Company Serjeant Major, D/34094, Ernest James Buck – Survived the War

1st The Royal Dragoons

The 1st Royal Dragoons Cap Badge, similar to the one which would have been worn by Ernest James Buck.

Introduction

Ernest James Buck was born in c.1883 at Upper Caldicote, Bedfordshire to Charles and Mary Buck. The family were resident in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire and were primarily farm workers. Ernest, took a different career path and joined the 1st Dragoons in 1901, serving in India, South Africa and was sent to France / Flanders at the start of the Great War serving until the end of the War. He was to be injured several times and also reached the rank of Warrant Officer Class II after his transfer to The Royal Scots. He was later demoted to Corporal before eventually regaining his rank towards the end of the war and his eventual transfer back to the 1st Dragoons. He was to survive the war. His brother George who also served in the 1st Dragoons also survived the war.

Biggleswade Chronicle – 11 June 1915

Extract from the above publication :-

Biggleswade Royal Dragoon Wounded

Sergeant Ernest Buck, of the 1st Royal Dragoons, wrote home to his mother at Biggleswade, on Monday, stating that he had been wounded in the head by shrapnel and was then in hospital at Rouen, France, and was shortly expecting to be brought to England. Sergeant Buck who is a man of splendid physique, was wounded on the previous Monday. He had been at the front since September and had been in many stern struggles. He has 14 years’ service to his credit and has a brother, Trooper George Buck serving in the same regiment. Sergeant Buck has now been brought to England. His brother mentioned above Trooper G. Buck, came home to Biggleswade on Tuesday for a short leave until Thursday. Despite his many thrilling experiences as previously told in these columns Trooper Buck looks wonderfully well.

Biggleswade Chronicle – 2 July 1915

Extract from the above publication :-

Sergeant Ernest Buck of the 1st Royal Dragoon Guards, is now home on a well-earned furlough. He has been in the 1st Dragoon Guards (Incorrect, should just be 1st Dragoons) for 14 years, and was sent with the British Expeditionary Force on August 13th (1914), and has been in many engagements since that period. He was wounded in the head with a piece of shrapnel and was brought to Liverpool Hospital a few weeks ago, but was discharged on Thursday. His parents and sisters gave him a hearty reception home that evening. We congratulate him upon his escape. His eye and ear are still very painful, but considering all he has passed through we were pleased to see him looking so well.

Biggleswade Chronicle – 19 January 1917

Extract from the above publication :-

Promotion

We are pleased to learn that Sergeant Ernest Buck, son of Mr and Mrs Buck, of Shortmead Street, Biggleswade, has been promoted to the rank of Company Sergeant-Major. Sergeant-Major Buck has served practically all through the war. He was formerly with the Royal Dragoons but is now with the Royal Scots. His brother George still belongs to the Royal Dragoons and during his very lengthy period of service in France, has had very many narrow escapes, some of which have been related in these columns. We wish these two gallant soldier brothers every success on the Western Front and a speedy and safe return to their parents.

Biggleswade Chronicle – 2o July 1917

Extract from the above publication :-

Sergeant Buck in Hospital

Mr C Buck, of Shortmead Street, learned last week that his son, Sergeant-Major Ernest Buck, of the Royal Scots, is in hospital in France suffering from fever, but it is hoped that it is not severe. He went out to France at the outbreak of the war, and while with the Royal Dragoons was badly wounded in the head. On recovery he was transferred to the Royal Scots. He is a man of Exceptionally fine physique, and he has many years service to his credit.

Entry from The Biggleswade Chronicle dated 20 July 1917.

Biggleswade Chronicle – 1 November 1918

Extract from the above publication :-

On Leave

Sergeant Ernest Buck of the Royal Scots is home on leave and is looking very fit. He formerly belonged to the Dragoons and has seen much service with the Allies on the Western Front. He was once badly wounded in the head but he made a good recovery.

Military History Sheet

Ernest saw service in the following locations and dates.

  • Home – 31 December 1901 to 26 January 1904.
  • India – 27 January 1904 to 25 November 1911.
  • South Africa – 26 November 1911 to 18 September 1914.
  • Home – 19 September 1914 to 7 October 1914.
  • France – 8 October 1914 to 5 June 1915.
  • Home – 6 June 1915 to 13 December 1916.
  • France – 14 December 1916 to 21 September 1918.
  • Home – 22 September 1918 to 13 November 1918.
  • France – 14 November 1918 to 2 April 1919.
  • Home – 3 April 1919 to 22 January 1920.

Further Military and Civilian Research

  • Ernest James Buck was born circa 1883 at Upper Caldicote, Bedfordshire.
  • He was to join the 1st Royal Dragoons on 31st December 1901 at Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, his service number given as D/34094. He was shown as being 18 years and 9 months old and working as a Labourer. He was described as the following :-
    • Height – 5’7″
    • Weight – 132lbs
    • Chest Measurement – 35-37 inches.
    • Complexion – Fresh
    • Eyes – Hazel
    • Hair – Dark Brown
    • Religion – Church of England
    • Scar back of head and wound scar back of right wrist.
  • 8 January 1902 – He was initially posted to Shornecliffe, Kent.
  • 18 October 1907 – Promoted to Lance Corporal.
  • 26 November 1909 – Promoted to Corporal.
  • 28 June 1913 – Re-engaged for such a period as shall complete 21 years service with the Colours.
  • 3 October 1914 – Promoted to Serjeant.
  • 8 October 1914 – Transferred with unit to France.
  • 1 June 1915 – Shrapnel wound to his head.
  • 6 June 1915 – Transferred to England.
  • 15 December 1916 – Transferred to the 17th Battalion Royal Scots.
Cap Badge of The Royal Scots, similar tot he one which would have been worn by Ernest Buck.
  • 26 March 1917 – Appointed acting Company Serjeant Major.
  • 18 June 1917 – Reverted to the rank of Serjeant.
  • 13 September 1917 – Appointed acting Company Serjeant Major.
  • 11 December 1917 – Promoted to Warrant Officer Class II and appointed Company Serjeant Major.
  • 31 January 1918 – attended at 12 Casualty Clearing Stations with Scabies.
  • 3 February 1918 – Rejoined unit.
  • 14 February 1918 – Awaiting Trial by General Court Marshall for Drunkeness in the Field.
  • 26 February 1918 – Reduced to the Rank of Corporal.
  • 28 March 1918 – Gun Shot wound to right shoulder.
  • 29 March 1918 – At 56 Casualty Clearing Station with the Gun Shot Wound.
  • 29 March 1918 – At 20 General Hospital, Camiers, France.
  • 31 March 1918 – Moved to Etaples.
  • 9 April 1918 – Rejoined unit.
  • 16 May 1918 – Promoted to Serjeant.
  • 30 December 1918 – Promoted to WOII.
  • 2 April 1919 – At Boulogne, France to transfer to U.K. for dispersal.
  • 3 April 1919 – At Glencorse with Depot Royal Scots.
  • 29 May 1919 – He is transferred back to the 1st Royal Dragoons. and then to 6th Reserve Cavalry Regiment as Squadron Serjeant Major at Tidworth, Hampshire.
  • 24 July 1919 – Moved to The Royal Scots Greys, Edinburgh as Squadron Serjeant Major.
  • 24 October 1919 – Returns to 1st Royal Dragoons as Squadron Serjeant Major at Luton.
  • 25 November 1919 – Returns to No.6 Reserve Cavalry Regiment at Dunbar as Squadron Serjeant Major.
  • 21 January 1920 – Discharged from the army at own request after 18 years service.

Family

Ernest James Buck was born circa 1883 at Upper Caldicote, Bedfordshire. The following family information is taken from the 1891 Census and his Service Record from 1903.

His family is shown as follows :-

  • Father – Charles Buck, born c.1860 at Upper Caldicote, Bedfordshire – Farm Labourer
  • Mother – Mary Ann Wheatley or Buck, born c.1857 at Old Warden, Bedfordshire.
  • Sister – Caroline
  • Brother – Herbert Henry Wheatley Buck, born c.1878 at Upper Caldicote, Bedfordshire – Fram Labourer.
  • Sister – Ethel, born c.1881 at Upper Caldicote, Bedfordshire.
  • Brother – George Arthur, born 27th July 1885 at Upper Caldicote, Bedfordshire.
  • Sister – Hilda, born c.1891 at Upper Caldicote, Bedfordshire.
  • Sister – Florence
  • Sister – Maude
  • Sister – Daisy

Addresses

  • 1891 – 204 Rose Lane, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.
  • 1903 – Cemetery Street, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.
  • 1915, May – Shortmead Street, Biggleswade (Parents Address).
  • 1919, January – 7, Benson’s Row, Biggleswade.
  • 1939 – 31 Potton Road, Biggleswade.

Medals

Ernest James Buck was awarded the 1914 Star with Clasp and Roses, Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War.

Medal Index Card for Ernest Buck.

Memorials

Ernest Buck was not killed during the war so he is not remembered on any war memorial.

Links to Additional Information

References

  • Army Service Records.
  • Medal Roll – Corps of Dragoons – Victory and British War Medal.
  • Medal Index Card
  • Biggleswade Chronicle – Various editions

Groups

Contributors:-

  • Vincent Stuart
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