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Carew Reynell (1883–1915)

from Register

The happy and peaceful little village of Reynella was suddenly made sad and sombre on Tuesday by the receipt of a message from the military headquarters to the effect that Major Carew Reynell, the eldest son of Mr. Walter Reynell, had been killed in action on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The well-known southern winery was immediately closed, and on all sides were manifested genuine grief and sympathy with the relatives, among whom are a widow and two children. The deceased officer was one of Nature's gentlemen, and a man who always "played the game," whatever the consequences might be. He made staunch friends wherever he went, and was held in high esteem, especially in the southern districts, where the name of Reynell has been a household word almost since the foundation of the State.

On the outbreak of the war Major Reynell was anxious to volunteer for active service. Responsibilities, however, prevented him from gratifying his desire until toward the end of last year. He was then gazetted second in command of the 9th Light Horse Regiment of the 2nd Expeditionary Force. Having made military work a hobby for many years, and kept himself informed in modern tactical methods, he was eminently fitted for the high post. He fulfilled his duties with skill and ability, notwithstanding his comparative youth—for he was only in his thirty-second year—and he won the confidence of his men, who would follow him anywhere.

A characteristic of the late officer was his enthusiasm in whatever work he undertook. He joined the fifth horse as a private, and climbed to his high rank. He received his first commission while serving with the 16th Australian Light Horse, and two years later gained the rank of lieutenant in the 7th Light Horse. In 1912 he passed, with flying colours, the examination for the position of captain; after which he joined the 22nd Light Horse. In the same year he was promoted to the rank of major, the status which he held at the time of volunteering for the front. The deceased was a fearless and accomplished horseman. For three years he was Master of the Adelaide Hunt Club; and during the term the club progressed conspicuously.

Major Reynell promised to become as his father has been for many years, one of the State's foremost viticulturists and wine makers. After having left St. Peters College he began the study of vinegrowing and wine production in all their phases. Blessed with a natural scientific bent, quick perception, and good judgment, his studies advanced rapidly. His confreres hailed him as a man who, in the near future, was destined to play an important part in safeguarding and developing the industries along the best possible lines. Mr. Reynell was particularly interested in the influences of different methods of cultivation and varied applications, of manures in connection with viticulture, and two or three years ago initiated at Reynella a series of experiments which have already revealed striking results.

The deceased officer, whose younger brother, Dr. W. R. Reynell (a Rhodes Scholar) has been at the front almost since the outbreak of the war, came from fighting stock. Many of his ancestors fought for their country, but none of them was more distinguished than his grand uncle, Lieut.-Gen. Thomas Reynell, C.B., who commanded the 71st Regiment (Highland Light Infantry) at Waterloo. The regiment was brigaded with a battalion of the 52nd (Oxfordshire Light Infantry) and two battalions of the 95th Rifles, and formed part of Gen. Adam's Brigade. They specially distinguished themselves at Quatre Bras. At one period of the battle the Duke of Wellington was in the square formed by the regiment when charged by the French cavalry. At the close of the day the 71st took part in the final charge on Napoleon's Imperial Guard. Sir Thomas Reynell, who was dangerously wounded during the fight, was singled out for special honours when the awards were made.

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Citation details

'Reynell, Carew (1883–1915)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 April 2024.

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