John Arnold Buckland (Du. 1912-15)


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Second Lieutenant, Somerset Light Infantry
Born: October 5th 1896
Died: March 1st 1917

Age at Death: 20

Killed in action, France, March 1st 1917
Son of Rev. J.V. Buckland, Vicar of Whitelackington, Ilminster.

A donation to the memorial statue has been made in honour of this soldier by a Durnford House Old Brightonian.

Obituary Brightonian XV April, 1917
J.A. Buckland was the eldest son of the Rev. J.V. Buckland, Whitelackington Vicarage, Ilminster. He entered Durnford House in September, 1912. He was House Prefect in 1914, and Prefect later in the year. He was Head of Durnford House when he left. He won his 1st XI. Football Colours in 1915, and 2nd XI. Cricket Colours in 1914 and 1915. He was a Lance-Corporal in the O.T.C. Mr. Buckland has received many letters of appreciation of his son's work at the front, for he had seen as a solider of 20 more fighting than most men see in their lives. He was through the whole of the Somme push last Autumn, and he was at the capture of Guillemont on Sept. 3rd, Les Boeufs, Sept. 8th, Geudecourt, Oct. 5th and 8th, and took part in nearly all the operations of the last push up to the time of his death. Those who have ready his many letters from the front are fully appreciative of the humour and insight they displayed, and can echo the appreciation of him written by the Chaplain, from which we can quote the following: "Your boy was one of my best friends, and such a good fellow. His brother officers and his men loved and respected him, and it will be very hard to fill his place. He did not suffer at the last. About 3 p.m. on March 1st a 5.9 shell dropped directly on the post where he was, and death was instantaneous. He is buried at the front line, and the Battalion have erected a cross to his memory."

2nd Lieutenant John Arnold Buckland (Durnford 1912–1915)

John Buckland was born in Ilminster, Somerset, on 5 October 1896. He was the elder son of Reverend John Buckland, Rector of Whitelackington, Somerset, and his wife Agnes (née Kavanagh). At the College he became a school prefect in 1914 and played for the football 1st XI and the cricket 2nd XI as well as being a Lance-Corporal in the OTC. On leaving the school he received a commission in the Somerset Light Infantry.

In summer 1916 he was attached to the 7th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry, which formed part of the 20th Division, with whom he served in the front line throughout out the second half of the Somme campaign. In early spring 1917 the 7th Somerset Light Infantry advanced following the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line, in the course of which, on 1 March 1917, Buckland was killed by enemy shellfire. The regimental chaplain wrote to his parents:

Your boy was one of my best friends, and such a good fellow. His brother officers and his men loved and respected him, and it will be very hard to fill his place. He did not suffer at the last. About 3 p.m. on March 1st a 5.9 shell dropped directly on the post where he was, and death was instantaneous. He is buried at the front line, and the Battalion have erected a cross to his memory.

Buckland was reburied after the war and his grave is now in the A.I.F. Burial Ground, Flers, France.

Source: LEST WE FORGET PROJECT, Brighton College 2014/15

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