Here is a summary of Private Charles Reed’s life including his service in the Royal Marine Light Infantry.
23 Dec 1856 Charles Reed was born at Sydenham, London, Surrey to William and Hannah Reed
19 Oct 1874 enlisted in the Royal Marine Light Infantry at Westminster. His service record lists an alias of Charles Brunger
23 Oct 1874 entered Recruit Depot at Walmer
22 Sep 1875 assigned to Chatham Division
29 Sep 1876 sentenced to serve 7 days in cells
26 Oct 1876 embarked on HMS Tourmaline for Cape of Good Hope Squadron
30 Jul 1877 transferred to HMS Active, Flag Ship of Cape of Good Hope Squadron
16 Dec 1877 sent ashore as part of the Naval Brigade, consisting of 10 officers, 121 Bluejackets, 42 Marines and 23 Kroomen, with six twelve-pounder Armstrong guns, one Gatling gun and two twenty four pounder rocket tubes, for the Kaffir wars at the Cape; entitled to the South Africa Medal with “1877-78” clasp
1879 remained aboard ship during the Zulu War.
21 Apr 1879 Charles Reed, Company 1, Chatham Division, married Lucy Ann Kettley at the dockyard church in Simon’s Town, South Africa. The Naval Chaplain of HMS Active, Rev. John Harcourt Berry, assisted in the ceremony.
25 Oct 1879 Private Reed arrived back in England aboard HMS Active
26 Oct 1879 assigned to Chatham Division
3 Apr 1881 census shows him residing at the marine barracks, Chatham, with his wife and first child, Charles Townley Dowding Reed. (Lieutenant (RMLI) Townley Ward Dowding was in command of the marine detachment aboard HMS Active. He was in commanded of the marines that served ashore with the Naval Brigade in the Kaffir War, and later in the Zulu War.)
19 Jul 1881 he was transferred to HMS Pembroke where on 19 Sep 1881 his South Africa Medal with clasp was sent.
1 Oct 1883 assigned to Chatham Division
7 May 1884 assigned to Marine Battalion for the Soudan; entitled to Egypt Medal without clasp
25 Sep 1884 sent to Hospital at Suez
21 Oct 1884 invalided home
22 Oct 1884 on passage back to England
4 Nov 1884 returned to Chatham Division
10 Apr 1885 assigned to HMS Orontes
8 Aug 1886 received the Egypt Medal aboard HMS Orontes
5 Oct 1886 assigned to Chatham Division
24 Dec 1886 discharged from the Royal Marines at the end of his 12 year limited engagement
5 Apr 1891 residing with his wife and 5 children at Battersea, London
6 February 1897 Charles Reed and family boarded the Union-Castle Line’s Steam Ship “Gaul” at Southampton, England bound for Cape Town.
18 Jun 1914 died at The Moorings, Wynberg, Cape Province, S.A.
Jun 1914 Buried at St. Peter’s Cemetery, Mowbray, Cape Town, S.A.