Hook Norton is a village and civil parish in Oxfordshire, England. It is 4  1/2 miles northeast of Chipping Norton and close to the Cotswold Hills. Many of its buildings are built of local ironstone. It is the home to the Hook Norton Brewery producing an excellent range of  cask and bottled ales. There are five war graves in Chipping Norton Cemetery in Tite Lane and one in the Baptist Burial Ground in Chapel Street.

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FIRST WORLD WAR

STANLEY CLAUDE ALLEN was serving as a Rifleman with the 1st/5th Battalion, The London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade) when he died of his wounds on 2nd October 1917. He was aged 23 and is buried in Hook Norton Cemetery.

He was the son of Herbert and Frances Blanche Allen of the Council Houses, Hook Norton, having been born in Neithrop, Banbury. He had worked as  a clerk for the Co-operative Society and been a reservist in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He moved to London where he worked for drapers Hitchcock, Williams and Co in St Paul's Churchyard.

Stanley Allen enlisted into the London Rifle Brigade on it's formation at 130 Bunhill Street in the City of London on 7th August 1914. On 5th November 1914 the Battalion arrived in Le Havre, under command of 11th Brigade in 4th Division. They arrived in time to play a part in the Battle Le Cateau on 26th August. After the retreat from Mons II Corps, bolstered by the newly arrived 4th Division, turned and faced the pursuing German army. Heavily outnumbered they held the enemy at bay and inflicted heavy causalities. They also saw action in the 1916 Battles of the Marne, the Aisne and Messines. In 1915 they were involved in the Second Battle of Ypres from 22nd April. Private Allen was wounded in action, with gun shot wounds to the back. He was invalided back home on 6th May 1915. After recovery he was posted back to his Battalion, now part of the 3rd Division, in France on 15th July 1916. The Battle of the Somme was underway and he was promoted to Lance-Corporal on 31st July with 2nd/17th Battalion, but shortly relinquished the rank and returned to the 1/5th. He was wounded again on 9th October 1916 with gun shot wounds to the buttocks, arriving home on 14th October 1916. He was admitted to the Kitchener Military Hospital in Brighton, where his family were informed the next day that he was seriously ill with a fractured pelvis. He was discharged from the Army on 3rd March 1917 under King's regulation para 392 XVI, "No longer physically fit for war service and awarded the Silver War badge for honourable discharge. He died at home on 2nd October 1917. His younger brother Edward had died in the war in 1915.


EDWARD AUBREY ALLEN was serving as a Lance-Corporal in the 8th (Service) Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) when he was on killed in action during the Battle of Loos on 26th September 1915. He was aged 20 and is buried in Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez.

He was the son of Herbert and Frances Blanche Allen of the Council Houses, Hook Norton, having been born in Neithrop, Banbury. He had worked as a solicitor's clerk, his older brother Stanley died of his wounds in 1917.

He embarked for France with his battalion on 31st August 1915 as part of the 24th Division. On 25th September 1915 the Battalion moved up to the front line in readiness for an attack on the village of Vendin-Le-Vieil. At 0030 on 26th they came under heavy German shellfire. At 1100 they attacked across open country attracting the attention of the German artillery once more. They reached the German barbed wire some 25 yards from their trenches, no gaps in the entanglements could be found. They the came under heavy machine gunfire and took heavy casualties. At 1155 the orders came to withdraw, although the attack failed it did draw off 16 battalions of Germans opposite the French lines, allowing the latter to capture the village of Souchez and take 14,000 prisoners. L/Cpl Allen was buried on the battlefield, being re-interred in 1922.

GEORGE BEAVINGTON was serving as a Private with the 1st/6th Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment when he was killed in action on 9th October 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres. He was aged 28 and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of William and Sarah Beavington of Hook Norton and had worked as a farm labourer.

He had originally enlisted in the Cambridgeshire Regiment  but transferred to the Gloucesters and arriving in France with the 1/6ths in March 1915 as part of the 145th Brigade, 48th (South Midland) Division. They saw action in several phases of the Battles of the Somme in 1916. They cautiously pursued the retreating Germans to the Hindenburg Line and then took part in the Third Battle of Ypres. On the 19th October 1917 during the Battle of Poelcappelle, a phase of Ypres. The Battalion had relieved the 28th Canadians in forward trenches near Vimy when Private Beavington was killed in action. His older brother William had been killed in action in 1915.

WILLIAM BEAVINGTON was serving as a Private with the 2nd Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 30th October 1915 during the Battle of Loos. He was aged 30 and is buried in Quarry Cemetery in Vermelles.

He was the son of William and Sarah Beavington of Hook Norton and had worked as a plumber.

He had joined the Ox and Bucks as a professional soldier in March 1908. He arrived in Boulogne on 14th August 1914 as part of the 5th Brigade in 2nd Division. They took part in the Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, the Battle of Marne that halted the German advance into France between 7th and 10th September then the Battle of the Marne from 1st to 15th October 1914. In 1915 they were involved in winter actions around Ancre, the Battle of Festubert and then from 25th September 1915, the Battle of Loos. On 15th October, the last day of the battle, the Battalion were holding part of Hohelzollen Redoubt when their trenches were shelled, killing Private Beavington.


WILLIAM THOMAS BLOXHAM was serving as a Private in the 18th Battalion, The Australian Infantry wheh he was killed in action on 8th October 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres. He was aged 32 and is buried in Passchendaele New British Cemetery.

He was the son of Leonard and Elizabeth Bloxham, of The Grounds Farm, Hook Norton. He had worked as a clerk in Hook Norton brewery until on 19th July 1912 he embarked on the Orient liner "Orontes", bound for a new life in Australia. He became am accountant in the town of Barraba in New South Wales.

On 9th December 1915 he enlisted into the Australian Infantry, joining the 5th Training Battalion. They sailed for England HMAT Nestor on 10th September 1916 and then onto France arriving at Etaples base on 11th September.

He joined "A" Company,the 18th Battalion in the field on 20th September. The Battalion served in the Battle of the Somme in October 1916 and then took up defensive duties. Private Bloxham was taken out of the line with illness on 7th November 1916 and taken to 38th Casualty Clearing Station from there he was sent by Ambulance Train to 18th General Hospital in Cahiers, He was discharged to Convalescence Depot at Etaples on 13th December 1916. He rejoined his Battalion on 10th March 1917. The Battalion were involved in the Third Battle of Ypres, and Private Bloxham was  reported missing on 8th October 1917, later confirmed as killed in action and being buried where he fell. He was re-interred at Passchendaele in 1918.


GEORGE BODFISH was serving as a Lance-Corporal with 2/4th Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he died, on 12th April 1918, of wounds received during the Lys Offensive. He was 36 and is buried at Hangard Communual Cemetey Extension.

George Bodfish was the son, one of eight children, of George and Mary Bodfish of Sibford Ferris. He worked as a farm labourer and in 1917. He married  Sarah Dumbleton in 1917 and they lived at Albert cottages in Hook Norton. 

The 2/4th Ox & Bucks was a Territorial battalion that had arrived in France in May 1916. They suffered heavy casualties during the German Spring Offensive in March 1918 when their lines were overrun. They retreated behind the Somme river and were involved in heavy fighting to defend Amiens. George Bodfish was wounded and taken prisoner, he died in a German field hospital based in Vermand. Originally buried in Harbonnieres German Military Cemetery, his body was re-interred in 1919.


FRED BUSBY was serving as a Lance-Corporal in the 2nd/6th Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment when he was killed in action on 31st March 1918 during the German Spring Offensive. He was aged 40 and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of Benjamin and Mary Busby, of Southrop, Hook Norton. He married Beatrice Kate Venn in 1906 and worked as a butcher in High Street, Hook Norton.

The Battalion landed in France in May 1916 as part of the 182nd Brigade, 61st (2nd South Midland) Division. They took part in the disastrous diversionary attack on Fromelles in 1916 and phases of the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917. In March 1918 the Germans launched a huge offensive into the old 1916 Somme Battlefields. This was an attempt to win the war before the Americans arrived in numbers with troops released from the Eastern Front, after the surrender of Russia. Although it ultimately failed the Germans pushed 40 miles into Allied lines, causing huge casualties.


MAURICE FREDERICK BUSBY was serving as a Private in the 2nd Battalion,The Coldstream Guards when he was killed in action during the Battle of Loos on 28th September 1915. He was aged 21 and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of Mary Elizabeth Busby of 1, Bourneville, Hook Norton living later in Milcombe with his mother and grandparents. He had worked as a farm labourer before joining the Great Western Railway as a cleaner at Banbury.

He left the GWR to enlist in the Coldstream Guards in September 1914, joining the 1st Battalion in France on 9th February 1915. They saw action in the Battle of Aubers Ridge in May 1915 and then the Battle of Loos from 25th September.

WALTER BUSBY was serving as a Private in the 33rd Mechanised Division of the Army Service Corps when he died of disease on 10th November 1918. He was aged 31 and is buried in Mont Huon Military Cemetery in Le Treport.

He was the son of Henry and Emma Busby of Hook Norton and worked as a motor driver. He married Nora May Green in 1912 husband and lived in Queen Street in Hook Norton, having three children together.

He arrived in France with the ASC on 10th May 1915.

ALFRED GEORGE COLEMAN was serving as a Corporal in the 2nd Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 28th April 1917 during the Battle of Arras. He was aged 25 and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial having no known grave.

He was the son of Alfred and Elizabeth Coleman, of 3, Horsefair, Hook Norton and had worked as an ironstone digger.

He joined the 2nd Battalion in France on 20th May 1915, they where part of 5th Brigade in 2nd Division. They saw action in the Battle of Loos in September of that year and the Battles of Delville Wood and Ancre from July 1916, phases of the Somme. In 1917 they cautiously pursued the Germans as they retreated to the Hindenburg Line and then attacked their defences in the Battle of Arras from 9th April. At 0425 0n 28th April the Battalion took part in an attack on Arleux, with the objective of tying up German reserves to assist a French Offensive north of the Aisne. Corporal Coleman was killed in the fierce fighting that day.  


PERCY REGINALD COOPER was serving as a Private with the 2nd Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 30th July 1916 during the Battle of The Somme. He was aged 25 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of William and Isabella Edith Cooper, of Sibford Road, Hook Norton, having been born in Swerford and had worked as a labourer before the war.

The 2nd Battalion were involved in the bloody battle for Delville Wood, a thick tangle of trees, with dense hazel thickets, intersected by grassy rides, to the east of Longueval. As part of a general offensive starting on 14th July, General Douglas Haig, Commander of the British Expeditionary Force, intended to capture the German second position between Delville Wood and Bazentin le Petit. The attack achieved this objective and was a considerable though costly success. British attacks and German counter-attacks on the wood continued for the next seven weeks. On 30th July 1916 at 0445 they attacked German positions but were beaten back by heavy machine gun fire and took heavy casualties of 217 killed, missing or wounded. Private Cooper was reprted missing and assumed dead.

ALBERT EDWARD EMBRA was serving as a Private in the 97th Company of the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) when he died of his wounds on 1st July 1916. He was aged and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of George and Sarah Embra of Hook Norton. After his father died in 1899, his mother re-married Christopher Dyer and they lived at Down End, Hook Norton, where Albert worked as a labourer.

He had enlisted into the Kings Royal Rifle Brigade before joining the Machine Gun Corps, serving in the 97th Company under the orders of the 32nd Division. He was in action during the Battle of Albert, the first action of the Battle of the Somme, during which he was fatally wounded. His older brother Samuel Ernest had died earlier that year.

SAMUEL ERNEST EMBRA was serving as a Private in the 1st Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 6th April 1916. He was aged 22 and is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of George and Sarah Embra of Hook Norton. After his father died in 1899, his mother re-married Christopher Dyer and they lived at Down End, Hook Norton, where Samuel worked as an ironstone labourer.

He had joined the 5th Battalion of the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry and arrived in France with them on 20th May 1915. In January 1916 he was then sent to Mesopotamia to join a provisional battalion of the 1st Ox and Bucks, the original 1st Battalion being beseiged in Kut-al-Amara, and was killed in action in an attempt to relieve the siege. His younger brother Albert died in the same year during the Somme.

ALFRED JABEZ GIBBS was serving as a Sergeant in the 1st Battalion The South African Infantry when he died of pneumonia on 25th October 1918. He was aged 35 and is buried in Hook Norton Baptist burial ground.

He was the son of Samuel and Eliza Gibbs of Hook Norton and he had lodged in Hurst St Nicholas in Berkshire, working as a corn merchant's assistant. He had emigrated to South Africa, living at Eastcourt, Natal but had joined the South African Infantry and fought in France.

ALBERT THOMAS GRANT was serving as a Private in the 2nd/4th Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action during the Battle of St Quentin on 21st March 1918. He was aged 21 and is remembered on the Pozieres Memorial having no known grave.

He was the son of Thomas and Gertrude Grant, having been born in Newbottle with Charlton, Northamptonshire. His father died and his mother re-married Frederick Pinfold and ran the Red Lion in Culworth. He remained in Newbottle, living with his grandfather and working as a shop assistant. At the time of his enlistment he was living at the Gate Inn, Hook Norton, which was being run by his mother, and working as a grocer's assistant, later moving to Cowpasture Farm in the village. He married Elsie Mabel Sykes in  May 1916.

He enlisted into the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars in 1915 before transferring to the 2nd/4th Ox and Bucks and landing in France with them in May 1916. As part of the 184th Brigade in 61st (2nd South Midland) Division they saw action in the Battle of Fromelles and phases of the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917. On 18th/19th March 1918 the Battalion moved up to the front line between Griscourt and Fayet. A German Offensive was expected since the surrender of Russia had released thousands of men for duty on the Western Front. The men were working on improving trenches and wiring and sending out fighting patrols to gain intelligence from captured prisoners. At 0430 on 21st their positions were subjected to a heavy bombardement including gas shells. At 0900, under a heavy smoke barrage, the Germans attacked in overwhelming numbers and penetrating the front lines and inflicting heavy casualties, including Private Nason.

ARTHUR GRANT was serving as a Gunner with the 113th Siege Battery, The Royal Garrison Artillery when he was killed in action on 28th September 1918. He was aged 21 and is buried in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery.

He was the son of Thomas and Gertrude Grant, having been born in Charlton, Northamptonshire. His father died and his mother re-married Frederick Pinfold and ran the Red Lion in Culworth. At the time of his enlistment he was living at the Gate Inn, Hook Norton, which was being run by his mother, and working as a grocer's assistant, later moving to Cowpasture Farm in the village.

He enlisted into the RGA on 9th February 1916 and joined the 113th Battery in the field on 26th July 1917. The Siege Batteries were deployed behind the front line, tasked with destroying enemy artillery, supply routes, railways and stores. The batteries were equipped with heavy Howitzer guns firing large calibre 6, 8 or 9.2 inch shells in a high trajectory. The 1113th served with the Guards Division and supported them during the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917 and fought defending against the German Spring Offensive of 1918. Arthur Grant was granted leave home between 11th and 18th September 1918, but was killed 10 days after his return to the front line, during the Battle of the Canal du Nord. His older brother Albert was killed on 21st March 1918.

LAWRENCE PERCY GREY DCM was serving as a Private with the 1st Battlion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he died on disease on 16th April 1916. He was aged 27 and is buried in Kut War Cemetery in Iraq.

He was the son of Ellis and Jane Grey, having been born in Kensworth, Hertfordshire. His mother was born in Hook Norton and the family had moved back there, his mother dying there in 1897. He had worked as a plough boy on a farm until joiniing the Army.

He joined the Ox and Bucks in September 1907 and served in India with the 1st Battalion. The Battalion, as part of the 6th Poona Division, under command of 17th Indian Brigade,  moved from India to Mesopotamia on 5th November 1914, to protect Persian oil supplies from the Ottoman Empire. 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, with the Battalion sustaining 304 casualties. The Division subsequently retreated to Kut, reaching it on 3rd December 1915, with a garrison of 10,000 Britons and Indians. It was besieged by the Ottomans, from the 7th December. The Ottomans launched numerous attempts to take Kut, all of which were repulsed by the defenders, with both sides suffering heavy casualties. Private Grey was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for actions on 16th January 1916,and died of disease on 16th April.


DONALD JOHN HALL was serving as a Gunner with 107th Brigade, The Royal Field Artillery when he died of wounds received on 7th June 1917. He was aged 20 and is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

He had been born in Ratley as Donald John Wyton, but had been adopted by John and Ruth Hall of Queen Street, Hook Norton, and  had worked as a stable boy before enlisting into the RFA in Rugby.


ERNEST ALFRED HERITAGE was serving as a Guardsman in the 1st Battalion, The Grenadier Guards when he died of wounds received on 2nd December 1914. He was aged 17 and is buried in Y Farm military Cemetery in Bois Grenier.

He was the son of William and Sarah Heritage of Southside, Hook Norton and had worked as a Brewer's assistant at Hook Norton Brewery.

He had enlisted into the Grenadier Guards,  underage, in February 1914 and arrived in Zeebrugge on 8th November 1914. Private Heritage was wounded during the First Battle of Ypres,  after which only 4 officers and 140 men remained of the Battalion. He was originally buried with 36 of his comrades in Croix Blanche but re-interred in 1922.

THOMAS HIATT was serving as an Aircraftman 1st Class with the 1st Aircraft Supply Depot of the Royal Air Force when he died of pneumonia on 26th February 1919. He was aged 35 and is buried in  Longuenesse, St Omer, Souvenir Cemetery.

He was the son of Thomas and Harriet Hiatt, having been born in Stow-on-the Wold. His father had been born in Hook Norton. He had married Hilda May Hiatt on 4th June 1918 in Erdington and worked as a motor mechanic before enlisting 

He enlisted into the Royal Air Force on 15th July 1918 and was posted to France on 26th August, joining the 5th Aircraft Supply Depot before being 1st ASD. On 20th February 1919 he was admitted to 4th Stationary Hospital in Longuenesse suffering from influenza. His conditioned worsened and he contracted pneumonia and died in hospital on 26th. 

OLIVER JOHN HORN was serving as a Corporal in the 3rd Battalion, The Grenadier Guards when he was killed in action, during the Battle of Loos, on 16th October 1915. He was aged 23 and is buried in Vermelles British Cemetery.

He was the son of John and Diana Horn of Down End, Hook Norton and before enlising had worked as an ironstone digger.

He enlisted into the Grenadier Guards in February 1912 and at the outbreak of war they were stationed at Wellington Barracks in London.On 14th July 1915 he married Lizzie Coleman in St Andrews Church in Fulham. Twelve days later the 3rd Battalion was mobilised for war and embarked for Le Havre on 26th July. As part of the 2nd Guards Division they were thrust into the Battle of Loos from 26th September 1915. On 15th October they marched through the village of Vermelles to take up position in front of the Hohenzollen Redoubt a German Stronghold digging a sap trench towards the 2nd Coldstream Guards holding the line. On 16th October they were met woith heavy and accurate shelling and were unable to complete the sap and attack. Corporal Horn was one of 5 casualties of the shelling.

PRIVATE THOMAS ERNEST HONE was serving as a Private in the 5th Battalion, The Canadian Infantry when he was on 16th March 1917. He was aged 21 and is buried in Roclincourt Military Cemetery.

He was the son of William and Alice Hone of Cross Lane, Hook Norton, at the age of 15 he had been lodging in South Bar Banbury, working as a butcher's errand boy.He went on to work as a farm labourer. On 24th September 1913 he arrived in Michigan en-route to a new life in Canada. His father, mother and brother joined him in 1914, settling in Ceylon, Saskatchewan.

He had been a farmer when he enlisted into the Canadian Overseas Expeditiohary Force on 5th January 1915, being mobilised on 11th March 1916. He was killed in action near Arras and originally buried where he fell, in an isolated grave, on the Arras to Lens road. He was re-interred after the Armistice in Roclincourt. 

OLIVER JOHN HORN was serving as a Corporal in the 3rd Battalion, The Grenadier Guards when he was killed in action on 16th October 1915. He was aged 23 and is buried in Vermelles British Cemetery.

He was the son of John and Diana Horn of Down End, Hook Norton and before enlising had worked as an ironstone digger.

He enlisted into the Grenadier Guards in February 1912 and at the outbreak of war they were stationed at Wellington Barracks in London.On 14th July 1915 he married Lizzie Coleman in St Andrews Church in Fulham. Twelve days later the 3rd Battalion was mobilised for war and embarked for Le Havre on 26th July. As part of the 2nd Guards Division they were thrust into the Battle of Loos from 26th September 1915. On 15th October they marched through the village of Vermelles to take up position in front of the Hohenzollen Redoubt a German Stronghold digging a sap trench towards the 2nd Coldstream Guards holding the line. On 16th October they were met with heavy and accurate shelling and were unable to complete the sap and attack. Corporal Horn was one of 5 casualties of the shelling.

ROBERT HYDE was serving as a Lance Corporal with the 3rd Battalion, The Coldstream Guards when he was killed in action during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on the 15th September 1916. He was aged 34 and is buried in Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval.  

He was the son of Richard and Emma Hyde of 35, Rock Hill, Chipping Norton, one of ten children, his brother Albert died while serving in the Royal Navy. He married Susan Smith in 1903 and lived in Southside, Hook Norton with their two young sons, Robert and William and worked as an ironstone digger.  

He joined the Coldstream Guards in February 1915 and arrived in France on 3rd October 1915, joining the Guards Division in the field. The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, part of the Battle of the Somme, was a large-scale general renewal of the offensive after the weeks of attritional fighting for the third German system at Pozieres, High Wood, Delville Wood, Guillemont and Ginchy. It is historically noteworthy for being the first time that tanks were used in battle. Few in number, mechanically unreliable and as yet without proven tactics for their best use, the small numbers of tanks that actually went into action had an important positive effect. High Wood and Delville Wood were finally cleared and a deep advance was made to Flers and towards Combles.

He is also remembered on the Chipping Norton Memorials.

WILLIAM THOMAS JAQUES was serving as a Private in "J" Company, the 1st Battalion, The Auckland Regiment of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force when he was killed in action during the Battle of the Somme on 20th September 1916. He was aged 20 and is commemorated on the Caterpillar Valley (New Zealand) Memorial having no known grave.

He was the son of William Phillipps and Maria Jaques, of Kaiwaka, Auckland. He was born in Lodge Farm, Hook Norton, one of 6 children, his father being a farmer. He had worked as a farm hand on his uncle's farm. On 20th July 1911 his family boarded the "SS Tainui" at London Docks bound for a new life farming in New Zealand. They arrived in Wellington on 5th September, travelling on to Auckland on the "SS Erota"

William enlisted into the Auckland Regiment on 15th December 1915. He embarked as part of the New Zealand Expedtionary Force at Wellington on 2nd April 1916 bound for Suez, arriving there on 3rd May. They then embarked at Alexandria on 20th May bound for France. He was posted to the New Zealand Base Depot at Etaples on 3rd June 1916, being hospitalised for a week with measles. He joined  the 1st battalion in the field on 29th jury 1916,during the Battle of the Somme. Their first action was in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette from 15th September 1916. This was a large-scale general renewal of the offensive after the weeks of attritional fighting for the third German system at Pozieres, High Wood, Delville Wood, Guillemont and Ginchy, and the first time that tanks were used in battle. It was reported Private Jaques was wounded in action, hit by a sniper on 17th September 1916, and he was later reported missing. His family were initially informed he had been just wounded, but his death was confirmed later in a letter from an Army Chaplain. A Court of Enquiry held in December 1916 ruled he had been killed in action on 20th September 1916, but he most likely died on 17th.


FREDERICK WILLIAM NASH was serving as a Private in the 1st/4th Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light infantry when he was killed in action on 10th September 1918. He was aged 20 and is buried in Granezza British Cemetery in Italy.

He was the son of Thomas Busby and Sophia Nash, having been born in East End, Hook Norton.

in November 1917 the 1/4ths  moved from France to Italy as part of  the 145th Brigade in 48th (South Midland) Division to relieve Italian troops fighting the Austrians. The front was comparatively quiet until the Austrians attacked in force from Grappa to Canove in the Battle of Asiago on 15th-16th June 1918. The Allied line was penetrated to a depth of about 1,000 metres on 15th June but the lost ground was retaken the next day and the line re-established. Between June and September, frequent successful raids were made on the Austrian trenches and Private Nash died in one such raid.

GEORGE HENRY PAINTING was serving as a Private in the 1st Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light infantry when he died of disease on 21st March 1917. He was aged 29 and is buried in Baghdad North Gate War Cemetery.

He was the son of William and Martha Painting of Hook Norton. He enlisted into the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry in Banbury in 1907. and served in India with the 1st Battalion. The Battalion, as part of the 6th Poona Division, under command of 17th Indian Brigade,  moved from India to Mesopotamia on 5th November 1914, to protect Persian oil supplies from the Ottoman Empire. 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, with the Battalion sustaining 304 casualties. The Division subsequently retreated to Kut, reaching it on 3rd December 1915, with a garrison of 10,000 Britons and Indians. It was besieged by the Ottomans, from the 7th December. The Ottomans launched numerous attempts to take Kut, all of which were repulsed by the defenders, with both sides suffering heavy casualties. 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, now down to 8,000, surrendered to the Turks including 400 men of the 1st Ox and Bucks. Many suffered mistreatment by the Ottomans and only 71 of all ranks of the 1st Ox and Bucks who had been taken prisoner returned home to Great Britain. He died in a prisoner of war camp in Ankara.

JAMES HENRY PARGETER was serving as a Lance-Corporal in the 5th (Service) Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light infantry when he killed in action on 15th January 1916. He was aged 24 and is commemorated on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of Henry and Mary Ann Pargeter of Scotland End, Hook Norton and had worked as a carter for a coal merchants.

He enlisted into the 5th Ox and Bucks, one of Kitchener's new armies, in Oxford. He arrived in France on 21st May 1915 under the orders of the 14th (Light) Division. They took part in The Action of Hooge, in which the Division had the misfortune to be the first to be attacked by flamethrower and The Second Attack on Bellewaarde during 1915. On 15th January 1916 the battalion was billetted in the village of St Jean near Ypres when L/Cpl Pargeter was one of two men killed by enemy shelling.

JOSEPH EDWARD PINFOLD was serving as a Private with the 1st/4th Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckingham Light Infantry when he died of wounds, received during the Battle of the Somme, in the 2nd London General Hospital in Chelsea on 29th November 1916. He was aged 36 and is buried in Hook Norton Cemetery.

He was the son, one of six children, of George and Ann Pinfold of 2, Priory Farm, Over Norton. The family moved to Hook Norton and in 1911 he was living there with his widowed mother and working for the brewery. 

ERNEST FREDERICK ROBINS was serving as a Private with the 2nd Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action during the Second Battle of the Somme on 25th August 1918. He was aged 22 and is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the grandson of Annie Elizabeth Robins, who after the death of her husband re-married Robert Jakeman in 1892. He lived with them at Dove House, Hook Norton and worked as a clerk in the brewery. His uncle John Robins died in the war in 1916.

At 0130 on 25th August 1918 his Battalion received orders to carry out an attack on the village of Sapignes. At 0350 the attack commenced and by 0900 the village was reported clear of the enemy. Private Robins was one of 5 men killed during the attack, 59 being wounded.

JOHN EDWARD ROBINS was serving as a Private in the 3rd Labour Company of the Army Service Corps when he died of pneumonia on 20th December 1916. He was aged 49 and is buried in Bois-Guillaume Communal Cemetery.

He was the son of Henry and Elizabeth Robins of Hook Norton. He moved to Lee in Kent, working as a gardener and in August 1892 married Amy Amelia Down in St Pauls, Deptford. They moved to Loose near Maidstone in Kent and had six children together. On enlistment they were living in Wandsworth in London.

He arrived in France with the ASC on 12th May 1915 and served in the supply section, providing food and drink to the troops. He died in No 8 General Hospital in Rouen.

THOMAS FREDERICK ROSE was serving as a Private in the 9th (Reserve) Battallion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he died on 11th June 1916. He was aged 19 and his buried in Wool Holy Rood Churchyard.

He was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Rose of Down End, Hook Norton.

His was with his Battalion at Bovington Camp in Dorset and died of natural cases in Wool Military Hospital.

GEORGE SAVAGE was serving as a Rifleman in the 10th (Service) Battalion, The King's Royal Rifle Corps when he was killed in action during the battle of the Somme, on 28th July 1916. He was aged 21 and is buried in Hebuterne Communal Cemetery.

He was the son of John and Jane Savage of Down End, Hook Norton. He had been working as a farm labourer and lodging with his uncle in Shirley near Birmingham when he enlisted into the KRRC in Coventry.

The 10th Battalion KRRC was formed in September 1914 as one of Kitchener's New Armies. They landed in Boulogne on 21st July 1915, and came under orders of 59th Brigade in 20th (Light) Division. They saw action at the The Battle of Mount Sorrel, a local operation in which the Division recaptured the height with the Canadians. On the night of 17th August 1916, as part of XIV Corps they relieved XIII Corps during the bloody Battle of Delville Wood. On 28th July the Battalion relieved the 15th Welsh Regiment in the front line trenches. It was then that Rifleman Savage was killed, on an otherwise quiet day. 

ARTHUR TAYLOR was serving as a Private with "D" Company, 7th Battalion of The Leicestershire Regiment. when he died from his wounds on 22nd June 1918. He was age 26 and is buried in Hook Norton Cemetery.

He was the son of Charles Taylor of Stoney Stanton, Leicester. He was working as a labourer when he enlisted into the Leicestershire Regiment in Leicester on 29th February 1916. On 13th July 1916 he married Elizabeth May Wheeler in Hook Norton Parish Church. On 22nd July he was posted to France leaving his bride living at Station View in Hook Norton. He joined the 7th Battalion in the field. As part of the 21st Division where involved in phases of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and the Arras Offensive and the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917. In March 1918 they fought against the German Spring Offensive falling back to Amiens in the face of an overwhelming onslaught. He was wounded in action on 10th June 1918 and evacuated home to England on 12th. He was admitted to hospital in Bath where he died of an infection caused by the wounds to his ribs and throat.

FREDERICK TOWNLEY was serving as a Private in the 2nd/7th Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment when he was killed in action on 19th July 1916 during the Battle Of Fromelles. He was aged 30 and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of William and Charlotte Townley of Hook Norton and at 14 was lodging at Mill Farm in the village, working as a plough boy. Later he lived with his brother-in-law in the High Street, working as an ironstone digger.

He landed in France with his Battalion on 21 May 1916 under the orders of 182nd Brigade, 61st (2nd South Midland) Division. They were in action in the Battle of Fromelles on 19th July 1916. Officially not a part of the Battle of the Somme and positioned a considerable distance away, the attack at Fromelles was conceived to be a major diversionary action. The untried 5th Australian and 61st (2nd South Midland) Divisions were launched into an ill-planned attack against German defences which had already successfully repelled similar efforts in 1915. The attack achieved nothing of a diversionary nature and cost thousands of casualties. The attack commenced at 1800 until withdrawal at 2000, Private Townley being one of 315 casualties taken by the Battalion that day.

 

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 discarged 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 pneumonia 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.

SECOND WORLD WAR

RONALD GEOFFREY CASSELL was serving as a Leading Aircraftman with the Royal Air Force when he died on active service on 28th October 1943. He was aged 22 and is buried in Hadra War Memorial Cemetery, Alexandria, Egypt.

He was the son of Walter and Mabel Cassell of Hook Norton. He has joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and was posted to 55 Recovery and Salvage Unit. He was serving at Gianaclis, Egypt and was killed with nine other airmen of 55 RSU when a Bristol Blenheim of 75 OTU lost power on one engine, overshot the runway and ploughed into tented accomodation.

WALTER JOHN HARRIS was serving as a Sergeant, Air Gunner with 207 Squadron, the Royal Air Force when he was killed on active service on 3rd January 1943. He was aged 20 is buried in Jonkerbos War Cemetery.

He was the son of George William and Emma Harris of Hook Norton. He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer reserve and trained as an air gunner. He was posted to 207 Squadron based at RAF Langar in Nottinghamshire. On 3rd January 1943 he had been a crew member aboard Avro Lancaster Mk1 W4134 EM-U on a mission to bomb Essen. Homeward bound they were intercepted by a Junkers 88 night fighter flown by Hauptmann Manfred Meurer of I./NJG1 at around 2015  and crashed between Asselt (Limburg) and Roermond. Three of the crew bailed out, two taken prisoner whilst one evaded capture. Four of the crew were killed including Sergeant Harris. They were buried at Venlo British Cemetery before being re-interred later.

ARTHUR SYLVESTER GRIMMETT was serving as a Sapper with the 1048 Port Operating Company, Royal Engineers when he was killed on active service on 3rd August 1944. He was aged 20 and is commemorated on the Bayeux Memorial, having no known grave.

He was the son of Bob and Minnie Sarah Grimmett of Hook Norton. His is unit was responsible for managing the Port facilities needed by the Allied Invasion Forces. He was one of eleven Sappers in his unit who were killed that day, the reason is as yet not known.

RONALD ALBERT SIMMONDS was serving as a Gunner with the Royal Artillery when he died on 3rd April 1945. He was aged 22 and is buried in Hook Norton Cemetery.

He was the son of William and Minnie Simmonds of Hook Norton. He died on Exmoor.

REGINALD HENRY STANLEY was serving as a Rifleman with the 1st (Airborne) Battalion, the Royal Ulster Rifles when he was killed in action on 24th March 1945. He was aged 23 and is buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

He was the son of Vincent and Violet Stanley and was born in Hook Norton. 

The 1st Battalion landed in Normandy by glider on the evening of 6 June 1944 at LZ N, near Ranville, and was initially deployed to extend the southern sector of the bridgehead.The battalion remained in Normandy until September when it returned to the UK, but was redeployed, along with other units of 6th Airborne Division, to halt the German offensive in the Ardennes during the winter of 1944-45. It later took part in Operation Varsity, which established a bridgehead across the Rhine into Germany, and Rifleman Stanley was killed in action during this action. He was originally buried Hamminkeln Cemetery in Germany, but re-interred in 1947.

HORACE JOSEPH TAYLOR  (Military Medal) was serving as a Private with the 7th Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was was killed on active service on 20th September 1944 during the Battle of San Marino. He was aged 26 and  is buried in Coriano Ridge War Cemetery.

He was the son of Richard and of Alice Ann Taylor of  The Green, Hook Norton.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The 7th Ox and Bucks took part in the landings at Salerno in September 1943 and then the Anzio landings in February 1944 sustaining heavy casualties on both occasions, with only 60 men remaining after the fighting at Anzio. In late March, 56 Division was transferred to Egypt to rest. The 7th Ox and Bucks were reinforced by large numbers of anti-aircraft gunners of the Royal Artillery whose original roles were now redundant. The battalion returned to Italy in July and were in action around the Gothic Line near Gemmano, again sustaining heavy losses. Private Taylor was killed during the Battle of San Marino, a small independent state that had declared neutrality. In early September 1944 the German Army had sent a strong force into San Marino to defend it against the Allies; this would also give them control of one of the major roads in the area, and allow artillery observers to occupy the mountain peaks. He was buried near where he fell being re-interred when Coriano Ridge War Cemetery was created in April 1945.

WALTER RONALD WARDELL was serving as an Aircraftman 1st Class, The Royal Air Force when he died on active service on 17th March 1941. He was aged  42 and is buried in Hook Norton Cemetery.

He was the son of John Robert and Martha Jane Wardell of Norton in Yorkshire. In the First World War he had served in France with the 8th Battalion, The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and drowned after falling into the canal at Banbury.

SOME OF THOSE WHO SERVED AND SURVIVED IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR

PERCY CREED BUGGINS was born in Hook Norton in 1878 to parents William and Sarah Buggins. He worked as a labourer in Hook Norton Brewery and in October 1903 he married Annie Butler in Hook Norton Parish Church. They lived at South Side and had seven children together.

He had served 3 years with the 4th Reserve Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and re-enlisted, at the age of 37, on 2nd December 1915 and joined the 7th Depot Battalion. He was mobilized on 22nd July 1916 and transferred into 2/7th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry before being posted to the 29th Battalion of the London Regiment. He was sent to France on 21st December 1917,  joining the 4th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers in the field and from there to the 6th Battalion the South Wales Borderers. On 6th March 1918 he was sent back to base at Rouen to appear before a medical board. He was re-classified as B11 suffering from flat feet, fit for base service only, and was transferred to the Labour Corps, joining the 6th Agricultural Company. He served in this capacity until 18th March 1919, when he returned home for demobilization.

He remained in Hook Norton for the rest of his life, dying in 1958 aged 80.

FRANK HAYNES was born in Hook Norton to parents William and Mary Haynes in 1885 and had worked as a farm labourer.  He was also a part time soldier, serving with the 4th (Reserve) Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry between 1901 and 1907. He then moved to South Wales where he was boarding in Blackwood, Monmouthshire with Frank Townley and his family who hailed from Hook Norton. He worked as a labourer and on December 1910 he married Daisy Brain, a Hook Norton girl there and had a daughter, born in 1912. They moved back to the village at Cross Road Cottages, Southside and he joined the Great Western Railway as a platelayer at Woodborough. On 23rd November 1915 he was given permission to enlist in the Royal Engineers and on 21st January 1916 he signed up in Banbury, aged 31.

He was posted to the Railway Construction Company at Longmoor Military Railway in Hampshire on 13th June 1916 and served there until 13th April 1918, when he was posted to France to join the 8th Railway Operating Company. However the military life began to take its toll and he was classed as B13, fit for light duties only, on 21st May 1918. He had contracted big toes at his medical for the Ox and Bucks in April 1901 but this was not considered to effect his efficiency as a soldier. He was admitted to the 7th Canadian General Hospital in Etaples on 27th October 1918 suffering with deformed feet and invalided back to England on 3rd November 1918. He remained in hospital until 29th November and then posted back to Longmoor, joining the Road Construction Depot Battalion. On 1st January 1919 he was discharged from the Army under King's regulations Para 393 xvi, no longer physically for for war service. As his condition was judged to have been aggravated by his war service he was awarded a £30 lump sum payment and awarded the Silver Badge to be worn on civilian clothing by men discharged for wounds and ill health. His character on discharge was stted as "very good".

He returned to Hook Norton and had a second daughter and remained in the village until his death in 1955  aged 70. His widow Daisy lived to be 104 dying in 1996.

JOSEPH HOPKINS was born in Hook Norton in 1879, one of 7 children of James and Sarah Hopkins. He had worked as a farm labourer and been a part-time soldier with the volunteer Battalion of the Oxfordshire Light Infantry when he enlisted into the Royal Regiment of Artillery in June 1900. He elected to serve 8 years in the colours and 4 in reserve and was mustered as a Driver. He was posted to South Africa on 22nd December 1903 until 30th March 1908. On return to England he transferred to the reserves and was discharged on 13th June 1912, being time expired.

On 2nd September 1914 he re-enlisted into the Royal Field Artillery as a special reservist for one year. He was posted to the 2nd Indian Division as a Driver and then joined the 22nd Battery in France on 19th September 1914. As part of the 2nd Division the battery was in action during the battles of Mons, the Marne, the Aisne and the First Battle of Ypres in 1914 and the battles of Festubert and Loos in 1915. On 15th June Driver Hopkins was court martialled for drunkenness on active service and sentenced to 56 days of field punishment No1. This consisted of the convicted man being placed in fetters and handcuffs or similar restraints and attached to a fixed object, such as a gun wheel or a fence post, for up to two hours per day. 

On 4th November 1915 the battery embarked at Marseilles bound for Alexandria, arriving 8 days later, they then left Alexandria on 20th November and disembarked in Salonika on 4th December 1915. They fought in the campaign against the Bulgarians in a theatre of war where disease claimed more casualties than the fighting. In April 1916 he was admitted to 84th Field Hospital with influenza and in July 1917 was hospitilized with malaria for nearly three months. He was sent home on leave on 7th February 1918, returning to Salonika on 31st February. He suffered a shrapnel wound on 8th July 1918 and was admitted to the 64th General Hospital. He returned home to England on 4th February 1919 and discharged into the Class Z Reserve, formed to deal with expected violations of the Armistice by Germany. When these did not materialise the Z Reserve was abolished on 31st March 1920 and Driver Hopkins was discharged.

Joseph Hopkins died in 1959 aged 80.