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

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Archive for the tag “7th August 1918”

1918, AUGUST 7th – ATTACK AND CAPTURE OF TRENCHES NEAR MERVILLE. SEARGENT S. J. RAVENSCROFT EARNS THE D.C.M.

Nieppe Forest  7th August 1918 Captain G. K. Rose, M.C.

Nieppe Forest
7th August 1918
Captain G. K. Rose, M.C.

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

At 7 p.m. on August 7 A and B Companies attacked and captured the trenches opposite to them, causing the enemy to retire behind the Plate Becque, a stream as wide as the Cherwell at Islip but far less attractive. We had a dozen casualties in this attack, which was rewarded by half as many German prisoners and a machine-gun. Sergeant Ravenscroft, of B Company, for an able exploit during the advance, received the D.C.M.

Citation of the Distinguished Conduct Medal

 203251 Cpl. (L/Sjt) S. J. RAVENSCROFT (Slough)

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Without artillery assistance he led his platoon most skillfully and with complete success against an enemy trench, capturing the garrison, besides taking a machine gun. His platoon only suffered two casualties. He displayed the greatest gallantry and ability to command. (30.10.18)

At 7 p.m. A. and B Companies carried out a successful attack on the German front line between the Hazebrouck-Merville road and Bonar Farm. About 12 casualties occurred, but the companies captured 4 prisoners and a machine gun. Total casualties in the Battalion: 2 men killed, 2nd Lieut. A. R. Moore and 12 men wounded.

KILLED IN ACTION AUGUST 7th 1918

265598 Lance Corporal Richard Baldwin

34413 Private Reginald Richard Holloway

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Nieppe Forest, 7th / 8th August 1918

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

“Early in August, 1918, the 61st relieved the 5th Division in front of the Nieppe Forest. Minor attacks had already cleared the enemy from the eastern fringe of the forest and driven him back towards Neuf Berquin and Merville. At 7 p.m. on August 7 A and B Companies attacked and captured the trenches opposite to them, causing the enemy to retire behind the Plate Becque, a stream as wide as the Cherwell at Islip but far less attractive. We had a dozen casualties in this attack, which was rewarded by half as many German prisoners and a machine-gun. Sergeant Ravenscroft, of B Company, for an able exploit during the advance, received the D.C.M.

Already the Forest of Nieppe had become notorious for German gas. It was now a nightly programme of the enemy to drench the wood, which was low-lying and infested with pools and undergrowth, with his noxious ‘ Yellow Cross ‘ shells whose poisonous fumes bore the flavour of mustard.

Throughout the night of August 7/8, when things generally were very active, a heavy gas-bombardment was kept up. The Colonel was away from his headquarters at the time. He returned after the shelling to find that gas helmets had been taken off. No harm was expected, but the next day, after the sun’s heat had awakened dormant fumes, the Colonel, Symonds (the adjutant), Kirk, who had brought up the rations, and Cubbage, as well as the Regimental Sergeant -Major and many signallers and runners, all found that they were gassed. Their loss was serious. It was known that Wetherall would soon have to leave the Battalion, for he had been appointed to a command in the Machine Gun Corps; indeed already his successor, Colonel Woulfe-Flanagan, had arrived to take his place. Under the present unlucky auspices (for more than half Headquarters were knocked out) the interchange took place.”

From the War Diary of the 2/4th Royal Berkshire

Wednesday 7th August 1918, France, Nieppe Forest

Quiet day in Reserve Line. Considerable shelling at night. 2/Lt THORN killed.

Thursday 8th August 1918, France, Nieppe Forest

Quiet day in Reserve Line.

Private Reginald Richard Holloway

Name: HOLLOWAY, REGINALD RICHARD
Initials: R R
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Unit Text: 2nd/4th Bn.
Age: 19
Date of Death: 07/08/1918
Service No: 34413
Additional information: Son of George and Martha Holloway, of 4, High Rd., Talbot Village, Bournemouth.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: I. F. 47.
Cemetery: MERVILLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION

From: Talbot Village Roll of Honor

HOLLOWAY, [Reginald] Richard
Private 34413, 2nd/4th Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Killed in action 7th August 1918 in France & Flanders. Age 19. Born Kinson, enlisted Poole, resident Talbot Village. Son of George and Martha Holloway, of 4, High Rd., Talbot Village, Bournemouth. Buried in MERVILLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, Nord, France. Plot I. Row F. Grave 47.

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