Gregson-Ellis, Capt Reginald George (1884-1917)
Captain Reginald George Gregson-Ellis
At Peronne lies buried Rex Gregson-Ellis. He went to Vaughan’s House at Eton from Horris Hill in 1896 and was soon noted as a promising cricketer especially as a bowled. He played in the 1901 XI, and captained it in 1902, leaving at the end of the Summer Half in Sixth form and Chairman of Pop.
He then entered an Insurance Office and carried on playing wandering cricket for the Ramblers and others.
At the outbreak of war he at once offered his services, which at first as he was over 30, the limit of age at the time, were rejected. As soon as the military age was raised he applied again and received a Commission in the Bucks battalion of the Oxford and Bucks Light infantry, which he was to serve for the rest of his life.
In March 1915 he went to France and was with his battalion through the Somme offensive of 1916, and was made temporary Captain. In April 1917 it was his company which captured Roisel. On the 16th he was mortally wounded while he was leading his men in an attack on the enemy’s trenches. For these “distinguishing and gallant services” he was mentioned posthumously in Sir Douglas Haig’s recent dispatch.
“Nobody disliked fighting more than Rex” wrote his Colonel “and nobody did it better, when it came to it, than he did”.
Innumerable friends will miss him, and remember his lithe form and clear-cut features on some sunny cricket field at Eton and elsewhere.
He leaves a widow and a young daughter
(From the Eton College Chronicle – 14 June 2017)