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Frank Home Reay (1885-1917)

Sunderland man served with 18th DLI

Frank Home Reay was born in 1885 in Sunderland to Julius Mark William Reay and his wife Hannah (nee Home). His father, Julius M. William Reay, had been born in Germany in 1861, but was a “British subject by Parentage” according to the 1901 Census.

At the time of his birth, Frank had one older brother, John H. Reay, but eventually had three brothers and one sister.

After completing his education, he worked as a brewery clerk. As his father was in the hotel trade this was perhaps not a surprising choice. By 1911, his father was manager of the Bridge Hotel, High Street, Sunderland, where all the family lived. Whether Frank was employed at this hotel is unknown. His older brother John Home Reay was a barman.

Frank joined the Army on 3 November 1914 as a private.

He married Louisa Featherstone at the beginning of 1915 in Sunderland. A son, Francis Home Reay, was born in 1916.

By 19 November 1915 he was an acting lance corporal, being promoted to corporal on 15 July 1916 and sergeant on 2 August 1916.

Frank was killed in action on 18 May 1917.

His name is remembered on Page 35 of the Book of Remembrance 1914 – 18 Holy Trinity. The Book is currently located at The Donnison School Heritage and Education Centre, Church Walk, Sunderland SR1 2BJ.

Civil Parish: Sunderland

Birth date: 12-Dec-1884

Death date: 18-May-1917

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 16 Elgin Street, Sunderland (1891, school admission register)
Bridge Hotel, High Street, Sunderland (1911 census)
27 Eden Vale, Sunderland (1917, army service record)

Education: Bishopwearmouth Church Of England School (Bishopwearmouth Church Of England School, E.SU53/4/1)

Employment: Traveller (1914 army service record)

Family: Parents: Julius Mark William Reay, Hannah Reay
Siblings: John Home Reay, Eleanor Lavinia Reay, Mark William Reay, Osmond Reay (1911 census)
Wife: Louisa Reay (married 24 March 1915, Army service record)
Son: Francis Home Reay (born 5 January 1916, Army service record)

Military service:

Attested Sunderland: 3 November 1914
18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry
Service number: 18/1040
Disembarked Egypt: 22 December 1915
Disembarked France: 11 March 1916
Promoted acting lance corporal: 19 November 1915
Promoted corporal: 15 July 1916
Promoted sergeant: 2 August 1916

Medal(s): 1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): Book of Remembrance 1914 – 18 Holy Trinity, Sunderland (The Donnison School Heritage and Education Centre, Church Walk, Sunderland SR1 2BJ)
Arras Memorial, France

Gender: Male

Contributed by Ethel Farrow