On 2nd October 1917, according to the official history of the 40th Battalion, large parties of men were supplied to assist in cable-burying in the forward area. The party was heavily shelled just as the work was completed. The Battalion sustained five men killed and six wounded. Among those wounded was Private Ted Oxley from Kettering.
He had enlisted in March 1916 and was allotted to ‘D’ Company, 40th Battalion. Ted was conveyed to the 11th Anzac Corps Dressing Station where he succumbed to his wounds. Later that day on 2 October he was buried in the Ypres Prison Cemetery, now the Ypres Reservoir Cemetery. The burial service being conducted by Chaplain B. C. Wilson, 3rd Division.
Ted had been wounded earlier in the year when a party from the Battalion went out on their first raid on 13th January 1917. The men involved had been given special training under the direction of Captain Cecil McVilly in the days leading up to the raid. On this occasion the group was divided into two storming parties and at 5.55 were lying up in No Man’s Land immediately in front of their wire waiting for the artillery to commence firing at 6pm.
The artillery opened up punctually, but several rounds fell short causing casualties including Private Ted Oxley who sustained injuries to his back requiring evacuation to England. His luck held on this occasion but not on the next raiding party.