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53736: Photographs of Reggie Bryant

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posted on 2024-02-18, 00:00 authored by Great War Archive Project Team

Reggie's girlfriend Patience Huthwaite Jnr. was pregnant with our father (also Reginald) when he was posted with the Norfolk Regiment to Iraq to participate in the first battle of Kut, where he eventually went missing, presumed killed, on 22nd April 1916.
Reggie and Patience were not married and our father was eventually brought up in London for the first 14 years of his life by his maternal grandmother, Patience Huthwaite Snr. He was christened with his mother's surname of Huthwaite, although he was a Bryant.
Reggie Bryant came from a large family living in Diss, Norfolk.
He became a corporal in the Norfolk Regiment, but appears to have been trained at Colchester Barracks before being posted to Iraq.
His letters indicate a typical soldier's acceptance of his lot in life, and his enjoyment of a few 'jars of beer' with his mates. He even requests his girlfriend, Patience Huthwaite, in one letter, to meet him outside the barracks with a 'treacle tin of beer' as he was missing his pint.
The letters from Iraq to his mother are very poignant. They describe sitting by the Tigris looking across at the mountains in the distance. His last letter to his mother was written only two days before he went into action against the Turks at Kut, and was reported missing, presumed killed.
Patience Huthwaite eventually married Reggie's brother Clarence Bryant after the war, and therefore kept the name of Bryant going.


Editor's Comment:
Photograph at top left is of Reggie Bryant when a private, in Service Dress, with the cap badge of the Norfolk Regiment.
The group photographs, top right and bottom left, show Reggie as a private wearing the unusual Blue Simplified Jacket (not to be confused with the infamous 'Kitchener Blue' uniform, worn by the man standing next to Reggie, bottom right, with cloth shoulder titles denoting his particular Battalion), an early war emergency issue.


Cpl. 14668 Reginald Bryant, 2nd Bn. Norfolk Regiment, missing in action 22nd April 1916, is commemorated on the Basra Memorial. Son of May Bryant, of 6, Waveney Rd., Diss, Norfolk, and the late John Bryant. One of six brothers who served. The 2nd Bn. served in Mesopotamia as part of the 6th (Poona) Division, Indian Army.

History

Identifier

3862.jpg| GWA_2210_norscan0022.jpg|

Subject

Bryant, Reggie

Date

1915

Date Created

01/01/1915

Temporal Coverage

31/12/1915

Source

Photograph

Medium

Photographic paper

Type

Multiple

Contributor

Richard Marshall | Richard Marshall | Brian Huthwaite

Submission Event

Norwich and Norfolk Millennium Library Submission Day, 8th April 2008

Rights

The Great War Archive, University of Oxford / Primary Contributor

Publisher

The Great War Archive, University of Oxford