Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
1 Feb 1915
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Trooper Charles William Reginald 'Reggie' Looker, 1236, 1/1st Bedfordshire Yeomanry, was killed in action in France on February 1st, 1916. His body with a bullet wound through the head was discovered in a trench by his younger brother Richard.
It was Richard, known as Dick, who wrote to parents William and Annie Looker, of The Briars, Osborne Road, Luton, with the sad news. The brothers had enlisted in the Beds Yeomanry soon after the outbreak of war and went out to France together in April 1915. The Yeomanry was attached to the 1st Division of Cavalry, British Expeditionary Force, France.
In his letter home, Richard wrote that he was just going up to the front line to relieve the other squadron when he saw a comrade run out of a sap where he knew his brother Reggie was on duty. "I asked what was the matter, but he did not tell me. I went up the sap as I knew there was something wrong, when, to my horror, I found poor Reg lying at the bottom of the trench with a bullet wound right through the head. It had killed him outright.
"This is a dreadful thing, but war is war, and he died as good as any hero. I have just helped to carry him out, and I shall come out this (Tuesday) afternoon to his burial."
Reggie Looker was aged 22. He was born in Buckden, Huntingdonshire, in October 1893, but by the time of the 1901 Census the family, including three sons and three daughters, were living at Hillside House, Hitchin Road, Luton. His father, a flour miller, was head of the Exchange Roller Mills in Church Street, Luton.
It was intended that Reggie should follow an agricultural career. He was educated at Bishops Stortford College, and went on to the Beds County Council Agricultural Institute at Ridgmont to go through a farming course. He subsequently spent two or three years gaining practical experience at different farms and was nearing the completion of his training when war broke out and he joined the Bedfordshire Yeomanry.