Broughton is a small village and civil parish in northern Oxfordshire, England, about 2 1/2 miles southwest of Banbury..North Newington is a village and civil parish in northern Oxfordshire, England, about 2 miles west of Banbury.

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FIRST WORLD WAR 

GEORGE BUTLER was serving as a Private in the 5th (Service) Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he died of wounds received at the Second Battle of Bellewaarde Farm on 5th October 1915. He was aged 21 and is buried in Broughton St Mary Churchyard.

He was the son of William and Mary Ada Butler of Broughton, having been born in Watchfield Berkshire. He had worked as a carter on a farm.

He joined the 5th Battalion Ox and Bucks, one of Kitchener's new armies, in France on 16th July 1915. On 25th September 1915 the Battalion, as part of the 42nd Infantry Brigade, 14th Light Division were tasked with a diversionary attack on Bellewaarde Farm in support of the Battle of Loos. The attack was a disastrous and costly failure. Private Butler was wounded and evacuated home, dying of his wounds in Edmonton Military Hospital in Middlesex.

EDWARD DAVIS CARTER  was serving as Gunner with "C" Battery, the 162nd Brigade, The Royal Field Artillery when he killed in action on 12th December 1917. He was aged 24 and is buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery.

He was the son of Mrs. Ellen Carter, of Fletcher House, North Newington and had been a journeyman bread maker.

He enlisted into the 4th Territorial Battalion, The Oxfordshire Buckinghamshire Light Infantry on 3rd August 1914. He was posted to the Royal Field Artillery arriving with 162nd Brigade in France 6th December 1915, under the orders of 33rd Division Division. They saw action in the Battle of Albert from 1st July 1916 and other phases of the Battle of the Somme. In 1917 they fought in the Battles of Arras and the Third battle of Ypres. He was killed in action in the Passchendaele area and originally buried in Waterloo Farm, being re-interred after the Armistice.


ARTHUR CLUTTERBUCK was serving as Private in the 5th (Service) Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales's Royal Berkshire Regiment when he died of wounds received on 5th April 1918. He was aged 23 and is buried in Varennes Military Cemetery.

He was the son of Thomas Henry and Ann Clutterbuck, of North Newington and had been a footman at the Resident's House at Trinity College, Oxford.

He enlisted into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in September 1914 and landed with "C" Company of  the 7th (Service) Battalion in France on 21st September 1915. In November 1916 however the Battalion, as part of the 26th Division, were transferred to Salonika. On 10th August 1916  they were in action at the Battle of Horseshoe Hill.  The 7th Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry rushed the Bulgarian positions, captured Horseshoe Hill and consolidated their gains by dawn on 18th August. Private Vlutterbuck was wounded in action during the battle, with severe shrapnel wounds to the right thigh. He was initially treated in the 31st Casualty Clearing Station before being evacuated back to England in the Hospital Ship Gloucester Castle.

After recover he joined the 5th Royal Berkshires in France. In 1917 they took part in the Battles of Arras and Cambrai and then took up positions on the old Somme battlefield in March 1918 to face the German Spring Offensive. In an attempt to win the war before the Americans arrived in numbers and supported by troops released by the surrender of Russia, the Germans unleashed an assault on the Allied lines. The Royal Berkshires were involved in a dogged resistance as they were pushed back, Private Clutterbuck being one of 1,634 casualties of the Division. 

SIDNEY COOLING was serving as a Private in the 1st Battalion, The Grenadier Guards when he died of wounds received on 26th August 1918. He was aged 27 and is buried in Moyenville Two Tree Cemetery.

He was the son of James and Frances Cooling, of Broughton. 

He had been working as a waiter and lodging in Paddington when he joined the Grenadier Guards in March 1915. He joined the 1st Battalion in France on 6th November 1915 during The Battle of Loos. As part of the Guards Division they saw action during the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and the Battles of Passchendaele and Cambrai in 1917. In spring of 1918 they fought to hold back the Germans as they advanced into the Somme in a final attempt to win the war. He was wounded in action during the 1918 Battle of Albert as the British advanced into the 1916 Somme Battlefields.

HARRY DALE was serving as a Driver with the 11th Division Ammunition Column, The Royal Field Artillery when he was killed in action on 5th June 1917. He was aged 20 and is buried in Wulverghem-Lindenhoek Road Military Cemetery.

He was the son of Joseph and Minnie Dale of North Newington and had worked as a boilerette polisher before the war.

He was killed in the run up to the Battle of Messines which commenced with one of the heaviest artillery bombardments of the war.

JOHN EUSTACE  TWISTLETON-WYKEHAM FIENNES was serving as a Captain in the 2nd Battalion The Gordon Highlanders when he died of wounds received during the Battle of Arras on 18th June 1917. He was aged 21 and is buried in Duisans British Cemetery in Etrun.

He was the son of Lt. Col. The Hon. Sir Eustace Fiennes, Bart., Governor of Leeward Islands, and the Hon. Lady Fiennes, O.B.E., of Government House, Leeward Islands, British West Indies. His father was MP for Banbury and also Personal Private Secretary to Winston Churchill between 1912 and 1914.

John Fiennes was educated at Winchester and Eton. He attended the Royal Military College at Sandhurst in 1914 and was posted to France that same year. He was promoted to Captain in 1915 and had been twice wounded in action. After recovering from his last injury he was offered a staff course in Cambridge, but chose to return to his regiment. 

The 2nd Battalion had arrived in France in October 1914, under the orders of the 7th Division, the Division had fought the advancing Germans to a standstill at The First Battle of Ypres. in 1915 they saw action at the Battles of Neuve Chapelle, Aubes, Festubert, Givenchy and Loos. In 1916 they participated in phases of the Battle of the Somme. In 1917 they fought in The Arras offensive in which the Division fought in the flanking operations round Bullecourt betewwen 3rd and 17th May. Captain Fiennes was wounded in action during an attack on Infantry hill and died the following day in 8th Casualty Clearing Station at Etrun.

JOSEPH GARDNER was serving as a Lance Corporal, 1st Battalion, The Duke of Edinburgh's Wiltshire Regiment when he was killed in action on 6th July 1916 during the Battle of Albert. He was aged 20 and is buried in Connaught Cemetery in Thiepval.

He was the son of Edward and Selina Gardner of Burton Dassett, and before enlisting had worked as farm labourer, living with his grandparents in North Newington. 

He had joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry before being posted to the Wiltshires, joining the 1st Battalion in France on 15th May 1915. As part of the 25th Division they took part in the Battle of Albert from 1st July 1916, the opening action of the Battle of the Somme. The day started with the Battalion resting after their march to Varennes, a full kit inspection and church parade followed, before they spent the night in the assembly trenches in readiness to advance. On 2nd July they moved up to Aveluy Wood and on 6th July were holding and consolidating captured trenches on the Leipzig salient. The Germans counter attacked with heavy shelling and rifle grenades, L/Cpl Gardner being killed at this time.

FREDERICK GASCOIGNE  was serving as a Private with the 6th(Service) Battalion, King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) when he died from dysentry on 2nd July 1916. He was aged 30 and is buried in Amara War Cemetery in Iraq.

He was the son of James Edward and Mary Gascoigne, of North Newington and had worked as a farm labourer and later working as a footman in for the Duke of Newcastle at Forest Farm, Winklield, Berkshire. In 1913 he married Eva Jane Donnelly in North Newington. On enlistment he was still in the Duke's employ at Clumber Park, near Worksop.

He enlisted into the Royal Lancasters after the outbreak of war, the 6th Battalion was one of Kitchener's new armies and had beeen sent to Gallipoli in June 1915 as part of the 13th (Western) Division. They took part in the following battles in August, The Battle of Sari Bair, The Battle of Russell's Top and The Battle of Hill 60.  In 1916 they defended the last attacks by the Turks at Helles in January before being evacuated to Egypt in January. There they held positions defending the Suez Canal at Port Said. In February 1916 they moved to Mesopotamia and took part in attempts to relieve the seige of Kut-al-Amara, suffering heavy casualties from the fighting and disease, including Private Gascoigne.

His wife, Eva, also served the war effort being a nurse at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London.

ALBERT GRANT was serving as a Private in the 7th (Fife) Battalion, The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) when he was on killed in action during the Battle of Estaires on 9th April 1918. He was aged 23 and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial for those with no known grave.

He was the son of George and Eliza Grant of North Newington and had worked as a farm labourer.

He had enlisted in Banbury into the Seaforth Highlanders, later transferring to the Black Watch. The Battle of Estaires, an action of the Battles of Lys , began on 9th April 1918 when the Germans launched a second phase of their spring offensive. The Battalion as part of the 51st Highland Division moved into defensive positions behind Richebourg Saint Vaast, where it played a key part in beating off an incessant attack at great cost of 2,500 men, including Private Grant. 

GEORGE ENOS GREEN was serving as a Private in the 1st/4th Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action during the Battle of Langemarck on 16th August 1917. He was aged 37 and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial for those with no known grave.

He was the son of George and Emma Green of North Newington and had worked as a shepherd. In 1901 he married Gertrude Rose Mobley. They had two sons and a daughter living in North Newington, now working as a mason's labourer.

He joined the Ox and Bucks shortly after the outbreak of war and joined 1/4ths in France on 18th September 1915. Under the orders of the 48th (South Midland) Division the Battalion saw action in several phases on the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and the cautious pursuit of the Germans to the Hindenburg Line in early 1917. At 0400 on 16th August 1916 all companies of the Battalion were assembled west of the Steenbecke river. They had four objectives assigned to them, the first was to take German strongholds between St Julien and Langemarke. The attack started at 0445, accompanied by two tanks, and at first met little opposition. However 200 yards from the first objective they came under heavy machine gun and rifle fire from strong concrete emplacements which had escaped the earlier artillery barrage. In repeated attempts to knock out the German strongholds. 65 of the Battalion were killed including Private Green.

FRED MEAD HANCOCK was serving as a Lance-Corporal in the 2nd/1st, The Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars (Worcester Yeomanry) when he died of menegitis on 25th June 1915. He was aged 28 and is buried in Broughton St Mary's Churchyard.

He was the son of Charles and Ellen Hancock and was born in Morebath, Devon, his father was a farmer firstly in Brailles then at Ley Farm in Enstone and lastly at Park Farm, North Newington. Fred had been a boarder at St Oswald's college in Shropshire and then joined the Great Western Railway as lad clerk in 1902 aged 15 firstly at Chipping Norton then Evesham and Littleton & Badeley. He was then a goods clerk at Moreton in Marsh, Evesham and in 1910 Chief Clerk  at Pershore, where he stayed until enlisting.  He was engaged to Miss G Derrett of Wyre.

In September 1914 he enlisted into the Worcester Yeomanry. The 2/1sts were formed in September 1914 as a training/supply reserve for the 1/1sts. They moved to Cirencester in April 1915, where Fred Hancock died. He had suffered sunstroke whilst drilling and steadily his condition worsened.

OWEN HARVEY was serving as a Private with the 2nd/6th Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment when he was killed in action on 1st June 1918. He was aged and is buried in Aire Communal Cemetery in the Pas de Calais.

He was the son of Joseph and Mary Harvey of Shutford and had worked as a farm labourer.

He enlisted into the Royal Warwicks in Southam, the Battalion arrived in France on 21st May 1916 as part of the  61st (2nd South Midland), and took part in the Battle of Fromelles, a disastrous diversionary attack during the Battle of the Somme. In 1917 they cautiously pursued the retreating Germans to the Hindenburg line and later that year fought in phases of the Third Battle of Ypres. 

On 21 March 1918, the enemy launched what was intended to be a decisive offensive, attacking the British Fifth and Third Armies on the Somme in overwhelming strength. The Division was holding the forward zone of defences in the area northwest of Saint Quentin in the area of Ham and lost many men as it fought a chaotic but ultimately successful withdrawal back over the Somme crossings over the next ten days. In the initial clash, the South Midland faced three enemy Divisions and only began to retire on the afternoon of 22nd March, when ordered to do so in consequence of the enemy’s progress at other parts of the line. By the time it was relieved after fighting all the way back to the very gates of Amiens in the First Battles of the Somme 1918, the Division had been involved in continuous action since August 1917 and was most exhausted. The remnants were moved north to what had been a quieter part of the line on the La Bassee Canal near Bethune. Unfortunately it was near where the Germans launched the second phase of their offensive on 9 April 1918. The Division became involved and many casualties were incurred.

FRANK WILLIAM MARSHALL was serving as a Lance-Corporal with "D" Company, the 1st Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment when he killed in action during the First Battle of Ypres, on 1st November 1914. He was aged 20 and is commemorated on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial for those with no known grave.

He was the son of Joseph Marshall of North Newington and had worked as a gardener before the Army.

He joined the Gloucesters in August of 1912 and arrived in France with them on 13th August 1914 as part of 3rd Brigade in the 1st Division. They saw action at the Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat and in the Battlers of Marne and the Aisne. From 19th October they took part in the series of battles comprising the First Battle of Ypres. On 31st October 1914 "D" Company under Major Gardner, now only 80 strong, were ordered to re-capture a front line trench recently taken by the Germans. They advanced in the face of heavy shell fire and jumped into front line trenches to find they were still in the hands of the British. The Major led his men further forward, across very open country to a sunken road where the remaining men rallied. There were now only 30 left. Knowing the urgency of the situation and not willing to wait for reinforcements, Major Gardner ordered an advance from the road. He and fifteen men were felled almost immediately whilst the rest fell back to the sunken road until they were overwhelmed  by the Germans and taken prisoner. L/Cpl Marshall was reported missing in the attack, later presumed dead.

JOHN WILLIAM WELBANK was serving as a Gunner with "D" Battery, 286 Brigade, the Royal Field Artillery when he on killed in action on 11th October 1918. He was aged 26 and is buried in Naves Communal Cemetery Extension. 

He was the son of Alice Welbeck having been born in Norfolk and was managing the boilerette works in North Newington. In 1911 he married Carrie Darville in Eton, Berkshire. They had two sons, living in North Newington.

286 Brigade of the RFA was a territorial unit formed in February 1915 and coming under the orders of the 57th Division. They saw action at the Second Battle of Passchendaele in October and November 1917. They fought against the German Spring offensive in 1918, during the Battles  of Lys in April. On the offensive in August they took part in the Second Battles of Arras and assisted in the capture of Cambrai, shortly after which Gunner Welbank was killed.

WORLD WAR TWO

ERIC RALPH BUSBY was serving as a Second Officer with the Merchant Navy when he was killed in action on 18th August 1944 when SS Nairung was torpedoed. He was aged 24 and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial for those of the Merchant Navy who have no grave.

He was the son of Harold James Busby and Emily Agnes Busby, of North Newington.

The SS Nairung was a cargo vessel built and launched in Glasgow in 1941, On 18th August 1944 she was en-route from Bombay to Durban with a cargo of government stores and general cargo.

U862 was one of a number of  German U-boats belonging to what was known as the Monsun Group using Penang as a base. When she sank the S.S. Nairung she was operating in the Mocambique Channel between Portugese East Africa and Madagascar.  She located the S.S. Nairung during daylight hours on 18th August 1944.  She carried out an unsuccessful attack while submerged.  The electric torpedo missed and the ship continued on her course, seemingly unaware of the attack.  Once clear the U-boat came to the surface and recommenced the slow process of stalking at the limit of visual range. As twilight approached the ship continued to zig-zag, making the final approach difficult.  It needed all the U-boat crew’s skill to maintain contact. Nevertheless, by 1900 they were moving into an attack position.  The sea was mirror smooth, the night pitch black , but the  bright starlight provided ample visibility.  The range opened to 1000 metres and a fan of two torpedoes was fired at the Nairung.  There was a tremendous detonation.  A yellowish red wall more than 100 metres high stretched out before the U-boat.  The steamship disintegrated into thousands of fragments.  Within moments the hot pressure wave of the explosion hit the U-boat with a resounding crack.  U862  was shaken throughout her length.  Those on the bridge were knocked to the deck and left feeling concussed and disorientated.  Those inside the hull were thrown violently against the bulkheads.  The freighter’s cargo continued to explode, gigantic flames stabbing into the air.  Pieces of wreckage up to half a metre across flew over the U-boat’s bridge and rattled on the casing..  There was a gigantic red mushroom cloud and heavy rain of explosive fragments and ship parts.  It was a good minute before the holocaust subsided, leaving behind only a thick, black smoke cloud. All of the crew of 91 were lost.

HERBERT LESLIE GEORGE DODSON (DFM) was serving as a Flying Officer, Air Gunner, with 83 Squadron the Royal Air Force when he was killed on active service on 20th January 1944. He was aged 25 and is buried in Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.

He was the son of Herbert and Edith Annie Dodson having been born in Lewisham in London. He married Joan Annie Busby in North Newington in 1942. He had worked for the Refuge Assurance Company and lived at Orchard House in North Newington.

He won the Distinguished Flying Medal in April 1942 whilst a Sergeant with 37 Squadron flying in the Vickers Wellington in the Middle East. He was promoted to Flight Sergeant in July that same year. He later  joined 83 Squadron, part of the 8th Pathfinder Group, flying the Avro Lancaster operating as a marker unit for the main Bomber Command force. Flying from RAF Wyton its first operation in this role being a raid against Flensburg on the night of 18/19th August. During the last three months of 1942 the squadron took part in ten attacks against Northern Italy; the targets were Genoa and Turin and involved flights of about 1,400 miles. The tempo of operations rose throughout 1943. The year began with the dropping of the first 250-lb TIs (target indicators) on Berlin. The squadron was prominent in the Battle of the Ruhr which began in March and also in the Battle of Hamburg which was fought in July and August. Fifteen Lancasters of No. 83 Squadron took part in the heavy raid against the German V-weapons experimental station at Peenemunde on 17/18th August 1943. Lancaster Mk III ND414 took off from Wyton at 1614 and was hit by flak 19,000 feet over the target and exploded over Grosszhieten.

The Honourable INGELRAM IVO TWISLETON-WYKEHAM-FIENNES was serving as a Sergeant, pilot, with the Overseas Delivery Unit of the Royal Air Force when he was killed on active service on 30th August 1941. He was aged 19 and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, his body never being recovered for burial.

He was the son of Ivo Murray Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 20th Baron Saye and Sele, and Lady Hersey Cecilia Hester Saye and Sele, and was born in St George Hanover Square in London. He was educated at Eton College and was a member of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was the pilot of VickersWellington Mk II W559 which had left Cornwall on a delivery flight to Malta. The aircraft stopped over in Gibraltar and took off from RAF North Front on 20th August 1941 for RAF Luqa on Malta. South of the Italian Island of Lampedusa around 100 miles off Malta they were intercepted by Italian Fiat CR42 biplanes, and shot down in flames into the sea. All 6 crew members died in the crash.

CLEMENT JOSEPH GARDNER was serving as a Gunner with the Royal Artillery when he died on 13th February 1945. He was aged 42 and is buried in Broughton St Mary Churcyard.

He was the son of George and Mary Jane Gardner of North Newington. He died in St Michael's Church House in Louth, Lincolnshire.

ROBERT CHARLES GIBSON was serving as a Sergeant, Air Gunner, with 405 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force when he was killed on active service on 30th January 1944. He was aged 21 and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, his body never being recovered.

He was the son of Frederick and Lily Marion Gibson. He had enlisted into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and posted to 405 Squadron, part of the elite No 8 Pathfinder Group based at RAF Gransden Lodge in Cambridgeshire. On 30th January 1944 they took off  in Avro Lancaster Mk III JA924 LQ-R at 1714 for a mission to Berlin. After releasing their bombs over the target at 20,000 feet they came under sustained attack by a Gernan night fighter. A fierce fire broke out on the port wing of the Lancaster and it spiralled down out of control. At 15,00 feet a violent explosion occurred which catapulted two crew members out of the plane. They parachuted to become POWs, whilst the other 5 crew members died in the explosion. 

 

JOHN WILLIAM HANCOCK was serving as a Private with the 2nd Battalion, The Somerset Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 23rd June 1944. He was aged 21 and is buried in Assisi War Cemetery, Italy.

He was the son of John Tustain and Emily Ethel Hancock of Shutford. In 1942, whilst serving in the army, he married Megan Grant of North Newington, in Broughton Parish church. He was killed in action in the Allied advance towards Rome.

He is also remembered on Shutford War Memorial.

JAMES NORTON SOUTHAM was serving as a Lance Corporal with the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment when he was murdered by the SS on 28th May 1940. He was aged 26 and is buried in Esquelbecq Military Cemetery.

He was the son of William and Ellen Southam of Cherwell Terrace, Banbury, he was a regular soldier and at the time of his death his parents were living in Ascott-under-Wychwood.

After their surrender, a large group of soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 4th Battalion Cheshire Regiment, and gunners of the Royal Artillery as well as French soldiers in charge of a military depot were taken to a barn in La Plaine au Bois near Wormhout and Esquelbecq on 28th May 1940. The Allied troops had become increasingly alarmed at the brutal conduct of the SS soldiers en route to the barn, which included the shooting of a number of wounded stragglers. On arrival at the barn the most senior British officer in the group, Captain James Lynn-Allen, protested but was immediately rebuked by an SS soldier. When there were nearly 100 men inside the small barn, soldiers from the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, threw stick-grenades into the building, killing many POWs. The grenades failed to kill everyone, largely due to the bravery of two British NCOs, Sergeant Stanley Moore and CSM Augustus Jennings, who hurled themselves on top of the grenades using their bodies to suppress the force of the explosion and shield their comrades from the blast. Upon realising this, the SS called for two groups of five to come out. The men came out and were shot. Despite being shot, Gunner Brian Fahey survived, unknown to the SS men at the time. Concluding that these methods were too slow, the SS troopers simply fired into the barn with their weapons.  A total of 80 men were killed. While 15 more were wounded, their wounds were so severe that within 48 hours all but six of them had died.