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William Oxenham Cautley

William Oxenham Cautley

Male 1875 - 1915  (39 years)


  • Name William Oxenham Cautley  [1, 2, 3
    Birth 07 Oct 1875  Gosport Find all individuals with events at this location   [1, 2, 3
    Residence Apr 1881  Moat Bank, Wall, Staffs Find all individuals with events at this location   [1
    Education abt 1888 - 1893  Bradfield College Find all individuals with events at this location   [4
    Marriage 1901  Blairgowrie Find all individuals with events at this location   [5, 6
    Agnes Hill-Whitson,   b. abt 1881, Comrie, Perthshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1952, Perth Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation Apr 1911  Captain & hon Major, 3rd Suffolk Regt (Special Reserve Forces)   [7
    Residence Apr 1911  St Andrews House, 13 St Andrews St N, Bury St Edmunds Find all individuals with events at this location   [7
    Occupation Jan 1915  Major, Northamptonshire Regt.  [2, 8
    Decoration 10 Mar 1915  DSO  [2
    • For conspicuous gallantry on 22 Dec 1914, near La Quinque Rue, when he handled his men with great skill under very critical circumstances
    Death 09 May 1915  Aubers Ridge, France Find all individuals with events at this location ; Cause: Killed in action  [2
    • The battle of Aubers was an unmitigated disaster for the British army. No ground was won and no tactical advantage gained. It is very doubtful if it had the slightest positive effect on assisting the main French attack fifteen miles to the south.
      More than 11,000 British casualties were sustained on 9 May 1915, the vast majority within yards of their own front-line trench. Mile for mile, division for division, this was one of the highest rates of loss during the entire war. 1st Battn Northamptonshire Regt suffered 560 casualties, incl 17 officers, the heaviest of any unit in the southern attack. [1914-1918.net website accessed 04 Jan 2011]
    Burial   No known grave Find all individuals with events at this location   [2
    • Major William Oxenham Cautley, D.S.O.,Mentioned in Despatches. 3rd Bn., Suffolk Regiment, attd. 1st Bn., Northamptonshire Regiment, died age 39 on 09 May 1915. Son of the late Capt. William T. Cautley, South Staffs Regt. and Emily M. Cautley; husband of Agnes Cautley. Served in the South African War. Le Touret Memorial, Panel 9. [CWGC]
    Notes 
    • Cautley, William Oxenham. Major, 3rd. Bn. Suffolk Regiment; attd. 1st Bn. Northamptonshire Regiment. Date of Death 09 May 1915, aged 39. D.S.O., Mentioned in Despatches. Son of the late Capt. William T. Cautley, South Staffs Regt. and Emily M. Cautley; husband of Agnes Cautley. Served in the South African War. Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 9, Le Touret Memorial. [CWGC]
    • Cautley, William Oxenham, D.S.O., Major, 3rd Battn. Suffolk Regt., attd. 1st Battn. Northamptonshire Regt., eldest s. of the late Capt. William Thompson Cautley, 1st South Staffordshire Regt. (who died of typhoid while on Active Service in Egypt, 1883), by his wife, Emily Marion, dau. of Henry Oxenham, nephew of the Rev. Proby Littler Cautley, Rector of Quainton, co. Bucks, and gdson. of Major-Gen. George Cautley, 8th Bengal Cavalry: b. Gosport, 7 Oct. 1875; educ. Bradfield College, where he distinguished himself in athletics, and was known in particular as a fast sprinter, his favourite races being the 100 yards and the half-mile. He joined the 3rd Reserve Battn. of the Suffolks in Nov. 1894, and received a commission in the 3rd Hussars in May, 1897. He subsequently rejoined the 3rd Suffolks, a battn. that was chosen for service at the time of the Boer War, though instead of going to South Africa it was sent, to the disappointment of all concerned, to do garrison work in the Island of Alderney. At the outbreak of war last Aug. the 3rd Suffolks had become a reserve battn. under the new system, and Major Cautley, joining his unit and acting as a Capt. with the honorary rank of Major, was for some while in charge of a fort at Felixstowe. Volunteering for service on the Continent, he left at the end of Oct. for France, being first attached to the Sussex Regt., and then to the 1st Northamptons, who had lost many of their officers. Throughout the remainder of the year he saw a great deal of severe fighting, his company particularly distinguishing itself during the furious German attack on the night of 22 Dec., the following special Brigade Order being issued later by General C. B. Westmacott: "The Brigadier-General desires to take this opportunity of congratulating D Coy., 1st Battn. Northamptonshire Regt., on its gallant and steady behaviour during the action of 22 Dec. The manner in which, under the command of Major Cautley, of the 3rd Battn. Suffolk Regt., it resisted the counter German attack, and the steadiness with which it finally withdrew in face of superior numbers and eventually occupied a position in the rear to cover the gap made in the line was worthy of all praise, and adds fresh laurels to the fine record of the old 48th. The Brigadier-General has heard of numerous individual gallant exploits in this engagement, and congratulates himself on having such a gallant body of men in his Brigade. He desires that this Order be read out to the battn. on parade." In Jan. last Major Cautley was gazetted Major; while for his services on 22 Dec. he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, the announcement in the London Gazette of 10 March reading as follows : "For conspicuous gallantry on 22 Dec. 1914, near La Quinque Rue, when he handled his men with great skill under very critical circumstances." There were a series of furious attacks and counter attacks from Thursday to Saturday night during the week ending 8 May, and early on Sunday morning, the 9th, Major Cautley was wounded while leading his men against the German trenches, and no sooner had he been attended to than another bullet struck him, death being instantaneous. In the Battn. Orders issued by Lieut.-Col. S. E. Hussy Lloyd, commanding 3rd Battn. Suffolk Regt., Felixstowe, under date 20 May, appears the following : "It is with deep regret that the Commanding Officer has to announce the death of Major W. O. Cautley, D.S.O., killed in action. Major Cautley by the keen interest he always took in the welfare of the battn., endeared himself to all ranks, and in the end brought a great distinction not only to himself, but to the battn. to which he was so devoted. The Commanding Officer has lost a personal friend, and the Suffolk Regt. a brilliant soldier." Major Cautley m. at Blairgowrie, co. Perth, 10 April, 1901, Agnes, second dau. of the late Charles Hill-Whitson, of Park Hill, Blairgowrie, late Scots Greys, and had a son and two daus.: William Hill, b. 25 Aug. 1906; Beatrice Sylvia Aimée, b. 25 May, 1902; and Marian Agnita, b. 16 Oct. 1904. [De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour]
    • Major William Oxenham Cautley, D.S.O. (3rd Suffolk Regiment, attached to the 1st Northants), was born in 1875 and killed on May 9 while leading his men against the German trenches. He was in the Bradfield Eleven in 1892, 1893, and 1894, and was described as "A very fair fast-medium bowler of his day; a very unsafe, though at times a brilliant, field; has no idea of batting; handicapped much by ill-health." He received his D.S.O. for conspicuous gallantry on December 22nd, 1914, near La Quinque Rue. [Wisden 1915]
    Person ID I3218  Tatham | Christopher branch | Descendant
    Last Modified 31 Aug 2013 

    Father William Thompson Cautley,   b. 07 May 1848, At sea Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 02 Mar 1883, Cairo Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 34 years) 
    Mother Emily Marian Oxenham,   b. abt Aug 1843, Westminster Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Apr 1880, 33 York Terrace, Regents Park Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 36 years) 
    Marriage 19 Jan 1875  St Stephen, Westbourne Park Find all individuals with events at this location   [9, 10
    • At St. Stephen's Church, Westbourne Park, William T. Cautley, 38th Regt., son of Major-General Cautley, to Emily M., daughter of Mr. Hugh Oxenham, Jan. 19. [9]
    Notes 
    • 7 servants in Apr 1881
    Family ID F0860  Family Group Sheet

    Family Agnes Hill-Whitson,   b. abt 1881, Comrie, Perthshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1952, Perth Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 71 years) 
    Marriage 1901  Blairgowrie Find all individuals with events at this location   [5, 6
    Notes 
    • Apr 1911: 3 children, all living.
    • *younger* daughter Marian Agnita called *youngest* in death notice Mar 2006 - presumed error
    Children 
     1. Sylvia Beatrice Aimée Cautley,   b. abt May 1902, Lexden Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Oct 1981, Bridge of Earn Hospital Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 79 years)
     2. Marian Agnita Cautley,   b. 16 Oct 1904, Blairgowrie Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Feb 2006, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 101 years)
     3. William Hill Cautley,   b. 29 Aug 1906, Kinloch, Blairgowrie Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Mar 1979, Rhuddlan district Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
    Last Modified 21 Oct 2010 
    Family ID F0965  Family Group Sheet

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 07 Oct 1875 - Gosport Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Apr 1881 - Moat Bank, Wall, Staffs Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEducation - abt 1888 - 1893 - Bradfield College Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - < - 1901 - Blairgowrie Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - 1901 - Blairgowrie Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Apr 1911 - St Andrews House, 13 St Andrews St N, Bury St Edmunds Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - Cause: Killed in action - 09 May 1915 - Aubers Ridge, France Link to Google Earth
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : Town/District       : County/Region       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    William Oxenham Cautley (1875-1915)
    William Oxenham Cautley (1875-1915)

  • Sources 
    1. [S01] Census, UK, 1881.
      age 5

    2. [S34] Commonwealth War Graves Commission, 09 May 1915.
      age 39

    3. [S02] BMD Index, birth reg Alverstoke, 4Q1875.

    4. [S39] Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1915.

    5. [S52] GRO Scotland, marriage reg Blairgowrie, 1901.
      William Oxenham Cautley = Agnes Hill[-]Whitson

    6. [S01] Census, UK, 1911.
      marr 9 yrs

    7. [S01] Census, UK, 1911.
      age 35 b Gosport

    8. [S35] London Gazette.
      date not verified

    9. [S11] Newspaper, Pall Mall Gazette, 22 Jan 1875.
      marriage notice

    10. [S02] BMD Index, marriage reg Kensington, 1Q1875.
      William Thomas Cantley [sic] = Emily Marian Ford