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Reginald Frederick Squibb was born in Godshill, Isle of Wight on 3rd March 1891. In 1901, his father, James Henry Squibb was a labourer on Towlesdown farm where he lived with his wife Clara Fanny (nee Mackett), and their three sons and two daughters, George H (b. 1879), Reginald F, James W (b. 1895); Fanny E (b. 1898) and Bessie M (b. 1900).

At the outbreak of WW1, Reginald (aged 23) was serving in the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, landing in France on 23rd August 1914. He was already a Lance Serjeant at this point suggesting he likely joined up on or before his 18th birthday in 1909. His service number was 7815.

By 1916, Reginald had been promoted to Serjeant and he now commissioned into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment; being posted into the 10th Battalion. Info: THE LONDON GAZETTE, 18 FEBRUARY, 1916.

There is no mention in the Battalion War diary of 2nd Lieutenant Squibb arriving; the first we see of him is;

Hannescamps: 4th March 1916

Patrol went out under 2nd Lieut Squibb, but nothing was seen or heard of the enemy.

and, later that month;

Fonquevillers: 18th March 1916

Great use was made, during this period in trenches, of the telescopic rifles; and the Battalion snipers, by means of carefully constructed sniping-posts behind the firing-line, have undoubtedly accounted for several of the enemy and have succeeded in repressing the activity of enemy snipers. 2nd Lieut Squibb has been responsible for their training.

Reginald was wounded during the opening days of the Battle of the Somme, the 10th Battalion had arrived at Albert on the 7th July 1916. They moved into the trenches at Tara Hill on the 11th, while the enemy were peppering them with gas shells. The following day;

Trenches; Tara Hill: 12th July 1916

Today the enemy being much more active, we sustained many casualties including Capt. Dryden, Capt. Dennys, 2Lt Bee, 2Lt Atkinson, 2Lt Squibb, 2Lt Woolley.

On 24th July 1916 it is written in the War Diary that 2nd Lieutenant Squibb is to receive the Military Cross – for good patrol work. This was the first MC to be awarded to an officer of the Battalion since their arrival on 1st August 1916. The citation;


2nd Lt. Reginald Frederick Squibb, N. Lan. R. (attd. 10th Bn.).
For conspicuous gallantry. After a raid which he had led he went out under heavy machine-gun fire to search for missing men.
Next night he led another raid, which inflicted severe loss on the enemy. On this occasion he attacked a party of the enemy single-handed, thereby rescuing a man who had been cut off.


2nd Lieutenant Squibb pictured wearing the Military Cross

Having been wounded on the 12th July 1916, this was the end of Reginalds’ service in France.

From 13th November 1917 until 16th February 1918, Reginald Squibb was employed with the West African Frontier Force, in the Nigerian Regiment, serving in British, German and Portuguese East Africa, Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia, as seen in the Army list of 1920 below.

He was awarded the Africa General Service, with clasp ‘Nigeria 1918’


Reginald Squibb remained with the African Frontier Force until 1933, then returning to the [now named] Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) up until 1943 when he transferred to the Pioneer Corps. Not much is known about his service post WW1, but the following London Gazette entries have been found which confirm he remained in Africa until at least 1933;



Lt. R. F. Squibb, M.C., Loyal R., relinquishes the temp, rank of Capt. on  easing to be empld. wth the W. Afr. Fron. Force. 14th Apr. 1923.


Loyal R.— Capt. R. F. Squibb, M.C., is restd. to the estabt. 9th Sept. 1931.


MEMORANDA – Capt. (local Maj.) R. F. Squibb, M.C., Loyal R., relinquishes the local rank of Maj., on ceasing to be empld. with the R.W. Afr. Fron. Force. 8th Dec. 1933.


Loyal R.—Capt. R. F. Squibb, M.C., having attained the age for retirement, is placed on .ret. pay. 5th July 1937.


PIONEER CORPS-  Capt. & Bt. Maj. R. F. Squibb, M.C. (13302), from Loyal R., to be Capt. & Bt. Maj., 17th Mar. 1943, retaining his present seniority.

Following on from his active military service, Reginald was appointed Military Knight of Windsor, holding the rank of Lt-Colonel, a post held up until his death in 1977.


Brig. Arthur Catchmay TYLER, C.B.E., M.C. (56694)
late WELCH to be a Military Knight of Windsor, 2nd
Nov. 1977, in succession to Lt.-Col. Reginald SQUIBB,
M.C. late LOYALS, deceased

In the book ‘No cloak, no dagger’ by Grace Stoddard, there is a reference to Squibb on page 220. This mentions Reginald Squibb and his wife Kay, living within the walls of Windsor Castle due to his position as the Senior Military Knight.

For more information about his role a Military Knight of Windsor, there is a fact sheet available here.

Paul McCormick
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4 Responses to 2nd Lieutenant Reginald Frederick Squibb

  1. Mrs R Gazzard says:

    Reginald Frederick Squibb was the brother of my near neighbour before he died.
    He told me his brother had done something silly in the 1914-18 war, but would never say what it had been, and that he lived in a Grace and Favour apartment in Windsor Castle.
    How thrilling it is to find out exactly how he served his country. R.F. Squibb is buried in Shanklin Cemetary, Isle of Wight alongside his brother James.

  2. Pamela Perry says:

    During WWII Reginald Squibb was the commanding officer of my late father, Lt.Col. Kenneth Duff Henderson, and they kept in touch afte the war ended. As a child in the 1950’s I remember visiting him and his wife at their home (before he was appointed as a Miltary Knight) when he donned a tiger skin rug which was lying on the floor and crawled, growling and pretending to chase my brother and me, to our great delight. I also recall visiting him and his wife when they were living in the precincts of Windsor Castle. He was a true gentleman and my father had the greatest respect for him.

    • don neal says:

      Hi – I was interested in your comment on Reginald Sqibb – what an adventure for a youngster visiting some one who lived at Windsor Castle. A Great War hero from a humble background.
      Do you know where he was serving with your late Father in WW2, he would have been around 50 years old..

  3. The following is an entry for 1947 Pow camps in the UK. It explains his work with the Pioneer Corps:

    Camp 186(Base Camp) Berechurch Hill Camp, Colchester, Essex Lt.Col.R.F.Squibb M.C. v/202/4 (this is the War Establishment number).

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