From Hoole History and Heritage Society

CATLEY, Reginald Robert

Regiment: Royal Field Artillery

Rank: Gunner

Number: 1009

Died: 26 September 1914

Aged: 17

Buried/ Memorial: Chester (Overleigh) Cemetery

Address: 16 Hamilton Street, Hoole

Chester Chronicle 3 October 1914



On Saturday morning at Northampton occurred the death of Gunner Reginald Catley at the 1st Battalion Cheshire Royal Field Artillery. He was the son of Robert [and Mary] Catley, watchmaker and jeweller who used to have a shop on the Cross, Chester. He was billeted at 3 Alcombe Terrace and had been in good health until struck down with appendicitis. On Thursday evening he was taken to Northampton General Hospital. As he went worse an operation became the only hope and his mother was telegraphed for. He was at once operated upon but despite every attention he died on the Saturday. His mother arrived in Northampton on Friday and was with her son to the last. Gunner Catley was an extremely popular young fellow in the Battery. On Tuesday night a full military funeral was held in his honour from the hospital to the station.”

Reginald Robert CATLEY Memorial Stone


The funeral took place at Chester on Tuesday. The service was at All Saints Church, and a detachment of 60 recruits commanded by Capt Gardner and Lieut Walmsley, together with Sergt May and Instructor Spencer of the Depot Cheshire Brigade R.F.A., assembled to pay military honours to the deceased. The coffin was met at the home of the deceased by the soldiers who accompanied the cortege to the church. The Rev E A Pavitt (vicar of Hoole) officiated assisted by Rev R C Morrison. The service was very impressive. Coun R Pinnington (chairman of the Hoole U.D.C.) and Mr and Mrs Samuel Britain and Mr Lipsham were present. Mr Hamilton, the organist, played the “Dead March” in “Saul” after the service, and as the coffin left the church Chopin’s “Funeral March”.

The mourners included the father and mother of the deceased (Mr and Mrs Robert Catley) Ethel, Dorothy, Connie and Gertie, Mr and Mrs Brittain and Godfrey, Mrs Parry, Mrs Crimes and Mr Harry Price. Wreaths were sent by the members of the Cheshire Brigade R.F.A., the officers and men of the Depot Cheshire Brigade R.F.A., the NCOs and men of the 1st Cheshire Brigade R.F.A. (T), and many personal friends.

The interment took place at the Cemetery, and the streets of the city en route were lined with sorrowful and sympathising spectators. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs W H Hallmark and Son.”


Mrs Catley has received a large number of letters expressing sympathy including one from the King and Queen. This runs “The King commands me to assure you of the true sympathy of his Majesty and the Queen in your sorrow. – Kitchener”.

Cheshire Observer 19 September 1914


There are only 20 members of this club, and the following eleven are now on service: ….R Catley (R.F.A.) …..etc. His Army Service Records show that Reginald had enlisted in the Cheshire Brigade Royal Field Artillery Territorials prior to the war on 15 May 1914 and was embodied on 5 August 1914 the day after war was declared.

The 1911 Census shows Reginald as a 14-year-old schoolboy living at 16 Hamilton Street with his father, a watchmaker, mother Mary and sisters, Dorothy, Constance and Gertrude.