Gunner 49930 William Oakley

Oakley William 96 401x600

Killed in Action on Tuesday, 3rd September 1918, age 29.
Buried in Grave II. K. 59. at Dury Crucifix Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France.

Royal Garrison Artillery, 26th Heavy Battery.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Longton, Staffs., Resident: Hanley, Staffs..

First landed France & Flanders, 1st September 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Hanley War Memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/254227/

Genealogical Data

Birth of William Oakley registered December quarter 1888 in Dudley.

1901 Census
51 Bell Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Edward Oakley (58, Fish Merchant, born West Bromwich), his wife Emma (56, born Oldbury), and their 2 children: William (21, Breeze Washer, born Tipton) and Jabez (17, Horse Driver, born Tipton). Also Mary Hickman (15, Domestic Servant, born West Bromwich) .

In 1911, WIlliam was listed as a 'Visitor' at his sister's house in Burslem. When he enlisted in 1914, he was still living in the Stoke-on-Trent area (Hanley).

1911 Census
59 Leonard Street, Burslem, Staffs.
Edward Nutting (40, Labourer at Furnace, born Dudley), his wife Mary (40, born Great Bridge), and 8 of their 10 surviving children of 11: Charles E.(20, Taker-off in Pit, born Tipton), Mrs Florence Ruth Harrison (18, born Tipton), Elsie (13, born Tipton), John William (11, born Tipton), Albert Edward (8, born Tipton), James Thomas (5, born Tipton), George (3, born Smallthorne), and Florence (1, born Burslem).
Also their son-in-law Joseph Harrison (22, Colliery Loader, born Scotland), and their grandson Joseph Edward Harrison (5 months, born Burslem).
Also Edwin Oakley (68, Visitor, Widower, Retired Fishmonger, born Great Bridge), and William Oakley (30, Visitor, Ironworks Forge Labourer, born Great Bridge). Edwin and William Oakley were Mary Nutting's father and brother.

Personal Data

At the time of the 1911 Census WIlliam was living in the household of his sister, Mrs Mary A. Nutting. Two of Mary's sons, hence WIlliam's nephews, were also killed during the war; these men are Charles and James Nutting who can also be found on this site.

After William's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £9/3/7d (9 pounds, 3 shillings and 7 pence); this was paid to his sister and sole legatee, Mary A. Nutting, in December 1918. His War Gratuity was £18/10/0d (18 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his sister in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that William had enlisted in approximately September 1914.

Action resulting in his death

The 26th Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery landed in France in August 1914, it was initially allocated to the 1st Division. In early 1916, Heavy Brigades were attached to Heavy Artillery Groups and no longer attached to Divisions. From then the 26th Heavy Brigade was attached to a number of Heavy Artillery Groups, but from the end of 1917 seems to have been attached to the 77th Heavy Artillery Group.

As the Battery was attached to a Heavy Artillery Group rather than Division, it is difficult to understand the actions in which it took part.

Newspaper Cuttings