172098 Pte Cecil Albert Buckley was born on June 1st 1894 in Luton Beds, England, an hour away from London. He then moved to a small town in Ontario called Ramore, an hour away from Timmins, Ontario. Throughout his young life, he was a carpet weaver, and almost three months after turning 21, on the 28th of August, 1915, Buckley joined the 83rd Battalion CEF, which is perpetuated by The Queens Own Rifles of Canada. Lt Col Reginald Pellatt, (Sir Henry Pellatt’s son), was the Commanding Officer of the 83rd Battalion and signed Buckley’s attestation papers.
The 83rd disembarked at Liverpool 7 May, 1916 and by July Buckley was transferred to the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles (4 CMR) in France. In October, 1916 4 CMR were heavily involved in the fighting during the Somme.
From the War Diaries of 4 CMR:
1st – 10th Oct 1916
Now 1,000 yards in front of the ground they had helped take in mid-September, they were sent in to help take Regina Trench. This proved very costly as Regina Trench was not fully captured and held. Vicious, close, bomb for bomb, hand to hand fighting saw advances into Regina Trench won and lost, as shell and sniper fire withered the attack to a halt as worn and very tired men and dwindling munitions made for a very long and very costly day. Some 70 men of the 4th CMR were lost as a result of that one day alone. Relieved by the 49th BN on the night of the 2nd/3rd, the Battalion went back to Albert for five days before returning on the 8th, at Tara Hill, near the Sunken Road, for three days of intense and often costly, dangerous work in the support trenches, and providing working parties in the front area.
It is likely that Buckley was killed during the Battle of Ancre Heights during the fighting in and around Regina Trench. Initially, Buckley was reported missing in action, but then it was confirmed that he was killed in action 1 October 1916. According to documentation, he was in a party of four, manning a Lewis Gun when an enemy shell exploded above them, killing them all. Rfn C. A. Buckley is buried at Stump Road Cemetery, Somme France.
Buckley’s wartime records can be found here.
With research by Cpl Yasir Hosein who carries Rfn Buckley’s Coin of Remembrance.