FLORY, William

2nd Lieutenant, William Henry FLORY
Aged 22

2nd/4th Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Killed in Action on Thursday, 21st March 1918

William FLORY was born in Chesterton, Cambridge (Q3-1895 3B:455), the son of Henry William and Ruth Willice FLORY (née CLEAVER).

1901 census...Aged 5, he was at 60 Charminster Road, Bournemouth, with his mother, Ruth W.FLORY [29] born in Oxford, brother Percival J [4] born in Somerton, Oxon, sister Ruth E.[3] born in Somerton, Oxon and sister Dorothy V [1] born in Bournemouth. His father Henry William FLORY [32] a merchant tailor, born in Oxford, was visiting his own mother Mary at 4 Beckett Street, Oxford.

His mother died in 1906 and his father re-married in Chelmsford on May 1st 1910 to Alice Maude KING.

1911 census...Aged 15 he was a boot maker's assistant, living at St John's Lodge, Church Street, Cambridge with his father (now lay curate at St John 's); his step mother Alice Maude [23] born in Chelmsford, his brother Percival James (grocer's clerk), invalid sister Ruth Mary and sister Dorothy Violet, also a brother Arnold Augustine [8] born in Bournemouth and half sister Mona Isobel [4] born in Poole.

Records show his father as vicar at St Matthew's, Littleport and in Waterbeach before arriving at St Andrew's in Isleham. The exact dates have yet to be established. CWGC have William as being at Fitzwilliam Hall, Cambridge University studying for Holy Orders

His younger brother, Percival James died in France in August 1918. see here

and another younger brother, Arnold Augustine died in Liverpool in September 1918. see here

Enlisted in Cambridge.
The 4th Territorial Battalion of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry were, in March, like all British units, now part of a three battalion Brigade, instead of the usual 4 battalions. This was something that had an obvious affect when the German started their Spring Offensive, the Kaiserschlacht on 21st March 1918.
A heavy, if brief enemy, barrage began at 4:50 am. The barrage, a mixture of high explosives and gas fell upon all British positions, front line trenches back to supply lines, with uncanny accuracy. With the wire cut and trenches badly damaged the enemy barrage lifted and at about 9:30 am the Germans attacked and quickly over ran most British positions. The 4th Oxford and Bucks HQ at Enghein Redoubt was eventually surrounded and only one officer and less than 50 men escaped. That was the last time William FLORY was seen.
The 2nd/4th Oxford and Bucks suffered 96 killed, only 15 have known graves, the rest are named on the Memorial at Pozieres.

photo; Roy Beardsworth

William Flory is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, panels 50 & 51

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