Date of Death:28/04/1917
Regiment:Royal Marine Light Infantry
Unit:1st R.M.Bn. R.N.Div.
Panel Reference:Bay 1
Buckley brothers - Fred, Harry, Basil & Harold. courtesy of Martin Paul Buckley
this entry is still under construction
Basil Buckley was born in Royton in 1895, his parents being George and Elizabeth. Unfortunately George died in 1898 when Basil was just two or three years of age. His mother married again the following year, to John Ogden. Basil worked as a piecer at the King Mill and joined the Royal Marines in November 1915, going on active service the following September.
A short while later, on November 13th 1916,it's likely Basil would have found himself invovled in the 1st Royal Marines assault on Beucourt.By the time they had reached their first objectives they had suffered over 50% casualties and lost every company commander.Of the four hundred or so marines of the 1st Battalion who had gone into action only a hundred and thirty eight had remained two days later.
Five months later Basil found himself involved in the 1st RMLI's fateful attack on German lines near Gavrelle. They and the 2nd RMLI suffered the worst day of casualties in the history of the Royal Marines. Basil's battalion was planned to advance in three stages, successively taking three lines of trenches and in total advancing 1000 yards.
Accompanied by a creeping barrage First Royal Marines had begun their assault at 4:25am on April 28th. Beginning from just north of Gavrelle the four companies had soon made their way to the German barbed wire, which they found had been uncut by the artillery bombardment. Here many of the men had settled into shell holes in front of the German line where they had been eventually cut to ribbons by the enemy’s fire from a nearby strongpoint. At 06:30 the men of 1st Honourable Artillery Company had been ordered forward to try to suppress this strongpoint with mortar fire. An officer from this unit later wrote:
‘At any rate we went along to this blockade where the railway was and the attack started and nothing happened. We could see these fellows, fifty yards on our left the nearest of them were. They were getting hung up on the wire and it was absolutely hopeless. They were a battalion of Marines, but they, poor chaps, could not get through the wire’…
The first news that HQ received on the 1st RMLI was at 07:15 when they heard that a wounded Marine had said that the wire had been very strong, but a number of the men had got through and gone on. An aircraft flying over the area had also reported that a group of around twenty marines had been seen in the first objective the men had fired flares to alert the plane. This,sadly, was the last that had been seen of 1st Royal Marines.
Accounts of what had happened to the unit were eventually gathered from the wounded and it had been learnt that the first two waves of the battalion had gotten to their objectives, but had then been hit hard by a massive counter attack and despite desperate hand to hand fighting had been overpowered. With the battalion virtually wiped out, pockets of Marines now trapped behind the German lines carried on fighting. The very last record of these men was at 09:40 when a flare was seen over the unit's second objective. The battalion had lost over five hundred men killed, wounded, and missing.A short distance away the 2nd Royal Marines had suffered similar casualties.
The other men of the 1st RMLI listed as being killed alongside Basil Buckley - including Oldhamer Frank Winterbottom, that day are:
ANNETTS CHRISTOPHER 29 Private CH/1616(S)FROM HUNGERFORD
BARNES CHARLES Private CH/1726(S)
BENNETT ARTHUR 21 Private PLY/1229(S) SON OF MARY BENNETT OF LIVERPOOL
BENNETT EDWARD Private PO/17583
BEST THOMAS 20 Private CH/18158 SON OF MR&MRS BEST OF CHATHAM.
BETTLEY ALBERT Private PO/1048 (S)
BIDEWELL BERTIE Private CH/19260
BIRD ERNEST Private PO/1618 (S)
BLAND EDGAR Private CH/1659(S)
BOLLAND HENRY 26 Private PO/16794 SON OF JOHN&SARAH BOLLAND OF DEVIZES
BRADSHAW EDWARD 9 Lance Corp PLY/16976 FROM WIGAN
BRETT WILLIAM Private CH/19870
BREWER WILLIAM Private PO/17471
BRIGGS EE Private PLY/16972
BRITTON GEORGE Private PLY/1651(S)
BROOKE PETER 26 Private PO/905(S)FROM HEBBURN-ON-TYNE.
BROWN HORACE 25 Private PO/1429(S) FROM PORTSMOUTH.
BULCOCK JOSEPH Private PLY/750(S)
BYGRAVE ROBERT Private CH/1794(S)
BYRNE PETER Private PLY/17016
CARTWRIGHT JOHN Lance Corp PLY/16865
CHAMBERS W 27 Private CH/838 SON OF WILLIAM&ALICE CHAMBERS OF CAMDEN TOWN
CHAPMAN ARTHUR 24 Private CH/17445 from SCUNTHORPE
CHARLESWORTH EDWARD Private CH/18942
CHECKLEY TOM 24 Lance Corp CH/16909 SON OF MR.& MRS. CHECKLEY, OF GOOLE
CLARK EDWARD 22 Private PO/17165 SON OF GEORGE& LOUISA CLARK, OF MARLOW
CLARKE GEORGE 26 Private CH/1544(S) SON OF HANNAH CLARKE, OF DEAL
CLARKE ERNEST Private CH/1435(S)FROM HULME,MANCHESTER
COLLETT WILLIAM Private CH/1902(S)
COLLIVER ARCHIBALD 20 Lance Corp PLY/1440(S) from CORNWALL
COMFORT JOSEPH 27 Private CH/730(S)
CONOLLY ERNEST Private PO/17631
COOKE ARTHUR Private CH/1669(S)
COWAN JOHN 20 Private CH/507(S) FROM MUSSELBURGH
COX FREDERICK Private CH/410 (S)
CRAWFORD ALFRED 28 Private PO/1621(S)FROM BATH.
CULVER HORACE 20 Private CH/887(S) SON OF GEORGE CULVER OF FULHAM
DAINS ALFRED 30 Private CH/14635 SON OF HARRIET DAINS OF BERMONDSEY
DANIELS WILLIAM 23 Private PO/1722(S) HUSBAND OF ELLEN DANIELS OF SOUTHAMPTON.
DAVIES HAROLD Private CH/228(S)
DAVIS G W Private PO/1552(S)
DENNETT FREDERICK 22 Private PO/1588(S)FROM SOMERSET.
DODSON J Private CH/18037
DRURY WILLIAM 23 Private CH/17359 SON OF ALBERT&EMILY DRURY, OF PADDINGTON
EAGLES WILLIAM 20 Private PLY/16940 FROM SYDNEY
EAMES ALFRED 31 Lance Corp PO/1455(S) SON OF MARY EAMES, OF WATFORD
ELLIOTT ALFRED Private CH/1793(S)
ELLIS GILBERT 22 Private PLY/1281(S)SON OF MR. AND MRS. ELLIS, OF NELSON
ELLIS HUBERT 28 Private CH/1452(S)
EYRE JOHN 21 Private PO/852(S) SON OF EDWIN EYRE OF ROTHERHAM.
FIELDING JAMES 26 Mentioned in Dispatches Second Lt.from Port Talbot
FLOWER WALTER Private PLY/1259(S)
FORBER WJ Private PLY/966(S)
FOREMAN GILBERT Private PLY/1656(S)
FORSTER WILLIAM 22 Private PO/17539 SON OF ELIZABETH FORSTER OF GATESHEAD
FORTH HARRY 23 Private CH/1547(S)SON OF JOHN&MARY FORTH OF PETERBOROUGH.
FOSTER GEORGE Private CH/1194(S)
FOSTER ROBERT Corporal CH/1035(S)
FRANKLIN WILLIAM 19 Private CH/18736 SON OF MRS. A. FRANKLIN OF BANBURY
FRICKER ALFRED 18 Private PLY/17915 SON OF ALFRED&BETTY FRICKER OF BRISTOL.
FURBER CHARLES Private CH/1080(S)
GALE ALBERT 22 Private PO/1620(S) SON OF MR.& MRS. A. GALE OF SHEPTON MALLET
GANNON G W 25 Serjeant CH/18137 from LEEDS.
GARDNER HARRY Private PLY/1684(S)
GLADHILL JOHN 27 Private CH/1091(S)FROM GATESHEAD
GOODACRE GEORGE 21 Private CH/18877 FROM BOW
GOODCHILD WILLIAM 28 Private PLY/1531(S) SON OF MRS. K. GOODCHILD OF WINDSOR.
GRAY HENRY Private PO/18594
GREEN ILLIAM 31 Private CH/1635(S) HUSBAND OF LOTTIE GREEN OF SALISBURY.
GRINNALL HENRY Private CH/1795(S)
HALL HENRY 34 Corporal PLY/9638 HUSBAND OF HENRIETTA HALL OF PLYMOUTH.
HAMPSHIRE TOM 29 Private CH/1298(S) SON OF JONAS HAMPSHIRE OF HOLMFIRTH
HARDING FRANK Private PO/1564(S)
HARRIMAN WILFRID Private PO/1021(S)
HARRIS FREDERICK 21 Private PO/1758(S) FROM TOTTON
HARTILL THOMAS 28 Private PO/1392(S) SON OF CHARLOTTE HARTILL OF WEDNESFIELD
HEATH HERBERT 28 Lance Corp CH/1792(S)HUSBAND OF MATILDA HEATH OF READING.
HEMBURY WILLIAM 28 Private PO/1744(S)HUSBAND OF MARY HEMBURY,GLASTONBURY
HERDMAN WALTER 19 Private PLY/16986BROTHER OF MRS WALLWORK,NEWTON HEATH
HERRICK JOHN 29 Private PLY/13186 SON OF MRS. ANNIE WILLIAMS OF SMETHWICK
HIGGINS ALBERT Private CH/1462(S)
HIGGS DONALD 22 Private PO/1638(S) FROM CAVERSHAM
HIGGS THOMAS Private CH/16654
HILTON GEORGE 27 Private PO/861(S)
HINCHCLIFF WILLIAM Private CH/551(S)
HOBBS HERBERT 28 Private PLY/1402(S)FROM BRIDGWATER
HODDER GFJ Private PO/1106(S)
HODGETTS ARTHUR Private PO/1565(S)
HOLMES HENRY Second Lt.
HOLT CLARENCE Private CH/294(S)
HUCKVALE JOHN Private PLY/1539(S)
HUMPHREYS FRANK Private PLY/1428(S)
HUMPHRIS J 20 Private CH/1674(S) SON OF RICHARD&ALICE HUMPHRIS OF LEAMINGTON SPA
HUNT ALBERT 20 Private CH/1638(S) SON OF JOHN&NORAH HUNT OF MAIDENHEAD
HUNT HENRY 34 Private CH/468(S)
HUSSEY CHARLES 24 Lance Corp CH/14789 BROTHER OF MRS PEARCEY OF CHATHAM.
HUTCHINGS FREDERICK 23 Private PO/1415(S)from HAMPSHIRE
ILLINGWORTH ALFRED Private CH/1448(S)
JAMES ERNEST Private PLY/1679(S)
JAMESON HENRY 19 Private CH/1141(S) SON OF MRS ELLEN JAMESON OF DEPTFORD
JOHNSON WILLIAM 32 Private CH/1034(S) HUSBAND OF LYDIA JOHNSON OF BRACKNELL
JONES JOHN Private PLY/16980
JONES PHILIP Private PLY/1233 (S)
JONES WILLIAM 21 Private CH/1335(S)FROM MONTGOMERYSHIRE
KEYWOOD GEORGE 19 Private CH/19598 FROM HERSHAM
KIPPEN RICHARD Private CH/19497
LATHAM PERCY 19 Private CH/1870(S)SON OF WILLIAM&FLORA LATHAM OF BIRMINGHAM.
LAWRENCE SIDNEY Private PO/1745(S)
LEE JOHN 30 Private PLY/1021(S) SON OF MR. JAMES LEE OF DEVON.
LEGGATT HERBERT 25 Corporal CH/297(S) FROM KILBURN
LEWIS SIDNEY Private CH/1518(S)
LEWIS WILLIAM 23 Private CH/1406(S) SON OF MR&MRS F LEWIS OF MILE END
LINDSAY WILLIAM Private PLY/1418(S)
LION NEVILLE Lieutenant
MARSH FRANK 23 Second Lt. SON OF SYDNEY&JENIE MARSH OF THORNTON HEATH
MARTIN ERNEST Private PO/1401(S)
McALINDEN THOMAS Private CH/726(S)
MILNER ROBERT 19 Private CH/1284(S) SON OF JOHN&ELEANOR MILNER OF LEEDS.
MITCHELL ERNEST 20 Private PLY/863(S)FROM PLYMOUTH.
MORGAN JAMES Private CH/1596(S)
MUSSON LEONARD Private CH/1427(S)
MYERSCOUGH JOHN 22 Private PLY/1361(S)FROM LANCASTER
NAPIER JT Private PLY/1572(S)
NEALE VICTOR Private CH/1678(S.)
O'FLAHERTY WILLIAM 19 Private PLY/1590(S)SON OF STEPHEN O'FLAHERTY, OF SOMERSET.
PATERSON ALEXANDER 22 Private CH/606(S)SON OF HELEN PATERSON OF ABERDEEN
PITMAN GEORGE Private PLY/17041
PLATTS EDGAR Lieutenant SON OF MRS JESSIE PLATTS OF EARLS COURT.
RANGER FREDERICK 17 Private CH/994(S)(SERVED AS WALLER)FROM KENT.
RAYBOULD FREDERICK Private CH/18(S)
ROE CYRIL 21 Lieutenant from Norwich
ROE STANLEY 33 Private PO/1599(S) HUSBAND OF MABEL ROE, OF CREWKERNE
ROWE GEORGE 24 Private PO/16412 SON OF MR&MRS. ROWE OF SALISBURY.
SANDERSON WILLIAM Lance Serjeant CH/19479
SARSON PERCY Private CH/19404
SHAW GEORGE Private CH/16869
SIMMONDS ALBERT Private PO/16139
SINCLAIR JACK 24 Private PO/1156 SON OF JOHN&MADGE SINCLAIR OF WALSALL.
SMALLWOOD B Private PO/1237(S)
SMITH HENRY Private CH/1246(S)
SMITH WALTER Private CH/1294(S)
SMITH WILLIAM 36 Private PO/1327(S) FROM YORKSHIRE
SMYTH WILLIAM 25 Private CH/960(S) HUSBAND OF ANNIE SMYTH, OF BELFAST.
SNELL ALBERT 20 Private CH/1626(S) SON OF ARTHUR&AMELIA SNELL OF ST. AUSTELL
SPICER FREDERICK Private CH/839 (S)
STAGLES WILLIAM 19 Private CH/19846SON OF MRS. MARGARET STAGLES OF TOOTING
STAVERS ROBERT 21 Private CH/1090 (S) SON OF HANNAH STAVERS OF CO.DURHAM
STEER GEORGE Private CH/230 (S)
STEPHENS ALBERT Lance Corp PO/17563
STORER CYRIL 21 Private CH/20 (S) SON OF MRS MARY STORER OF NOTTINGHAM.
STREET GEORGE 19 Private PO/1285(S)SON OF THOMAS&JANE STREET OF LANCASTER.
SULLIVAN ERNEST Private PO/17582
SULLIVAN GILBERT Private PLY/17035
SURRIDGE ALBERT Private CH/18863
SWALWELL HAROLD Private CH/19242
TEMPLE GEORGE Private CH/17439
TILLEY WILLIAM 29 Corporal CH/13677 SON OF WILLIAM&CLARA H.TILLEY, OF DEAL
TOWNLEY JAMES 24 Private CH/1514(S)SON OF JOHN TOWNLEY OF CHEADLE HEATH
TREVES ALBERT Private CH/1467(S)
TRINDER T Private CH/1819(S)
TRUDGEON CECIL 19 Private CH/1624(S)SON OF FRANCES TRUDGEON OF ST. AUSTELL
UPSON FREDERICK 42 Private CH/761(S) SON OF CHARLOTTE UPSON OF ESSEX
WALKER WILLIAM 18 Private CH/886(S) SON OF A. R. &ELIZABETH WALKER OF ISLINGTON
WALTON CHARLES Private CH/19786
WARD BENJAMIN 38 Private CH/131(S)SON OF MARY WARD
WHITTAKER HENRY 23 Lance Corp CH/1492(S)FROM ACCRINGTON.
WILTON HENRY Private CH/19262
WINDERS LOUIS 22 Private CH/1680(S)FROM ABINGDON
WINTERBOTTOM FRANK 23 Private PO/1396(S)SON OF JAMES&MATILDA WINTERBOTTOM, OF II,GLADSTONE TERRACE, GREENFIELD, OLDHAM
YATES PERCY Private PLY/1528(S)
YOUNG HARRY 36 Private PLY/1565(S)HUSBAND OF MARGARET YOUNG,BOURNEMOUTH
Tragically,just six days after Basil's death,his older brother Harold was killed in action - also during the Battle of Arras.
In May 1919 the following appeared in the Oldham Chronicle:
Time may heal a broken heart,
And make the wound less sore.
but it cannot stop the longing
For the loved ones gone before
Two years have passed since that sad day
When the loved ones were called away.
Their loving smiles,their welcome faces,
No one can fill their vacant places.
From their Mother,Sisters,and Brothers