45773, Rifleman, Basil Raymond MASON
Aged 34

2nd/15th (County of London Regiment)Battalion, Prince of Wales Own Civil Service Rifles.
formerly King's Royal Rifle Corps
enlisted as No. S/4/157432, Army Service Corps(10th Field Bakery)
Killed in Action on Monday 14th October 1918

Born in Q1-1884 in Ashley [Newmarket 3b:546] to George and Sarah Anne MASON (née RANNER).

1891 census...Basil [7] was at High Street, Ashley with his widowed father George [47] a mineral water agent; his sister Edith Alice[20] dressmaker; brother Clarence M.{15] a baker, and sisters Blanche Lottie [13] and May Irene [9]. All were Ashley born. His mother had died in 1890.

1901 census...Only Basil[17], now a baker, and his father were living at 17 St Philips Road, Newmarket.

Basil married Lilian Catherine COLLINS at Wandsworth St Faiths on 16th July 1909.

1911 census...Basil [27] still a baker, was living with Lilian and his stepson Percy COLLINS (4 yrs old), at 2 Park Cottages, Park Lane, Newmarket. Lilian later moved to 165 Treport Street, Garrett Lane, Wandsworth

He enlisted in Newmarket
2/15th (County of London) Battalion (Prince of Wales's Own Civil Service Rifles) were formed at Somerset House in September 1914. They went to France in June 1918 and became part of 90th Brigade in 30th Division. A fresh offensive was begun on the 14th from Dixmude to Comines, and within a few days the Allies had taken Courtrai, Roulers and Ostend.
from the war diary:
It was announced on the 13th that a full attack was to be made the following morning. The London Scottish were to be in the centre, the Civil Service Rifles were to assault on the right, with the 7th Cheshires on their left. London Scottish were to mop up in support of the advancing companies. The objective was the Menin-Wervicq Road some 2,400 yards ahead. A creeping barrage was to begin 300 yards ahead and lift 100 yards every 90 seconds. At the fifteenth lift the barrage was to remain stationary for 15 minutes to enable consolidation then it would continue until it was 200 yards ahead of the objective. Machine guns would provide overhead fire and the heavy artillery would engage targets in the rear. This tactic was proving to be very successful by this stage of the war. The attack was scheduled for 5.35 am and the men were moved up at 4am and all was reported ready. At 4.10 the men moved up to the jump off line which had been marked out with crossed tapes by the Royal Engineers the night before. At 5.35am hundreds of shells passed overhead and the men moved forward. The rain stopped and with 5 percent of the shells being smoke, the men were offered some protection as they moved forward. The German outposts capitulated at once but machine guns positioned behind them showed more fight and serious casualties began to be taken. The wire was sporadic causing some pausing in the advance. On reaching a wooded area they encountered some pillboxes some of which surrendered at once, others held out.

Six of Basil's battalion were killed, all bar one buried in Somer Farm Cemetery.

© Pierre Vandervelden www.inmemories.com

© Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Basil is buried in Somer Farm Cemetery, Belgium- Ref: C.4

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