No.326493, Private, John REEVE
Aged 30

1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment
formerly No.3865
Killed in Action on Monday, 25th March 1918

John William Reeve was born in Soham in 1887(Newmarket Q2-1887 3B:552), son of Edward and Emma REEVE (née HOUGHTON).

1891 census...Aged 4, he was at The Crofts, Soham with his father Edward REEVE [29] farm labourer; his mother Emma [27]; sisters Rosa [9], Annie [5] and Elizabeth [1]. All were born in Soham.

1901 census...Aged 14, a farmer's lad, he was still at The Crofts, Soham with his parents (father now a plasterer's labourer); sisters Rose, Annie and Lucy [7] born Soham.

He married Julia CHALLIS [27-9-1887] in 1907 (Newmarket Q4-1907 3B:1256)

1911 census...Aged 24, horseman on farm, he was at Broad Piece, Soham with his wife, Julia [26] born Soham and their sons, Alfred John [10-7-1908] and Frederick [10-1-1910] both born in Soham.

They went on to have 3 more children, Olive [27-11-1911], Harold [9-5-1913] and Ivy[9-12-1914]. His widow was at Quy Fen, Soham.

He enlisted in Cambridge.
The war diary is not too explicit:-
In the morning the battalion moved to FAUCOURT and fought a rear-guard action with the 66th Div. who retreated through our lines. At nigh we returned to HERBECOURT and occupied a trench with the remainder of of the Brigade in front of the village, ready to meet the enemy who had now crossed the SOMME and was rapidly advancing. Nothing was seen of the enemy during the night except one or two patrols.

CWGC records 7 of the Battalion killed on 25th March 1918.

Local press report:
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Reeve, of St.John's Square, have received information that their son, Pte. John Reeve, Cambs Regt., was killed in action on March 25th. The deceased soldier, who was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Reeve, leaves a widow and five young children. In the big battle he was continually fighting for ten days and nights. His death was instantaneous. He joined up at the commencement of the war, and had been on active service in France for two years.

photo: Roy Beardsworth

John Reeve is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial, panels 84-85

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details