b. 24/09/1882 India. d. 16/05/1932 Batala, India.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 1906 Ferozepore, India.
Basil Condon Battye was born into a military background, the son of Major L.R. Battye, late 5th Gurkhas in India on 24th September 1882. He was educated in South Eastern College, Ramsgate and then at the Royal Miltary Academy in Woolwich. He then chose to enter the Royal Engineers in c. 1900-1901. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant on 18th August 1903. He then served in Somaliland from 1903-04 and India in 1904. In 1903, he married Edith Lilian Cole, who came from Bristol.
In August 1910 he was promoted to Captain, and then was part of the Simla Hydro-Electric Scheme between 1910-1914. On the outbreak of the First World War, Basil travelled back to England to serve on the Western Front. In the Great War, he was wounded, and mentioned in despatches 7 times, and was awarded the DSO for his actions at Vimy Ridge between 21st – 25th May 1916. He was also the inventor of the Battye Grenade in 1915. Following the end of the war, he returned to India, where he restarted his civil engineering career. Basil Battye was killed in a car accident on 16th May 1932, aged 49.
A full description of the explosion and of the gallantry of various officers and others to whom Albert Medals were awarded in 1911 will be found in the London Gazette of September 26th 1911. Captain Ross discovered the fire, and with a detachment of his regiment entered the magazine compound with a small hand engine fed from tanks in the magazine, and attempted, to put out the fire. He also worked at getting the steam engine into position. Major Young, as General Anderson’s Brigade-Major, was constantly with the General in positions of great danger. In particular he joined General Anderson at a critical moment by the door of No. 8 cell, from which the gunpowder was being removed, and remained with the General throughout the rest of the period of danger. Captain Battye assisted in the removal of the gunpowder from No. 8 cell. He also, with Staff Serjeant Fitzpatrick, directed the operations for piercing two holes through the masonry of the roof of Cell No. 9, where the small arms ammunition was burning, and succeeded in getting the hose through these holes so as to play on the burning ammunition. By this means a check on the fire in No. 9 was effected. Both men were conspicuous throughout the day in the magazine enclosure.
BURIAL LOCATION: UNKNOWN.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PRIVATELY HELD.
Allan Stanistreet – Image of Basil Battye DSO AM.