TOSETTI, Douglas [M.C.]

Major, Douglas TOSETTI M.C.
Aged 39

8th Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales's (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
Killed in Action on Thursday, 21st March 1918

Douglas Tosetti was born on 6th July 1878 in Bromley, Kent (Bromley Q3-1878 2A:353), baptised in Bromley on 15th August 1878, son of Maximilian Edward Oscar and Julia Elizabeth TOSETTI (née FOLKS). His father became a naturalised British subject on 15th September 1880.

1881 census...Aged 3, he was at No 3 Bromley Common, Bromley, Kent with his father Max TOSETTI [36]( British subject) forwarding and banking agent, born Rhenish Province, Germany; his mother Julia [34] born Bishop's Stortford ; sister Margaret [7] born West Croydon, Surrey; brother Alex [[6], sister Lilian [5] and brother Gilbert [1], all three born in Bromley.

1891 census...Aged 13, he and his brother Gilbert were lodging at Hartford Villa, Hartford Witney, Southampton with widow Louisa F Dudley [54] superintendent of sanitorium. His parents were at Ash Dene, Snakes Lane, Woodford,

In 1900, aged 21, he entered the Honourable Artillery Company, residing at Woodford Green.

1901 census...Aged 23 a shipping clerk, he was at West Dene, Charteris Road, Woodford St Mary with his parents (father now a wine merchant), sisters Margaret and Lilian, and brothers Alexander (shipping agent) and Gilbert (shipping clerk). Gilbert was a 1st class cricketer, played 41 times for Essex, Douglas had also played several games for Essex.

1911 census...Aged 28, a wine merchant's clerk, he was at The Hall, Swaffham Prior with his father and sister Lilian. His mother was at 82 Palace Court, Hyde Park with his brother Alex.

8th September 1914 he attested for the Honourable Artillery Company (No.2301) with his address as 147 Fenchurch Street E.C. and later at 82 Palace Court, Hyde Park.He was 5 feet 10.5 inches (179.1 cm)tall, chest 38"-41" (96.5 to 104.1 cm). He was commissioned on 27th November 1914

London Gazette 4th November 1915:-
Military Cross - Temporary Captain Douglas Tosetti, Princess Charlotte of Wales's (Royal Berkshire Regiment). For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on 25th September, 1915. Although badly wounded in the leg early in the assault, he continued to lead his men close up to Hulluch, capturing the trenches there and holding them till evening, when he was forced to leave the trenches for medical attention.

He died on the opening day of the Kaiserschlacht, the German Spring Offensive. On March 21 the Germans attacked the British front on the St Quentin road near Magpie Wood. The 8th Royal Berks were holding the front line, Their position was Caffone Farm about a kilometre to the right of St Quentin near a quarry.and their support lines were just in front of some chalk pits. The German line was along a ridge and ran through Ganchy. There was a valley between their line and ours.The battalion had to retire and suffered severely in so doing. The ground was lost.
Douglas was second in command of the battalion (since 18th May 1917), which had 42 killed that day, none have an identified grave.

The photograph was after his award of the Military Cross in 1915.

photo: Roy Beardsworth

Douglas Tosetti M.C. is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial,. panels 56-57
and also commemorated on the Lords Cricket Ground M.C.C. members WW1 memorial.

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