. 1978 Merton   Married Elsie Orchard in Southampton in 1921. Married Edith E. Tribe in Merton in 1975 !!

War Service

The London Regiment was unusual in that not only were all its Battalions affiliated to the Territorial Force, but each Battalion was regarded as a Corps in its own right. The 1/15th was created at Somerset House in August 1914, as part of the 4th London Brigade, 2nd London Division. They moved to billets in Watford in November 1914.

The troops landed at Le Havre on 18 March 1915 and on 11th May the formation became the 140th Brigade of the 47th (2nd London) Division.

Reginald died during the Second Battle of Bapaume, which took place between August 21 and September 3rd.

The Commonwealth attack here is seen as the turning point of the war on the Western Front, and the beginning of what was later known as the “Allies Hundred Days Offensive.” Rancourt was captured by the French on 24 September 1916 and remained in Allied hands until 24 March 1918 and the German advance.

It was recaptured by Reginald’s 47th Division on 1 September 1918, the day that Reginald met his end.

The cemetery was begun by units of the Guards divisions in the winter of 1916-17 and used again by the burial officers of the 12th and 18th Divisions in September 1918.

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 22.10.15

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