Sunday, October 19, 2014

L/9079 Pte George Buckwell, Royal Sussex Regiment

Chailey Parish Magazine notes in March 1915 that George Buckwell is serving his King and Country.  In October 1915, when the practice of adding further information in the magazine began, he is recorded as serving with the 1st Royal Sussex Regiment in India.  This information is then repeated up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919.

I had originally thought that George Buckwell was George H Buckwell who was born at Barcombe, Sussex in 1895.  This was however, an obvious error as this man was killed in action in France on 30th June 1916 whilst serving with the 2nd Royal Sussex Regiment.  

The George Buckwell of Chailey’s Parish magazine is George W Buckwell who was born in East Chiltington around 1892.  He appears on the 1901 census living with his family at The Lodge, Plumpton Green, Sussex.  The household comprised Alfred Buckwell, (head, married, aged 37 and working as a cowman), his wife Mary Buckwell (nee Pocock, aged 34) and their five children: Alfred H Buckwell (aged 12), Alice M Buckwell (aged 11), George (aged nine), Edith H Buckwell (aged four) and Arthur J Buckwell (aged one).  Also at the house were Alfred’s widowed mother Harriet Buckwell (aged 64) and his brother Harry Buckwell (aged 34 and also working as a cowman).  Alfred, his brother Harry and their mother were all natives of Fletching; Mary Buckwell was from Charwood in Surrey.  The three oldest children had been born in East Chiltington whilst Edith had been born in Westmeston and Arthur in Plumpton.  

The National Archives holds two medal cards for men by the name of George Buckwell who served with the Royal Sussex Regiment.  The first is for George H Buckwell of Barcombe (army service number G/1346).  The second man is listed simply as L/9079 Private George Buckwell.  The L prefix indicates a regular soldier and the number 9079 suggests an enlistment around 1910.  This would tie in with George’s birth date of 1892 and it is not unreasonable to surmise that, if indeed this is the George Buckwell of Plumpton Green, that he joined up once he had turned eighteen.

Medal index card image courtesy of Ancestry.

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