IGS 1895 (2) Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Tirah 1897-98 (3719 Pte. J. Comber 2d Bn. Oxf: Lt. Infy.);
QSA (1) Relief of Kimberley (3719 Pte. J. Comber. 1/Oxfd: L.I.)
Private J. Comber was killed in action at Kilp Krall on 16 February 1900. The Oxfordshire Light Infantry had one officer wounded, 10 men killed and 39 wounded in this action which took place two days before the battle of Paardeberg.
IGS 1854 (1) Burma 1889-92 (3008 Pte. W. Puddephatt 2d Bn. Oxf: L.Infy.) note spelling of surname;
QSA (4) Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Driefontein, South Africa 1901 (3008. Pte: W. Puddiphat 1/Oxfd: L.I.)
William Puddiphat was born in the Parish of Chesham, Buckinghamshire, and attested for the Oxfordshire Light Infantry at Oxford on 9 August 1888. He served in India and Burma with the 2nd Battalion, and with the Wuntho Field Force, Burma, in 1891.
He served with the 1st Battalion in South Africa in 1899-1901, and was discharged on termination of his first period of limited engagement on 21 August 1901.
IGS 1895 (2) Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Tirah 1897-98 (3703 Pte. W. Langford 2d Bn. Oxf. Lt. Infy.);
QSA (4) Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Transvaal (3703 Pte. W. Langford. 1/Oxfd. L.I.);
KSA (2) (3703 Pte. W. Langford. Oxford: L.I.)
William Langford was born in Shoreditch, London, and enlisted in Oxford on 19 September 1891, aged 19 years 5 months, a porter by trade. He served in India from December 1893 until February 1899 and in South Africa from December 1899 until August 1902, when he came home and was discharged 19 June 1903.
Queens South Africa Medal awarded to: -
3493 Private Joseph Piddington 1st / 2nd Battalion Oxford Light Infantry.
(Mentioned in dispatches & wounded in action)
Born Circa 1868 at Cuddington Buckinghamshire.
Joseph attested in November 1890 aged 22. He was an agricultural labourer by trade.
He stood 5 foot 8 inches tall weighed approximately 9 stone and 9 pounds in weight. His complexion was dark and had dark hair and brown eyes. Distinguishing marks (Tattoos) included a J P – T P back of right forearm and flags crossed with heart above a pyramid of shot below front of left forearm. His religious denomination was C of E.
Joseph Piddington resided at 14 Wellington Street, Jericho, Oxford at the time of his recruitment into the Oxford Light Infantry. Earlier he had also served in the 3rd Battalion Oxford Light Infantry Militia (Reserve).
Looking at the 1871 Census, Joseph was living with his mother and Grandfather Charles Piddington.
The 1881 census has him living with his mother Lucy and his stepfather Edmund East. He was working as a farm labourer aged 13 yrs.
The 1891 Census has Private Piddington located at New Barracks Gosport Hampshire.
12 years’ service with the colours were attained.
Home 7/11/1890 to 8/10/1891
India 9/11/1891 to 5/11/1892
Burma 6/11/1892 to 2/12/ 1898
South Africa 22/12/1899 to 4/10/1902
Home 5/10/1902 to 6/11/1902
Serving in the 2nd battalion, part of the Tirah Field force India and 1st battalion in South Africa.
The 1st Battalion sailed on the Gaika on 22nd December 1899, and arrived at Cape Town on 13th January 1900. Along with the 2nd East Kent, 2nd Gloucester’s, and 1st West Riding Regiment, they formed the 13th Brigade under Major General C E Knox, and part of the 6th Division under Lieutenant General Kelly-Kenny.
The Oxfordshire Light Infantry had, along with the Buffs and Gloucester’s, sharp fighting with Cronje's rear-guard on 16th February 1900. The enemy were found to be occupying a large kopje on the right bank of the Modder for the purpose of covering the retreat of their main body and convoy. With difficulty the Oxford Light Infantry got across and then advanced to the attack of the position. Several companies got within 200 yards of the enemy, while the West Riding Regiment endeavoured to turn the enemy's flank, but the Boers held on stubbornly till darkness. The Oxford Light Infantry lost 10 killed and about 40 wounded, and in the encircling battle of the 18th at Paardeberg they were very heavily engaged.
After Paardeberg the battalion was never very desperately engaged, although they took part in a great deal of fighting and endless marching.
In Lord Roberts' final despatch 7 officers and 18 non-commissioned officers and men of the Oxfordshire Light Infantry were mentioned. MID LG: 10 September 1901, page: 5945. Source: Field Marshal Roberts. 4 September 1901. Re: General mentions.
As well as being mentioned in despatches, Private J, Piddington was wounded in action and was also awarded the Dalzell Medal 1 December 1902, for ‘Good Service in the Field.’
Piddington J 3493 Private Wounded. Klip Drift, 16 February 1900
1st Battalion Source: South African Field Force Casualty Roll.
The Commanding Officer (Lieutenant-Colonel Hon. A. E. Dalzell) desires to place on record and to bring to notice of their comrades the names of the following N.C.O.’s and men of the Battalion who distinguished themselves by good service in the field during the South African war, and whose names were duly submitted by him for the reward of the Distinguished Conduct Medal. It is of course impossible to reward every man whose name is submitted, but the fact that such men are not rewarded by the authorities in no way deflects from the honour to which they are entitled and which they have so nobly earned and the C.O. desires that their good service and soldier-like conduct be generally known and appreciated by all ranks of the Battalion. He hopes to be able to make arrangements for the bestowal on each of these N.C.O.’s and men of a Regimental medal and to obtain the sanction of the War Office for these medals to be worn in all respects similar to those issued by government. 30 names, including Private J. Piddington, were listed.
Along with his Dalzell medal, Private Piddington was entitled to the IGS medal with clasps for Punjab Frontier 1897-98 and the Tirah 1897-98 clasp. QSA, 3 clasps Relief of Kimberley, Orange Free State and Transvaal and the KSA with date clasps.
On the return from South Africa, Joseph was discharged from his regiment on November the 6th 1902 at Chatham. His conduct was recorded as exemplary. Special qualifications in civil life were recorded as Intelligent, sober and trust worthy.
In 1904 he married Caroline Walker on the 24th December, at St Clements Church Oxford.
Alas, the marriage was not to be a long one as Joseph Piddington died aged 39 on July 5th 1907. Although his obituary states he was 36 years of age.
His widow Caroline went on to work as a domestic servant as per the 1911 census living and working for a Ms Jane Blessig. It is believed there were no children and Caroline Piddington remained a widow until her death in the late 1930s.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
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