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

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

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Lance Corporal Edwin George Pipe

This is one of the saddest stories I have come across. Edwin was the youngest of four sons, all of whom fell. Their parents were William D. and Emma Pipe, of 9, Queen’s Rd., Beccles, Suffolk.

Name: Edwin George Pipe
Birth Place: Beccles, Suffolk
Residence: Oxford
Death Date: 10 Sep 1917
Enlistment Location: Beccles, Suffolk
Rank: L/Corporal
Regiment: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Battalion: 2/4th Battalion.
Number: 200937

Rank:Lance Corporal
Service No:200937
Date of Death:10/09/1917
Regiment/Service:Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry 2nd/4th Bn.
Panel ReferencePanel 96 to 98. Memorial TYNE COT MEMORIAL
Type of Casualty: Killed in action

The following letter was sent by Lance Corporal Edwin George Pipe on 26th August 1917, a few weeks before he himself was killed. The letter was to the parents of Private Lewis Heath. The letter was kindly provided by Peter Heath.

Lance Corporal E. G. Pipe, B. Company Signals, B.E.F.

August 26th, 1917

Dear Mr & Mrs Heath

It is my very painful duty to inform you that your dear brave son was killed in Action on the morning of the 22nd. I send you my deepest sympathy and may almighty God comfort you in your great loss. I feel his loss greatly, a better lad one couldn’t find. We had reached our objective when he went with an important message to Battalion Head Quarters. I heard afterwards he got there in 10 minutes. Eager to do his duty he returned to come back when he was hit by shell fire. Our Lane Corporal Stretcher Bearer found him and was with him till the end. Before leaving us with the message he was with me It may comfort you to know that he did his duty bravely. I know how you must feel. It was only a few weeks back that a dear brother of mine was killed.  He was always a cheerful lad everyone liked him and we feel his loss very much. I again offer you my deepest sympathy. Believe Me.

Yours Sincerely

Edwin George Pipe

The brother he was referring to was William John Pipe. Two other brothers, Percy Dalby Pipe and Robert Henry Pipe died in 1918. They were the sons of William Dalby Pipe and Emma Starland.

William John Pipe

Rank: Private
Service No: 9764
Date of Death: 03/05/1917
Age: 28
Regiment/Service: Honourable Artillery Company, 2nd Bn.
Panel Reference Bay 1.
Additional Information:
Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Dalby Pipe, of 9, Queen’s Rd., Beccles, Suffolk; husband of Elizabeth Marion Pipe, of 47, Sutherland Rd., Tottenham, London.

Percy Dalby Pipe

Service No:200938
Date of Death:21/03/1918
Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry 2nd/4th Bn.
Panel ReferencePanel 50 and 51.

Sergeant Robert Henry Pipe

Rank: Serjeant
Service No: 200939
Date of Death: 29/03/1918
Age: 26
Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, 2nd/4th Bn.
Grave Reference II. B. 11.

From the Woodbridge, Suffolk Roll of Honour

Sergeant 200939, 2nd/4th Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry. Died 29/03/1918. Age 26. Son of William Dalby Pipe and Emma Pipe of 9 Queen’s Road, Beccles, Suffolk. Buried at Etretat Churchyard Extension (near Le Havre).

From the Woodbridge Reporter dated 30th Jan 1919, there are details of Woodbridgians who fell in the Great War. Against Robert H Pipe it says:

Robert H Pipe, assistant teacher at the Council School, died of wounds received in action on 29th March 1918. He was 26 years of age and joined the forces in September 1914.

Please see:

The Attack on Pond Farm, 22nd August, 1917

The Attack On Pond Farm and Other Strong Posts, 21st -24th August 1917

Attack on Strongpoints, South East of St. Julian, 22nd August 1917

The Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele)

Forewarned, the German Spring Offensive, 21st March 1918

From G. K. Rose, The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

“During the night of March 20 a raid on the Battalion’s right was carried out near Cepy Farm by the 182nd Brigade. It was successful. German prisoners from three divisions corroborated our suspicion that the great enemy offensive was about to be launched. From headquarters to headquarters throbbed the order to man battle stations.”

The Fifth Army in March, 1918
By W. Shaw Sparrow

“Next evening, at ten o’clock, after our guns had poured in a great many shells, two companies of Warwickshire troops — Shakespeare for ever! — raided the German trenches beyond Fayet, partly to get a few prisoners, and partly to learn how much the foe’s ordinary line troops had been reinforced. Fifteen Germans were captured, and three German regiments, nine battalions, were found on a span of front formerly held by one regiment, or three battalions. More valuable still was the news that in five or six hours Ludendorfi’ would open his attack. This warning was made known at once to all Headquarters, British and French.”

The Story of the 2/5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment, 1914-1918
By A. F. Barnes, M.C.

“Speculation had for a long time been rife as to the contemplated German attack. As usual, the incurable optimists said that it would never materialise, but in a raid made by the Royal Warwickshires, prisoners had been captured who stated positively that the barrage would open at 5 a.m. on March 21st and that the attack would be launched at 10.00 a.m. on that day. Even then it was thought that this news might be a piece of false information passed on for the purpose of misleading the Allies. However on the evening of the 20th, a message from Brigade to the effect that a captured German airman had stated that the attack was to commence at dawn was sent out to the companies with instructions to be prepared to move to battle stations immediately on receipt of orders to that effect.”

I also need to check out:
History of the 2/6th Bn The Royal Warwickshire Regt 1914-1919
Cornish brothers, 1929

War Diary: 2nd Wiltshire, Tuesday 19th March 1918, France, Trenches

“Quiet day. Information was received from prisoners captured that the enemy was expected to attack on the night 20/21st inst, and preparations were made accordingly. At 10pm gas was emitted from our front line. No enemy retaliation was forthcoming.”

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