Rank or Title
Date of Birth
27 Mar 1893
Date of Death
19 Oct 1917
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
Soldier or Civilian
Sapper Reed Knight, 628195, 4th Canadian Railway Troops, was killed in action near Nieuport in Belgium on October 19th, 1917. His was a story of a Vancouver boy's romance with a Luton girl that soon turned to tragedy on the battlefield.
Chaplain the Rev D. Oliver wrote that Sapper Knight was killed by a bursting shell. He died instantly and was buried the following afternoon in a British Cemetery. The funeral was a military one and his grave was marked with a wooden cross.
But the romantic element of the story had its beginnings in 1913. Jim Cannon, a Luton boy, had gone to Canada to work on the land. He met Reed Knight and correspondence began with the Cannon family in Luton. Jim and Reed joined up together in Canada and subsequently went to France with their unit.
The next twist of fate came when Sapper Knight was wounded in the left shoulder while on sentry duty at Mouquet Farm in September 1916 during the Battle of Pozieres. He was brought back to England and admitted to the Northumberland War Hospital near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He was then transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Wokingham, Surrey.
During leave from the convalescent hospital, Reed Knight spent his time with the Cannon family at 54 Cobden Street, Luton. There he met daughter Lizzie Cannon, became attached and then married her in December 1916, the month after being discharged from hospital and shortly before returning to the battlefield to meet his fate.