Bognor Regis
01243 864 745
Chichester
01243 77 33 11
Littlehampton
01903 730 666

Our family history

An insight into our long family history of providing funeral services to the people of West Sussex since 1867.

Samuel Reynolds, the founder of the firm, was born on May 2nd 1847 in Thaxted, Essex. After serving his apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker, he came to Bognor at the age of 19 and married Eliza Schreeder in the Hanover Chapel, which was situated opposite the present Reynolds Store, on August 3rd 1867.

The couple then opened their small store on the corner of West Street. As Samuel’s reputation for quality and service grew and the business prospered, within three years he moved to larger premises at 27 High Street, where he amalgamated with his brother Alfred.

Photograph of Samuel J Reynolds, the founder of the Reynolds family business wearing a black suit
Samuel J Reynolds, the founder of our business
Photograph of the original Reynolds storefront in Bognor Regis
The original storefront in Bognor Regis
How our storefronts look today

The sign over the shop said S and A Reynolds, Auctioneers, Appraisers, House Agents, Cabinet Makers, Upholsterers, and Undertakers. The Reynolds brothers continued to expand, acquiring 29 High Street. Samuel died on April 17 1897 and his wife Eliza continued to run the business with their children Charles, Maud, Ada, and Beatrice. Samuel’s son Frank joined the business in 1897 when his father left him £30 in his will on the condition that he gave up his photographic business.

Under their control, further expansion continued which included the building of the large Depository in Canada Grove.

Timeline showing key events in the history of Reynolds from 1867 to present day
An old black and white group family photo taken in a garden whilst Samuel was still alive
An old family photo from our archives. Samuel Reynolds can be seen on the far left.

In the 1920’s Charles’ three sons, Alfred, Gordon and Don, came into the business together with his nephew Fred. Due to their high standards and an impeccable reputation, which remains unchanged to this day, they undertook one of their most memorable of contracts. In 1929, Frank and his nephew Alfred oversaw the conveying of King George V’s personal effects from Bognor Railway Station to Craigweil House in Aldwick, and the preparation and furnishing of the property for the King’s convalescence. The Company then returned the King’s personal effects to Windsor Castle.

The Reynolds family tree starting at Samuel Reynolds

In 1948, Charles three sons, Alfred, Gordon, and Don, together with his nephew Fred, all became Directors, joining with their Uncle Frank and Aunty Maud, when the firm became a Limited Company.

Norman Reynolds joined the family concern in 1953 as a junior clerk in the Auctioneers Department after completing his National Service. Although he is now retired – he still has an interest in the business and remains our Chairman.

Today, Norman’s four sons Dominic, James, Matthew, and Stephen maintain the family tradition combining modern-day efficiency and old fashioned customer care; this has clearly proven to be the secret of long-lasting success.

For over 150 years, Reynolds has served the community and clearly understands their company and most importantly the needs of their customers.

Stephen Reynolds leads a hearse past the grave of our founder, Samuel Reynolds

Funeral arranging

We’ve been caring for bereaved families for more than 150 years. In that time we’ve learnt a lot about how to help families say a fitting goodbye to their loved ones.

Funeral plans

Planning for later life is never an easy thing to do, but it can be comforting and reassuring to know that you’ve taken care of your arrangements, including your funeral.

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— Est. 1867 Design & DevelopmentWebsite by Chops

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