Rea, Edward Douglas
Mentioned in Despatches
No. 64505, 14 Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery
Killed in action on Saturday 21 October 1944 (aged 29)
Cesena War Cemetery, Italy (Grave II. E. 9)
In the CWGC Debt of Honour website it is recorded that Edward Douglas Rea was a son of Thomas Rea MA and Dora Rea of Bangor.
In an October 1944 newspaper death notice it was recorded that Major Rea was the younger son of the late Thomas Rea MA and Dora Rea of 39 Myrtlefield Park, Belfast.
Thomas Rea was born in County Tyrone, he worked as an Inspector of Intermediate Schools and his marriage to Dora Grace, who was born in County Carlow, was registered in the third quarter of 1910 in Rathdown, Dun Laoghaire. They were married on 27 July 1910 in St John’s Church of Ireland Church, Monkstown, Dublin.
Thomas and Dora Rea (nee Grace had at least two children:
Henry Maxwell (born 30 October 1911 in Kilbinnie, Marlborough Park, Belfast)
Edward Douglas (born 12 March 1915 in Kilbinnie, Marlborough Park, Belfast)
After Edward Douglas Rea left school, he became a career soldier. As a Gentleman Cadet he moved on 31 January 1935 from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Regiment of Artillery. During the Second World War he served with the Royal Artillery and was promoted to the rank of Major.
Major Edward Douglas Rea (No. 64505) was 29 when he was killed in action in Italy on 21 October 1944 during the Allied advance northwards. During the action he was Mentioned in Despatches and this award was gazetted posthumously in the 19 July 1945 edition of the London Gazette.
Major Edward Douglas Rea (No. 64505) was buried in Cesena War Cemetery, Italy and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT,
I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE,
I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH
Major Rea’s effects amounted to some £971 and probate was granted to his widowed mother, Dora.
His elder brother, Henry Maxwell Rea, also served during the Second World War.