Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Although the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website lists him as Reginald Victor and the Cenotaph as R.V. he was known as Victor to his family, or at least that's what they called him in each census he appears, despite reverting to Reginald Victor on a family headstone in Highland Road Cemetery.
Reginald Victor came from a family of artillery men, especially his father James Evelyn (b. 1853) who had joined the Royal Marine Artillery before his 18th birthday, indeed the 1871 census found him at the RMA Barracks at Eastney. Shortly after, in 1876, James married Mary Jane Agnew (b. 1850), by which time Mary Jane already had three children, Annie (b. 1867), Loftus (b. 1871) and Lily (b. 1872) by her former husband Thomas Agnew. James and Mary Jane do not seem to have set up home together in Portsmouth as there is no trace of Mary Jane in the 1881 census whilst James was again in RMA Barracks, but this time at the School of Musketry, Hythe where he is listed as a Sergeant.
The 1891 census indicates the existence of a family home, though James is not there, nor even in the UK. The record lists Mary Jane, Annie and Lily at 3 Blenheim Terrace, Highland Road together with five more children born after the marriage. They were Albert (b. 1877), Evelyn (b. 1882), Louie (b. 1883), Victor (b. 1884) and Gladys (b. 1887). James left the RMA between 1891 and 1901 as the census in the latter year lists him as a Corn Dealer living at 357 Fawcett Road, Southsea. Many of the children had left home by 1901 but Evelyn, Victor and Gladys were still there together with Loftus Beagley/Agnew (b. 1871), listed as step-son and RMA Gunner. Loftus died in 1908.
The 1911 census shows the family at 25 Inglis Road, Southsea and all but Gladys had left. Reginald Victor does not appear anywhere in the UK so had probably joined the Royal Garrison Artillery and was serving overseas. The RGA may have already been deployed to Singapore at the outbreak of the Great War, but if not they were certainly there in February 1915 where Reginald Victor died during the Sepoy Mutiny.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission list Corporal Reginald Victor Beagley (8814), Royal Garrison Artillery, died 15/02/1915, aged 30. Buried in Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore (Grave Ref: 37.E.15). Son of James Evelyn and Mary Jane Beagley, of 4, Tredegar Rd., East Southsea, Portsmouth.
Reginald Victor is also remembered on a Family Gravestone in Highland Road Cemetery and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
Tim Backhouse
March 2014