[Skip to content]

Person Details
09 May 1889
He was the son of Annie Trease of 85 Waterloo Crescent Nottingham and the late George Trease and the husband of Gladys Amy Trease of 36 Warwick Road Nottingham. He married Gladys (née Brutnell) on 6 November 1917 at All Saints Church, Raleigh Street, Nottingham. He was the brother of William, Ethel, Minnie, Daisy and Sidney Trease. Sidney was killed in Salonika 9/9/1918.
He was employed as an accounts clerk in 1911 and was a member of Nottingham Rowing Club. He was a member of the Trease family which still owns Weavers Wine Merchants in Nottingham.
05 Dec 1918
2750313 - CWGC Website
  • MC MC Military Cross
  • DSO DSO Distinguished Service Order
Royal Field Artillery
Trease won a Military Cross in 1916 when ‘he went out under heavy fire to mend his wire’ and was awarded the DSO a year later when he ‘pushed through the barrage and carried one of the severely wounded on his back to a place of safety.’ The VC recommendation by Trease's Colonel for this action was apparently overruled further up the chain of command. Mentioned in dispatches four months later for more bravery, Trease died of influenza whilst recovering from wounds in December 1918. In his letter of condolence, rowing club secretary R.S.Earp wrote to Trease’s widow ‘With great sorrow I saw that you husband… has passed away… Reggie Trease’s splendid sporting character was appreciated by all, old and young. It was known that when the happy times on the river were swept away, he would be brave and keen on active service and so he was. His great and manly courage in later times will ever be remembered by his fellow members. (You) have every reason to be proud of him and of the work he has done during this terrible war. This may console you somewhat for his loss. He has left a splendid example for his son to follow.’ Source: Britannia Calls: Nottingham schools and the push for Great War victory by David Nunn
He was wounded three times and had to undergo numerous operations, particularly for injuries to his face. In 1918 he was treated in Sidcup, and underwent his 19th operation. Shortly after, he contracted influenza and died in early December, 1918. He was buried in Nottingham Church Cemetery. Trease was a well known sportsman before war broke out and was particularly remembered a key member of Nottingham Rowing Club. A tribute penned by someone who signed simply as 'Coach' included these lines:"His oar will flash in the sunlight by Colwick Woods no more; no gallant crew will again swing to his powerful and rhythmical stroke, but as soldier, as sportsman, as gentleman, he has left a memory that will last our time and beyond." Sidcup was the pioneering hospital for reconstructive surgery in a war where so many men were so horribly disfigured by shrapnel and shell fragments. Dr Harold Gillies knew immediately that major surgical advancements would have to be made to cope with hundreds of thousands of wounded soldiers. Dr Gillies – widely considered the father of plastic surgery – approached the British Army to highlight the pressing need for a facial injury ward to help casualties. The Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot was dismissed as too small a base by the New Zealand-born surgeon. So, in June 1917 – seven months after the guns fell silent at Somme – The Queen’s Hospital, equipped with 1,000 beds, was set up in Frognal Avenue, Sidcup. The football team at the hospital line up with their reconstructed faces in full view of the camera. During the next seven years, 11,000 operations were performed by Dr Gillies and a team of forward-thinking surgeons from around the worldAbout 5,000 patients were treated – many of whom received surgery to the face. Dr Andrew Bamji, of Rye, Sussex, a former rheumatologist, maintained the archives from Gillies’ pioneering era when he worked as a consultant at what became Queen Mary’s Hospital in the 1980s. Speaking of the time in which Dr Gillies worked, Dr Bamji said: “There were some texts that told you how to do some [facial] operations. “But when you took the operation further it did not always work.” Dr Gillies worked tirelessly alongside colleagues from Australia, New Zealand and Canada, making rapid strides in facial surgery. “Harold Gillies was the best of the lot,” said Dr Bamji. “He was the originator, he was the instigator. He invented many of the techniques.” One of the methods developed was the “tubed pedicle” when a flap of skin is moved from one part of the body to another. It is a method still used today to treat burns victims. One of the first beneficiaries of this method was able seaman Willie Vicarage, who had suffered severe facial wounds at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Dr Bamji reveals research shows Dr Gillies was keen to involve his patients in the decision-making before surgery took place. “Gillies always included the patients,” said Dr Bamji. “He showed them a gallery before surgery and they could decide which pattern they would like for nose operations. “He was also a pioneer in rehabilitation.” Dr Bamji, who had a successful career as a rheumatologist at Queen Mary’s, discovered many of the patients still struggled to talk about their experience. “Quite a lot of the patients did not talk about their injuries afterwards but they did quite well for themselves. “There were a few who stayed at Queen Mary’s Hospital to work.” Dr Bamji set up a website to commemorate Dr Gillies’ work, which he says has led to “40 to 50 emails” from people looking to discover more about relatives who passed through Queen Mary’s. Additional Research by Simon Williams Nottingham Church Cemetery, Grave Reference: 7080
Remembered on


  • Courtesy of Beccy Trease -
  • -