Bloxham is a village and civil parish in northern Oxfordshire on the edge of the Cotswolds, about 3 miles  south west of Banbury. It is on the edge of a valley and overlooked by Hobb Hill. In 1941 a Bristol Blenheim crashed near the village, see below.

                                      

FIRST WORLD WAR

HARRY AYRES was serving as a Private in "C" Company, the 5th (Service) Battalion of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he died of his wounds on 7th July 1915 . He was aged 18 and is buried in Bloxham St Mary Churchyard.

He was the son of Solomon and Emma Ayres of Queens Square, Bloxham, his father worked at Bloxham School as well as being Captain of the local fire brigade. Harry also worked at the school before serving as a footman at Shipton Court in Shipston-under-Wychwood. He enlisted into the Ox and Bucks on the outbreak of war in August 1914. He arrived in France with the 5th Battalion, one of Kitchener's new armies, on 20th May 1915 as part of the 14th (Light) Division, and serving with the HQ Company. He should  not have been serving abroad as he was not yet 18. On 22nd June 1915 the Battalion was manning trenches in Railway Wood, east of Ypres, when they came under heavy enemy shell fire, Private Ayres being seriously injured by shrapnel wounds to his left leg and elbow. He was  evacuated home to England aboard the Hospital Ship Asturius. He died in the Norfolk War Hospital, Norwich and was buried in Bloxham on 12th July 1915.

ALFRED THOMAS BARTLETT was serving as a Private with the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion when he was killed in action during the fighting at Mount Sorrel on 5th June 1916. He was aged 22 and is commemorated on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of James and Sarah Bartlett of High Street, Bloxham and had worked as a bootmaker and repairer. On 16th March 1912 Alfred boarded the "Empress of Ireland" in Liverpool bound for St John, Brunswick to start a new life farming in Canada. On 26th December 1914 he enlisted into Canadian Mounted Rifles in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, being posted to the 1st Regiment. They landed in France on 22nd September 1915, but conditions on the Western Front meant they were soon dismounted and reformed as infantry. On 2nd June 1916, in an attempt to divert British forces away from the build up on the Somme, the Germans launched a diversionary attack on high ground at Mount Sorrel. The positions held by the 3rd Canadian Division, of which the 1st CMR was a part, was initially overrun. The 1st CMR lost 557 of its 692 members, killed, wounded or captured, including Private Bartlett missing in action and later presumed dead.

ALFRED EDWARD BAUGHAN was serving as a Private with the 1st Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he died of illness whilst a prisoner of the Turks, on 16th August 1916. He was aged 26 and is buried in Baghdad North Gate War Cemetery.

He was the son of William and Fanny Baughan and a professional soldier having enlisted into the 1st Ox and Bucks in January 1910 and serving in India at the outbreak of war.

The 1st Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckingham Light Infantry, as part of the 6th Poona Division, moved from India to Mesopotamia in November 1914 The battalion took part in the march towards Kut-al-Amara with the intention of capturing it from the Ottomans. The battle for Kut began on 26 September and raged for a number of days until the Ottomans went into retreat and Kut was captured on 28th September 1915. The battalion then took part in the Battle of Ctesiphon in the effort to capture the capital, Baghdad, which ended in the 6th Poona Division being defeated by the Ottoman forces. 635 officers and men of the battalion fought in the battle of Ctesiphon and 304 became casualties. The Division subsequently retreated to Kut, reaching it on 3 December 1915, where it was besieged by the Ottomans, beginning on 7 December, with a garrison of 10,000 Britons and Indians. The Ottomans launched numerous attempts to take Kut, all of which were repulsed by the defenders, with both sides suffering heavy casualties. The British tried desperately to relieve Kut, but failed, suffering heavy losses. By 26th April 1916 supplies had dwindled significantly and many of the garrison's defenders were suffering from sickness. The garrison negotiated a cease-fire, allowing the sick and wounded to be transferred to the relieving forces and on 29th April the British-Indian force of 8,000 surrendered to the Turks. Private Baughan was held at Bagtche Prisoner of War Camp in Anatolia. He died of sickness there between 1st July and 31st August 1916. He was originally buried in the camp's cemetery but re-interred to Baghdad after the Armistice.

FRANCIS EDWARD BAYLISS was serving as a Sergeant with the 5th (Service) Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 13th April 1916. He was aged 21 and is buried in Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery.

He was the son of John and Mary Bayliss of 16, Banbury Street, Bloxham. He enlisted into the 2nd Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in February 1913, whilst living in Chipping Warden. He landed with his Battalion in Boulogne on 14th August 1914 as part of the 2nd Division. They saw action in all the major battles of 1914 including Mons and the First Battle of Ypres and in 1915 the Battles of Festubert and Loos. He was promoted Sergeant and transferred to the 5th Battalion. In the Spring of 1916 they were in and out of trenches near Arras. In what was a quiet period Sergeant Bayliss was killed as they were being relieved from the front line, probably by a sniper. He was originally buried Blangy Military Cemetery but re-interred to Cabaret Rouge in 1924.

ERNEST CHARLES CALLOW was serving as a Gunner with Z battery, 1st/5th Brigade of The Royal Horse Artillery when he was killed in action on 24th April 1917. He was aged 27 and is buried in Bois-Carre British Cemetery.

He was the son of Wyatt and Louisa Callow of Barford St John and had worked as a farm labourer. He married Amy Clarke at Bloxham Parish Church in October 1912 and they lived in Humber Street in Bloxham and had a daughter and a son together.

EDWARD ELLIS CARTER was serving as a Sergeant with the 156th Field Company of the Royal Engineers when he died of his wounds on 29th April 1916. He was aged 36 and is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery.

He was the son of Matthew and Matilda Carter of Bloxham and worked as a bricklayer. He had also served in the Royal Engineers as a professional soldier and was a reservist. He married Annie Taplin in Bloxham Parish Church in July 1912 and the couple lived at Rosebank Cottage in Bloxham. In October 1914 he was recalled to serve with Royal Engineers, being made Lance-Corporal. He was made full Corporal in March 1915 and Sergeant on 9th December 1915. The 156th Field Company arrived in France on 19th December 1915 as part of the 16th (Irish) Division. On 27th April 1916 the Division was holding lines in and around the village Hulluch, north of Loos. They were subject by a gas attack by the Germans prior to an attack and 338 men of the Division were killed by the gas. Sergeant Carter was wounded and evacuated to 112 Field Ambulance then on to 33rd Casualty Clearing Station, where he died.

FRANK CARTER was serving as a Private with the 1st Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment when he was killed in action on 9th May 1915, during the Battle of Aubers Ridge. He was aged 23 and is commemorated on Le Touret Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of Matthew and Matilda Carter of Morrells Cottage, Bloxham. He was working as a labourer and enlisted into the Reserves of the Northamptonshire Regiment on 10th January 1911 but in April 1911 signed on full time with 2nd Battalion. He served at home until 13th March 1913 when he was posted to Malta, serving there until moving to Egypt on 18th January 1914. He had been appointed Lance-Corporal in October 1913, but lost the stripe in February 1914 due to his many minor infringements of Army discipline. He attended Camel Corps School in Egypt but managed to get in trouble there for "being in improper possession of a barrel of beer from the Camel Corps canteen" which earned him 10 days confined to barracks and ordered to pay for the beer. The Battalion returned to England on 16th October 1914.

On 5th November he landed with the 2nd Battalion in Le Havre as part of the 8th Division, bringing badly needed reinforcements to the British Expeditionary Force. However on 20th December 1914 Private Carter was invalided back to England on the Hospital Ship Carisbrooke Castle, suffering from frostbite. After recovery he was posted to the 3rd Reserve Battalion, before returning to France, joining the 1st Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment in the field on 11th March 1915. As part of the 1st Division they were involved in the Battle of Aubers Ridge from 9th May 1915. The initial artillery bombardment had failed to cause much damage to German defences and the Northamptons attempting to advance up the Rue de Bois were soon pinned down by heavy machine gun fire. Private Carter was killed in the assault and buried near where he fell, but his grave was lost, despite a map reference being recorded.

LESLIE NOAH CLIFTON was serving as a Private with the 1st Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment when he was killed on 1st July 1916 during the Battle of Albert, the first action in the Somme Offensive. He was aged 23 and is buried in Redan Ridge Cemetery.

He was the son, one of eight children of Noah and Edith Clifton who lived near the Post Office in Bloxham and before enlisting worked as a mason. He had enlisted with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry but transferred to the Hampshires, joining the 1st Battalion in the field in France on 2nd June 1915. He was reported missing in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and presumed dead. His body was recovered in 1917 when the battlefield was cleared and Redan Cemetery created near Beaumont-Hamel.

ALBERT COLEMAN was serving as a Sergeant with 4th Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles when he was killed in actionn on 2nd June 1916. He was aged 26 and is commemorated on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of Frederick and Ann Coleman of  Primrose Hill, Bloxham, having been born in Milcombe. He moved to Grimbsy where he worked as an assistant boot maker. He emigrated to Canada and became a grocer before enlisting into the 9th Mississauga Horse, Canadian Militia as a Trooper on 28th November 1914. He was transferred to the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles and embarked for Britain on 18th July 1915. They arrived in France on  24th October 1915, where it fought as part of the 2nd Brigade Canadian Mounted Rifles until 31st December 1915, when it was converted to infantry and allocated to the 8th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division. On 2nd June 1916 the Germans launched an offensive on Mount Sorrel, high ground on the Ypres salient defended by the Canadians, in an attempt to divert troops away from the build up on the Somme. Sergeant Coleman was reported missing in the vicinity of Maple Corner and later presumed dead.

VICTOR CUNNINGHAM was serving as a Private with the 6th (Service) Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 9th October 1916, during the Battle of Le Transloy, part of the Somme Offensive. He was aged 19 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial for those with no known grave.

He was the son of Charles and Emily Cunningham of Church Street, Bloxham having been born in Durham. He had been living in Kineton when he enlisted into 2nd/1st Reserve Battalion of the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars in 1915. He was transferred to the 6th Battalion, the Ox and Bucks and arrived in France with them on 22nd July 1915, as part of the 20th (Light) Division. They were in action in the Battle of Mount Sorrel on 14th June 1916 helping the Canadians re-capture the heights after a diversionary attack by the Germans. They then took part in phases of the Somme offensive including Delville Wood and Guillemont. On 6th October 1916 the Battalion took up front line positions in trenches near the village of Le Tresloy, relieving the 6th King's Shropshire Light Infantry. At 1345 on 7th the Battalion left their trenches and crawled to the German wire 40 yards in front of Rainbow trench. Initially pinned down by German machine gun fire they eventually overcame the enemy and pushed on to capture their second line trenches. The Battalion suffered 243 casualties including Private Cunningham who was reported missing in action, presumed dead on 9th October 1916.

WALTER DICKENSON was serving as a Lance-Corporal with the 1st Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he died from sickness whilst a prisoner of war of the Turks on 16th August 1916. He was aged 27 and is buried in Baghdad North Gate War Cemetery.

He was the son of Henry and Mary Dickenson having been born in Enstone. He was living in Bloxham when he enlisted into the Ox and Bucks in Banbury in December 1907. At the outbreak of war he was serving with the 1st Battalion in India.

The 1st Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckingham Light Infantry, as part of the 6th Poona Division, moved from India to Mesopotamia in November 1914 The battalion took part in the march towards Kut-al-Amara with the intention of capturing it from the Ottomans. The battle for Kut began on 26 September and raged for a number of days until the Ottomans went into retreat and Kut was captured on 28th September 1915. The battalion then took part in the Battle of Ctesiphon in the effort to capture the capital, Baghdad, which ended in the 6th Poona Division being defeated by the Ottoman forces. 635 officers and men of the battalion fought in the battle of Ctesiphon and 304 became casualties. The Division subsequently retreated to Kut, reaching it on 3 December 1915, where it was besieged by the Ottomans, beginning on 7 December, with a garrison of 10,000 Britons and Indians. The Ottomans launched numerous attempts to take Kut, all of which were repulsed by the defenders, with both sides suffering heavy casualties. The British tried desperately to relieve Kut, but failed, suffering heavy losses. By 26th April 1916 supplies had dwindled significantly and many of the garrison's defenders were suffering from sickness. The garrison negotiated a cease-fire, allowing the sick and wounded to be transferred to the relieving forces and on 29th April the British-Indian force of 8,000 surrendered to the Turks. Lance-Corporal Dickenson was held at Bagtche Prisoner of War Camp in Anatolia. He died of sickness there between 1st July and 31st August 1916. He was originally buried in the camp's cemetery but re-interred to Baghdad after the Armistice.

WILLIAM HENRY  ENOCK was serving as a Gunner with the 99th Siege Battery, The Royal Garrison Artillery when he died of his wounds on 5th July 1918. He was aged 32 and is buried in Terlincthun British Cemetery on the outskirts of Boulogne.

He was the son of George and Mary Enock of Tank Lane, Bloxham. In 1905 he married Elsie Annie Adkins of Bloxham, they lived in the village where he worked as a saddler and had one daughter together. The 99th Siege Battery, equipped with 6"  Howitzers arrived in France in May 1916. On 24th June 1918, the Battery was north of St Vernant. During the hours of darkness, the gun positions were heavily shelled with gas. About 10 men were killed outright and the remainder had to quickly leave their positions. In the morning they returned to the positions without wearing their respirators and virtually the whole Battery became victims of the mustard gas that still lingered. Gunner Enock was evacuated to 53rd General Hospital where he died on 5th July 1918.

ERNEST EDWARD GOLBY was serving as a Private in the 5th (Service) Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 23rd March 1918, fighting against the German Spring Offensive. He was aged 42 and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial having no known grave.

He was the son of John and Amy Golby of Bloxham later living with his grandfather after his father died. He worked as a groom before being conscripted into the Army. He joined the 5th Battalion in France where they were under the orders of the 14th (Light) Division. On 21st March 1918 the Germans launched there expected offensive, attacking numbers across the old Somme Battlefields. Bouyed by troops released from the Eastern Front in a last ditch attempt to influence the outcome of the war before the Americans arrived in numbers, the Germans made great advances using "stormtroopers". The 5th Battalion were moved up to the battle zone at St Quentin on 21st but was, along with all British Troops, forced to fall back behind the canal. The canal line was overrun on 23rd March and Private Golby reported missing, later presumed dead.

WILFRED CLARENCE GOLBY was serving as as a Private with the 6th (Service) Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 7th October 1916 during the Battle of Le Transloy Ridges, part of the Somme Offensive. He was aged 21 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of Clarence and Sarah Ann Golby of High Street, Bloxham, having been born in Westminster and lived in Middleton Stoney. He had moved to Bloxham when he enlisted into the 2nd/1st Reserve Battalion, Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars in October 1914. He was transferred to the 6th Battalion of the Ox and Bucks, one of Kitchener's new armies. As part of the 20th (Light) Division they saw action in the Battle of the Somme, fighting in the Battles of Delville Wood, Guillemont, Flers-Courcelette and Morval. On 6th October 1916 they moved up to front line trenches near the village of Le Tresloy, relieving the 6th King's Shropshire Light Infantry. At 1345 on 7th the Battalion left their trenches and crawled to the German wire 40 yards in front of Rainbow trench. Initially pinned down by German machine gun fire they eventually overcame the enemy and pushed on to capture their second line trenches. The Battalion suffered 243 casualties including Private Golby who was reported missing in action, presumed dead on 7th October 1916.

REGINALD CHARLES HARTALL was serving as a Private in the 9th (Service) Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment when he was killed in action on 21st April 1916 in the attempt to relieve the Siege of Kut. He was aged 25 and is commemorate on the Basra Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of Rowland and Emily Hartall of Bloxham and had worked as a domestic groom in Souldern. He enlisted into Worcesters in Worcester and in June 1915 sailed with the Battalion from Avonmouth bound for Alexandria and landing in Murdros on 4th July 1915. As part of the 13th (Western) Division they landed on Cape Helles and relieved 29th Division. They left and returned to Mudros at the end of the month, and the entire Division landed at ANZAC Cove between 3rd and 5th August 1915. They were involved in The Battle of Sari Bair, 6th August 1915, The Battle of Russell’s Top, 7th August and The Battle of Hill 60, ANZAC, 27th/28th August in Gallipoli. Soon afterwards the Division was transferred from ANZAC to Suvla Bay. It was evacuated from Suvla 19th and 20th December 1915, whereupon the infantry moved after a weeks rest to the Helles bridgehead. They were involved in the last Turkish attacks at Helles on 7th January 1916 and then evacuated from Helles and by 31st January was concentrated at Port Said where they held forward posts in the Suez Canal defences. From 12th February 1916 they moved to move to Mesopotamia, to strengthen the force being assembled for the relief of the besieged garrison at Kut al Amara. By 27th March, the Division had assembled near Sheikh Sa’ad and came under orders of the Tigris Corps. It then took part in the attempts to relieve Kut during which Private Hartall was reported missing in action.

ERNEST HUBERT HAVELL was serving as a Private with the 2nd Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment) when he was killed in action on 6th October 1918 during the Final Advance in Artois. He was aged 18 and is buried in Brown’s Copse Cemetery, Roeux.

He was the son of Thomas William and Susannah Havell having been born in Chadlington.He had enlisted into the 10th Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall' Light Infantry in Worcester, transferring to the Berkshires.

SPENCER ALBERT HAWTIN was serving as a Gunner with 121st Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery when he died of his wounds on 19th April 1918. He was aged 30 and is buried in Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt, Somme.

He was the son of Richard and Rhoda Hawtin of The Joiners Arms, Bloxham and had married Annie Nash in Banbury Registry office in October 1910. They lived in Merrivale's Lane in Bloxham with their young son, where Spencer worked as a hay tier. He enlisted into the RGA on 11th December 1915 in Banbury and was placed in the reserves. He was mobilized on 31st May 1915 and posted to France on 16th November 1916, joining the 121st Battery in the field on 26th November. He served continuously on the Western Front apart from a spell of leave in England over Christmas 1917. He was wounded in action and died in the 29th Casualty Clearing Station on 19th April 1918.

ARTHUR HEATH was serving as a Sapper with the  251st Tunnelling Company, The  Royal Engineers when he died of his wounds on 9th June 1917. He was aged 39 and is buried in Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium.

He was the son of Arthur and Clara Heath of Bloxham and had worked as a mason's labourer. In February 1903 he married Ellen Peal in Banbury and living at Milton Barn, Bloxham where he worked as a waggoner, and having two children. At the time of enlisting he was living in Sycamore Terrace in Bloxham, employed as an iron stone digger. He joined the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry on 6th July 1915 joining the 2nd Battalion in France on 14th October 1915. He volunteered to transfer to the Royal Engineers as a tunneller's mate, joining the 251st Tunnelling Company on 18th December 1915, carrying out tunnelling to plant mines under enemy positions and digging trenches, saps and underground chambers. On 3rd March 1916 he was admitted to 99th Field Ambulance suffering from influenza returning to duty three days later. He was carrying out mining operations in the Ypres area when he suffered gun shot wounds to his arm causing a shattered humerus and he died in the 46th Casualty Clearing Station.

EVELYN SOMERSET HOPKINSON  had served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve when he died of illness on 21st September 1917. He was aged 41 and is buried in North Aston St Mary's Churchyard.

He was the son of George and Blanche Hopkinson, having been born in St James, Westminster. His father was a wealthy banker and army agent and Evelyn had ran a yacht agents business in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. He was commissioned as a temporary Lieutenant in the RNVR on 11th August 1914 and commanded the auxillary motor boat Sallee Rover. He was discharged from the service on 16th October 1916 and given the Silver Badge which would be worn on civilian clothing to denote his previous service.

CHARLES HENRY HORLEY was serving as a Corporal with the 2nd Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) when he died of wounds received during The Battle of Cambrai on 30th November 1917. He was aged 36 and is buried in the Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery, Manancourt, Somme.

He was the son of Job and Sarah Horley, Merrivale's Lane, Bloxham but moved to Rugby where he worked as a railway wagon labourer. He enlisted in to the 6th (Service) Battalion, The Leicestershire Regiment in Rugby rising to Lance-Corporal and arriving in France with them on 29th June 1915. He saw action in the 1916 Somme Offensive and at some point transferred to the Sherwood Foresters as a full Corporal. 

His younger brother Frederick was killed in action on 1915.

FREDERICK HORLEY was serving as a Rifleman with "A" Company, the 4th Battalion, The King’s Royal Rifle Corps when he was killed in action on 28th January 1915. He was aged 25 and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres having no known grave.

He was the son of Job and Sarah Horley, Merrivale's Lane, Bloxham and enlisted into the 4th Battalion KRRC in spring 1908. He had served with the Battalion in India before the war returning to England on 18th November 1914. They then landed in France on 20th December 1914 as part of the 27th Division, much needed reinforcements for the BEF. On 28th January 1915 the Battalion moved up to relieve the Royal Irish Regiment in trenches at St Eloi on the Ypres salient. Unfortunately "A" Company of which Rifleman Horley was a member, were badly led by a guide from the Irish Regiment. The moon was very bright and the guide led them right out across the open. The Germans opened fire on them killing 6 instantly including Frederick Horley.

GWYNNE JACOB DCM MM and Bar was serving as a Lieutenant in the East Yorkshire Regiment, attached to the 46th Battalion, the Royal Fusiliers when he was killed in action on 1st August 1919. He was aged 26 and is commemorated on a special memorial in Archangel Allied Cemetery, having been buried in Troitsa cemetery in Northern Russia.

He was the son of David and Annie Jacob having been born in Northallerton in Yorkshire. He enlisted into the 3rd Battalion, The King's Royal Rifle Corps in November 1911 as a Private and at the outbreak of war was serving with them in India. The Battalion returned home on 18th November 1914 and landed at Le Havre on 21st December 1914, as part of the 27th Division. He saw action in the Second Battle of Ypres before being transferred to the 1st Battalion KRRC. They were involved in action in the 1916 Battles of Delville Wood and Ancre, part of the Somme Offensive during which he was promoted to Sergeant. The Battalion took part in the Arras Offensive in April and May 1917 and on 11th May Sergeant Jacob was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. He citation reads:

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He rushed forward with another NCO and killed all the men of an enemy machine gun team. Later he captured two enemy trench mortars"

He was awarded the Military medal and bar shortly after and on 26th June 1917 commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, The East Yorkshire Regiment. He fought with the East Yorks until Armistice becoming a full Lieutenant on the way. In answer to a call for experienced officers to bolster the fight against the Bolsheviks, he was attached to 46th (Service Battalion) The Royal Fusiliers and sent to North Russia in April 1919. He was killed in action in the Battle of Troitsa on 10th August 1919.

His elder brother Lloyd Jacob had moved to Bloxham where he was Officer Commanding Bloxham School's Officer Training Corps. He married Isabel Fitch there in 1925.

FRANK MANNING was serving as a Private with the 5th Battalion, The Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment) when he was killed in action on 6th April 1916. He was aged 32 and is buried in Aeroplane Cemetery, near Ypres.

He was the son of William and Hester Manning of Portland Cottage, Barford Road, Bloxham and worked as a plasterer. In August 1906 he married Kezia Wrighton in Aynho Parish Church. On 2nd April 1913 he boarded the SS Dominion at Liverpool bound for a new life in Canada, his wife two children and brother-in-law had left a year earlier. They settled in Saskatoon were he continued to work as a plasterer, had two further children and was a member of the local volunteer militia. On 20th April 1915 he enlisted into the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force. On 6th April 1916 the Battalion was occupying trenches at Canada Huts near the village of Dickebuch ner Ypres. Their positions were hit by German artillery fire killing 6 including Private Manning. He was buried behind a hedge near where he fell but was re-interred to Aeroplane Cemetery in September 1919.

CHARLES MOBLEY was serving as a Private with the 24th Battalion (2nd Sportsman’s), The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) when was killed in action on 14th April 1917 at the First Battle of the Scarpe. He was aged 25 and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of William and Louisa Mobley of Bloxham. He went into domestic service and had worked as a butler to Theosdosia Countess of Cottenham at 94 Queens Gate, South Kensington. He was living in Thames Ditton when he enlisted into the Royal Fusiliers in Kingston. He joined the 24th Battalion in France on 3rd August 1916 as part of the 2nd Division. In 1916 they saw action in the Battle of Delville Wood and the Battle of Ancre, phases of the Somme Offensive. The First Battle of the Scarpe was the opening phase of the 1917 Arras offensive. On 14th April 1917 they moved up to attack the sugar factory near the village of Wilerval and Private Mobley was killed in action by machine gun or artillery fire.

His younger brother Norman had been killed in action in 1916.

NORMAN WILFRED MOBLEY was serving as a Private with the 4th Battalion, The Grenadier Guards when was killed in action on 25 September 1916 during the Battle of Morval. He was aged 23 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of William and Louisa Mobley of Little Green, Bloxham and had worked as a farm labourer. He joined the 2nd Battalion the Grenadier Guards in January 1913 and arrived with them in France on 14th August 1914. They took part in the First Battle of Ypres during October and November that year, after which 4 officers and 200 men were left. On 3rd March 1915 he was evacuated from the field suffering with bronchitis and on the 9th March was taken aboard the Hospital Ship Asturias, below, for treatment in England.

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After recovering he was transferred to the 4th Battalion. part  of the 4th Guards Division. In 1916 they took part in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette a phase of the Somme offensive and then on 25th September a follow up attack on the villages of Morval,  Gueudecourt  and Lesbœufs. All the villages were captured but Private Mobley was killed in the Battle for Morval.

RICHMOND FOTHERGILL ROBINSON was serving as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 7th Battalion, The King's Royal Rifle Corps when he was killed in action on 30th July 1915 during the action at Hooge. He was aged 35 and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres having no known grave.

He was the son of William Fothergill and Julia Robinson having been born in Marylebone London. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1903 he married Mabel Gertrude Singleton in St Georges Church, Hanover Square. Later that year they emigrated to Canada, becoming fruit farmers in St Catherines, Lincoln, Ontario. They had 5 children together. Shortly after the outbreak of war, Richmond Robinson returned to England and was commissioned into the 7th Battalion KRRC. He arrived with the Battalion in Boulogne on 10th May 1915 as part of the 14th (Light) Division. On the night of 29th July 1916 they relieved the 8th KRRC in trenches south of the village of Hooge. At 0300 the Germans launched an attack on their positions in an attempt to divert troops from the build up in the Somme. The attack was made under the cover of flame throwers, the first time they were used in the war. 2nd Lieutenant Robinson was killed during the attack.

Richmond Robinson's older brother William Forthergill Robinson was vicar at Bloxham Church between 1917 and 1922.

FRANK ROGERS was serving as a Corporal in the 10th (Service) Battalion, The Prince of Wales’s Own (West  Yorkshire Regiment) when he was killed in action on 24th August 1918 during the Second Battle of the Somme. He was aged 28 and is buried in Pozières British Cemetery, Ovillers la Boisselle.

He was the son of Frank and Elizabeth Rogers, Queen Street, Bloxham having been born in Milcombe, and worked as a farm labourer. He enlisted into the Battalion in Selby, Yorkshire in December 1914 and arrived in France with them on 15th July 1915 as part of the 17th (Northern) Division. On 9th August 1915 they were involved in recaptue of the crater and strong points at Hooge. They were then in action on 1st July 1916 at the Battle of Albert, the opening phase of the 1916 Somme Offensive. They also fought at Delville Wood in the campaign.

He was attached to the 257th Tunneling Company of the Royal Engineers and on 11th January 1917 was hospitalised suffering from myalgia, an overuse of the muscles. Returning to his battalion he saw action with them in the First and Second Battles of Passchendaele in October and November 1917, part of the Third Battle of Ypres. From 21st March 1918 they defended  against the German spring offensive in the First Battle of the Somme 1918. From 21st August the Battalion began the final 100 days offensive in the Second Battle of the Somme 1918. Corporal Rogers was killed in action during an attack on Pozieres Ridge.

WILLIAM GEORGE RUSSELL was serving as a Sergeant with the 14th Battalion (1st Birmingham), The Royal Warwickshire Regiment when he was killed in action on 26th October 1917 during the Second Battle of Passchendaele. He was 25 and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial having no known grave.

He was the son of James and Annie Russell of Bloxham having been born in Chippenham. He was boarding in Kenilworth working as a grocer's assistant when he enlisted into the Royal Warkshire Regiment in Birmingham. He landed with his Battalion at Boulogne on 21st November 1915, as part of the 5th Division. They saw action in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. He was promoted to Sergeant and in 1917 the Battalion saw action in the Arras Offensive in Spring the being taken out of the line until the Third Battle of Ypres taking part in the Battle of Polygon Wood on 26th September 1917. At 0540 on 26th October The 5th Division attacked through the Scherriabeek valley was raked by fire from Gheluvelt and ultimately found the valley to be impassable. Three battalions tried to push forward but were stopped by German fire from the village of Gheluvelt. The 14th battalion took Polderhoek Château but was forced to relinquish it due to many weapons being clogged with mud and to straighten the front line. The Germans promptly reoccupied the château, swept the area to the west with massed machine-gun fire and counterattacked, which pushed the brigade back to the start line. Sergeant Russell was killed during the attack.

FRANCIS WILLIAM SIMPSON MM was serving as a Staff Sergeant with the 2nd/3rd Home Counties Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps when he was killed in action on 28th October 1917. He was aged 23 and is buried in Minty Farm Cemetery.

He was the son of Thomas and Fanny Simpson of The Post Office in Bloxham. He was a chemistry student when he enlisted into the 3rd Reserve Field Ambulance on 24th December 1914. He was promoted to Lance-Corporal on 13th March 1915, Corporal on 14th April 1915, Sergeant on 17th July 1914 and Staff Sergeant on 28th August 1915. He married Hilda Faithfull in Warminster in the summer of 1916 and the couple moved to Walton-on-Thames. The 2nd/3rd Home Counties Field Ambulance left Southampton for Le Havre on 25th January 1917 and were based near Ypres. Looking after casualties from the Arras Offensive and the Third Battle of Ypres he was wounded in action on 29th August 1917. He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field on 14th October 1917 but was killed in action 14 days later. 

GILBERT NATHANIEL SUTTON was serving as a 2nd Lieutenant with B Battery, 95th Brigade, The Royal Field Artillery when he died of the effects of gas on 14th October 1916. He was aged 26 and is buried in All Soul’s Cemetery, Kensal Green.

He was born in Killamarsh, Derbyshire to parents Nathaniel and Annie Sutton. He was an under-graduate at Lincoln College Oxford and stayed with his Aunt Mary at Rosebank Cottage, Bloxham. His mother moved to The Knoll, Bloxham after the death of her husband. In October 1914 he was commissioned into the special reserve of the Royal Field Artillery as a 2nd Lieutenant, having previously served with the Cheshire Regiment. In October 1914 had a book published "The Aphorisms of Oscar Wilde". He went to France with the 95th Brigade in September 1915, as part of the 21st Division. They went into action almost immediately  in the Battle of Loos in 1915. In 1916 the battery took part in most of the phases of the Battle of the Somme during which 2nd Lt Sutton was wounded by the effects of a gas shell. Evacuated home he died in hospital in London.

His younger brother John was killed in action in 1918.

JOHN HENRY HOLBECHE SUTTON was serving as a Private with the 2nd Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 23rd August 1918 during the Second Battle of the Somme. He was aged 19 and is buried in Gomiecourt South Cemetery.

He was born in Eckington, Derbyshire to parents Nathaniel and Annie Sutton, after the death of her husband his mother moved with him to The Knoll, Bloxham. He had enlisted in Banbury being posted to 52nd (Graduated) Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment, a training Battalion, before being sent to France to join the 2nd Ox & Bucks in France. He was one of 11 of the Battalion killed in action on attacks in the region of the village of Gommecourt.

His older brother Gilbert had died in 1916.

EDWARD ARTHUR TAYLOR was serving as a Guardsman with the 2nd Battalion, The Grenadier Guards when he was killed in action on 16th September 1914. He was aged 24 and is commemorated on the La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Memorial to the Missing, having no known grave.

He was the son of George and Margaret Taylor of Bloxham. He had joined the Grenadier Guards in the summer of 1911 and arrived in France with the 2nd Battalion on 22nd August 1914 as part of the 4th (Guards) Brigade of the 2nd Division. They took part on the Battle of Mons the following day and then the subsequent fighting retreat. They then fought in the Battle of Marne where the German advance was halted on the eastern outskirt of Paris. They then took part in the Battle of the Aisne, between 10th and 15th September 1914, n offensive against the right wing of the German Army. On the 14th September the Battalion had advanced and taken and held positions in the German front line, taking 162 casualties. They entrenched and held the position, which was heavily shelled on 16th September killing 29 men including Private Taylor.

He is not included on the Bloxham War Memorial.

ALEC LESLIE TYRRELL was serving as a Private with the 5th (Service) Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 25th September 1915 during the second attack on Bellewaarde. He was aged 19 and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres having no known grave.

He was the son of Edward and Martha Tyrrell of Barretts Row, Bloxham and had worked as an errand boy. He was living in Hook Norton when he joined the 5th Battalion, one of Kitchener's new armies at the outbreak of war. He arrived with his Battalion in France on 20th May 1915, as part of the 14th (Light) Division. The division was attacked by flame throwers, the first use by the German Army, during the action at Hooge on 30th Juy 1915. On 25th September 1915 they were involved on an attack on German trenches in the vicinity of Bellewaarde and Hooge. This was a diversionary attack for the Battle of Loos intended to tie down German reserves. The day started badly for the 5th Ox and Bucks when their own siege battery put 14 shells into their trenches, killing 21. The right column achieved its objectives capturing trenches in Railway Wood but could not hold on as the left column had been virtually wiped out by machine gun fire. The attack was a costly failure with the Battalion taking 13 out of 15 Officers and 441 men casualties, including Private Tyrrell.

CHARLES TYRRELL was serving as a Lance Corporal, Mounted Branch, Military Police Corps. Army when he died from pneumonia on 12th September 1915. He was aged 50 and is buried in Merville Communal Cemetery.

He was born in Bodicote to parents Tom and Jane Tyrrell and had worked as a labourer before enlisting into the 20th Hussars in February 1884. He served with them in Ireland, Sudan and Egypt being made Lance-Corporal. He transferred to the reserves in 1891 before being discharged in 1896. In 1911 he was living in Grove Street, Banbury with his wife Mary Ellen and their 3 sons, working as a coachman. He enlisted into the Mounted Military Police at the outbreak of war and was sent to France on 14th October 1914. The Military Police carried out a myriad of tasks behind the front line including rounding up deserters and stragglers, escorting POW, checking passes and directing traffic. Lance Corporal Tyrrell was evacuated from the field suffering from pnuemonia and died at 7th Casualty Clearing Station in Merville. His wife was living at, 25 The Bourne, Hook Norton at the time of his death.

EDMUND WISE was serving as a Rifleman with the 7th (Service) Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own) when he was killed in action on 31st August 1915 . He was aged 38 and is buried in Potijze Burial Ground Cemetery, Belgium.

He was the son of Charles and Mary Ann Wise, New Road, Bloxham and had worked as a domestic footman at Warmington Grange. He was working as a butler in Kensington when he enlisted into the Rifle Brigade on 12th April 1915. He joined the 7th Battalion in France on 12th August 1915. On 30th August 1915 the Battalion took over trenches in the front line south of the village of Potijze, the following day Rifleman Wise was killed in action.

ALBERT WOODWARD was serving as a Lance Corporal with the 11th (Service) Battalion, The Northumberland Fusiliers when he was killed in action on 2nd April 1916. He was aged 26 and is buried in Bully Grenay Communal Cemetery, French Extension near Arras

He was the son of Jonathon and Mary Woodward, Grub Street, Bloxham. He later lived at Droitwich House in Henley-in-Arden where he worked as a horse driver. He enlisted in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire and arrived with the 11th Battalion in France on 25th August 1915 as part of the 23rd Division. In March 1916 they relieved the 17th French Division in trenches in the Carency area. On the morning of 2nd April 1916 Lance Corporal Woodward was killed by heavy rifle grenade fire with 5 others wounded.
 

GEORGE WILLIAM WOODWARD was serving as a Private with the 6th (Service) Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he died on 26th February 1917. He was aged 24 and is buried in Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte

He was the son of the George and Mary Woodward of Tank Street, Bloxham and had worked as an assistant gardener. He enlisted into the 2nd/1st Reserve Battalion of the Queen's Own Oxfordshure Hussars in Kings Lynn in 1915. He was transferred to the 6th Ox and Bucks, they landed in Boulogne on 22nd July 1915, as part of the 20th (Light) Division. They saw action in many phases of the 1916 Somme Offensive. On 20th February 1917 they were based in the village of Guillemont Camp when they were shelled by German artillery and Private Woodward died in a Casualty Clearing Station in Meaulte.

SECOND WORLD WAR 

RONALD WILLIAM BRIDGES was serving as Wireman with the Royal Navy when hedied on active service when the battlecruiser HMS Hood was sunk on 24th May 1941. He was aged 22 and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

He was the son of George and Mabel Bridges of Bloxham.

JOHN CAPEL BUTLER was serving as a Private with 7th Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action during the Battle of Monte Cassino 23rd January 1944 aged 28. He is commemorated on the Cassino Memorial, Italy for 4000 allied soldiers with no known grave.

He was the son of Herman and Emily Butler and married Ivy Barnes of Bloxham in 1940.

The Battle of Monte Cassino was a costly series of four assaults by the  Allies  against the Winter Line in Italy held by the Germans and Italians during the Italian Campaign with the intention to breakthrough  to Rome. At the beginning of 1944, the western half of the Winter Line was being anchored by Germans holding the Rapido, Liri and Garigliano valleys and some of the surrounding peaks and ridges. Together, these features formed the Gustav Line. Monte Cassino, a historic hilltop abbey  dominated the nearby town of  Cassino and the entrances to the Liri and Rapido valleys, but had been left unoccupied by the German defenders. The Germans had, however, manned some positions set into the steep slopes below the abbey's walls.

The 7th Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry formed part of the 56th London Division.With the rest of the division, they left the United Kingdom in late August 1942. The division was sent to Persia and Iraq Command and the battalion later fought in the final battle in the Tunisia Campaign in April 1943. The battalion made a successful attack at Enfidaville following a 3,000-mile road move from Iraq. In the Italian Campaign, 7th Ox and Bucks took part in the landings at Salerno in September 1943 and suffered heavy casualties. On 17th January 1944 they took part in the first assault in the Battle of Monte Cassino, near the coast, when the British X Corps (56th and 5th Divisions) forced a crossing of the Garigliano River to engage the German 94th Infantry Brigade. Private Butler was killed during the attack, one of 4,000 casualties.

He is also commemorated on the Chipping Norton war memorial.

GEORGE SCOTT DARBY was serving as a Captain with The Royal Engineers when he died on 9th September 1943. He was aged 58 and is remembered on the left hand column of Oxford Crematorium.

He had been born in Barakpur in Bengal, India to parents George and Alice Darby. He came to Scotland with his mother for schooling but returned to India where he was commissioned into the Indian Army as a 2nd Lieutenant on 1st April 1909. He served with the Burma Railway Volunteer Corps and was promoted to Captain in December 1913. After leaving the Indian Army he continued to work on the Burma Railways as a Traffic Manager. He came to England to work as a Civil Servant, travelling widely across the Empire. On 25th May 1940 he was given a Regular Army Emergency Commission as a Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, becoming a temporary Captain on 26th August 1940. He and his wife Mary lived at St Mary's Lodge in Bloxham, where he died of natural causes, after being invalided out of the Army. Their son George had died in an accident in 1941 whilst on active service with the RAF.

ROBERT GEORGE DOUGLAS DARBY was serving as a Leading Aircraftman with The Royal Air Force when he died in a training accident at RAF Mawgan, Cornwall on 15th February 1941. He was aged 19 and is remembered on the left hand column of Oxford Crematorium.

He was the son of Robert and Mary Darby of St Mary's Lodge, Bloxham and had been educated at Radley College before joining the The Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

WILLIAM MAXWELL FAULKNER was serving as a Private with the 4th Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 19th May 1940. He was aged 20 and is commemorated on the Dunkirk Memorial having no known grave. 

He was the son of Albert and of Kate Faulkner of Somerton. His father had served as a Driver in the Royal Field Artillery in the First World War and married Kate Crook in Bloxham Church in 1917. They lived in Church Street Bloxham. William was a member of the 4th Territorial Battalion which was sent to assist the BEF in France in January 1940. The Germans invaded the Low Countries on 10th May 1940. The 4th Battalion were involved in action along the line of the River Escaut, south of Tournai in Belgium on 19th Mayand Private Faulkner was killed in action during the engagement.

HORACE GEORGE PREEDY was serving as a Gunner with the 121 Field Regiment, The Royal Artillery, 10th Indian Infantry Division when he died on 2nd July 1942. He was aged 24 and is buried in Hadra War Memorial Cemetery, Alexandria.

He was the son of Benjamin and Violet Preedy of Bloxham. The 121st Field Regiment was sent to Iraq in 1941, fought with the British Eighth Army in the North African Campaign.

CHARLES VICTOR SMITH was serving as a Private with the 2nd (Air Landing) Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 24th March 1945 during "Operation Varsity". He was aged 25 and is buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

He was the son of Victor and Mary Smith of Bloxham. 

Operation Varsity was a successful airborne forces operation launched by Allied troops that took place toward the end of World War II. Involving more than 16,000 paratroopers and several thousand aircraft, it was the largest airborne operation in history to be conducted on a single day and in one location. Varsity was part of Operation Plunder, the Anglo-American-Canadian assault under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery to cross the northern Rhine River and from there enter Northern Germany. Varsity was meant to help the surface river assault troops secure a foothold across the Rhine River in Western Germany by landing two airborne divisions on the eastern bank of the Rhine near the village of Hamminkeln and the town of Wesel.

WILLIAM ALFRED WIGGINS was serving as a Private with the 8th Battalion, Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) when he died of his wounds on 17th July 1944. He was aged 21 and is buried in Ryes War Cemetery, Bazenville. He was the son of James and Daisy Wiggins and the foster-son of Mrs Melinda Mary Charles of Bloxham.

The 8th Royal Scots embarked at Newhaven and arrived at Coursuelles on the Normandy bridgehead in mid June and concentrated at Brecy west of Caen. Their first battle was against the fanatical 12th SS Hitler Jugend Division. They succeeded in taking their objectives along the Caen to Fonten Road and made subsequent attacks at Grainville and Le Haut du Bosq. The planned breakout from the bridgehead was opposed by about two-thirds of the armour in France, fighting was fierce with constant German counter attacks. The Battalion fought its way up the Odon valley and was credited with pinning down the flower of the German army. Casualties were high, 288 officers and men. Private Wiggins was wounded during the fighting  and died in a field hospital in Martragny. He was orginally buried at Martragny between Caen and Bayeaux but re-interred in April 1945 in Ryes.

HENRY EDWARD YOUNG was serving as an Able Seaman with the Royal Navy when he was killed in action aboard the SS Firecrest on 24th August 1940. He was aged 41 and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, his body never being recovered from the sea.

He was the son of John and Ada Young of Hawk Lane, Bloxham and had worked as an errand boy before joining the Royal Navy as a boy sailor in Portsmouth on 2nd March 1915. After serving at various training establishments he signed on as an Ordinary Seaman on 26th May 1917 for 12 years. He served on various depot ships in Portsmouth, joining the minesweeper HMS Petersfield in April 1920 and serving with her on the China Station until May 1921.

HMS Petersfield

He served on the battlecruiser HMS Tiger between April and November 1926 and later the light cruiser HMS Yarmouth before joining the shore establishment Victory I from where he was transferred to the reserve on 26th March 1929. He married Gladys Clifton in Bloxham in 1939. At the outbreak of war he was recalled to service in the Royal Navy. He was posted to the SS Fircrest as a defensively equipped merchant ship gunner.

SS Fircrest as the German Riol

Firecrest was part of convoy HX-65A formed of 20 ships which left Wabana, Conception Bay, Halifax bound for Middlesborough. She was loaded with 7900 tons of iron ore. The convoy was 23 miles north of the Butt of Lewis in the Hebrides when they were attacked by U-Boat U-124. Four torpedoes were fired singly at 4 ships, one ship was badly damaged and 2 sunk including Fircrest which was in the most starboard column. She was hit amidships and due to her load of iron ore sunk immediately with the loss of all 40 crew.

THOSE WHO SERVED IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR.

JESSIE THOMAS BENNETT was born in 1886 in Horley to parents William and Susanna Bennett and worked as a gardener. In October 1907 he married Kate Morgan in Bloxham Parish Church and lived with her father in High Street, Bloxham. They had a daughter Joan, born in 1910. He enlisted into the Royal Field Artillery on 22nd February 1915 in Oxford. He was initially posted to the Heavy Section of "A" Reserve Brigade. On 12th October 1915 he embarked at Avonmouth arriving at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli on 26th October to join "A" Battery of 57th (Howitzer) Field Artillery Brigade. They were in action there until moving to Cape Helles on 16th December 1915 and then evacuated to Alexandria arriving in January 1916. They embarked at Alexandria on 9th March 1916, now as "B" Battery of 132nd Brigade, and arrived at Marseilles on 16th March.

As part of the 29th Division they saw action in the opening phase of the 1916 Somme Offensive, the Battle of Albert, from 1st July 1916 and later in the Battle of Transloy Ridges, transferring to become "D" Battery in the 17th Brigade. On 2nd November 1916 he was hospitalized, suffering from rheumatism and on recovery was posted to "B" Battery of 87th Brigade RFA on 16th February 1917. The Brigade fought in the Battle of Messines and the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917. On 6th March 1918 he was granted leave home to England, returning to France on 20th, just in time to face the German Spring Offensive in which the enemy advanced some 40 miles across the old Somme battlefields before being halted outside Arras. After this the 100 days offensive began and the Battery supported the Final Advance into Picardy before the Armistice. He remained in France with the 87th Brigade, apart from leave home in April 1919, until returning to England for demoblization in June 1919.

Jessie Bennett died in September 1963 aged 77.

SARAH BILLINGTON was born in Bloxham in April 1890 to parents John and Sarah Billington, her father being a drill sergeant at Bloxham School, having previously served in the Army. The family later moved to Ireland and then to Devonport, Plymouth. It was there that she became a member of Queen Mary's Auxillary Army Corps on 18th July 1918, fit for home service only in general domestic duties. She joined the depot hostel in Bristol on 9th September 1918 until 16th September. She was then posted to Haslar Barracks in Gosport, being billeted at Fort Monckton hostel. On 18th October 1918 she was taken ill with influenza. The barracks Medical Officer tried to get her admitted to the Royal Portsmouth Hospital, but due to her suffering from influenza neither they or any other hospital in the area would take her. She was nursed in the hostel's sick bay but developed broncho-pneumonia and died on 28th October aged 28. She is buried in Gosport Ann's Hill Cemetery.

AUBREY GORDON DE APPLEBY MOORE was born in Appleby Magna on 30th August 1893 to parents Charles and Mabel Moore. He trained as a mining engineer and joined the 1st/5th Territorial Battalion, The Leicestershire Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant on its formation in August 1914. He was gazetted as a Lieutenant on 23rd October that year. The Battalion landed at Le Havre on 28th February 1915, under the orders of the 138th Brigade, 46th (North Midland) Division, and spent the first few months of the war in the Ypres Salient. On 25th May  Lieutenant Moore left the battalion’s trenches with 24 men to undertake  tunnelling work and was appointed as the Brigade’s Mining Officer, attached to the 1st/1st Field Company of the Royal Engineers. The enemy had blown mines under E1 trench, at that time held by the 5th Lincolnshire Regiment, causing many casualties.  The Battalion diary states:

“As at this time the Royal Engineers' Tunnelling Companies were not sufficient to cover the whole British front, none had been allotted to this area, which was generally considered a quiet sector. General Clifford, therefore, decided to have his own Brigade Tunnellers, and a company was at once formed, under Lieut. A.G. Moore, to which we contributed 24 men, coalminers by profession. Lieut. Moore soon got to work and, so well did the "amateurs" perform this new task, that within a few days galleries had been started, and we were already in touch with the Boche underground. In an incredibly short space of time, thanks very largely to the personal efforts of Lieut. Moore, who spent hours every day down below within a few feet of the enemy's miners, two German mine-shafts and their occupants were blown in by a "camouflet," and both E1 left and E1 right were completely protected from further mining attacks by a defensive gallery along their front. For this Lieut. Moore was awarded a very well deserved Military Cross.”

He was asked to leave the Leicestershire Regiment and join the Royal Engineers Tunnelling company, but refused. He was appointed temporary Captain on 1st October 1915 continued as Mining Officer until 23rd December 1915 when the Division was sent  to Marseilles to embark for Egypt.

On 6th January 1916 he was mentioned in dispatches for gallant and distinguished conduct in the field. On 21st January 1916 the Battalion embarked for Egypt at Marseilles but disembarked the following day as the move was cancelled, returning to Yaucourt near Abbeville in early February. Captain Moore took over command of  “C” Company in March 1916. The Battalion were involved in the  diversionary attack on  the Gommecourt Salient on 1st July 1916.

In 1917 they saw action during operations on the Ancre and then cautiously pursued the German as they withdrew to pre-prepared defences on the Hindenburg Line. On 21st  Jue1917 3 officers and 94 other ranks of “C” Company were accidentally gassed  by the Royal Engineers in trenches at Red Mill, near Lens. 22 men eventually died through their exposure. 

From 15th August 1917 they carried out trench raids in support of the Canadians attack on Hill 70 at Loos. He returned to England on a months leave and married Louise May Shields on 1st September  at Isley Walton Parish Church in Leicestershire. Returning to the front line on 17th November 1917 Captain Moore had lucky escape when whilst improving his HQ trench on Hill 70 he put his pick through a bomb which fortunately did not explode.

At the time of the German Spring Offensive in March 1918 the 5th Leicesters were in trenches and camps in the Bethune area,  north west of Loos. This sector remained fairly quiet. On 1st April 1918 the Battalion relieved the 5th Lincolnshire Battalion in front line trenches at Hill 70. A large build up of German troops had been reported in La Bassee area and the British positions were subject to artillery bombardment. From 7th April the Germans threw down  a great deal of gas shells and on 9th April Captain Moore was sent to hospital suffering from the effects of gassing. He never returned to the Western Front and it took ten years to recover from the effects of the gas.

He remained in the Territorial Army and was recalled for service in 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War. He was posted to command an Infantry recruit company at the Regimental Depot at Glen Parva Barracks. He then commanded an RAF Regiment unit guarding Sywell aerodrome, near Wellingborough, Northants. Eventually retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.

In later life he moved to The Old Cottage in Bloxham and died there on 10th April 1992, aged 98.

 

 

JAMES CHARLES VAUGHAN was born in Aston, Warwickshire in September 1891, the son of James and Isabella Vaughan, his father was a publican in Nechells Green, Aston. He moved to Bloxham and  was a tenant farmer of Harold Tustian of Ells Farm at Sor Bank. He was also farm bailiff for Sarah Ann Robinson, Hill Farm, Queen Street, Bloxham. On 3rd February 1916 he was conscripted into the Royal Garrison Artillery being placed in the Reserves. He married Dorothy Jones in Kings Heath in December 1916.

In April 1917 he appeared before a military tribunal in Banbury seeking an exemption for being called up for service in view of his farming work. The application was however refused and he was mobilized as a Gunner on 7th June 1917 at Plymouth, joining 463rd Depot Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. He was posted to France on 26th October 1917. He joined the 278th Siege Battery, equipped with 8 inch Howitzers, in the field on 2nd November 1917. In March 1918 the Battery was in the St Quentin area when the Germans launched their Spring Offensive in an attempt to affect the outcome of the war before the Americans arrived in numbers. Gunner Vaughan was admitted to the 148th Royal Naval Field Ambulance on 8th April 1918, suffering from the effects of a gas shell. He was evacuated to the 9th General Hospital in Rouen on 22nd April and invalided back to England on the hospital ship Panama on 22nd April 1918.

He was treated at the Western Hospital in Torquay suffering from nausea, conjunctivitis, coughing and aphoria, loss of voice due to damage to the layrnx. He was set to recover at the Crown Hill Hospital in Plymouth. He was demobilised in February 1919 and returned to his wife now living back in Kings Heath.He went on to farm at Heath Hill Farm in Wyck Rissington, he died there in 1849 aged 58.

BRISTOL BLENHEIM CRASH 1941

On 11th November 1941 Bristol Blenheim MkIV Z5800 of 13 Operational Training Unit took off from RAF Hinton-in-the-Hedges near Brackley on a low-level formation flying exercise. Two minutes later, travelling at 200mph, it flew into trees in Bloxham, having suffered engine failure. Two of the aircrew were killed in the accident;

Sergeant Charles Chilton Crozier, Pilot, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve aged 26. He was the son of Charles and Florence Crozier and is buried in Dorchester Cemetery.

Sergeant Harold Dennis Perrin, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve aged 27. He was the son of William Stanley and Eva Caroline Perrin, of Dunstable, Bedfordshire and is buried in Welwyn Cemetery.

Pilot Officer Norman Conquest survived the crash, being badly injured. After recovery he served with 23 Squadron flying in De Havilland Mosquitos.