RIFLEMAN JAMES REID
LONDON REGIMENT (POST OFFICE RIFLES)
27TH MARCH 1918 AGE 43
BURIED: CHAUNEY COMMUNAL CEMETERY BRITISH EXTENSION, FRANCE
Mrs Annie Reid quoted the last two lines of Harold Begbie's famous, or should I say infamous, recruiting poem, 'Fall In', for her husband's inscription. The poem appeared in numerous local papers during the first weeks of the war, designed to shame men into volunteering by asking them how they were going to feel when they were shunned by girls for not being a soldier, how they would cope when their children questioned the role they'd played in the war, and how they would feel when they were old and their mates were reminiscing and they were excluded. The poem concludes:
Is it naught to you if your country fall,
And Right is smashed by Wrong?
Is it football still and the picture show,
The pub and the betting odds,
When your brothers stand to the tyrant's blow,
And England's call is God's!
How could you stand aside when your 'brothers' are fighting for God against tyranny.
James Reid was born in Stirling, Scotland, the son of John and Marion Reid. He served with the 8th Battalion London Regiment (Post Office Rifles) and from his service number it would appear that he enlisted in the second half of 1915. He was killed on 27 March 1918 as the regiment fought to contain the German advance across the Crozat Canal, through Teignier Wood, Noreuil and Chauny. Reid is buried in Chauney Communal Cemetery British Extension.