Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (The 2/4th Battalion)

Research and Resources around the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry during WWI

Major Geoffrey Keith Rose, M.C., 1889 – 1959

I’m using the content of The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry to help structure this blog. All the content of the book is freely available online. Just click on the title of the book above.

I’ve also discovered today that the Imperial War Museum holds a collection of over 150 sketches by G.K. Rose, but sadly they don’t seem to have given access to them online. Please see the article below:

The Sketches of Geoffrey Keith Rose

From The Avenue of War

Major Geoffrey Rose MC served on the Western Front for three years in the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and kept a sketchbook throughout that time. Over some 150 separate drawings Rose drew upon the image of the avenue as a ‘talisman’ of order and rationality. From the first drawing of June 1915 to his last work in Bourlon Wood in October 1918 the avenue is a fixture in his sketchbooks, sometimes smashed to pieces, at other times restored to its axial dignity. Even on the desolated battlefield of the Somme Rose craves the formal rigidity of the avenue, trying to pick out from amongst the debris of battle the former path of the approach road to the Chateau at Bourlon. G. A Willis, interestingly, also concludes his pictorial record of his war with a watercolour Advance through Belgium, November 1918- which depicts army transport moving along a symmetrical avenue towards a recaptured town. As with Rose’s obsession or the underlying geometric order, Willis chooses the avenue for his summative war image – a metaphor for renewed propulsion and the liberation of space and movement.

Geoffrey Rose, 156 Sketches chiefly of the Western Front, IWM Dept. of Art nos. 4775-4930.

P.S. http://www.vortex.uwe.ac.uk/index.htm: The Home Page of Paul Gough is contains a fresh perspective on WWI.

Details of his M.C. award from the Supplement to The London Gazette, 18 June 1917. 5983: Capt. Geoffrey Keith Rose, M.C., Oxf. & Bucks. L. I. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When in command of a raid on the enemy’s trenches, he displayed the greatest skill and energy. He organised an effective resistence to the enemy counter-attack, and conducted a masterly withdrawel under heavy machine gun and rifle fire. (M.C. Gazetted 14th January, 1916.)”

The Medal Record of Major G. K. Rose:

I would love to find the personal papers of G. K. Rose and further information on his life.

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4 thoughts on “Major Geoffrey Keith Rose, M.C., 1889 – 1959

  1. george pollard on said:

    I noticed your entry made a long time ago, he was my great Uncle and I still have many of his paintings.

    • alandbower on said:

      Dear George, I’m sorry I missed your comment. Your Great Uncle’s book, The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, is the bible for researching the battalion. I managed to purchase a copy. I also access many of his sketches from the Imperial War Museum archive. My two maternal Great Grandfathers both served in the Battalion. Do you have access to letters and / or photographs from that period?

      • Mrs Margaret Roberts on said:

        Dear George,
        Geoffrey Rose was also my great uncle and I too have a few watercolours painted by him. I would be interested to hear from you as you must be my second cousin. MR

  2. Will it be possible to get Major G K Rose’s family tree because I’m doing my gardener’s family tree and I was wondering if there’s any link.

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