Rank: Private 155978
Regiment or Ship: Royal Army Medical Corps
Service Number(s): 155978
Date of Birth: 20.07.1892
Place of Birth: Oswestry, Shropshire
Date of Death: 1973
Place of Death: SurreyAddress: 42 Windsor Road, Bexhill
Photos and newspaper articles
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Parents: Robert F. Sandford, b. 1858, and Minette Sandford, b. 1865 in Oswestry.
Gladys Sandford, b. 1888 in Oswestry.
Marguerite Minette Sandford, b. 1890 in Oswestry.
Dora Penelope Crowhall Sandford, b. 1891 in Oswestry.
Hubert Augustin Percy Sandford, b. 1906.
In 1901 Robert and his family were living at 10 Salop Road, Oswestry, Shropshire, where Robert was employed as a chemist’s drug assistant. In 1911 Reginald, Marguerite, Dora, and Hubert were living at 4 Shirburn Terrace, Thorbarn Road, Torquay, and Reginald was a pharmacist.
However, in a local newspaper dated 25th December 1915, his address is given as c/o Mrs. Harland, 42 Windsor-road, but his service records state that he lived at 18 Cornwall Road, Bexhill and 43 Parsonage Road, Eastbourne.
Spouse: Reginald married Marjorie Florence Morley on 29th September 1915 when they were living at 43 Parsons Road, Eastbourne.
First World War Experience
Reginald’s service records have survived and, therefore, we know quite a lot of his physical appearance and fitness standard. He was 5’ 9” tall and weighed 116lbs. His chest measurement was 35½” – expansion change 3”. He had brown hair, a sallow complexion and hazel eyes. His vision in both eyes was 6/6. His physical fitness was given as ‘Fair. Grade I (A)’. He was a British subject, a chemist, married, and was a member of the Church of England.
He enlisted on 11th December 1915 into the Army Reserve and this was reported in the Bexhill Observer dated 25th December 1915 under the heading “Second list of Bexhill names enlisted in the Army Reserve”.
It would seem that Reginald was given exemption from active service for some time due to his profession and, on 12th July 1918, using his employers stationery (Perrett & Co., Dispensing Chemists, 25 Devonshire Road, Bexhill) he wrote the following letter to the R.A.M.C.
I have been advised to write to you re my joining the army. I am at present the dispenser to the above firm. I have had 12 years dispensing experience, am grade 1, 26 years and age & married.
My exemption expires on the 22nd of this month. I wrote to the Pharmaceutical Society, the reply I have enclosed.
If my services are of any use I shall be pleased to hear from you at your convenience.
Meanwhile. I remain, Faithfully yours, R. M. Sandford.”
(At this point his address is 18 Cornwall Road, Bexhill.)
He received the following reply dated 13th July 1918.
The calling-up of recruits is a matter entirely for the Ministry of National Service.
At present dispensing chemists are being posted to the R.A.M.C. non-respective of their category. As stated in the letter which is returned, you should see your local recruiting officer, state your full qualifications and he will no doubt recommend you as you desire.
Yours faithfully Lt-Col. D.A.A.G.
Reginald’s correspondence obviously had the desired effect and on 20th August 11918 he became a Private in the 1st. Batt. R.A.M.C. serving in the Western Theatre of War.
No further record of his service has been found and neither has his name been found in the Medal Rolls Indexes.