681747 GNR T. L. OXTON.  R.F.A.

 

Thomas Lunt Oxton was born on 27 February 1893 in Liverpool and baptised at Toxteth St Matthew on 19 March.  His father was John Lunt Oxton (b. 1857 in Toxteth), a bookkeeper working for a bread factory.  His mother was Elizabeth Frances Huxley (b. 1866 in Toxteth).  John and Elizabeth were married in 1890 and they had three children: John (b. 1891), Thomas, and Nellie (b. 1895).  In 1911, the family was living at 26 Allington Stret, Aigburth, and Thomas was working as a bank clerk.  They later moved to 18 Roxburgh Avenue.

 

It may be that Tom served in the Territorials before the War.  He was originally given service number 562, although he also had another service number 4490, and finally in 1917 was assigned number 681747.  It seems likely that he was initially posted to “D” Battery of 276th Brigade, but he did not land with 55th Division in France in September 1915. He was at some stage transferred to “C” Battery of 162nd Brigade.  162Bde came under orders of 33rd Division.

 

In 1918, 33rd Division were engaged in the second phase of the German Spring Offensive.  They fought in various phases of the Battle of the Lys:  the Battle of Messines, the Battle of Hazebrouck, the Battle of Bailleul, the defence of Neuve Eglise, the First Battle for Kemmel Ridge, and the fighting for and recapture of Ridge Wood.  From 12 September to 12 October, they were engaged in the Battles of the Hindenburg Line, in particular the capture of Cambrai on 9 October.  Once Cambrai had fallen, 3rd Division was engaged in pushing the Germans back towards the River Selle.  Tom was wounded in action and died of his wounds at Saint-Souplet, south-east of Cambrai, on 17 October 1918.  He was 25 years old.

 

Rank:  Gunner

Service No:  681747

Date of Death: 17/10/1918

Age:  25

Regiment/Service:  Royal Field Artillery, “C” Bty, 162nd Bde. Cemetery/memorial reference:   I. D. 22.

Cemetery/Memorial:  ST. SOUPLET BRITISH CEMETERY

Additional Information:  Son of John Lunt Oxton and Elizabeth F. Oxton, of 18 Roxburgh Avenue, Aigburth Road, Liverpool.

 

[By 1911, Tom’s brother John jnr had emigrated to Perth, Western Australia where in 1914, he married Ruth Eleanor Tucker (b. 1895 in Heaton, Newacastle upon Tyne).  Ruth had arrived in Perth in 1913.  In 1916 the couple had a son whom they named John Huxley Oxton.  John snr it seems did not join the Australian forces during the First World War, but during the Second World War John jnr served in 2/5Bn Australian Infantry and he died on active duty in New Guinea on 6 February 1943, aged 27.]

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