Reginald Blockley LUCAS

Poppy

LUCAS, Reginald Blockley

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: Unspecified British Units
Born: Hyde Park, Adelaide, South Australia, 11 September 1889
Home Town: Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: St Peter's College and the University of Adelaide
Occupation: Medical Practitioner
Died: Killed in Action , France , 3 July 1916, aged 26 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Tree Plaque: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Thiepval Memorial, Unley Arch of Remembrance
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World War 1 Service

3 Jul 1916: Involvement British Army, Captain, SN Officer, Unspecified British Units

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Biography

 

Reginald Blockley Lucas of Millswood, South Australia was born in September 1889 at Hyde Park and later attended St Peter's College. After leaving the ‘Old School’, he studied medicine at Adelaide University and was in the same year as Harry Nott (OS) who was later the first RMO for the 10th Battalion AIF.

In January 1915, Reginald transferred from the Australian Army Medical Corps Reserve to the British Army and shortly thereafter was posted to the Base Hospital at Rouen, France as a Lieutenant. He remained there until March 1916 when attached to the 7th (Service) Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment as a temporary captain.

The 7th (Service) Battalion which had been formed at Norwich, England in August 1914 as part of 35th Brigade, 12th Division in Kitchener’s New Army was billeted in and around Shorncliffe, Romney and Littlestone before then moving to Malplaquet Barracks, Aldershot in February 1915 to complete their training; they landed in France at the end of May 1915. [i]

During the night of 1 July, the 12th Division relieved the badly knocked about 8th Division after its attempt to take German held Ovillers-la-Boisselle. The 12th Division was to continue the attack on Ovillers in the early hours of 2 July, but as the relief was so chaotic, the division had to request a 24 hour postponement.

Early on 3 July, the 35th and 37th Brigades advanced under the cover of their artillery and rushed forward the remaining short distance toward the German trenches once the barrage lifted. Heavy shelling however soon caused some of the attacking to lose direction and momentum but those units who made good progress and entered the German’s trench lines were suddenly bogged down in titanic bomb fights. The highly trained and aggressive German troops fought bravely to hold their line and the 12th Division was unable to take the objective and later counted their casualties in the thousands. Captain Reginald Blockley Lucas was killed in action on 3 July 1916.

His younger brother Alfred (OS) enlisted on 24 September 1915 and served with the Australian Engineers as well as the 3rd Light Horse Regiment; he returned to Australia in 1919.



[i] James, E A, Historical Records Of British Infantry Regiments In The Great War 1914-1918, Rank Xerox Copy Bureau, Birmingham Revised Edition, 1976, p. 32

From the book Fallen Saints

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