Hubert Hyde BUCKLEY
Rank: Lieutenant
Unit: 1st Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
Date of Death: 14 April 1917
Age: 26
Cemetery: Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, Pas de Calais, France

Hubert came from a very successful family. He had been born in Woodley but, in 1901 when the census was taken, the family home was at Bankfield House, Bredbury. His father, Samuel, owned a number of woollen mills. As was common for the middles classes of the time, Hubert and his older brother, Frank, were at boarding school in St Annes on Sea at the time of the Census. At home were their mother, Annie and two sisters, Annie and Hilda. Samuel's income was such that the family could afford to employ two live-in servants - Jane Walker was their cook and Elizabeth Bradshaw the housemaid.

The family worshipped at Woodley Primitive Methodist Church. Hubert, a keen sportsman, was a member of Marple Lacrosse Club. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School (and is included in the School's Roll of Honour published in the Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour and, later, went to work as an insurance inspector.

When war was declared in August 1914, Hubert was one of the first to enlist joining one the "Public School Battalions" of the Royal Fusiliers on 5 September. He was given the service number 4573. Hubert's service file still exists at the National Archives and this shows he enlisted when aged 23 years and 6 months. He was 5' 8" tall, weighed 151 pounds and had a 37" chest. He had a dark complexion, grey eyes and brown hair.  

Hubert was quickly selected to become an officer and would never serve abroad as a private soldier. He was commissioned into the Shropshire Light Infantry in February 1915 and joined his unit as a 2nd Lieutenant, near Ypres on 3 July.

In less than a month, Hubert took part in his first major action, leading his men into action on 9 August, at Hooge east of Ypres.  The attack was a success but Hubert had been shot in the arm and shoulder. It was a serious wound and he was not fit enough to rejoin the Battalion until 12 October 1916. Around this time, he became the Battalion's Lewis Gun officer, in charge of the two-man teams that operated the light machine guns.

The Regimental History notes that, on 21 March 1917, Hubert "left for the Field Ambulance". The Field Ambulance was part of the Army medical system and, it must be presumed, that Hubert was ill. He rejoined on 13 April whilst the Battalion was in reserve trenches at the village of Loos, in northern France. The next day, the village was heavily shelled by German artillery and Hubert was killed.

News of his death would have come quickly to Bredbury. His effects would follow later. These included his service revolver, two damaged wrist watches, binoculars, tie pin, a cheque book, pocket book , together with letters and photographs. His estate, when it was settled amounted to £399 13s 4d (worth approximately £15000 in 2005).

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