Private Maurice Buckley

Private, 2/6th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment). Service number 266428.

Newspaper photo of a soldier in uniform, head and shoulders only.Early life:
Maurice was born on 15th April 1897 in Keighley. His parents were Ramsden (a mechanic) and Emma Buckley and they lived on Hainworth Lane in Keighley. They were married at St, John's Church on 29th April 1893 when Emma would have been 3 months pregnant with George)
On Sunday 23rd September 1900 Maurice (age 3) along with his three older siblings was baptised at the Parish church of St. Andrew's. They were George Henry born 17th September 1893 (age 7), Gladys born 2nd September 1895 (age 5) and Edith Maud born 13th April 1900 (age 6 months.) It was a busy day for the Rector, Henry John Palmer. More so as he baptised no less than eleven children that day!
In 1901 the family were living at 8, Ebenezer Place, Ingrow and Ramsden was employed as a cloth weft mover.
Maurice was three years old.
By 1911 they had moved to 16, Hainworth Lane, Ingrow and Maurice was 13 years old and working as a doffer and mill hand. His father Ramsden was now a shop keeper (grocery) Ramsden and Emma had been married for 18 years and had six children, one of whom (Ivy) had died. No. 16 was an oddly shaped end terrace house on a corner and could possibly have been their Grocer's shop.

War service:
No Army service record has been found for Maurice but from calculations made from other records, it's possible he enlisted at Skipton in November 1914 which matches the date and place that the 2/6th Battalion was formed. They stayed in home service until January 1917 when they first went overseas to France. There is an 'M. Buckley' listed in the nominal roll for the 2/6th Battalion West Riding Regiment, but we cannot connect him to this record for certain.
Maurice's older brother Private George Henry Buckley went overseas with the 1/6th Battalion West Riding Regiment on 14th April 1915.
If Maurice was one of those who embarked with the 2/6th Battalion for France on 5th February 1917, he would have been in one of three ships used for the task. These were the S.S. Caesarea, S.S. Mona's Queen and S.S. Huntscraft. They all arrived at HAVRE in France on 6th February 1917. In total there were 33 officers and 953 other ranks who made the trip.

War diary WO-95/3087/1/1 2/6th Battalion Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment:
Map reference on the National Library of Scotland website.
Nov 20th.
The Battalion left BERTINCOURT & marched to assembly position in HAVRINCOURT WOOD.
6.20 am.
The 62 Division attacked the German lines from Q. to the CANAL DU NORD.
The 185 Brigade on the Right & 187 Brigade on the Left. 186 Brigade in support.
The first objective was from CANAL at K.20.d.2.1. - K.21.d.6.2 - K22.c.3.2. This line was very soon reached with very few casualties. The cooperation of Tanks made this quite easy. HAVRINCOURT fell into our hands without showing much resistance.
The second objective was from CANAL in K.15.c.2.9. - K.15.b.4.2. (X Roads) along road to K.16.c.4.9. - K.16.b.0.3. - K.16.b.4.5. to SUNKEN ROAD at K.17.a.7.5. The strong point at K.17.c. was included. The line soon fell into our hands & a large number of prisoners were taken.
The 186 Brigade went forward and took up a jumping off position on the ine.
The Battalion took up a position from CANAL K.15.c.2.9. to K.16.b.4.5. & immediately swept forward. The ground attacked and won by the Battalion was as follows, Lock No. 6 of Canal in K.3.a. HUGHES SUPPORT in K.3.b - K.3.d, along SUNKEN ROAD K.4.c. & K.4.d. to K.4.d.5.5. HINDENBURG SUPPORT TRENCH running from K.16.b.4.5. - K.10.b. to K.4.d.5.5. The attack was a complete success & 2 officers and 165 men, 1 battery of 5.9 Hows, 1 battery of 3, 77mm Field Guns. 1 Light Trench Mortar & 1 Machine gun were captured & 10 Machine guns were destroyed along with their crews.
At the same time the 2/4 D of W went forward & took GRAINCOURT. The Battalion held this position through the night.
On this day the enemy system in E.17 - E.18 - E.19 was attacked by the Brigade & the Battalion was to push on if the attack was successful & take the trench running W of BOURLON in E.12 - E.11 - E.6. The attack however was held up and the Battalion reinforced the other Batts in SUNKEN ROAD E.17.d. - E.23.b - E.24.a. & the Trench E.22.b.9.1. to E.17.c.85.45. This line was held until the Brigade was relieved by the 185 Inf. Brigade. When relieved the Battalion went into support in dugouts at K.4.d.3.5. in SUNKEN ROAD to K.5.c.1.7. " Lt. Wright was killed and Lt. Stocks & Lt. Peat slightly wounded.
The Battalion was still in support.
The Battalion moved off and went into billets at BERTINCOURT.
[Maurice went missing during this period which was reported in the Keighley News a month later]

Keighley News 29th December 1917, page 3:
Private Morris(sic) Buckley, of the West Riding Regiment, whose home is at 16, Hainworth Lane, Ingrow, is reported missing and wounded since November 22. He is 20, has been in France twelve months, and has a brother at the front.
[The brother mentioned is George Henry Buckley.]

Maurice's body was found and laid to rest after his death, because he is buried in Grand Ravine British Cemetery at Havrincourt. He is in grave no. 27 of row B with nine of his comrades buried close by. They also died on 20th November.

His mother Emma was his next of kin and she would have received any of his personal effects plus his medals which would have been sent to her around 1920 or 1921 and were the British War Medal and Victory Medal. She would also have received a Great War memorial plaque and a King's Certificate for his service to his King and Country.
His Soldier's effects record indicate that Emma was paid £10 6s. 4d. on 6th April 1918 and a war gratuity of £13 10s. 0d. on 4th November 1919.
She was also paid a war pension of 10 shillings per week beginning on 23rd July 1918.

Maurice is of course remembered in perpetuity on his grave in France.
Locally, he is named on the Ingrow war memorial in the grounds of St. John's Church in Keighley.

Source information:
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
National archives -
War diary WO-95/3087/1/1 for 2/6th Bn., Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment:
Trench map SHEET 57C [] Special Map MOUVRES
Keighley News records at Keighley Library
The National Library of Scotland website mapping service
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923
British Army World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920

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