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Targett 1Ronald Charles Targett was born in 1892 in Reading, Berkshire to John Charles and Florence Maud Targett (nee Noyes). John Targett was a livery stable keeper whose business was to hire out horses, carriages and drivers, his occupation was known was a `job master`.

Ronald`s parents married in Berkshire in 1891 and Ronald was the eldest child. He had two brothers Cecil (1894) and Henry J. (1899) and one sister Dorothy Olga (1897).

In 1901 Ronald and his family were living at 688 London Road in Reading. The family business must have been successful because they had four servants; Annie Walters (cook),  Agnes Silvey (housemaid), Ellen Harding (nurse) and James Finlay (stable helper).

Sadly, Ronald`s father passed away at home in Reading on the 22nd November 1908. After the death of John Targett the family seem to have split up. In 1911 Ronald was an apprentice glover and was staying with his maternal Grandmother Annie Noyes in Reading while his mother had gone to stay in Brighton.

Ronald`s mother remarried in the December quarter of 1911 in the Wandsworth district of London to a Thomas Morrell. Between 1911 and 1914 Mr and Mrs Morrell arrived in Preston and had some connection to the Crown Hotel. At some point Ronald left Reading having served his three year apprenticeship as a glover and also moved to Preston where he went to work at the Crown Hotel.

Ronald enlisted on the 7th September 1914 in Preston, he joined “D” Company of the 7th Battalion L.N.L. (Preston Pals) and was given the service number 13071. He confirmed his occupation was a hotel employee and that he was 22 years old at the time. He was unmarried and had no previous military experience.

Less than a week after his enlistment Ronald was appointed Lance Corporal and after a few months of training he sailed to France with the 7th Battalion on the 17th July 1915. By the 15th July 1916 he had been promoted to Corporal.

Sadly, Ronald Targett was posted as missing on the 23rd July 1916 when the Battalion was involved in action on the Somme.

His mother placed a photograph of him in the local paper asking for any news of her son`s whereabouts, then later when his death had been confirmed, the following article appeared.Targett 2

Ronald Targett has no burial place because his body was never recovered from the battlefield and so his name is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme.

Following Ronald’s death, another ‘Pal` who survived the action wrote a letter which contained a reference to the death of Ronald Targett. The letter appeared in the Preston Herald on the 26th August 1916 and is reproduced in the article for Clive Whittle, another casualty who died the same day as Ronald (Click Here).

The Crown Hotel in Preston where Ronald`s mother and stepfather were living was taken over by the Military in late 1916 and the contents of the Hotel were eventually auctioned off. His mother returned to Reading at some point and she was living at 238 Oxford Road in Reading when she took receipt of her son`s 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals.

Rank: Corporal
Service No: 13071
Date of Death: 23/07/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 7th Bn.

Additional family information Ronald`s younger brother Henry J Targett also enlisted. 570673 Rifleman Henry J Targett of the 17th Battalion London Regiment died on the 16/9/17. Henry was buried in Menin Road South Military Cemetery.


Janet Davis
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