Private Horace Matthew MYCOCK


Regiment/Service:
Royal Army Medical Corps
Unit:
62nd Field Ambulance
Service Number:
34554
Date of Death:
3 November 1919 - Died (Home)
Age:
26
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Reference:
North of Church.


Personal History:

Horace was born in the June quarter 1893 in Llandudno, Wales, the son of Matthew (Domestic Coachman) and Frances (née Wooliscroft) Mycock. He had three younger brothers, Frederick Gordon, and Joseph William (see Footnote) (both born in Fairfield) and Charles Henry, and by 1901 the family had moved to Southwick Park Lodge, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, in the employ of John M. Gratrix's family. (Census RG 12/2467).

Ten years later (1911 Census RG 14/21234) two more sons
had been added to the family, Jack Mellor (born in Tewkesbury)
and Dick Stanley (in Westmoreland) and the family were back
in Buxton, living at 7 King's Road, Fairfield.
Horace was working as a "Shoemaker's Apprentice". [Father Matthew was continuing in his employment with
horses, as a "Cab Driver - Livery Stables".] In reporting his death 'The Buxton Advertiser' stated that "Before
joining up he was a prominent athlete and an excellent runner."

Military History:
Horace enlisted at Buxton on 10th September 1914, "For the Duration of The War". His Medal Index Card shows that he entered the  War in France on the 25th July 1915, supported by his Pension Records, confirming that Horace embarked at Southampton on board the S.S. Connaught on the 24th, arriving at Le Havre the next day, with the 62nd Field Ambulance, part of the 20th Division. 

This Division was established in September 1914 as part of the Army Orders authorising Kitchener's Second New Army, K2. Just before embarcation the Division was inspected by King George V at Knighton Down on the 24th June 1915, and after landing in France concentrated in the Saint-Omer area. Early trench familiarisation and training took place in the Fleurbaix area.

His peace time occupation was soon put to use, being granted "working pay" of 1/- (1 shilling or 5p) per day for working as a "Shoemaker" effective from the 4th September 1915. On the 12th February 1916 Horace was admitted to his own 62nd Field Ambulance suffering from "Diarrhoea and Vomiting", remaining for 7 days. On the 4th May 1917 Horace was awarded his first Good Conduct Badge.

His Division saw action in many Battles of The Somme campaign in 1916, in particular The Battle of Delville Wood, 15th July - 3rd September; The Battle of Guillemont, 3rd - 6th September; The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, 15th - 22nd September; The Battle of Morval, 25th - 28th September, and The Battle of the Transloy Ridges, 1st -18th October. In 1917, during the Third Battles of Ypres, Horace's Company saw action at The Battle of Langemarck, 16th - 18th August; The Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, 20th - 25th September, and   The Battle of Polygon Wood, 26th September - 3rd October.

In March of the following year the Germans launched 'Kaiserschlacht' on the 21st - the first day of the German Spring Offensive. He would see action at The Battle of St Quentin, 21st - 23rd March, and The Battle of Rosières, 26th - 27th March. The Division was withdrawn after the heavy fighting of the Somme battles, moving on the 20th April 1918 to an area south west of Amiens.

On the 5th January 1917 Horace received 10 days "Leave and Ration Allowance", and allowance later repeated on the 17th January 1918 for 14 days, 13th August 1918 for 10 days and for another 14 days starting on the 28th December 1918. At the end of this latter period, on the 11th January 1919, his Records show that he did not return to his Unit and on the 13th March 1919 was struck off the strength of the B.E.F., and he ceased to draw his working pay of 1s. (5p) as a shoemaker.

After leaving the Army Horace's health continued to deteriorate. "The Buxton Advertiser" reported that "After serving in the War in the R.A.M.C. he returned home, but in poor health, suffering with heart trouble, and in spite of every care and attention of his devoted parents, he succumbed as stated."

Horace died at home, at 27 King's Road, Fairfield, and he was buried in his local Churchyard at
Fairfield after a funeral service in the Church. "Khaki friends of the deceased acted as pall
bearers". He does not have a CWGC headstone, but lies in a family grave.


Footnotes:

His younger brother, Joseph William, who served as Private 24758, also with the Royal Army
Medical Corps, died on the 8th July 1936, and is buried with Horace - according to the headstone
inscription also: "From the Effects of War Service".

Another brother, Pt. 34555 Frederick Gordon MYCOCK, also served with the Royal Army
Medical Corps, being posted to France on 15 July 1915. He and Horace had consecutive
regimental numbers (34555 and 34554 respectively) so presumably enlisted together.

Before joining up Frederick was apprenticed to a pork butcher and during the War was gassed and given 6 months to live, but survived.  After the war he continued his former trade. However, his damaged lungs could not cope with the amount of steam involved in pork butchery, so he changed to general butchery and for many years ran his own business on Fairfield Road, initially living over the shop. The family later moved to St Peter's Road, Fairfield, just opposite the Church Hall.  He died on 28th April 1960. 



Sources:
· 'The Buxton Advertiser' - 8 and 15 November 1919
· I am grateful to Chris Mycock for the extra notes on his grandfather, Frederick Mycock.

Link to CWGC Record
Horace Mycock's Grave
Horace Mycock
Southwick Park
Southwick Park, Tewkesbury
poppy