Rank, service number and regiment
Private 31995 6th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry
Castle Cary. Precise date unknown.
Riverview, Kingsbury Episcopi.
Date of death
24 August 1917
Age of death
Circumstances of death
In the overall context of the 3rd Battle of Ypres, the 6th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry were tasked with capturing German trenches south of the Menin Road, to the east of Ypres. The assault lasted 21 – 24 August and 344 of the Battalion were killed, wounded or missing due to intense German machine-gun fire and shelling. James was one of those killed in this assault.
James’s body was never recovered. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, Ypres, Belgium, Panels 41 – 42 & 163A.
Date of birth & full name
1898 Kingsbury Episcopi. JAMES HENRY LOVELL REED
Walter Reed 1865 – 1950 and Mary Jane Reed (nee Lovell) 1870 – 1936. In 1891 Walter was an agricultural labourer, in 1901 a carter on a farm and 1911 a mason’s labourer. Mary Jane was a glove maker – see Other Information.
Spouse & children
James was unmarried
British War Medal and Victory Medal
James’s mother Mary Jane Reed ran a gloving business that operated at Riverview House, from around 1914. The business became J M Reed & Co. named after Jessica Millicent Reed, her youngest daughter, who took over running the business and who was known affectionately as “Aunt Mill” by her workforce.
The Riverview Glove Factory, built next to Riverview House and run by Millicent Reed, was first built in 1949 – called locally The Green Hut. A new factory was built in 1955 and operated until 2005, when it finally closed. Threadneedle Close is on the site of the old factory.
James had the following siblings:
Jane Lovell 1891-1961
Edith Priscilla 1892-1979
Beatrice Lilian 1894-1967
James Henry Lovell 1898 – 1917
Walter John 1901-1957
Edward George 1905-1995
Jessica Millicent 1909-1965
James’s paternal grandparents were possibly Joseph Reed 1823-1879 & Priscilla (nee Priddle) 1836-1895. Confusion has arisen because of two Walter Reeds in K.E. with birth dates 3 years apart. If James’ paternal grandparents were indeed Joseph and Priscilla Reed, then James Henry Lovell Reed was second cousin to Ernest and Sidney Reed, who were also killed in WW1.
The photo below shows the factory in operation.