TURNER, Oliver Thomas

No.163944, Gunner, Oliver Thomas TURNER
Aged 35

1st Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Died of his Wounds on Wednesday, 28th August 1918

Oliver Thomas Turner was born on 7th June 1883 in Boyton End, Stoke by Clare [Risbridge Q3-1883 4A:548), baptised in St John the Baptist, Stoke by Clare on 20th July 1884, son of Oliver Thomas and Amelia TURNER (née HUGHES).

1891 census...Aged 7, he was at Boyton End, Stoke by Clare with his father Oliver Thomas TURNER [47] publican, born Withersfield; his mother Amelia [39] born Stoke; sisters Annie A [9] and Beatrice [1] both born in Stoke.

1901 census...Aged 17, a fruiterer, he was at the Travellers Rest, Boyton End with his parents (father publican/grocer); sisters Annie and Beatrice.

1911 census...Aged 27, single, a general dealer, he was still at the Travellers Rest, Boyton End with his parents and sisters Annie Amelia and Beatrice Mary

CWGC have the family address as Baythorne End

He married Annie Martha BARBER in Q3-1911 and seems to have had two daughters, Annette E and Phyllis E. Her address later was Stour House, Wixoe

Unusually, "Soldiers Died" does not give where he enlisted. He died at No. 48 Casualty Clearing Station and was buried in grave 2:A:45
As Oliver was in a siege battery he would have been some distance from the front line, and so it would be most likely that he was wounded in a counter barrage. It is not known exactly where or when this happened. He was taken to No. 48 Casualty Clearing Station where he died. He was buried in grave 2:A:45 at Dury Hospital Cemetery which is now part of the grounds of Centre Hospitalier Philippe Pinel in Amiens. This cemetery was closed in 1927 when the casualties were exhumed and removed to Villers-Bretonneux.

Below is one type of gun they used, the 9.2 inch howitzer. with a range to 12,800 meters. The gun's shorter barrel length, adopted to make the weapon more mobile, meant that it rose into the air when fired. To compensate for this , an 'earth box' was attached to its front and filled with 9 tons of soil.. The gun was not fired from it's carriage and took some time to assemble in it's firing position.

photo: Rodney Gibson

Oliver Turner is buried in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, grave 16A:A;14
and also commemorated on the war memorial in Wixoe

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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