Reginald Hardwick was born in the Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire 1, England over the summer months of 1891. He was the son of Walter Hardwick (1857-), a shoeing smith, and Alice Gabitas (1856-). His father hailed from Derbyshire and his mother from Nottinghamshire and they had married in the latter in 1876.
Reginald was one of nine children born to his parents, two of whom died in infancy. His known siblings were: Sarah Ann (b. 1876), Annie (b. 1878), Mary Ellen (b. 1881), Walter Louis (b. 1886), Frank (b. 1889) and Leonard (b. 1896).
In the months prior to Reginald's birth his family appear on the 1891 census living at Welbeck Works, Nottinghamshire and would have moved to Woodyard Lodge, Woodhouse Hall, Nottinghamshire by the time of the 1901 census when Reginald first appears. The 1911 census would show Reginald described as a poultry farm labourer and he and his family were still living in Woodhouse Hall.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 4 Heysham Road, (Southampton), a boarding address. The Titanic was his first ship. As a kitchen porter he received monthly wages of £3, 10s.
Hardwick was rescued, possibly in lifeboat 13.
It is uncertain if Reginald returned to his career at sea at all, he would later become a worker at a colliery in Creswell, Derbyshire. He was married in mid-1914 to Elsie Sarah Tyson (b. 21 October 1891 in Gringley, Nottinghamshire, daughter of Henry and Sarah Ann Tyson), later living at 70 Duke Street in Creswell. The couple would have two children, Edna (b. 1914) and Leonard Henry (b. 1916), but his daughter lived only a short while and died before her first birthday.
In around January 1918 Reginald commenced service with the Army Service Corps. Following only eight weeks of training in Isleworth, Middlesex, Reginald was struck with an illness and died two days later in Fulham Hospital, London on 4 March 1918 aged 26.
His widow Elsie was remarried in Nottinghamshire in 1920 to a Charles Cobb and had four more children: Charles, Wilfred, Joyce and Alice. Elsie died in Chesterfield, Derbyshire in 1974 aged 82. Reginald's son Leonard died in Birmingham in 1997.
Phillip Gowan, USA
Commonwealth War Grave Commission Index: Reginald Hardwick. Private: M/350600
Articles and Stories
Derbyshire Times (1918)