British War and Victory Medal, Bronze Memorial Plaque, 2nd Lieutenant George Leslie Reid, 7th Dragoon Guards, killed in action on 1st December 1917 at Gouzeaucourt.
His mother Lady Watts, purchased the Greyfriars Episcpal Church, where he was baptised, during the war with a view to restoring it as a memorial of her fallen son.
Plaque reads: “George Leslie Reid”
BWM and Victory Off impressed: “2. Lieut. G.L. Reid”
The medals are contained a well made contemporary leather covered frame with a stand on the back for shelf display.
Drumfries and Galloway Standard, 15th December 1917:
ROLL OF HONOUR
KIRKCUDBRIGHT OFFICER KILLED
2nd Lieutenant Leslie Reid, Dragoon Guards, third son of the late Dr W.S.S. Reid, Oakley, Kirkcudbright, and of Mrs Shadforth Watts, 8 Lygon Place, London, S.W., and Martyr Worthy Place, near Winchester, was killed in action on 1st Inst.
It is surmised that he fell in the battle of Cambrai, when the cavalry got into the open.
Born at Oakley on 6th September 1897, the deceased was well known in the town, and the news of his fall at the early age of 20 was received with great regret. After the family left Kirkcudbright he finished his education at Charterhouse, and in 1915 entered Sandhurst. He passed out in 1916, receiving his commission in the 7th Dragoon Guards, going to France in January of this year.”
George Leslie Reid known by his friends and family as “Leslie” was born on 6th September 1897 in Oakley, Kirkcudbright, to Dr William Swanston Spence Reid MB, CHM and Julia Hamilton Reid nee McGowan.
His father died during 1907, leading to his mother to marry his stepfather, Sir Fenwick Shadforth Watts, with her assuming the title of Lady Watts.
He gained an early education at Dunstable Grammar School, a boarding school in Ashton Lodge, followed by Charterhouse before leaving for Sandhurst during the war in 1915.
He then passed out as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1916, being commissioned in to the 7th Dragoons Guards.
He first arrived for war service in France during January 1917.
During 1917, after hearing of the death of her Son, Lady Watts purchased Greyfriars Church in Kirkcudbright, where he had been baptised. It was in need of repairs as it dates back to the 1500’s, she opened a Bazaar in the local Town Hall to raise funds for the renovation and it was completed by 1919, there is now a large memorial plaque there in memory of her Son, for whom she had renovated the church for.
The plaque reads:
“This church a portion of which dates from the year of our lord 1456 was gifted to the Episcopal Church of Scotland in the year 1918 by Sir Shadforth and Lady Watts in Memory of Lieutenant George Leslie Reid, Elder Son of Lady Watts and her First Husband William Swanstone Spence Reid MB CM, He fell fighting gloriously for King and Country in the Great War of 1914-18”