Reginald Young

M2/181883 Private Reginald Alfred John Young, Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport

Born on 11th October 1885 in Little Gaddesden
Died on 11th July 1977 in the Peace Memorial Hospital, Watford

Family and Home 1, 2, 3, 4

Reginald Alfred John Young was born in Little Gaddesden, the second of the 3 children of John Young and Louisa née Dibben. His father was a Domestic Coachman.

His brother Frank was born on 6th September 1883 and his sister Nellie Louise (Dolly) on 19th February 1887.

The family lived at 43 Little Gaddesden. The 1891 Census shows Frank, 7, Reginald, 5 and Louise, 4 all at school.

However, on 8th May 1893, the Little Gaddesden School Log Book records the death of Reginald’s sister Nellie Louise (Dolly).

It is with most sincere regret that I have to state that poor dear little Dolly Young was taken from us by Diphtheria on Sunday last. The case was a very malignant one, & the dear child will be buried tomorrow. She was a very pretty interesting little thing & a great favourite with all her schoolfellows.

Education 4

Reginald attended Little Gaddesden School, though his date of entry is not recorded. The school had a Diocesan Inspection in January or February each year, which included an examination in Religious Knowledge. The names of those who distinguished themselves in the examination were then recorded in the School Log Book. Reginald’s name is included in 1896, 1897 and 1898.

On 7th May 1897, the Log Book records that Reginald had been ill for the previous fortnight with Rheumatics. He then returned on 10th May. However, in autumn 1897, there was a Mumps epidemic and by 8th November, Reginald had caught it.

On April 9th 1900, Reginald Young, ex Standard 7, left Little Gaddesden School aged 14½.

Employment 2

The 1901 Census shows 15 year old Reginald working as a Letter and Telegraph Boy. He still lived with his family at 43 Little Gaddesden. His 17 year old brother Frank was a Postman. Reginald’s cousin, 13 year old Catherine Cooper was staying with the family. Catherine was the sister of Archibald Cooper and William Cooper. Their mother Martha was the younger sister of Reginald’s mother Louisa and had very recently moved to Hudnall as Matron of the Countess Bridgewater Convalescent Home for Boys.

Marriage and Birth of a Son 1, 2, 3, 5

On 12th September 1909 Reginald Alfred John Young married Emma Elizabeth Last at All Saints’ Church, Upper Norwood. Reginald, 23, was a Chauffeur; Emma, 21, was the daughter of Albert Last, Gamekeeper. The address recorded for them both was 18 Upton Road, Thornton Heath.

Their son John was then born on 1st February 1910 and baptised in Croxley Green on 19th June that year.

The 1911 Census shows Reginald, Emma and John living at Elmscote Lodge, Croxley Green. Reginald was by then Chauffeur to Mr and Mrs Henry Sams of Elmscote.

Meanwhile, Reginald’s parents John and Louisa and his brother Frank still lived at 43 Little Gaddesden. John was a Coachman and Frank an Under-Coachman.

Military Service 6

The only records of Reginald’s War Service are his Medal Records. These show that he served as a Private in the Army Service Corps, Mechanical Transport, Service Number M2/181883. Service in that unit fitted well with his peacetime occupation as a Chauffeur. For his War Service, Reginald was then awarded the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.

Men who have answered their country’s call in defence of a “Scrap of Paper” 7

Reginald Young, Motor Transport is named on the original Roll of Honour, which hangs in St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden and lists 119 men from Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Hudnall who served in the 1914 – 1918 War. On the Centenary Revision of the Roll, his unit is recorded more fully as Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport. His cousins Archibald Cooper and William Cooper R.I.P. are also named on both Rolls. Reginald was the only member of the family to leave the village; his parents, brother and sister-in-law all remained in Little Gaddesden and are buried in the churchyard.

Rolls of Honour photos: Jane Dickson, Michael Carver

Return to Little Gaddesden 3, 4, 8, 9

On 12th September 1916, Reginald’s son John, who was then staying in the village, was admitted to Little Gaddesden School as a visitor. However, there is no record of him returning to his home. Then, on 7th May 1920, the Little Gaddesden School Log Book records that John was absent with measles. He was with his grandparents at 43 Little Gaddesden in June 1921, though Reginald is not listed on that Census return.

However, Electoral Register entries between 1921 and 1929 make clear that Reginald had returned to his family home, 43 Little Gaddesden, although Emma is not shown.

Then, on 3rd November 1929, Reginald Alfred John Young married Amy Alice Atkins in St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden. Reginald, 42, was a Widower and Amy, 32, a Spinster. Reginald worked as a Motor Driver and Amy as a Shop Assistant; she was the daughter of the late George Atkins, Engineer. The address given for both Reginald and Amy is just “Little Gaddesden”.

The record of Reginald’s first wife Emma’s death has not yet been found, though it is possibly the reason why Reginald’s son John Young entered Little Gaddesden School as a visitor and Reginald returned to Little Gaddesden after the War.

The 1939 Register 2

In September 1939, Reginald and Amy lived at 23 Oxhey Street, Watford. By then Reginald was an Omnibus Driver while Amy had “Unpaid Domestic Duties”.  

Death 10, 11

91 year old Reginald Alfred John Young died of heart failure in Watford Peace Memorial Hospital on 11th July 1977. His home address was then 46 Oxhey Avenue, Watford, where his widow Amy remained until her death aged 83 on 21st August 1981.


1. England & Wales births 1837-2006 Transcriptions

2. The 1939 Register

3. 1891 – 1921 England, Wales & Scotland Census Transcriptions

4. Little Gaddesden School Log Books 1887 – 1906 and 1906 – 1934

5. Surrey, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1937

6.  British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards 1914-1920

7. Little Gaddesden Burial Register

8. Electoral Registers 1832 – 1932

9. Little Gaddesden Marriage Register 1929

10. England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007 and copy of Reginald Young’s Death Certificate.

11. National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1858 – 1995

Do you have any questions about the information recorded here? Or do you have any further information that you can share with us about those from Little Gaddesden who died or fought for their country? In either case, please contact Jane Dickson at

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Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson