Reginald Hugh Cheesman

Private Reginald Cheesman

45th Battalion, AIF

Service Number: 2147

Born: 1888, Brighton, England

Died: 21 January 1917, Brighton, England

Reginald Hugh Cheesman was born in 1888 in Brighton, Sussex, England, the son of John and Harriet Cheesman. After attending the Central School, Church St Brighton, Cheesman moved to London for a time before arriving in Australia in 1912 working on a passenger ship as a general servant. He had spent five years in the merchant service as a cadet steward. From 1913, Cheesman was employed as a cleaner at the Penrith locomotive depot.

Cheesman enlisted on 22 February 1916 and was allocated to the 45th Battalion. He undertook training at Bathurst and embarked aboard HMAT Wiltshire on 22 August 1916, arriving in Plymouth England on 13 October 1916. Cheesman was then sent to 3 Command Depot for additional training on 16 October. During a visit to see his parents in Brighton, Cheesman fell ill. On 21 January 1917, he was admitted to Kitchener’s Military Hospital, Brighton with endocarditis and pericarditis. On admission, he stated that he had difficulty in breathing on exertion during the past two years. His condition had worsened in England and he had been unable to perform normal military duties. He died the same day. He had written a will in which he left his estate to his parents.

At the Nepean Picture Theatre, High Street, Penrith on 19 May 1917 a ceremony of unveiling photographs of five deceased soldiers – ex-railway employees – who enlisted for the war while in the employ of the Railway Department, was performed by the Railway Commissioners. The photographs unveiled are those of the late Corporal Le Sueur, Privates Syme, Cheesman, Paxton, and Collum. Cheesman’s portrait bore the inscription – ‘Hung as a token of esteem by the railway men of Penrith’. The photographs were afterwards hung in the School of Arts. In 1919 his name was also inscribed on the Honor Roll for the Loyal Alexander Lodge in the Masonic Hall, Penrith.

Memorial Details:

  • Brighton (Lewes Road) Borough Cemetery, Sussex England
  • Honor Roll, Memory Park, Penrith
  • Honor Roll, Loyal Alexander (MU) Lodge, Penrith

Sources:

National Archives of Australia B2455 CHEESMAN R H

Australian War Memorial First World War Nominal Roll

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour

TROVE:

Nepean Times 24 February 1917, pg. 5, Col. 1

Nepean Times 12 May 1917, pg. 3, Col.5