Reginald Rimmer GC (EGM exchanger)

b. 21/11/1902 Chester, Cheshire. d. 21/02/1996 Colwyn Bay, Wales.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 1929-1930 Bombay, India.

Reginald Rimmer (1902-1996) was born on 21st November 1902 in Chester, Cheshire, the youngest of six children of James W Rimmer and his wife Catherine (nee Kirby). He had four brothers and a sister. His father was a general labourer.

Reginald Rimmer GC

In 1918, Reginald enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery in Wales as a driver, though he was only 16, using hiss elder brother’s birth certificate as evidence of his age. His eldest brother Richard was killed in action at Passchendaele the year before. Soon after enlisting, Reginald contracted influenza though it went undiagnosed and he kept training. He was close to death when he finally got treatment. On recovery he was attached to the Royal Army Medical Corps and subsequently enlisted with the Cheshire Regiment in 1919 with whom he went to Ireland during 1920-1921. In 1922 the Regiment went to India where he served until 1927, discharged to the Army Reserve. Sometime later that year he joined the Bombay Police Force with which he served for the next 12 years.

Over the winter of 1929-1930, Reginald displayed several acts of gallantry including when, unarmed, he confronted a dangerous criminal brandishing a dagger. On approaching the man, he was stabbed through the right wrist. Bleeding profusely, he managed to hail a taxi and say “hospital” before losing consciousness.

On 2nd June 1931, it was announced in the London Gazette that he was to be awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal of the Civil Division. During a period of leave back in Chester in 1934, he married Rosella Lucy Barley, and they went on to have a daughter. In 1939, he re-joined the Army, this time with the Royal Welch Fusiliers remaining with them until 1942 when he was transferred to the Occupied Territory Administration (Civil Police) in Tripolitania and then from 1945 to 1950 in Eritrea. Here, because he spoke Italian, he was attached to the Frontier Striking Force (Mounted) alongside the Corps Caribinieri Regimento Reale. In 1950 he returned to the Regular Army and served in the East Africa Pioneer Corps, seeing action against the Mau Mau in Kenya and taking part in the Suez debacle.

In 1958, he retired back to Chester where he served as a court usher until the age of 65. He and his wife briefly emigrated to Australia in 1969, but returned the following year. He and his wife then lived their later years in Colwyn Bay. Reginald died on 21st February 1996 and was cremated at Bron y Nant Crematorium with his ashes scattered. His medals including his GC, India General Service Medal 1908-35 with clasp “North West Frontier 1930-31”, 1939-45 Star, Africa Star with clasp “8th Army”, Italy Star, Defence Medal 1939-45, War Medal 1939-45, Africa General Service Medal with clasp “Kenya”, General Service Medal 1918-62 with clasps “Cyprus”, “Arabian Peninsular” and “Near East”, 1937 King George VI Coronation Medal, 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal, 1977 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal, Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and Civil Defence Long Service Medal were sold at Spink’s on 17th December 1997 to a private buyer.