The Tebbutt Family at War: Louis and his three sons, Oswold, Roger and Charles.
Oswold (often misspelt Oswald) was the eldest son of Louis Tebbutt and grew up at the family home on Mortimer Road and later Station Road in Cambridge. He attended school at St Faith’s, Cambridge and then the boarding schools at Northdown Hill, Margate, and New School, Abbotsholme where he was Head Boy. In 1909 he attended McGill University, Montreal, where he graduated in 1912 with a BSc in Chemical Engineering.
Returning to the UK in May 1912, Oswold started work at his father’s company, the East Anglia Cement Company, as the manager of their Shepreth branch. In September he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Cambridgeshire Regiment and joined A Company in Cambridge. Oswold proved to be a very dedicated officer and was involved in a variety of the regimental activities. In early 1914 he left A Company and served as the Machine Gun Section officer until he was promoted to Lieutenant and joined G (March) Company in August of that year.
With the outbreak of war Oswold was mobilised and soon promoted to Captain. The next six months were hectic with training to prepare the men for overseas service. In early 1915 the battalion was restructured from eight companies to four and Oswold was moved to B Company as second in command. He sailed for the Western Front with the battalion on 14th February 1915, arriving at Le Havre the following day.
Soon after arriving in France the Cambridgeshires moved up to Flanders and into the Ypres Salient. On 14th March, while still adjusting to life in the front line, they found themselves thrown into the middle of a large-scale surprise German assault around the village of St Eloi (further details about this action can be found here). Oswold and B Company were rushed into the confused defence of the village itself. Later that night, while pushing forward into the village, Oswold was hit in the leg and refusing medical attention, he ordered his batman to get a message back regarding the situation. His body was found later, shot through the head and surrounded by the bodies of three dead Germans, his empty revolver lying beside him.
He now lies in Dickebusch New Military Cemetery in Belgium and is listed on the memorials in Ely Cathedral and St Paul’s Memorial, Cambridge.
This site went live on the 14th February 2015 to mark 100 years since the 1/1st Cambs went off to war.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
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