Buckinghamhire Battallion OX
Bucks Light Infantry
who was wounded in the Battle Langemark August 16th 1917.
He lay wounded on these fields for six days.
He was found on August 22nd, 1917.
He was moved to Casualty Clearing Station 61, Dozinghem near the abbaye Sint-Sixtus at Westvleteren.
He died of his wounds on August 23rd 1917.
Aged 30 years.
He is buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery Plot III Row H 7.
Lovingly remembered by all his family.
Stephen Henshaw 204232
1/1 Buckinghamshire Battalion
Ox & Bucks Light Infantry
Stephen Henshaw called to the Colours.
February to June 1917
In training at Hipswell Camp, Catterick, Yorkshire.
Travelled to Rouen, France. Transferred from 2/4 Ox & Bucks
to 1/1 Bucks Battn on July 12th 1917.
Joined Battn encamped at Bailleulval. Spent a week here, training for Third Ypres.
July 22nd 1917
Left camp at Bailleulval and marched to Mondicourt.
Travelled by train to Godwaersvelte on French Belgian border.
They then marched on to Houtkerque where they arrived
after a journey of over 19 hours. Here they spent one week reorganising for the forthcoming battle.
July 30th 1917
The Battn moved to School Camp, St Jan ter Biezin and arrived just as the artillery opened fire nearby at the start of the battle for Pilkem Ridge.
August 4th 1917
Battn moved via Poperinge to Dambre Camp, one mile north of Vlamertinghe. Described as “little field furrowed with deep channels, full of water, with knolls and shell holes everywhere
and a few leaky tents”.
5th August 1917
The battn went forward to relieve the Hertfordshires and Cheshires in the region of Hampshire Farm.
7th August 1917
Battn relieved 5th Gloucesters on the outskirts of St Juliaan and held the front line until they were relieved at 02.00, 9th August 1917. This short time in the trenches resulted
in the following casualties :- 2 Officers and 67 OR.
15th August 1917
Battn left Dambre camp and began their march to the front.
After “resting” at the banks of the Yser Canal, the battn continued on their way in pitch dark, through mud and under constant shell fire.
16th August 1917
The Battn arrived at the assembly tapes on the banks of the Steenbeek at 20 minutes before zero hour, which was at 04.45hrs. They had been on the move for 18 hours, through
appalling conditions and they were expected to go over the top and fight for their lives.
Much of the battalion was annihilated in the early stages. It seems Stephen Henshaw survived and was sent forth in a party of some 25 survivors to try and take Springfield Farm. Many were seen to fall as they passed Hillock Farm and a line of Gunpits. Six men (approx) were seen to reach Springfield Farm and four were seen to be led away as prisoners.
A letter to my Grandmother from a comrade reads:
“He was reported as missing,but is now reported as having died. He was a good soldier, he and the soldiers with him went right on to their objective and there they fought until only the
last one or two taken prisoner. I sympathise much with you in your sad loss and hope you find comfort in his gallant death.
Casualties for 16th August in Bucks Battn: 54 OR killed
5 slightly wounded
Stephen Henshaw was hit by shrapnel which shattered his right leg. He took cover in a shell hole and there he lay for six days.
22nd August 1917
Stephen Henshaw was found alive and taken to the 1/3 South Midlands Field Ambulance based at Gwalia Farm.
Transferred to Casualty Clearing Station 61 Dozinghem (near St Sixtus Abbey, north west of Poperinge)
23rd August 1917
Stephen Henshaw died of his wounds, but not before having been found by his nephew who was a Stretcher Bearer in the Royal Army Medical Corps.
Stephen is buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery.
He left a wife, Sarah, and three children, the youngest a baby aged eight months. Sarah Henshaw never remarried and died in 1971 aged 84 years. Of his children, Harold is now aged
95 years and the youngest child, Dora is 89 years. Ethel sadly died in 1998, aged 83 years, before this research began.
Sarah never saw her husband’s grave until she was given a photograph in the 1960’s. However, she never truly recovered from the grief of losing her husband.