Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

For about 20 years around 1900 the Batchelor family ran a lodging house at 19 Hampshire Terrace in Southsea, or at least Reginald Egbert's mother Elizabeth did whilst his father Arthur pursued a variety of jobs outside their home. At the time Hampshire Terrace was a respectable area within sight of Government House in what is now Ravelin Park.
The connection between Portsmouth and the Batchelor family began in the 1870s when Arthur moved to the town from his birthplace at Bosham in Sussex with his parents William and Lucy and siblings Albert and Bertha. They initially lived at 37 Russell St, near the Guildhall, and William was described as a sawyer and Lucy, unusually, as a butcher. Arthur left home in the late 1880s after marrying Elizabeth Sarah, probably in 1889 though records are inconclusive.
The 1891 census shows the couple living at 19 Hampshire Terrace and while Elizabeth ran the lodging house Arthur was working as a grocer. With them was their first child Frederick Arthur who was born in 1890 and three step children with the surname Bone. The names of the parents for the step-children is not known. By 1901 the family had grown with the addition of three more children, Reginald Egbert (b. 1892), Elsie May (b. 1893) and John Abraham (b. 1896). John died in 1904.
By 1911 Arthur had given up grocery and become an agent in oils, varnishes and turpentine whilst Reginald was a clerk at Farrow's Bank. At the outbreak of the Great War Reginald Egbert was 22 years old. It's not known exactly when he enlisted but as he joined the Royal Fusiliers (26th Battalion) it must have been after 17th July 1915 when the Battalion was formed. It was composed mainly of former bank clerks and accountants. The Battalion was sent to France where they landed on 4th May 1916. Reginald Egbert fought with his unit for eleven months before his death, probably during the Third Battle of Ypres, in June 1917.
Further Information
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website lists Reginald Egbert Batchelor, Private, 26th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, date of death, 25/06/1917. Buried at Etaples Military Cemetery (Grave ref: XXII.L.17A.). Son of Arthur and Elizabeth Batchelor, of "Wellington House", Hampshire Terrace, Southsea, Hants.
Reginald Batchelor is remembered on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X.
Reginald Egbert was the younger brother of Frederick Arthur Batchelor who died in Sierra Leone a few months after Reginald.
Tim Backhouse
December 2014