Date of birth: 1897
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No: 241205
Regiment: Hampshire Regiment
Battalion: 1/4th (TF)Battalion
Died: 21st July 1917 aged 19 -20 years
Death location: Iraq
Before the war
Reginald Victor Scammell, the son of Arthur and Harriet Scammell, was born in 1897. The 1911 census shows the family comprising of Arthur, Harriet, Daisy (18), Reginald (13) and Vera (3) living at 5 Coronation Terrace, Southampton. Arthur worked as a Coal Porter at Southampton Docks.
Reginald volunteered for the Army in 1914 (service number 241205). His battalion was sent to India in October 1914, landing in Karachi on 11th November 1914. They were attached to 4th Rawalpindi Brigade in January 1915. On 18th March 1915 they landed at Basra with 33rd Indian Brigade and remained in Mesopotamia and Persia for the remainder of the war.
Reginald died of heat stroke on 21st July, 1917 and is buried in the Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery Part II.
The Mesopotamia campaign of World War I was a gruelling trek across the desert fighting the Ottoman army. Whilst the Turks were a constant danger, disease and heat exhaustion took more lives than the fighting. For example, on the day prior to Reginald’s death, the 20th July 1917, the temperature in Baghdad was 123f (50.6c).
The British and British Indian Armies lost 92,000 soldiers in the Mesopotamia campaign, in total between 350,000 & 410,000 men had been deployed of which 112,000 were combat troops. The majority of the forces were recruited in India. By 1918 they had captured 45,000 opposition soldiers.