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

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

1916, JUNE 20th – IN THE RED HOUSE SUB-SECTION OF THE FANQUISSART SECTION

From The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, by Captain G. K. Rose KC (Oxford: B.H. Blackwell, 1920)

During this period the 2/5 Gloucestershire Regiment made a raid, and the Battalion assisted with rifle-grenades and demonstration.

From the following description and the casualty figures of the 2/5th of June 21st I believe the raid was made on the night of June 20th / 21st.

From The Story of the 2/5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, 1914 – 1918, by A. F. Barnes, M. C., (Gloucester, The Crypt House Press, Limited, 1930)

The other event of note was a raid made by A Company under the command of Capt. Wales. Unfortunately after the raiding party had gone over the top , it was held up by the wire which was found to be insufficiently cut. The party was thus exposed to a ruthless machine-gun fire from the enemy and was eventually compelled to return to its own trenches after having suffered heavy casualties. For the purpose of the raid , an attempt was made by the signalers to establish lamp signal communication between the front line and Battalion Headquarters, but the difference between a dress rehearsal on a quite night and the real thing with Verey Lights and gun flashes abounding, had been miscalculated. The signalers on this occasion included Tom Voyce of Twickenham fame. He cameto the 2/5th from the 1/5th, having been sent back as underage. He tells how he was placed in the “awkward” squad. Many who have tried to circumvent Tom Voyce when he was dashing for the goal line in those long loping strides of his have good reason to know how “awkward” he really was. Many acts of gallantry were performed during the raid and the following awards were made – M.C. to Capt. E. W. Wales, D.C.M. to Pte. L Fletcher, M.M. to Sgt. A. H. Norris and Cpl. C. Driver. The total casualties were 5 other ranks killed, 1 died of wounds, 3 officers wounded, 13 other ranks wounded and 4 missing*. Among the missing was Sgt. Newman of C. Company.

The Killed in Action of the 2/5th Gloucestershire Regiment from 21st June 1916 are listed below:

240948 Lance Sergeant Victor Garnet Newman

4589 Lance Corporal William Cambray 5809 Private Henry Barnes

5859 Private William English (Formerly 1687, Northumberland Cyclist Battalion)

4517 Private John Hall

3580 Private Charles William Jackson

5765 Private Joseph Ryan

3345 Private Ernest Skillern

5783 Private Frederick George Yeldham (formerly 2240, 8th Essex Regiment)

* It looks if all those listed as missing, were actually killed in action.

The Died of Wounds of the 2/5th Gloucestershire Regiment from 21st June 1916 is listed below:

5807 Private William Young

A side note on Tom Voyce:

Regarded as one of the game’s greatest back row specialists, he began his playing career at the local Gordon League club. The flank forward made 218 appearances for Gloucester in which time he scored 54 tries.

Tom appeared in every match of England’s Grand Slam winning teams of 1921, 1923 and 1924, and also represented the Army and the Barbarians. Tom was captain of Gloucester from 1924-1927 and was a member of the British touring side to South Africa in 1924.

His career was an amazing achievement because of the serious eye defect he sustained whilst serving for the Gloucestershire Regiment in World War I.

Tom Voyce

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