Frederick Bravington

Welcome to the start of the White trail in Wycombe Cemetery.

Stop number WHITE 1: You are now standing at the new War Memorial at the Prory Road entrance to the cemetery. This memorial was established here in 2015 for all the local men and women who have given their lives in times of war. (The White trail is suitable for wheelchair users and requires you to visit the graves along the tree lined avenue ahead of you. You'll be visiting the graves to your left first, and then at the end of the avenue you need to turn round and return down the opposite side, back to this point.)

Read Frederick's story below and when you are ready to move on click on the dot/circle for R Wisdom.
New war memorial, Wycombe Cemetery Oakridge Road
New war memorial, Wycombe Cemetery Oakridge Road (SWOP RHW12195)

Private Frederick Bravington, 1895-1917

I am a bugler in the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry and I am presently on seven days leave. Before I was mobilised I had worked for five years at the South Bucks Standard Printing Works in the High Street and for some time I was a bugler in the Church Ladsí Brigade.

I am the oldest child in a large family. My parents had fifteen children! There was quite a crush in our house at 38 Oakridge Road. When war broke out I was with the Territorials and I was mobilised with my Battalion on August 4th 1914. So Iíve been in the war right from the very start.

I went to France in March 1915 but was wounded, so I was then transferred to another Battalion of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry but my only leave in all that time has been this seven days. It will be a precious time for my family because, just after my 22nd birthday, the third birthday that I will spend in France, I will be killed - on the 22nd August 1917 and I will be buried on the 23rd. It was the second loss in our family as my younger brother Wilfred died in 1916, but his death was not war related. (He is buried here in the cemetery.)

It will be my brother-in-law who hears about my death as he is passing our camp, hoping to meet up with me. He will find out that I was a servant for Lieutenant Ramage and that the Lieutenant and I were together when I was killed.

Lieutenant Ramage and I had both gone over the top and were advancing between two strong posts which were covered by German machine guns. As we advanced we dropped into a shell hole but I was hit in the side. The Lieutenant asked if I was in pain and I said no, but that I needed the stretcher party. I suppose shock at what had happened simply didnít allow me to feel anything but I was more severely hurt than I realised and I died almost immediately. Lieutenant Ramage said that he could not have wished for a better servant or a more cheerful fellow or fearless soldier. In a letter which the Lieutenant later wrote to my parents he was full of praise and said that I had been one of the smartest and most popular men in the company and that I did my work well, cheerfully and willingly. My parents would have been pleased to hear all that.

Frederick Bravington His parents headstone in Wycombe cemetery
Frederick Bravington His parents headstone in Wycombe cemetery
My brothers Reginald, Victor and Albert all enlisted. So did my uncle Frank. Victor was wounded but they all survived the war. I was the unlucky one. Comrades will remember me as being a cheerful, willing and gallant soldier who they will sorely miss. I will be remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium. (Although I didn't make it home my grandparents, parents and my brother Wifred are all buried in the cemetery, but in their various plots.)

Last Post performed by Alex Heard Last Post performed by James Carr
Last Post performed by Alex Heard
To see the performance on YouTube click here.
Last Post performed by James Carr
Researched by Sally Scagell and Margaret Anderton, Flackwell Local Area History Group

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