Corporal and Police Constable William Oakley

Corporal William Oakley served with the 1st battalion Scots Guards during the Boers’s war. After his military career he went on to serve with the City of London Police. He is entitled to the Queen South Africa (clasps Driefountein, Modder River, Belmont), the 1902 Coronation Police Medal and the 1911 Coronation Police Medal. His enlistment number in the Scots guards was 9679.

Height : 6’4″      Weight : 143 lbs.    Eyes : Grey     Hair : Light brown

Trade : labourer        Father : Thomas Oakley

August 1873 : He was born in Portsmouth

30th June 1892: He enlisted in the Scots Guards at St-George Barracks in London, England.

Corporal Oakley enlistment paper for the Boers’ war

November 9th, 1893: He was appointed Lance-corporal

December 12th: He completed his 3rd class Certificate of education

March 17th 1899: He completed his 2nd class Certificate of education

March 27th: He was promoted corporal and appointed Lance-sergeant on September 25th

January 29th: He was reverted to the rank of Corporal at his own request.

June 29th, 1899: he transferred to the Army Reserve and joined the City of London Police as a Constable

October 7th: He was recalled to the colors with the 1st battalion Scots Guards.

October 16th: The 1st Battalion Scots Guards was inspected

October 21st: The battalion entrained at Nine Elm Station (it was part of the 1st Division and the Guards Brigade ) The battalion embarked on the Nubia and arrived in Cape Town on November 13th.

November 21s: At 4h00 they started advancing toward Belmont (12 miles).

November 23rd: At 2 a.m. the battalion paraded and advanced to the rendezvous point at 3:15 a.m. The battalion launched its attack on Spur Hill, near Belmont at around 4 a.m. . Near the top, confronting a fierce Boers’ opposition they fixed bayonet for last push. Private John Campbell was severely wounded at both arms and on his side in that charge. During that particular attack the Scots Guard suffered many casualties 3 officers and 51 other ranks dead, 23 officers and 220 other ranks wounded.

November 25th: The battalion left Belmont en route for Modder River

November 28th: Battle of Modder River. They were on the left side of the attack line.

Picture of “G” Company Scots Guards at Modder River

November 29th: Moved north of Modder River and stayed there until December 10th.

December 11th: Magersfountain Assembled at 1:00 am and got lost during the night march, instead they covered the retirement of the Highlander regiment.

March 13th, 1900: The battalion entered the capital of Orange Free State, Bloemfontein

Picture of the Scots Guards battalion entering Bloemfountain

August 13th: They were back in United, Kingdom

March 7th, 1901: he was transferred to the 3rd battalion at his own request.

United Kingdom Census list him as a Police Constable living in London.

April 21st, 1902: He transferred to the Army Reserve with the rank of Corporal and returned with the City of London Police.

City of London Police enlistment paper

June 26th: The Coronation ceremony, 1060 Police Constable of the City of London took part in the ceremony.

November 1st: He was found drunk on the job for the first time

December: He married Emily Annie

Early January 1904: He and two of his colleagues were accused of soliciting goods (Christmas box) to a local merchant as a gratuity. The accuser did not want them to get into any trouble and changed his minds when he was asked to identify the three Police Constables in question.

June 29th: He was discharged from the Army Reserve.

December 1907: He moved from 16 Ilfracombe Buildings to 64 Douglas buildings.

January 2nd 1911: Siege of Sydney Street – Police of London and the Scots Guards were called to stop the riot ( )

1911 census document

March 30th United Kingdom census: Married to Emily Annie Oakley with his children, Herbert William (5 years), Irene (3 years), Ernest Charles (2 years) and Emily Irene (9 months).

June 22nd: The Coronation ceremony. 1400 Police Constable of the City of London took part in the ceremony.

August 18th: Birth of his daughter, Hilda Helena Oakley

May 31st, 1912: He was found drunk on the job for a second time and he also threatened another Police Constable.

August 25th, 1913: Found drunk again on the job.

September 20th: Birth of his son, Franck Oakley

November 25th: According to his superior, his conduct was satisfactory.

February 25th, 1914: According to his superior, his conduct was satisfactory.

August 25th: According to his superior, his conduct was satisfactory

October 9th, 1916: He was caught drunk for the fourth time on his night shift. The report produced by his superior mention that William Oakley was crying and he said that he was depressed and he would cut his throat. They detained him until he was sober. Later that month, he was sent to the Police Force doctor to be examined and was found unfit for the service. His medical report says that he suffered from mental disorder. He was fired from the police after 17 years of service. He had two service numbers, 685 and 80a

November 6th: His uniform had been returned to the police.

January 11th 1917: He retired from the Police with a pension of £38.2.10 per annum.

Police Constable William Oakley discharge certificate

March 1921: The City of London Police gave reference for him to his future employer, Société Générale, and mentioned that they considered him trustworthy.

February 26th, 1927: His wife Emily Annie died of heart failure.

August 27th: The City of London Police gave reference for him to his future employer, Messrs Lovell and Christmas, while there is no reason to doubt his honesty, his absolute sobriety could not be vouch for.

January 28th, 1928: He married for a second time to Esther Humpryes in London. They were both already living together at 15 Victoria Chambes Luke Street. She died on March 1st, 1932 of a myocardial degeneration and anasarca. This disease could be caused by liver failure (cirrhosis of the liver) or renal failure.

October 13th, 1951 he died of cerebral hemorrhage. At the time of his death he was married with C Oakley meaning that he got married a third time.

If you know more information on this gentleman, please leave me message so I can add it to his small biography.

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