Oliver V. Osbourne

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Number: 9704                                Unit: 1st Lincolnshire
                                                                    Regiment
Rank: Private                                Commemorated:
                                             Menin Gate Memorial Ypres

PERSONAL DETAILS.

Victor Osbourne was just 19 years of age when he died from wounds “received in the firing line somewhere in France”.  He lived with his brothers and sisters in Hickson Cottages, his mother and father having since passed away.  He was a pre-war regular soldier, having joined the 1st Lincolnshire Regiment some months before hostilities commenced.

SERVICE DETAILS.

After enlisting, Victor was to find himself with the 1st Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment.  This was a pre-war regular battalion and was part of 9th Infantry Brigade, the 3rd Division, an element of the original British Expeditionary Force.  On mobilisation, the 1st Lincolns were stationed at Portsmouth and, at 6.00pm on the 4th August, the battalion received its orders to mobilise.  Its ranks contained a number of young soldiers, with just a few months service.  It was brought up to strength with a draft of reservists from the depot; by 12th August mobilisation was complete and on the 14th August it was sailing from Southampton aboard the S.S. Italian Princes.  Destination the western front.  Having landed at Le Havre, the battalion concentrated at Landrecies.  Victor was at war. 

During January and February 1915, the Lincolns were in a comparatively quiet part of the line east of Kemmel.  On the 17th February this was to change, as on that day the Lincolns, with the rest of the 9th Brigade, were ordered to the Ypres salient.  The area they occupied was, in fact, “the bluff”.  There were many casualties here; the Germans constantly attacked with artillery, trench mortars and sniper fire.  About the middle of March, the battalion was moved to the “Hill 60” sector, which was equally tough.  Indeed, it was here the Germans, on the 14th May, blew in a portion of the line.  Although not engaged in any specific attack, the Lincolns casualties for this period steadily rose.  Victor was one of those who became just another trench warfare statistic.

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