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  • Photograph published on 8th May 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
Person Details
Nottingham
Claud Buxton was born in 1897 the son of John Henry a pit top worker and Sarah Jane Buxton. John Henry was born in 1856 in Nottingham, Sarah Jane in 1860 also in Nottingham. They were married around 1884 and had four children, three surviving infancy - Rose Ellen b.1895, Claud b.1897 and Alice b.1900. In 1911, the family was living at 69 Beaconsfield Street, Hyson Green, Nottingham. Rose Ellen was a hosiery machinist, Claud an errand boy and Alice a scholar.
Claude was a brewwer's labourer.
01 Jul 1916
19
762554 - CWGC Website
4790
Private
11th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Claude Buxton attested on 6th August 1914 in Nottingham, aged 17, for 6 years service with the Special Reserve. He landed in France on 24th May 1916 and joined 11th Sherwood Foresters in the field on 13th June 1916. He was reported missing in action and later confirmed as killed in action on 1st July 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Battalions attacking Ovillers on 1st July 1916 had to cross 'Mash Valley' one of the widest expanses of No Man's Land (750 yards) along the entire Somme front. Today, looking from Ovillers Cemetery (German front line) towards distant houses (British front line) across open fields offering little cover, the magnitude of their task is still evident. 11th Battalion Sherwood Foresters' War Diary recorded: 'Casualties along the whole line were very heavy and a general attempt was made to crawl forward under intense machine gun and shrapnel fire, any available cover being made use of.... Lt Colonel Watson, walking diagonally across the front collecting men as he went gave fresh impetus to the advance by his personal example... A third attempt, led by Captain C E Hudson*, to reach the German trenches by the sunken road on the right flank was made but... was brought to a standstill by heavy frontal and flank fire as they came over the brow of the hill in the last 80 yards. The casualties sustained by the battalion during the day amounted to 21 officers and 508 men. The strength of the battalion on entering the trenches on 26th June was 27 officers and 710 men.' 11th Bn Sherwood Foresters War Diary TNA WO95/21871(3). 125 men from 11th Battalion Sherwood Foresters were killed during the attack on Ovillers (CWGC Debt of Honour Register). *John Cotterill adds 'The man who brought the 11th Foresters out of action on 1 July and, one of the 6 unwounded officers, was Capt Edward Hudson who would go on to get a VC as CO of 11th Foresters on Asiago Plateau in Italy in 1918'. 2nd Battalion Middlesex Regiment suffered 264 fatalities during the same advance. Concerns of their CO Lieutenant Colonel Edward Thomas Falkiner Sandys DSO, a brave and well respected officer, that his battalion would be badly mauled crossing such an expanse of open ground with uncut wire an added hazard, did not impress his superiors. Sandys was wounded during the attack and evacuated to the UK. Depressed at the fate of so many men who had trusted him, Sandys shot himself in a London hotel room and died a few days later. 8th Division's Official History records a total of 5,121 casualties on 1st July 1916. Military Research by David Nunn
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photograph published on 8th May 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
    Claude Buxton - Photograph published on 8th May 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
  • Photo taken from German machine gun positions (now Ovillers British Military Cemetery) showing the terrain over which 8th Division including 11th Sherwood Foresters (70th Brigade), advanced on 1st July 1916. Houses beyond the distant tree line now stand on the 1st July 1916 British line.
    Photo David Nunn - Photo taken from German machine gun positions (now Ovillers British Military Cemetery) showing the terrain over which 8th Division including 11th Sherwood Foresters (70th Brigade), advanced on 1st July 1916. Houses beyond the distant tree line now stand on the 1st July 1916 British line.