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

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Archive for the tag “7th April 1917”

1917, APRIL 7th – FAILED ATTACK AND RELIEF BY THE 2/1st BUCKS

AdvanceStQuentin

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

Before dawn our troops were in their old positions.

In the attack the sergeant-majors of both A and B Companies were hit. Of the officers, Barton, commanding B, and Tilly, of A, were killed. Aitken and Wayte were wounded. Nearly 40 of rank and file were casualties.

The attack had proved a failure, but, as often happened, hopes of success were reluctantly abandoned by the staff. Thus my company was warned that it might have to repeat the attack at dawn. Pending such a fate, I was sent to bivouac in a windswept spinney known as Ponne Copse. It was still snowing. After their week’s exposure I was loth to inform my men of such a destiny.

But a more favourable turn of events was in store. The weather cleared, and at 11 a.m. on the 7th I was allowed to return to my version of Montolu Wood. On the same day the Battalion was relieved by the Bucks and marched back through Soyécourt to Caulaincourt. There we found Bennett, who had come from the Aldershot course to be Second in Command. The château grounds were quieter than before, for our guns had now moved further up towards the line.

On relief by the 2/1st Bucks, the Battalion moved to Caulaincourt, except B Company, who went into close support at Sailor’s Wood.

KILLED IN ACTION APRIL 7th 1917

Lieutenant C. J. Barton

2nd Lieutenant A. H. Tilly

200230 Company Sergeant Major Cecil Amos Witney

200917 Sergeant Bertie Elliott

200401 Lance Corporal William James Pacey

200864 Lance corporal Richard Yeates

203455 Private Donald Carruthers

200924 Private Frederick Jesse Gulliver

203473 Private Edward Harris (Formerly 2768, R. Bucks Hussars)

201263 Private Francis Walter Salcombe

Lance Corporal Richard Yeates (1896-1917)

Richard Yeates was killed in action during the Good Friday Attack of 6th April 1917

Name: YEATES
Initials: R
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Unit Text: 2nd/4th Bn.
Age: 20
Date of Death: 06/04/1917
Service No: 200864
Additional information: Son of Mrs. Margaret Ada Yeates, of Poplar Gardens, Garsington, Oxford.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: II. A. 42.
Cemetery: VADENCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY, MAISSEMY

Name: Richard Yeates
Residence: Oxford
Death Date: 7 Apr 1917
Enlistment Location: Garsington, Oxon
Rank: L/Corporal
Regiment: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Battalion: 2/4th Battalion.
Number: 200864
Type of Casualty: Killed in action

Please note that the 1901 census had Richard’s father listed as a farmer and market gardener.

The Picture of the Garsington War Memorial below also lists Frederick Yeates, who I believe is a cousin.

Frederick had served with the 2nd Battalion and had been killed in 1915 whole serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Ox & Bucks.

Name: YEATES, FREDERICK
Initials: F
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Unit Text: 2nd Bn.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 16/05/1915
Service No: 9683
Additional information: Son of Henry and Mary Yeates, of Garsington, Oxford.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 26.
Memorial: LE TOURET MEMORIAL

Private Francis Walter Salcombe

Name: Francis Walter Salcombe
Residence: Oxford
Death Date: 7 Apr 1917
Rank: Private
Regiment: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Battalion: 2/4th Battalion.
Number: 201263
Type of Casualty: Killed in action

Lance Corporal William James Pacey

From www.headington.org.uk:

William James Pacey was born in Oxford on 25 May 1888, the son of James Pacey (born in Oxford in 1851, registered in Oxford registration district in the second quarter) and his second wife Sophia (surname unknown, born in Lamport, Northants in c.1861).

William’s father James Pacey married his first wife, Alice Lardner (born in Steeple Aston in c.1846) in the Woodstock Registration District) in the second quarter of 1876. They were in Waddesdon in 1879 but moved to 73 Cardigan Street in Jericho, Oxford by 1881. They had the following children:

  • Alice Caroline Pacey (born in Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire in 1879, registered second quarter)
  • Rose Annie Pacey (born in Oxford on 10 February 1884, baptised at SS Philip & James Church on 5 June 1884)

Alice Pacey died at the age of 38 in the Oxford Registration District in the first quarter of 1886, and James Pacey married his second wife, William’s mother Sophia, by the spring of the following year. They had five children:

  • William James Pacey (born in Oxford on 25 May 1888, baptised at SS Philip & James Church on 2 August 1888)
  • Arthur Pacey (born Oxford in 1891, registered third quarter; died in the first quarter of 1892)
  • Richard Pacey (born in Oxford on 12 March 1893, baptised at St Barnabas Church on 22 June 1893)
  • Elizabeth Sophia Pacey (born in Oxford on 24 March 1895, baptised at SS Philip & James Church on 21 April 1895)
  • Herbert Pacey (born in Oxford on 25 October 1899 and baptised at St Margaret’s Church on 18 March 1900).

William’s father James Pacey was a stonemason. At the time of the 1891 census, when William was two, the family was still living at 73 Cardigan Street.

The family then had three different addresses in Hayfield Road (originally in SS Philip & James parish, but in St Margaret’s parish from 1896). They must have moved to 78 Hayfield Road by 1893, when they start to register the births of their children in the Headington Registration District instead of the Oxford one. They are not listed inKelly’s Directory at this time, however.

At the time of the 1911 census William (23) was also a stonemason, living at 61 Hayfield Road (their second address in the road) with his parents and his younger siblings Elizabeth and Herbert.

By 1912 the family had moved to 57 Hayfield Road in St Margaret’s parish.

In the First World War William Pacey served as a Lance Corporal in the 2nd/4th Battalion of the Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Service No. 200401).

He was killed in action in France at the age of 29 on 7 April 1917 and is buried in the Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy (I.A.46). He is remembered on the war memorial outside St Margaret’s Church in north Oxford.

Left: Photograph of W. J. Pacey’s grave in France, kindly supplied by British War Graves. The text reads:

[Emblem of the OBLI]

200401 LANCE CORPORAL
W. J. PACEY
OXFORD & BUCKS LIGHT INF
7TH APRIL 1917  AGE 29

After the War

William’s father
  • James Pacey died in the first quarter of 1925 when he was 73.
William’s widow
  • Mrs Sophia Pacey was still living at 57 Hayfield Road in 1936. She died at the age of 77 in the Oxford registration district in the second quarter of 1938.
William’s half-sisters
  • Alice Caroline Pacey (born 1879) married John Thomas Sykes at St Margaret’s Church on 1 August 1904.
  • Rose Annie Pacey (born 1884) married William Henry Belcher at St Margaret’s Church on 2 November 1903.
William’s full sister
  • Elizabeth Sophia Pacey (born 1895) married Ernest Suik at St Margaret’s Church on 22 April 1918.

Name: William James Pacey
Birth Place: St. Giles, Oxon
Residence: Oxford
Death Date: 7 Apr 1917
Rank: L/Corporal
Regiment: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Battalion: 2/4th Battalion.
Number: 200401
Type of Casualty: Killed in action

Private Edward Harris

Name: Edward Harris
Birth Place: Maresfield, Sussex
Residence: New Court, Middx.
Death Date: 7 Apr 1917
Enlistment Location: Plumpton, Sussex
Rank: Private
Regiment: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Battalion: 2/4th Battalion.
Number: 203473
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theater of War: Aldershot
Comments: Formerly 2768, R. Bucks Hussars.

Name: HARRIS
Initials: E
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Unit Text: 2nd/4th Bn.
Date of Death: 07/04/1917
Service No: 203473
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: II. A. 43.
Cemetery: VADENCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY, MAISSEMY

Private Frederick Jesse Gulliver

Name: Frederick Jesse Gulliver
Residence: Oxford
Death Date: 7 Apr 1917
Enlistment Location: Summertown, Oxon
Rank: Private
Regiment: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Battalion: 2/4th Battalion.
Number: 200924
Type of Casualty: Killed in action

Name: GULLIVER
Initials: F
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Unit Text: 2nd/4th Bn.
Age: 25
Date of Death: 07/04/1917
Service No: 200924
Additional information: Brother of Mr. S. J. Gulliver, of 14, Osberton Rd., Summertown, Oxford.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: II. A. 44.
Cemetery: VADENCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY, MAISSEMY

Sergeant Bertie Elliot

Name: Bertie Elliott
Residence: Oxford
Death Date: 7 Apr 1917
Enlistment Location: Putney, Surrey
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Battalion: 2/4th Battalion.
Number: 200917
Type of Casualty: Killed in action

Name: ELLIOTT, BERTIE
Initials: B
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Serjeant
Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Unit Text: 2nd/4th Bn.
Age: 35
Date of Death: 07/04/1917
Service No: 200917
Additional information: Son of Harriet Elliott, of 107, Oakhill Rd., Putney, London, and the late George Elliott.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 10 A and 10 D.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Private Donald Carruthers

Name: Donald Carruthers
Birth Place: Stansted, Essex
Residence: New Court, Middx.
Death Date: 7 Apr 1917
Enlistment Location: Stansted, Essex
Rank: Private
Regiment: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Battalion: 2/4th Battalion.
Number: 203455
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theater of War: Aldershot
Comments: Formerly 2781, R. Bucks Hussars.

Name: CARRUTHERS, DONALD
Initials: D
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Unit Text: 2nd/4th Bn.
Age: 18
Date of Death: 07/04/1917
Service No: 203455
Additional information: Son of William and Margret Carruthers, of Stansted, Essex.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 10 A and 10 D.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Company Sergeant Major Cecil Amos Witney

Name: WITNEY
Initials: C A
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Company Serjeant Major
Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Unit Text: 2nd/4th Bn.
Date of Death: 07/04/1917
Service No: 200230
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: II. A. 41.
Cemetery: VADENCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY, MAISSEMY

Name: Cecil Amos Witney
Birth Place: Stokenchurch, Bucks
Residence: Thame, Oxon
Death Date: 7 Apr 1917
Enlistment Location: Stokenchurch, Bucks
Rank: C.S.M.
Regiment: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Battalion: 2/4th Battalion.
Number: 200230
Type of Casualty: Killed in action

Company Sergeant Major 200230, 2nd/4th Battalion, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Killed in action 7th April 1917. Born and resident Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire, enlisted Thame. Buried in VADENCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY, MAISSEMY, Aisne, France. Plot II. Row A. Grave 41.

Please see: The Good Friday Attack of 6th April 1917

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