Reginald Benjamin James Morriss was born in the spring of 1886 and was the youngest of twelve children. His father, Thomas, was a bootmaker from Leeds, who had moved to Somerset and married Mary Ann Pennell. The couple brought their family up in her home town of Weston-super-Mare.
Thomas died in 1901, when Reginald was just 14 years old. Mary Ann, by this point, still had a lot of her family with her, including Reginald, three of his sisters, his brother-in-law and four nieces.
Reginald was about to leave school, and found work as a French polisher in Bristol, eventually moving in with his employer as a lodger. This may not have suited him, however, as, by the time he enlisted, he gave his trade as baker and confectioner, and he was living back with his mother in Weston-super-Mare.
Private Morriss was 30 when he joined up in 1916, and stood 5ft 7ins (1.7m) tall. He joined the Army Service Corps as a baker, and was initially based in Aldershot. He was moved to Kent in September 1918, having been assigned to the 351st Horse Transport Company. The war was drawing to an end, but a new threat was on the horizon.
The following February, Private Morriss was admitted to St John’s Hospital in Hastings, suffering from influenza and pneumonia. Sadly, he was to succumb to the lung conditions, and he passed away on 3rd March 1919. He was just 32 years old.
Reginald Benjamin James Morriss’ body was brought back to Weston-super-Mare, and he was laid to rest in the Milton Cemetery in his home town.