Reginald Townsend Stapley

Reginald Townsend Stapley (c)

Reginald Townsend Stapley (c)

Date of birth: 28th October 1888
Place of birth: Reading, Berkshire
Date of marriage: 1915
Place of marriage: Worksop, Nottinghamshire
Service No.: 5476
Rank: Private
Regiment: Honourable Artillery Company, D Company 1st Battalion
Battalion: Infantry
Died: 25th April 1917
Death location: France




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Life before the War
Reginald was the eldest of 2 sons born to parents Albert Townsend/Thomas, born in Reading in 1859, and Emily Frances, born in Southampton 1863.  Albert’s occupation was Surveyors Clerk at the General Post Office.

Four years after Albert’s death in 1895, Emily married Augustus Edward Sharland in 1899 in Southampton.

Augustus was born in 1853 and died in 1914 leaving a Probate naming his wife:

“Sharland Augustus Edward of 9 Howard Road Southampton died 5 December 1914. Administration London 8 February 1915 to Emily Frances widow. Effects £2820 10s 7d”

Emily passed away in 1950 leaving a Probate naming her son Stanley:
“Sharland Emily Frances of 7 Thornbury Avenue Southampton widow died 13 April 1950. Probate London 14 June 1950 to Stanley Edward Sharland bank manager. Effects £778 2s 5d”

Reginald had two younger brothers:

Harold Francis (Stapley), born in 1891 and died in 1965.  Married Bertha Catherine Groom on 3rd June 1916 at the Parish Church in Paddington, London, after their Banns were read.  Harold was a bachelor whose profession was Qualified Chemist.  Bertha was a spinster, who was 23 years old at the time of her marriage.  (Taken from Parish Records).

Stanley Edward (Sharland), who was born on 31st January 1901 and died 1984.

When Harold died he left a Probate:
“Stapley Harold Francis of The Mount Nursing Home 6 The Mount off Archery Road St. Leonards – on – Sea died 20 April 1965. Probate London 26 May to Peter Pettit solicitor. Effects £11235”

The 1891 census shows that the family was in a position financially to be able to employ a General Domestic Servant.

By the 1901 census Reginald’s mother and her second husband, who was “living on his own means”, were living at 11 Cranbury Avenue, Southampton.  Reginald was a patient in the Isolation Hospital.  This hospital was built in 1900 in what was then Mousehole Lane and now known as Oakley Road, Millbrook, Southampton.  It eventually became the Chest Hospital and now well known as the Western Community Hospital.

In 1911 Augustus, Emily and Stanley were living at 9 Howard Road, Shirley, where Augustus recorded that he was a retired Silk Merchant.  Harold had moved to Illfracombe, Devon, living with the Moon family and employed as a Chemist’s Assistant.  William James Moon owned a Chemist’s Shop.  No trace can be found for Reginald in the census for this year.

Reginald married Rose Hemstalk in 1915 in Worksop, Nottinghamshire.  Rose was born in 1888 in Worksop district.  Their daughter Minette T was born the following year.  Rose didn’t marry again and died in 1966 in Worksop.


War Service
Whilst serving for his country, Reginald died of war wounds in France on 25th April 1917.  All of his military records, showed his name as Reginald Townsend Stapley but his school records along with birth indexes, show him as Albert Reginald Townsend Stapley.

Taunton’s School Memorial

Reginald attended Taunton’s School in Southampton and he is remembered in their register:

Time at Taunton’s School: 1898

Education and Employment: Albert was born on 28th October 1888 in Reading. He was sometimes known by his middle name, Reginald. He attended Miss Thompson’s School before joining Taunton’s School.

Life during the war: Albert’s father died and his mother remarried in 1899. By 1911 Albert’s mother and stepfather were resident on Howard Road in Shirley. Albert was in Worksop by 1915, when he married Rose Hemstalk, and they lived on Carlton Road there. He enlisted in the Honourable Artillery Company and served with “D” Company of the 1st Battalion. He died of his wounds and was buried in the Pas de Calais at Duisans British Cemetery.

Albert died on 25th April 1917 aged 29 years.


Duisans British Cemetery

Duisans British Cemetery

Reginald is Remembered with Honour at the Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, France. His wife, had the words “Until the Dawn” inscribed on his headstone The register reads:

“Stapley, Pte. Reginald Townsend, 5476 “D” Coy. 1st Bn. Hon. Artillery Company. 25th April, 1917. Aged 29. Son of the late Albert Townsend Stapley and Emily Frances Sharland (formerly Stapley), of Southampton: husband of Rose Stapley, of 69, Carlton Rd., Worksop, Notts.     Grave/memorial registers III. F 15”




Nottinghamshire County Council
As Pte Stapley was living in Worksop at the time of his death, they have also Remembered him with Honour:

Family History
Reginald T Stapley was born and Registered as Albert Reginald T(ownend) Stapley at Reading, Berkshire in 1888. His parents were Albert Thomas Stapley (a surveyor’s clerk) and Emily Frances Paul who had married the previous year in Southampton. He had a brother, Harold born in 1891 in Reading at 1 Argyle Street. The family may have moved to the Isle of Wight as in 1895, Albert Thomas Stapley died there age 36. His widow was soon to re-marry which she did in 1899 at Southampton to Augustus Sharland. By 1901, Emily had a child with her new husband called Stanley and whilst they were living at 11 Cranbury Ave, Southampton, Reginald is recorded as a 12 year old patient in the Isolation hospital, Mousehole Lane, Shirley, Hants for reasons unknown. Whatever the illness, he came out alright as in 1911 he was resident in Worksop, Notts. In 1915, recorded as Albert R T Stapley, he married Rose Hemstalk, in Worksop and in 1916 they had a daughter, Ninnette T Stapley.

Military History
Pte Reginald T Stapley, Worksop Guardian, 11 May 1917. Another Worksop soldier to make the great sacrifice is Pte Reginald T Stapley of the 1st Battalion Honourable Artillery Company, whose death in France has been reported this week. Pte Stapley was in the Worksop and Retford Brewery Company for about six years, at the Prior Well Brewery, as second brewer, coming from Southampton, where his widowed mother still resides. He joined the Army in November 1915, and after training at Wimbledon and other places, he was drafted to France about nine months ago. He was 28 years of age and leaves a widow and one child. Pte Stapley made many friends during his residence in Worksop.


Journal of the Institute of Brewing – Roll of Honour
The Council regrets to record the deaths, on active service, of the following Members:—

“STAPLEY, REGINALD TOWNSEND (Pte., 1st Battalion., H.A.C.). Elected as a Diploma Member: July 20th, 1915. Lute Second Brewer, Worksop & Retford Brewery Co., Ltd., Worksop. Killed on April 25th, 1917”.


Personal Effects
As his sole beneficiary, Rose his widow, received his wages and credits. The first payment of £1 6s 4d was received on 11th July 1917 followed by a payment of 3s 2d on 19th September 1917.  A War Gratuity of £6 was paid on 27th October 1919.

For his service to his country, he was entitled to the British War and Victory Medals.


Researcher: Becky Lonergan
Published: 9th October 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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