Reginald Hardy Platts 31 May 1918

Reginald Hardy Platts was the elder brother of Leslie Platts who was killed on the Somme in July 1916. Both were born in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. By the time he arrived in Oundle in 1901, his father had died and his mother was left to bring up her seven children. 

Like his brother, Reginald came up to Laxton House. Rowing alongside the mighty Frederick Trenchard (killed in May 1915 at Ypres), Platt’s Laxton crew impressed the Laxtonian sports correspondent. “Laxton improved immensely. They were well together and rowed very long. When it is remembered that this is only their third crew after being unrepresented for several years, they may congratulate themselves on making such a good show.” 

In the end they were beaten in the final by Dryden in what was clearly a very close race. 

Reggie Platts was also a School prefect and played for the XV on the wing, running in some useful tries. He also played in the XI. Described as “a good patient batsman”, he put together some useful innings, including a 61 against the Revd Brown’s XI. Platts was also in the Laxton House all-stars of 1904, who crushed Dryden by an innings and 681 runs, having scored 849 in their first innings. Platts contributed just 25 runs to the total, while the South-African Victor Adendorff knocked off 322. When Adendorff returned home, Reggie Platts was elected in his place as secretary of the School Science Society.

Leaving Oundle in the summer of 1905, he teamed up with his step-father W G Whiffen in his firm which specialized in vegetable alkaloids – drugs used in pharmacology. 

At the outbreak of war, he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery (like Roy Sanderson), but in August 1915, returned home, seconded to the Whiffen firm because of his scientific expertise and the War’s huge demand for pain killing drugs. He died from shock, on 31st May 1918, after he sustained severe burns at work. He was carrying out an experiment in the Works Laboratory when, from some unknown cause, the vapours exploded. 

He was 31 years old and left a widow Irene and three small children. He was buried in Wandsworth Cemetery.

C Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow