Rev Clifford H Reed MA, MC
Clifford Hugh Reed was born in Exeter on 23 June 1888, the son of Caroline and William Henry Reed. Reed was educated at Queen’s College, Taunton and Trinity College, Cambridge. From Cambridge, Reed entered the WM Ministry, becoming Chaplain of The Leys School in 1912. His Conference obituary says that ‘He was full of ideals, reckless in hard work and self-sacrifice’.
During World War 1, Reed joined the Royal Army Chaplain’s Department. Reed’s obituary states that he ‘won his way by the Christianity he lived. He cared for the men’s whole life – physical, recreative, and spiritual.’ Clifford Reed was awarded the Military Cross which his obituary said was for coming to the assistance of the men in their suffering when he ‘showed a self-forgetful bravery’.
Clifford Reed was killed in action whilst ministering to the wounded under heavy fire on the Messines ridge on 7 June 1917. Reed is commemorated by a headstone at Oosttaverne Wood Cemetery, Belgium and by a memorial window at Sidwell Street Methodist Church, Exeter.
In reporting the unveiling of the commemorative window, the Western Times noted an incident by Rev H Arnaud Scott who had met an unnamed injured soldier in an Exeter hospital who had said of ‘Padre Reed’, ‘Everybody out there loved him and, believe me, there wasn’t a man on that job in France did it as well as Reed did’.
Sources and References:
Index of Methodist Ministers
Census returns and Freebmd
Minutes of Wesleyan Methodist Conference 1917
Western Times 19 April 1919