5TH (SERVICE) BATTALION. 1914-1918 Extracted from : A short history of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, 1741-1922 for the young soldiers of the Regiment By R.B. Crosse. Hooge, 1915. Somme, 1916, 1918. Delville Wood. Flers-Courcelette. Arras, 1917. Scarpe, 1917. Ypres, 1917 Langemarck, 1917. Passchendaele. St. Quentin. Avre.
The Battalion was raised in August 1914, at Camberley, and was up to strength by September 8th. It was commanded and partially staffed by Regular officers and non-commissioned officers and ex-non-commissioned officers of the Regiment.
After a short time it moved to Aldershot, and then to Cranleigh. As part of the 42nd Infantry Brigade, 14th (Light) Division, it was inspected by H.M. The King on September 26th, and proceeded to France on May 20th, 1915.
After some training in trench warfare in the area south of Ypres, the division had the honour of being the first of the New Armies to be engaged with the enemy as a complete division. The Battalion was in action for the first time on June 16th, east of Ypres, in the attack on Hooge, and on July 31st helped to stop the first German liquid fire attack. It remained in this area until August 11th, when the lost ground was retaken. On September 25th the Battalion captured Bellewaarde Farm, but with heavy casualties; while early in October it beat off an attack north of Railway Wood.
In February, 1916, the Battalion relieved the French in the Arras Sector, and in July moved to the Somme, where it took part in the capture of Delville Wood on August 24th, and distinguished itself in the attack on Gueudecourt on September 15th.
In April and May, 1917, the Battalion took part in the Battles of Arras and the Scarpe, and later in the year was moved north for the Third Battle of Ypres, where it distinguished itself in the heavy fighting.
In January 1918, the Battalion moved to the Somme, and later relieved the French at Urvillers. When the German offensive began on March 21st, it held its position in the face of great odds till ordered to withdraw at 2 a.m. next day. After heavy casualties in rearguard actions near Flavy, it took part in the defence of Amiens, near Le Hamel. At the end of April the Battalion moved to the Aire Sector, where it was eventually reduced to cadre strength and transferred to England.
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