• Year of birth: 1892
  • Place of birth: South Leigh, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Date of death: 22/08/1917
  • Place of death: Just north of Hill 35, Belgium
  • Cause of death: Killed in action (K.I.A.)
  • Age: 25
  • Profession: Farmer
  • Country: England, United Kingdom
  • Rank: Private
  • Service number: 267331
  • Enlistment date: Unknown
  • Enlistment place: Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Last known unit: Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, 2/1st Bn. (Buckinghamshire)
  • Force: British Expeditionary Force

Memorial

Additional information

Private Herbert Green served with the 2nd/1st Bucks Battalion as part of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Brigade in the 184th Brigade of the 61st Division. On the 22nd of August 1917, the 61st Division participated in the First Battle of Passchendaele, a stage of the Third Battle of Ypres. That day, only the 184th Brigade of the 61st Division was set to attack. The Brigade consisted of the 2/1st Bucks Battalion of Private Herbert Green and 2/4th Ox & Bucks Light Infantry Battalion. The 2/5th Gloucestershire Regiment of the 184th served in support of the Oxfords attacking on the left and the Bucks of Private Herbert Green on the right of the Gloucester’s Regiment. The 2nd/1st Battalion had incessantly been training for the day of attack. The assembly for the attack was one of the most difficult propositions to be contended with, but, well before time, everyone was in position. At 4.45 a.m. the barrage started and heard from miles back but too late to be of use because the troops were already on the move. Obeying their orders, the troops pushed on, disregarding the enemy’s formidable strong points and block-houses which were left to be dealt with by ‘moppers-up’ especially detailed for the purpose. Both Battalions went well and 30 minutes after the start were digging-in 150 yards west of the Winnipeg-Kansas crossroads. The moppers-up on the other hand, were unable to fulfil the task allotted to them because they were hopelessly depleted by casualties from machine gun- and rifle-fire and partly owing to the stubborn resistance met with from the German concrete strongholds. With the exception of Somme and Aisne the Germans kept these concrete vantage points. The troops on the left came under fire from Schuler Galeries. On the left and right of the 2/1st Bn, Pond Farm and Gallipoli stayed in possession of the Germans. As a result the advancing waves of the 184th Bde found themselves in a precarious situation. Communication was almost impossible since they were fired upon from flank, front and rear. At noon two platoons successfully attacked it, but it later fell to the Gloucester’s after heavy fighting, as did Hindu Cottage. They pushed on and a part of the group reached their objective while a company of the 2/5th Gloucester’s was brought up to quickly consolidate the line of shell holes with the remaining men available in defence of Somme Farm and the remainder of the front. The Germans counter-attacked at least three times until 1 a.m. on the 23rd of August but the artillery dealt with it. In the afternoon of the 22nd, the five companies had virtually disappeared because no messages were received nor any signals. The only news scant and necessarily unreliable to the troops were gleaned from these wounded early on in the battle. The German snipers were busy as were their stretcher-bearers. Immediately on the left of the 2/1st Bn the other Battalion had taken, lost and retaken Pond Farm which eventually stayed in the hand of the 184th Brigade by the evening. This considerably relieved the pressure and after taking two unoccupied gun pits, the 2/1st Bucks Bn was able to straighten out the front line on the 22nd of August. Private Herbert Green was killed in action on the 22nd of August 1917. His Battalion attacked on the right side in a line from Aisne over Gallipoli near Keir Farm and Kansas Corner. He possibly fell just north of Hill 35 since his Battalion found itself in a most precarious situation in the area encompassed by Hindu Cottage, Kansas Cross, Keir Farm and Aisne House.