Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 16 December 1914, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Last Unit: 9th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Rostrevor, South Australia, 16 September 1883
Home Town: Reynella, Onkaparinga, South Australia
Schooling: St Peters College, Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Vigneron
Died: Killed In Action, Gallipoli, 28 August 1915, aged 31 years
Cemetery: Hill 60 Cemetery and Hill 60 (NZ) Memorial
Commemorated at O'Halloran Hill Christ Church Anglican Cemetery
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Badgebup St Peter's Anglican Church, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Morphett Vale War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

16 Dec 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
11 Feb 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Major, 9th Light Horse Regiment,

--- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '2' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Karroo embarkation_ship_number: A10 public_note: ''

11 Feb 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
29 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, 9th Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
28 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, SN Officer, 9th Light Horse Regiment, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli

Lt Col Carew Reynell

From Gallipoli, 1915

Lieutenant Colonel Carew Reynell, 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, was killed in action on 28th August 1915. His grandfather was wounded at the Battle of Waterloo. His son was killed in the Battle of Britain.


“The Late Major Carew Reynell

“The happy and peaceful little village, of Reynella was suddenly made sad and sombre on Tuesday by the receipt of a message from the military headquarters to the effect that Major Carew Reynell, the eldest son of Mr. Walter Reynell, had been killed in action on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The well-known southern winery was immediately closed, and on all sides were manifested genuine grief and sympathy with the relatives, among whom are a widow and two children. The deceased officer was one of Nature's gentlemen, and a man who always “played the game,” whatever the consequences might be. He made stanch [sic] friends wherever he went, and was held in high esteem, especially in the southern districts, where the name of Reynell has been a household word almost since the foundation of the State.

“ — Keen for the Front. —

“On the outbreak of the war Major Reynell was anxious to volunteer for active service. Responsibilities, however, prevented him from gratifying hie desire until toward the end of last year. He was then gazetted second in command of the 9th Light Horse Regiment of the 2nd Expeditionary Force. Having made military work a hobby for many years, and kept himself informed in modern tactical methods, he as eminently fitted for the high post. He fulfilled his duties with skill and ability, notwithstanding his comparative youth — for he was only in his thirty-second year — and he won the confidence of his men, who would follow him anywhere.

“ — Rapid Promotion. —

“A characteristic of the late officer was his enthusiasm in whatever work he undertook. He joined the light horse as a private, and climbed to his high rank. He received his first commission while serving with the 16th Australian Light Horse, and two years later gained the rank of lieutenant in the 7th Light Horse. In 1912 he passed, with flying colours, the examination for the position of captain; after which he joined the 22nd Light Horse. In the same year he was promoted to the rank of major, the status which he held at the time of volunteering for the front. The deceased was a fearless and accomplished horseman. For three years he was Master of the Adelaide Hunt Club, and during the term the club progressed conspicuously.

“ — Viticulturist and Winemaker. —

“Major Reynell promised to become, as his father has been for many years, one of the State's foremost viticulturists and winemakers. After having left St. Peter's College he began the study of vinegrowing and wine production in all their phases. Blessed with a natural scientific bent, quick perception, and good judgment, his studies advanced rapidly. His confreres hailed him as a man who, in the near future, was destined to play an important part in safeguarding and developing the industries along the best possible lines. Mr. Reynell was particularly interested in the influences of different methods of cultivation and varied applications of manures in connection with viticulture, and two or three years ago initiated at Reynella a series of experiments which have already revealed striking results.

“ — From Fighting Stock. —

“The deceased officer, whose younger brother, Dr. W. R. Reynell (a Rhodes Scholar) has been at the front almost since the outbreak of the war, came from fighting stock. Many of his ancestors fought for their country, but none of them was more distinguished than his grand uncle, Lieut.-Gen. Thomas Reynell, C.B., who commanded the 71st Regiment (Highland Light Infantry) at Waterloo. The regiment was brigaded with a battalion of the 52nd (Oxfordshire Light Infantry) and two battalions of the 95th Rifles, and formed part of Gen. Adam's Brigade. They specially distinguished themselves at Quatre Bras. At one period of the battle the Duke of Wellington was in the square formed by the regiment when charged by the French cavalry. At the close of the day the 71st took part in the final charge on Napoleon's Imperial Guard. Sir Thomas Reynell, who was dangerously wounded during the fight, was singled out for special honours when the awards were made.” [1]

Buried in Hill 60 Cemetery, he was the 32 year-old son of the late Walter and Emily Reynell; husband of May Reynell, of Reynella, South Australia.

His son, Flight Lieutenant Richard Carew Reynell, a Hurricane pilot serving with 43 Squadron Royal Air Force, was killed in action on 7th September 1940. He baled out after a combat with Me. Bf. 109s but was found to be dead from wounds when he came to earth.

Buried in Brookwood Cemetery, he was the 28 year-old husband of Enid Marjorie Reynell, of West End, Surrey. He had been an aerobatic pilot with 43 Squadron before the war, flying in the Hawker Fury-equipped display team.

[1] 'The Journal,' (Adelaide, South Australia), 8th September 1915.


From the book 'Fallen Saints'

Carew Reynell was born at Magill South Australia in September 1883. After leaving the School, he returned to the family home in Reynella the area south of Adelaide named after his famous wine producing family. There, he followed the lead of his grandfather and father, and studied every aspect of viticulture. Prior to the war he was doing so well as a vigneron it was thought he would play a significant role in the future of the South Australian wine industry. Carew was an outstanding horseman who for three years before the war was Master of the Adelaide Hunt Club; this probably had a lot to do with him enlisting as a trooper in the Light Horse before the war.
In July 1908, while serving part time in 16th Light Horse Regiment he was appointed second lieutenant. He was promoted to lieutenant seven months later and joined 17th Light Horse Regiment, then in November 1912 was promoted to major with the 22nd Light Horse.
Carew sought and gained a commission in the AIF at the outbreak of war, and in December 1914 was posted to the 9th Light Horse Regiment as the second in command.
When the regiment (less A Squadron) embarked aboard HMAT Karroo on 11 February, there must have been some wits among the unit who claimed the ship had been named in his honour.
The regiment landed in May and after the CO, Lieutenant Colonel Miell, was killed on 7 August, Major Reynell took command of the regiment and was promoted.
When killed in action at Hill 60 on 28 August 1915 Lieutenant Colonel Carew Reynell was 32 years of age. In his main despatch dated 26 August 1915, General Sir Hamilton gave Reynell special mention for conspicuous service.
An officer who served under his command later said, ‘His splendid example and untiring energy did much to bring the regiment to a high state of efficiency. Day or night, he was ever at his post and ready for any task, however arduous.’
In August 1916, one of Reynell’s fellow officers, Lancelot Lewis (OS) said; ‘I came out with the brigadier of the 3rd Brigade, and he said he always considered Carew to be the best officer in his brigade.’
When the 9th Light Horse Regiment arrived back in Egypt they were met by Carew’s widow Mrs May Reynell, who at her own expense had travelled to Egypt to organise and furnished tearooms for the men of her late husband’s unit. Her work in Egypt as well as that she did with the League of Loyal Women was motivated by her commitment to duty and the love for her deceased husband. Their only son Richard obviously shared Carew and May Reynell’s strong values for he was killed in September 1940 while leading a squadron against the first great massed air attack on London in the Battle of Britain.


Carew Reynell Heritage

Carew's father was Walter Reynell and his grandfather was John.

John was the person who, after moving from the UK, in the mid 19th century purchased a small plot of land in what is now, approximately, the site of Old Reynella Village. Add an 'a' to his name and you have the provenance of the Reynella of today.

He established a small vineyard here and this remained as a family industry through the next two generations up to Carew himself.

Carew Reynell was a 'Fallen Saint;' [Note 1] one of the many former students of St Peter's College to lose his life in the Great War. Walter Reynell, Carew's father, was also an Old Scholar.

C. Roe
Manager AMOSA
SPSC 1973-1980

Note 1: R. Kearney research attribution

Showing 3 of 3 stories


Carew Reynell was the fourth child, and first son, of Walter Reynell and Mother Emily (née Bakewell).  Grandson of John Reynell and brother of Gladys Reynell.  Carew's only son Richard was to die in 1940 as one of "The Few" during the Battle of Britain, flying with the RAF's 43 Squadron - see LINK (/explore/people/378906)

He was raised at Reynella and educated at the Collegiate School of St Peters,Adelaide, fromm which he returned aged 17 to learn winemaking. He soon displayed a keen commitment to the family business and in 1903 became Manager.

1906 Reynell took a particular interest in making brandy, which did not require vineyard conversion to the new grape varieties then being introduced, and which was easily exported.  By 1909 he had developed Reynella's famous 'hospital' brandy, which quickly became the leading brandy in Australia. He installed new stills and equipment, and expanded plantings.  In 1913, he and an assistant, Gordon Cox, planted out the Jericho vineyard at the rate of ten acres (4 ha) a day.  By 1914 Reynella had about 500 acres (200 ha) under vine. Reynell also grew crops and hay, and ran horses and his grandfather's prize Shropshire flock.

As a boy he read avidly on the Empire's military glory, and in 1900 he tried to volunteer for the South African War, but was stopped by his father as under age. Reynell also involved himself in the pastimes of the gentry: above medium height, athletic, well-built and a splendid horseman, he played polo regularly, in 1907 became master of the Adelaide Hunt Club (a drag hunt), and a dedicated citizen soldier.

He married May Marion BYARD (eldest daughter of Douglas John Byard, head of Hahndorf College) on 11/5/1910. May died in 1967 and is buried with Carew.
They had a daughter (Lydia Reynell)  and a son (F/Lt Richard Carew Reynell - d. in 1940 during the Battle of Britain in WWII) (/explore/people/378906).

Previous service:
In July 1908 he joined the 16th Light Horse Regiment (South Australian Mounted Rifles) as a Second Lieutenant, and by November 1912 was a Major in the 22nd Light Horse Regiment.

Next of kin in service: younger brother  Dr Walter Rupert Reynell M.A., D.M., F.R.C.P. (Rhodes Scholar, b. 1884 d. 1948)
He was usually called by his middle name 'Rupert'. He married Una Shaw (nee Stuart).

Many of his ancestors fought for their country, but none of them was more distinguished than his grand uncle, Lieut. Gen. Thomas Reynell, CB, who commanded the 71st Regiment (Highland Light Infantry) at Waterloo. The regiment was brigaded with a battalion of the 52nd (Oxfordshire Light Infantry) and two battalions of the 85th Rifles and formed part of Generel Adam's Brigade. They specifically distinguished themselves at Quatre Bras. At one period of the battle the Duke of Wellington was in the square formed by the regiment when charged by French cavalry. At the close of the day the 71st took part in the final charge on Napoleon's Imperial Guard. Sir Thomas Reynell, who was dangerously wounded during the fight, was singled out for special honours when the awards were made.

Carew Reynell's enlistment documents provide the following infomration.

Age at Enlistment: 31 years 3 months old; Married; 6' tall; 196 lbs; Roman Catholic.

16/12/1914   Enlisted in Adelaide, South Australia
                    Second in Command of Personnel of 9th Light Horse Regiment

11/2/1915     Embarked from Port Melbourne on board the HMAT Karroo on 11
                    as a Major with the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Headquarters

14/3/1915     Disembarked - Egypt

16/5/1915      Proceeded to join Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces, Gallipoli

21/5/1915      The 3rd Light Horse Brigade landed at Gallipoli and was attached to
                     the New Zealand and Australian Division.

16/7/1915     Sick with Influenza, transferred to hospital ship, Anzac
20/7/1915     Returned to unit

Behind his polished veneer Reynell proved an inspiring leader and a brave man. He gave himself the most dangerous tasks, as on 30/6/1915, when he led a counter-attack to drive Turks from the Light Horse trenches, and on several occasions he patrolled into No Man's Land.

7/8/1915        Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and to Command the 9th Light Horse Regiment, following teh death of Lieutenant Colonel Albert Miel who was killed in action during the assault at the Nek.  The 9th Light Horse were in reserve and not committed to the attack.  Numbers of men were killed none-the-less, including the CO.

26/8/1915      Special Mention In Despatches - by General Sir Ian Hamilton
(5/11/1915      London Gazette - MENTION IN DESPATCHES)

28/8/1915      Shot by machine gun, on the edge of a Turkish trench
                     (half his regiment were made casualties with him) -  killed in action, aged 32
                      *** His body was brought back and buried on a nearby valley side. ***

Dr Charles Bean wrote of that attack:

"The attack began at 4 pm on 27 August 1915. The bombardment, although heavy by Gallipoli standards, was particularly ineffective against the position to be attacked by the Australians. It served more to warn the Turks of the Australian attack than to destroy their defences. The 4th Brigade's attack was launched uphill from Kaiajik Dere. Bean wrote that, "while the men in the advanced trench awaited the order to charge hostile rifle and machine gun fire was tearing the parapet to pieces above their heads. When the whistle blew, and Capt Connelly [a solicitor from Bendigo] of the 14th led out the first line on to the wheatfield, it was at once swept away". The second line met a similar fate. The dozen survivors, all wounded, crawled back to their trenches at dusk.

The British and New Zealanders, attacking the maze of trenches leading up to the summit of the hill from the west and south-west, met with initial success but were driven back with severe casualties to a perimeter only slightly deeper than what the New Zealanders had held before the battle. Australian infantry from the 18th Battalion charged uphill over broken ground into withering Turkish fire, towards the southern trenches on Hill 60 and the communication and fighting trench that linked it to Hill 100. For the second time in less than a week, they were cut down in waves. As the light died, the survivors were directed to reinforce the gains the New Zealanders had made. In his diary, teenaged Private Stephenson wrote, "All that night the fighting was terrific, the trenches were very close, and consequently bombs were the chief weapons, and they are no toys" [emphasis added]. Adding to the terror of the battle, shelling set the wheat field alight. By the time darkness had fallen, the British position on Hill 60 had depth but faced a complex maze of enemy trenches to the east and was flanked to the north by a long trench, gently winding from west to east toward the summit of the hill. It was known on the British map as D-C Trench, with "D" being the western, or seaward, end and "C" the eastern end running into the northern sector of the Turkish trench system on the summit of Hill 60. Reinforcements were desperately needed before the attack lost all momentum. Two regiments, the 9th and 10th, from the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, AIF (who, like all of the Australian Light Horsemen on Gallipoli, were fighting dismounted) were rushed to support the operation.

At 11.30 pm, Lt Col Carew Reynell and 140 of his 9th Light Horse charged alongside the trenches held by the New Zealanders toward the summit of Hill 60. Exactly what happened to the South Australians and Victorians of the 9th that night will never be known. Whether they lost their way or were driven by rifle fire and bursting bombs, they veered to the left. They ended up arriving in D-C Trench in small groups. Reynell and his men took the trench and fought until killed by counter-attacking Turks."


28/8/1915      Shot by machine gun, on the edge of a Turkish trench
                     (half his regiment were made casualties with him) -  Reynell was Killed in Action, aged 32
                      *** His body was brought back and buried on a nearby valley side. ***

Later burial in:   Hill 60 Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula
                        Row A, Plot 53, Grave 5
                        Canakkale Province, Turkey
                        1 1/4 miles north-east of Anzac Cove, Gallipoli

His regimental history, admittedly strongly officer-oriented, called him 'one of the best Light Horse officers in the Commonwealth'   and
'an officer and gentleman of the best type, a splendid soldier and born leader'.

An Anzac, Aubrey Herbert, hearing of his death wrote:

For the sake of those you led, you gave your life away,
As youth might fling a coin of gold, upon a sunny day,
If Odin mustered Vikings, you would rule his pagan crew,
If Mary came to choose her knights, she'd hand her sword to you.

His family arranged for his body to be exhumed and transported to Australia where he was buried at: O'Halloran Hill Anglican Christ Church Cemetery.

Service Medals:
Mentioned in Despatches
1914-15 Star (3759), British War Medal (9091), Victory Medal (9043),
Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll (356383)

The lake out the front of St Francis Winery Resort Hotel, Reynella, South Australia, (which is the old Winery Building of Reynell Winery), is called  LAKE CAREW REYNELL.

Sourced and submitted by Gordon Curtis and Julianne T Ryan.  15/4/2015.  Lest we forget.

Additional submission

A memorial tablet in beaten copper in a walnut frame honouring the memory of Carew Reynell is displayed inside Christ Church at O'Halloran Hill.  His name is located at panel 7 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT.

The Christ Church O'Halloran Hill Cemetery and other records suggest that Carew's body remained buried at Hill 60 and was located and returned to Australia.  A letter dated 2 June 1922 from Base Records advised his wife May his remains were believed to be buried in the Hill 60 British Cemetery and that it was impossible to identify his actual grave.  A copy of this letter and other documentary evidence is included in Carew Reynell's National Archives of Australia File No.B2455. Carew Reynell was commemorated in the Hill 60 Cemetery by an individual memorial proclaiming he was "believed to be buried in this cemetery". A  plaque honoring the memory of Carew Reynell  was unvelied at Christ Church O'Halloran Hill in September 1916 and this is still displayed inside the original old church building(photo attached).