OSBOURNE, Royal John

No.R/38069, Lance Corporal, Royal John OSBOURNE
Aged 20

8th Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps
formerly No.TR/13-21241, 108th Training Bn., Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Monday, 31st December 1917

Royal John Osbourne was born in Bottisham in 1897 (Newmarket Q4-1897 3B:511), son of Uriah and Emma OSBOURNE (née SMITH).

1901 census...Aged 3, he was at Town Street, Bottisham with his mother Emma OSBOURN [31] born Freckenham and sister Emily Eliza [1] born Bottisham.
His father was Uriah JOHNSON, Private No. 972 Suffolk Regiment a regular soldier who was in UK from 1892 to 1900 but was in South Africa for this census, being demobbed on 17th September 1901.

1911 census...John, aged 13, farm labourer, he was at Wells Cottages, Bottisham with his father Uriah OSBOURNE [45] farm labourer born Bottisham, mother Emma; sisters Emily, Lily [8] and Charlotte [6 months] and brothers Frederick [7] and Albert [3]. All the children were born in Bottisham, one had died. His father died in 1915.

By the time of his pension card, his mother was living at "near the Old Anchor", Bottisham

He enlisted in Cambridge.
The battalion diary:-
8th KRRC, 14th Division, 41st Brigade. At this time the 14th Division were holding the line around the village of Passchendaele. The 14th Division had relieved the 8th Division on the night of the 2/3rd December.
22/12/17. Battalion moved up to take a line N. of Gouberg Copse. Move put off for an hour on account of SOS on the left. Fairly quite relief, relieving the 9th KRRC, Battalion HQ at Virile Farm. 700 yards of front.
23/12/17. Heavy hostile barrage before dawn, causing no casualties. Great sniping activity on both sides, dispersed parties of enemy advancing & retiring from shell hole positions. Our front line positions worried by hostile M.G.'s, these were silenced by L. Guns.

It is probable that this is where and when Royal was wounded, then transported to General Hospital in Boulogne. Without his Army records there is now no way of being sure, and even Army records seldom name the place of any incident, merely the date.

photo: Rodney Gibson

photo: Rodney Gibson

Royal Osbourne is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, grave 8:I:146

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