Henry John Reeves (Seen here with his Mother) was born in Brighton, Sussex on October 4th 1890, the oldest son of Robert Henry Reeves and his wife Ellen.
Henry joined the Royal Naval Reserve in January 1913. He was a stoker on the Laurentic, one of the men whose bodies were never recovered. As he was a stoker he probably wouldn’t have stood a chance of surviving. His brother Robert inherited Henry’s ‘Dead Man’s Penny’ from his parents and also a memorial poster that hung on his wall.
It’s easy to see from Henry’s portrait why he was a stoker – he looks like quite a well built solid man.
Touchingly, his service records mention a woman, a Miss Tompkins, making enquiries after the ship was sunk, possibly she was his sweetheart or a friend or fiancé – no one knows.
With thanks to Henry John Reeves’ great-niece Tessa Reeves for contributing photographs, service records and family stories.