Based on extracts from- A short history of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, 1741-1922 for the young soldiers of the Regiment. By R.B. Crosse
On July 1st, 1881, the connections between the 52nd and 85th, and between the 43rd and the 53rd, who had been for a few years past " linked battalions," were severed, the 43rd ceased to be associated with the county of Monmouth, and the 43rd and 52nd, who had never forgotten their old comradeship in the Light Division, were united as the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Oxfordshire Light Infantry; the Depot of the 85th being relieved at Oxford by the Depot of the 43rd shortly afterwards.
In 1881 the 52nd moved from Chatham to the Curragh, in 1882, to Limerick, and two years later sailed for Gibraltar, going thence in the following year to Egypt (Cairo).
In 1885 a detachment of the 52nd served with the Mounted Infantry in the Nile Expedition, and was present at the action of Ginniss, and some minor operations.
The Regiment moved in 1886 to India (Bangalore), in 1889 to Burma (Toungoo and Meiktila), finding two companies for the Wunthoo Column in 1891, and returned in 1892 to India, to be quartered at Bareilly until 1897. On August 13th, 1897, at Ferozepore, the 52nd was ordered to mobilize for service against the Afridis on the North-West Frontier, and in the first instance to form part of a force operating in the Mohmand country. On September 27th a successful action was fought near Kota Khel, after which the Regiment joined the Peshawar Column of the Tirah Expeditionary Force. On October 21st the column concentrated at Bara, but remained there engaged in lines of communication duties, working parties being fired at, and sniping a usual occurrence at night, until on December 7th ordered to march to Swaikot.
On December 17th the Peshawar Column advanced to Jamrud Fort, entered the Khyber Pass six days later, and spent the next few weeks in picketing the heights and destroying the fortified villages from which the enemy had withdrawn.
On December 30th, as the picquets covering the working parties were withdrawing, the Afridis managed to re-occupy unobserved a village from which they opened fire at a range of less than half a mile, and soon caused some casualties.
A counter-attack by small reinforcements under Captain H. R. Davies, dispersed the enemy and enabled the withdrawal to be continued. Bugler Crowhurst rode the three miles back to camp, for some distance under fire, and brought up a further reinforcement, on the arrival of which it was found that the enemy had withdrawn.
There was little more fighting, but the destruction of the villages continued and the Regiment remained in occupation of Lundi Kotal till October, when it moved to Ferozepore and Mean Meer, going in 1901 to Bombay.
1903 was an eventful year for the Regiment. When it opened the 52nd was still at Bombay, but moved in February to Poona. In September the 43rd embarked for another tour in India, in relief of the 52nd who sailed for home in October, also to be quartered at Chatham, after handing over more than five hundred men not yet due for transfer to the home establishment.
The 52nd went, in 1906, to Tidworth.
September 14th, 1907, the fiftieth anniversary of the Storming of the Cashmere Gate, Delhi, during the Indian Mutiny, was celebrated at Tidworth by a gathering of all available 52nd survivors of the Mutiny, 5 officers and 22 others, as well as other old friends of the Regiment, who spent the week-end in barracks and were variously entertained.