Royton Roll of Honour

BASIL BUCKLEY
Rank:Private
Service No:CH/1225(S)
Date of Death:28/04/1917
Regiment:Royal Marine Light Infantry
Unit:1st R.M.Bn. R.N.Div.
Memorial:
Arras Memorial
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