Rank: Private
Number: 201603
Unit: 1/4th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 25 October 1918
Age: 37
Cemetery: Harlebeke New British Cemetery, Belgium

Reginald was a member of the very large Holebrook family who lived in Hazel Grove. He worked in the family plastering business, owned by his father. His five brothers, including Charles Holebrook (died 23/8/17), also worked in the business. Reginald was the uncle of Allan Holebrook who had been killed exactly one year before.

Reginald's medal entitlement records at the National Archives show that the above service number is the only that he had during the war. The six-digit number did not come into use until January 1917, so he must have joined sometime after then.  He may have tried to enlist earlier in the War but been rejected as too old. However, by 1918, the Army was desperate for recruits and the conscription age was increased.

On 25 October, the 4th Cheshires were to the south of the Belgian town of Courtrai (now Kortrijk), on the eastern bank of Courtrai to Bossuyt Canal at Knokke. After weeks of success, the British Army was pushing forward on almost daily basis and, at 9am, a further advance was ordered towards the Knokke - Keiberg road. By 12.30, the Battalion Commander was receiving reports that German opposition was slight; casualties were minimal and the enemy could be seen running away.

Over the following hour, the Battalion pushed forward skirmish lines until it reached its final objective at Autryvue, where it dug in for the night.

Reginald was one of seven members of the Battalion who had been killed. He will have originally been buried very close to where he died. After the War, when the land was being returned to civilian use, many of these very small burial grounds were closed. The bodies were then "concentrated" in newly created cemeteries, like Harlebeke, which is about 10 kilometres from where he was killed.

Further information about Reginald, including a photograph, can be found in the book "Hazel Grove to Armageddon", by John Eaton.

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