Horace Vincent Blight (MC)

Name

Horace Vincent Blight (MC)

Conflict

First World War

Date of Death / Age

15/06/1918
30

Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Lieutenant
Army Service Corps
Attached 4th Bn., Royal Fusiliers

Awards

British War and Victory medals
Military Cross

Cemetery/Memorial

SANDPITS BRITISH CEMETERY, FOUQUEREUIL
Plot II, Row G, Grave 1.
France

Headstone

>Not Researched

UK Memorials

Watford Borough Roll of Honour, Bushey Baptist Church Memorial, Bushey, St Matthew’s Church Memorial, Oxhey

Pre War

Born in 1887, Horace Vincent Blight was the son of Francis and Lizzie Ann (nee Smith) Blight from Islington. His father, a prominent Baptist and a constructional engineer with literary talent, was Chairman of Charles Griffin and Company (a London publishing house well-known for technical books) for 25 years. They had two children, Horace and Marianne, and the family lived in Islington before moving to Hampstead and then to Wealdstone.

His parents married 1884 in the Islington, London, district. Francis died 27 January 1925 in Mill Hill, Middx, aged 76; Lizzie died 3 November 1927 aged 73, also in Mill Hill.

Horace was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School, which at the time was in London. He then joined his father in the Charles Griffin publishing firm, where he was a chartered accountant and soon made a director.

On the 1891 Census, aged 3 he lived in Islington, with his parents and one sibling. On the 1901 Census, aged 13 he lived in Hampstead, London, with his parents and one sibling. On the 1911 Census, a secretary to a private limited company aged 23, he lived in Wealdstone, Middx, with one sibling.

He married 1913 Mabel King in the St Giles’, London, district and they made their home at 31 Oxhey Road, Watford; they has two children. Mabel never remarried and died 1957 in the Watford district aged 67.

Wartime Service

Horace enlisted with the Army Service Corps He was gazetted 14 October 1915 as Temporary 2nd Lieutenant, Army Service Corps, and gazetted 5 January 1916 Lieutenant.

His pension record states he was attached to the Royal Fusiliers. He was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. The citation (London Gazette 18 September 1918) reads:

"This officer was in command of the centre column of a raiding party and led his detachment with great courage and initiative. Having cut through a belt of wire he made his way to the rear of the enemy’s post, where he made prisoners of the occupants before his own men came up. He maintained excellent control of his party and the rapid precision of his movements greatly contributed to the success of the raid".

He was killed in action at Locon near Bethune on 15 June 1918, aged 30. He is remembered with honour at Sandpits British Cemetery, Fouquereuil in France, and is also commemorated at Bushey Baptist Church and at St Matthew’s Church, Oxhey.

The following text is transcribed from The Blight Family – Seymour J Price (www.biblicalstudies.org):

"The crushing sorrow of Mr Blight’s life came in 1918, when his son, Horace Vincent Blight, MC, was killed in action in France, whilst leading his men in a successful attack on the enemy machine guns. Horace was a most lovable personality of fine attainments, who, after a brilliant school career at Merchant Taylors’, entered the service of Charles Griffin & Co as a secretary and was speedily made a director. He continued the family tradition of Christian service as a joint secretary with his father of the Western Group and joint auditor of the London Baptist Property Board Ltd. He revealed gifts and a culture which suggested he might attain the highest position in the denomination".

As well as his Military Cross, Horace was entitled to the Victory and British War medals.

Additional Information

He has an entry in the National Probate Calendar. Much of the above information was provided with the kind permission of Bushey First World War Commemoration Project - Please visit www.busheyworldwarone.org.uk This was significantly added to by Sue Carter's research.

Acknowledgments

Andrew Palmer
Dianne Payne - www.busheyworldwarone.org.uk, Jonty Wild, Sue Carter (Research) and Watford Museum (ROH on line via www.ourwatfordhistory.org.uk)