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Mash, Oswald Nelson

Mash, Oswald N., Lieut., M.C., R.F.A. Entered Guy's as a Dental Student in 1910, but was obliged to leave in 1912 on account of ill-health. Returned in 1914 and joined the Legion of Frontiersmen at the outbreak of war. Transferred to Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars. Finally granted as commission in the R.F.A. He went to France early in 1915, took part in the Battle of the Somme. He gained the M.C. during the winter of 1917. Killed in action June 1st 1918.

It is with very great regret that we announce the death of Lieutenant Oswald Nelson Mash, M.C., R.F.A., who was killed in action on the morning of June 1st, 1918. He was the youngest son of the late Mr. J. S. Mash, of Ipswich, and of Mrs. Mash, Reed Hall, Holbrook.

He entered Guy's Hospital as a Dental Student in 1910, where he remained two years during which period he gained the Royal Life Saving Society's Bronze medal. In1912 he was obliged to leave Guy's on account of ill-health. After about a year spent in South Africa he returned fit and well and recommenced his dental work. He was about to take the final L.D.S. at the time when war broke out. At the first call for men he joined the Legion of Frontiersmen and was for some time at the Remount Depot at Southampton. From there he was transferred to the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars. Having passed the necessary tests, he entered the Machine Gun Corps, and from there he was granted a commission with the R.F.A.

Just three years ago he went out to France and was at Ypres and the Battle of the Somme. After being out ten months he was invalided home with shell-shock. As soon as he was fit enough he applied to be sent to the line again, and after a time rejoined his old division the 6th. At this time he gained the M.C., but being shell-shocked and badly gassed was sent home shortly afterwards as permanently unfit for the firing line. After three weeks leave he again applied to be sent out to France, a week before Christmas, 1917. He remained for the rest of the winter on the staff at Havre. As the fresh German offensive drew near he applied to rejoin his comrades in the line, and this request being granted, he was once again back with his old Division. On June 1st he was killed.

To his mother his Commanding Officer writes: Your son had been Orderly Officer in charge of the night firing and had rather a lot to do that night. He was asleep in his dug-out when the enemy started bombarding the battery. One of the first shells blew in the dug-out and he was lost to us. He and I got on extraordinarily well. He knew his job and did it thoroughly and well.

Capt. F.E.S. writes: I knew your son when I was commanding the 186th Brigade, and well knew what good work he has done. The Brigade loses a valuable officer.

Another Officer writes: Your son was one of the bravest men I have ever fought beside; a perfect comrade, and one of my best loved friends.

He leaves a brother in France to still carry on, and another in the navy. Guy’s Hospital Reports Vol.LXX, War Memorial No. and Guy’s Hospital Gazette 27 July, 1918 

Biographical

Surname(s)Mash
First name(s)Oswald Nelson
Date of birth1888
Place of birthIpswich Registration District
Family detailsSon of Mr and Mrs J. S. Mash, of Reed Hall, Holbrook, Suffolk
CollegeGuy's Hospital
Dates at college1910-1912; 1914-1914
Dept / courseL.D.S.
Military unitRoyal Field Artillery
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
Decorations / medalsM.C.
Citation(s)During a bombardment of his battery position a dump of howitzer charges was set on fire by a shell. The danger of the position was greatly added to by some gas shells which had been scattered amongst the burning charges but this officer, with the greatest coolness and courage, rushed to the fire and extinguished it, by his prompt and gallant action preventing an explosion which would undoubtedly have had serious and far-reaching results.
Date of death1 June 1918
Age at death30
Rank at deathLieutenant
Cause of deathKilled in action
Burial placeBellacourt Military Cemetery, Riviere, Pas de Calais, France
Commemoration(s)Guy's Hospital Memorial
SourcesGuy's Hospital Medical School Records, King's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Soldiers Died in the Great War

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