The Flackwell Heath Royal British Legion laid wreaths and paid tribute to 21 men from the Wycombe district who died in World War One’s Second Battle of Gaza, on its 100th anniversary on Wednesday.

The men, most of whom had joined the 8th battalion of the Hampshire regiment, also known as the Isle of Wight Rifles (IOW), had been recruited by Lt-Col John Rhodes who was the regiment's commander.

He was also the agent for the Little Marlow estate, and had offered each man £1 as an incentive to join up. This was the equivalent of a week’s wages or more for many of the men.

The Second Battle of Gaza in Palestine started on April 17, 1917, and ended on April 19. The men had little or no cover and faced long range machine gun fire.

Many held packs in front of their faces in a desperate bid to avoid fire from the Ottoman Turks.

Casualties for the IOW Rifles included eight officers and 186 men.