2nd Lieut. JTS Hoey - Croix de Guerre

John Trevor Stephenson Hoey was born in 1895. His early years were spent in India where his father William Hoey was a civil servant in the Raj. He was educated at the Dragon School, Oxford and won a scholarship to Blundells in 1909. At the Dragon, he was sent to the school dance as a Suffragette by William Hoey as he supported civil rights for women as well as the population of India. He attended University of Oxford at the age of sixteen. Charles Ferguson Hoey, Victoria Cross was his nephew.

During the European War, he joined the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry and was made an officer as a result of his background as was the custom in those days. He wrote a series of letters to the Draconian describing his experiences. On August 18th 1916, the Oxford and Bucks stormed Horseshoe Hill. It is recorded in his Record of Service that:

We were ordered to advance on Horseshoe on 17 – 18 August.
The Batallion, with attached R.E. and M.G.C Sections, proceeded in two parties to the point of assembly at the South end of Pillar Hill. ( C3) A and B Companies had slung packs and were to attack ; C & D lightly equipped, were to act as carrying parties and were to go back before dawn . Garland was liason officer with the French. Time was lost owing to the clumsy loading of the mules of troops attached to us, and the first stage of the assault was delayed from 10.30pm till 11.30pm. by which time a bright moon had risen.

When we reached the point of assembly at the bottom of C3 a French officer informed us that the hill was unoccupied. He was quite certain as he had been on the hill himself in the afternoon. Yet we thought it better to advance as arranged. Manning took his platoon up C1, and Hoey went up C3. Battalion H.Q. were placed under a small tree, but had to moved to some slits at the bottom of C3 when the shelling commenced.

No sooner had Hoey’s platoon reached the higher slopes of C3 that it was fired upon from the direction of the boundary mark on that hill. Bowman’s platoon, with Corpl. Hudson and a Lewis Gun team, were sent to his assistance, and the enemy post was driven out, but not until Bowman and about fifteen men had been hit.

There was one little piece of comic relief here, in spite of the shelling which was now very heavy. On arriving at this boundary pillar, Hoey stood up before his men, puffed out his chest and announced that they were now at last in Serbia. Duly thrilled, they then went on with the attack.

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