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John William Buck

Date of birth: 1871
Date of death: 28.12.1915
Area: Wrenthorpe
Regiment: King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Husband of Alice Buck, of Millfold, Wrenthorpe, Wakefield
Rank: Private
Service number: 2325

War Service

He enlisted as Private 2325 in 9th Battalion of The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry B Company.
The war diary reports that the 9th Battalion were at Armentieres at the end of December 1915 and each day were supplying working parties to the Royal Engineers in the trenches. It was perhaps in one of these working parties that William was hit and later died of his wounds.
In the Register of Soldiers Effects, it said that he had died at 64 West Lancs Field Ambulance on 28th December 1915 and his wife Alice was sole legatee. The Wakefield Express reported his death
Mrs Buck of Millfield, Wrenthorpe has received information that her husband Private William Buck of the 9th Battalion KOYLI was killed in France on December 28th. The sad news was conveyed to her in the following letter from an officer in deceased’s company – “It is my painful duty to inform you of the death of Private W Buck who until recently was under my command. He was struck by a shell on the afternoon of Tuesday December 28th and died almost immediately. I deeply regret the loss of such a good soldier.” Deceased who was 45 years of age joined the forces in August 1914 when he lived at Rhodes Yard, Kirkgate and worked as a labourer for Mr G Nicholson, builder, Sandal. He leaves a widow and 3 children.
Deceased’s son also Private William Buck aged 20 of the 8th Battalion KOYLI received a bullet wound in the left foot in France in November and his foot was amputated at the Lincoln Military Hospital. He is now at home. Buck enlisted in the Coldstream Guards in November 1914 and was transferred to the KOYLI in January 1915.”
William Buck junior was discharged from the army due to his wounds on 29th May 1916 and was awarded the silver war badge to show he had fought and was now unfit for service.
A Memorial service was held at St Anne’s Church for William Buck and Albert Clifton. He was buried at the Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres and was awarded the British War Medal, Victory Medal and the 15 Star.

Family Life

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission he was John William Buck aged 45 and was the “Son of William and Elizabeth Buck, of Knaresborough, Yorks; husband of Alice Buck, of Millfold, Wrenthorpe, Wakefield.”
I believe he was born in the September Quarter of 1871 in the Knaresborough District, but by 1881 he was with his widowed father who was a farm labourer and living in Cowell’s Yard, Knaresborough. He had left home by the 1891 census and in 1894 he married Alice Mawson.
William was living with his wife Alice and children William (b1895) and Ellen (b1900) in Briggate, Knaresborough in 1901 and working as a bricklayer, but by 1911 he had moved to Rhodes Yard, Kirkgate, Wakefield. Of 10 children only four had survived – William aged 16 and Mary 7 and the youngest two Robert and Albert aged 4 and 6 months respectively, who had been born in Liverpool.

Photo of Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery. Rows of white headstones with flowers. Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery

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