Please can you tell me when and where that photo was taken (https://oxfordshireandbuckinghamshirelightinfantry.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/n580883805_1241161_6465.jpg?w=450&h=262)?
Also, is a higher resolution copy available anywhere?
Many thanks and kind regards,
The photograph comes from my Great Grandfather James Walton. I believe the picture would have been taken prior to the them leaving for France in the Spring of 1916. There is a book, The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, that provides a detailed history of the 2/4th during the First World war. My cousin scanned these for me. I will pester for him to provide me with some higher resolution images.
Many thanks for getting back to me so quickly on this. My Great Grandfather was also in the 2/4th Ox & Bucks. He was originally trained in the 16th (Reserve) Hampshire Regiment at Chiseldon Camp until he was transferred to the 5th Ox & Bucks before heading for France to be drafted into the 2/4th OBLI in August/September 1916. He was wounded and missing in action (presumed dead) on or after the first day of the Kaiser’s battle on 21st March 1918.
I doubt if he will be in that group shot of yours if it was taken in Blighty, but it would still be very interesting to see it at higher resolution, just to rule it out. After all, a lot of my knowledge of his whereabouts is sketchy to say the least.
By the way, I found a free pdf copy of the GK Rose book on a Canadian library site a while back. If you would like the link, just let me know.
Most of my relatives still live in the Oxford area and I have an uncle that has helped with the Ox & Bucks museum there. If you give me your Great Grandfather’s name I will see what I can find out.
The 2/4th were in the front line on the first day of the German Spring Offensive and took a terrible pounding. My Grandfather was wounded and captured as a POW on the 21st March 1918.
I have managed to buy a copy of the GK Rose book.
Many thanks for offering to look into this for me. My great grandfather’s name was 203757 Private Sidney Charles John West. He was in 2/4 OBLI, C company, XI platoon. He is listed in the Red Cross enquiry list as “W. and M. Mar. 21/18.”
I presume you know all this, but I came across the following information on your Great Grand Father.
Name: Sidney Charles John West
Birth Place: Dorking, Surrey
Residence: Petersfield, Hants
Death Date: 21 Mar 1918
Death Location: France & Flanders
Regiment: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Battalion: 2/4th Battalion.
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Aldershot
Comments: Formerly 25216, Hants Regt.
Name: WEST, SIDNEY CHARLES JOHN
Initials: S C J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Unit Text: 2nd/4th Bn.
Date of Death: 21/03/1918
Service No: 203757
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 50 and 51.
Memorial: POZIERES MEMORIAL
From the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Cemetery: POZIERES MEMORIAL
Location Information: Pozieres is a village 6 kilometres north-east of the town of Albert. The Memorial encloses Pozieres British Cemetery which is a little south-west of the village on the north side of the main road, D929, from Albert to Pozieres. On the road frontage is an open arcade terminated by small buildings and broken in the middle by the entrance and gates. Along the sides and the back, stone tablets are fixed in the stone rubble walls bearing the names of the dead grouped under their Regiments. It should be added that, although the memorial stands in a cemetery of largely Australian graves, it does not bear any Australian names. The Australian soldiers who fell in France and whose graves are not known are commemorated on the National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.
Historical Information: The POZIERES MEMORIAL relates to the period of crisis in March and April 1918 when the Allied Fifth Army was driven back by overwhelming numbers across the former Somme battlefields, and the months that followed before the Advance to Victory, which began on 8 August 1918. The Memorial commemorates over 14,000 casualties of the United Kingdom and 300 of the South African Forces who have no known grave and who died on the Somme from 21 March to 7 August 1918. The Corps and Regiments most largely represented are The Rifle Brigade with over 600 names, The Durham Light Infantry with approximately 600 names, the Machine Gun Corps with over 500, The Manchester Regiment with approximately 500 and The Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery with over 400 names. The memorial encloses POZIERES BRITISH CEMETERY, Plot II of which contains original burials of 1916, 1917 and 1918, carried out by fighting units and field ambulances. The remaining plots were made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields immediately surrounding the cemetery, the majority of them of soldiers who died in the Autumn of 1916 during the latter stages of the Battle of the Somme, but a few represent the fighting in August 1918. There are now 2,755 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 1,375 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 23 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. The cemetery and memorial were designed by W.H. Cowlishaw, with sculpture by Laurence A. Turner. The memorial was unveiled by Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien on 4 August 1930.
Thanks for the postings. I did already have this info and have been to the Pozieres memorial. However, it is curious to note that the theatre of war listed in the first of your three posts was Aldershot. Have you any idea wht this might mean?
I know he was at Chiseldon Camp, Wilts, for training in the 16th Hants, where he was a Lance Corporal. He was then transferred to the 5th Ox & Bucks (I think, in the UK) prior to entering the France and Flanders theatre of war as a Private in the 2/4th Ox & Bucks.
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