Joseph Lovejoy was born in Thame in 1889, son of William and Annie (nee Johnson) Lovejoy. In 1911 he was a labourer living with his brother in Stokenchurch. He joined the local mounted territorial’s, the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars in 1912.
The Regiment was mobilised in August 1914, moving to Churn before embarking to the front on 19th September. In doing so, the QOOH became the first Territorial unit to see action. As cavalry they spent frustrating periods waiting in readiness to push on through gaps in the enemy’s line, which never came.
They toiled in working parties bringing up supplies, digging defensive positions, suffering the discomforts of appalling conditions, and frequently dismounting to fight fierce engagements on foot and in the trenches themselves.
Private Lovejoy was killed on 20th May 1917 alongside his “C” Squadron commander Major Val Fleming MP, the father of the writer Ian Fleming, and 3 others during an enemy bombardment on Gillemont Farm, a high point overlooking the German Hindenberg Line.
He was originally buried in St Emilie British Cemetery, Villers Faucon, and when the cemetery was closed down in 1930 his body was re-interred in Templeux-Le-Guerard British Cemetery.
He is commemorated in Thame on the town war memorial, and remembered on the All Saints Church memorial board.
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to Templeux-Le-Guerard British Cemetery, Somme, France on 22nd May 2016 by Ian Jones (Thame Remembers)