Regiment: Sikhs 51st (Frontier Force)
Other Memorial: Basra Memorial [Google]
PDF Download: ADAMS Reinhold Meitzen
The large mound above Samarrah, called the Emperor Julian's Tomb © IWM (Q 24773)
Reinhold was born in Plymouth to William Adams and Clara Louise Cecilia (?) and lived there until he attended Kelly’s College in Tavistock.
His father was a solicitor in Devon and his mother was a German-born British subject.
Reinhold married Nancy Helen Garrett on 12 October 1913 in Karachi, India and was a Lieutenant in the Indian Army at that time. Nancy Adams was living in ‘Rest Harrow’ 4 Links Road, Budleigh Salterton in the 1923 Street Directory and died in 1977 in the Croydon, Surrey area having been a widow for 60 years.
Major Adams was an officer with the 51st Sikhs (Frontier Force), which saw service in Egypt and Aden early in the First World War, before being deployed to Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq, late in 1915. In March 1917 it helped to capture what is now the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, from the Ottoman empire.
Following the fall of Baghdad, British forces moved north to consolidate their position as there were still 10,000 enemy troops in the area. In advancing on Samarrah and its important railway, it became embroiled in heavy fighting around April 21-23 and suffered heavy losses. Casualties were as high as 18,000, with a further 40,000 out of action due to sickness.
Reinhold’s twin brother Ludwig Fritsch was a solicitor and later changed his name to Lewis Frederick and lived in Wiltshire with his wife Lilian. Reinhold is also remembered on the memorial at Kelly College, along with 37 of his contemporaries, among them Lt Elphinstone D’Oyley Aplin and Captain Arthur Hugh Penny who also appear in the Budleigh Salterton war dead.
It is noted that Wilfred Harold Swift, another of the Budleigh Salterton war dead, was also serving with the 51st Fronter Force and was killed on the same day as Reinhold. Both appear on the Basra Memorial.
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