Reginald Harry Maltby GC (EGM exchanger)

b. 24/01/1882 Fulham, London. d. 17/12/1943 Dover, Kent.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 05/06/1926 Lahore, India.

Reginald Harry Maltby (1882-1943) was born on the 24th January 1882 in Fulham, South London, the son of Charles and Jane Maltby (nee Ridges). His father worked as a refreshment contractor. Reginald had four brothers and a sister, and his grandmother also lived in the house with them. By the time of the 1901 Census, Reginald was living in Victoria Barracks in Windsor working as a canteen waiter. He married Beatrice Lubbock in 1903 at All Saints and St John the Baptist Church in New Windsor and they had two children, Reginald Charles born later that year, and Freda May in 1906.

Reginald H Maltby GC

It is believed that Reginald Snr trained as a motor electrician and he subsequently underwent specialist training on enlisting with the London Electrical Engineers (Royal Engineers Territorial Force) on 7th February 1909 which had its HQ at Regency Street, Westminster. He was called up for full time service on the 5th August 1914 and served throughout the war in the UK with the Royal Engineers. Because he didn’t serve overseas during this time he received no medals. After being demobilised on 21st May 1920 it is likely that after a while in “civvy street” the attraction of army life grew strong, and on 11th March 1921 he enlisted in the Tank Corps, later Royal Tank Corps (RTC).

Maltby joined the 11 Armoured Car Company two months later. On 11th February 1922, the Company sailed for India, arriving on 4th March 1922, moving to Kirkee, near Poona, whilst one Section remained on detachment duty in Bombay. While he was in Kirkee he received his Territorial Efficiency Medal, named to him in the rank of Corporal.

On 5th June 1926 in Lahore, a little girl fell 40 feet down a well. Reginald climbed down and rescued the girl from drowning. He was originally recommended for the Albert Medal but this was downgraded to the Empire Gallantry Medal. It is believed he is the only serviceman to receive the EGM in the Civil Division. It was presented to him on 24th January 1927 (his 45th birthday) by the RTC Colonel Commandant at a parade of the 7th Indian Infantry Brigade, Razmak, NW Frontier, India.

Reginald returned from India in 1928, and his final posting was on 4th October 1932 was to the 3rd Battalion RTC stationed in Lydd, Kent. He stayed there until his final discharge as a Warrant Officer Class II on 3rd August 1938. In 1939, not being recalled for service due to age, Reginald moved with his family to Dover and he became a publican first at the Five Alls Inn in Market Street, and then the Dewdrop Inn in Tower Hamlets Street which still stands today. He was a Freemason of two Lodges, Peace and Harmony No 199 and Military Jubilee No 2195.

In September 1940 following the creation of the George Cross, he was entitled to exchange his EGM. Reginald passed away on 17th December 1943 and was buried in Charlton Cemetery, Dover, Kent. In 1998, a headstone was placed on his grave through the efforts of Bill Green and the Royal Tank Regiment. Due to him being a civilian at the time of his death, he was not entitled to commemoration by the CWGC. However, the Commission kindly loaned the RTC & GC templates, hence the similarity to their headstones. Reginald’s widow received his GC by registered post on 15th April 1948. It is unknown why it took so long. His medals are still proudly held by the Maltby family






Kevin Brazier – Maltby GC Grave at Charlton Cemetery, Dover, Kent.