See also

Rex GENTLE (1909-1939)

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Rex GENTLE

Name: Rex GENTLE
Sex: Male
Father: Richard GENTLE (1874- )
Mother: Margaret JONES (1875-1951)

Individual Events and Attributes

Birth 3 Apr 1909 Newtown, Montgomeryshire1
Death 1939 (age 29-30) Coventry, Warwickshire

Individual Note

Rex Gentle was born on 3rd April 1909 in Newtown, Montgomeryshire in Wales. He was an identical twin. He left Newtown, where he was engaged to May Hart, to do relief work at W. H. Smith. While in Coventry he lodged with the Arnott family in Daimler Road. Rex had only been in the city for a couple of weeks.

 

On the day of the explosion, his twin brother Jack was working in Newtown. In the afternoon he was sent home from work suffering from a severe headache. It is often said that when one identical twin suffers pain the other can feel it - Rex had indeed suffered severe head injuries.

 

After the explosion, word reached the Gentle family in Wales that Rex had been badly injured in an incident in Coventry. His parents could not travel so his twin brother Jack and his wife Rene made the unenviable journey to Coventry. On the train, Jack turned to his wife and told her that he knew his brother, who he was very close to, was dead - again, when he said this it turned out to be almost to the minute that Rex did pass away. When the couple arrived in Coventry a trial blackout was in operation in preparation for the probable forthcoming war with Germany. They could not find the hospital so approached a policeman, who, knowing about the bomb, took them there. Jack was needed to identify his brother but apparently passed out, so his wife Rene carried out the traumatic task. The body was covered in bandages and she identified Rex by his mouth. While they were at the hospital the manager of W.H. Smith paid a visit and had an almighty shock when he saw Rex's identical twin brother Jack - he thought it was Rex! The same thing happened when a sister of the twins in Birmingham was visited. Jack and Rene called on her to break the bad news. She opened the door with, "Hello Rex! What are you doing back here?" Jack explained that he wasn't Rex and informed her of what had happened in nearby Coventry.

 

Jack and Rene Gentle returned to Birmingham for the trial of those charged with murdering Elsie Ansell. The Coroner's report of the injuries suffered by the victims was so bad that Rene arranged for their relatives to be able to choose to leave the court room while it was read out. She stayed in the room and Jack left. Despite asking her about what she heard she never told him - the injuries being so horrific.

 

In 1966 the husband of Jack Gentle's daughter Marie was shown round the police museum at Little Park Street where the remains of the bicycle and some of the evidence gathered during the investigation are kept in a simple glass cabinet. It must have been an upsetting experience to say the least.

 

Rex Gentle, who was much loved by his family and fondly remembered by them to this day, was buried in Newtown after a service at the local Baptist church.

Sources

1"FreeBMD Website" (http://freebmd.rootsweb.com). Assessment: Secondary evidence.
Text From Source: Births Jun 1909 (>99%)
GENTLE Jack Newtown 11b 146
GENTLE Rex Newtown 11b 146