1916 - 1/4th Bn Oxf & Bucks LI – Battle of the Somme
Took part in attack between Ovillers and Pozieres losing 2 Officers and 99 men.
Later moved to huts at Bouzincourt.
1916 - 2/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion heavily engaged in the Battle of Fromelles.
2/4th Bn Oxf & Bucks LI in Support.
“ZERO” was at 11a.m. & at that hour our Bombardment started.
By 5. 30 p.m. we had lost nearly 100 men killed and wounded by Shell Fire.
This was serious as on July 18th “A” Coy. (which was holding the Battn. front) lost 78 men gassed – owing to one of OUR shells having burst a Gas Cylinder in our Trenches.
The Battalion went into Action with 20 Officers and 622 Other Ranks.
This was reduced by casualties suffered during the action to 6 Officers and 300 O.R.
5. 40 p.m
What was left of “A” and “D” Coy’s. (the assaulting Coy’s.) – about 120 men filed out into NO MANS LAND by RHONNDA SAP and lay down in 4 waves.
With a cheer the four waves leapt up and assaulted the enemy’s trenches
Even before 5.40 pm the enemy's machine guns had become busy, and at 6.00 pm they mowed down our advancing waves, so that only a few men actually reached the German parapet, and none of these ever returned.
Quite early (about 1.00 pm) telephone communication between Battalion HQ and the front line was cut.
After many gallant attempts to mend the wire, success was attained at exactly 5.40 pm, and from then until 9.30 pm the telephone was in constant use thus saving many lives, in that runners were spared.
Reports that flowed in over the telephone were sent on, as they came in, straight to Brigade HQ, and were very contradictory.
Owing to the distance between the trenches, and to the continuous bombardment and smoke, the officers who were observing found their task almost impossible to fulfil with any degree of accuracy.
Our men, having been seen actually on the German parapet, it was concluded that a certain number must have got in.
But it is certain that very few survived the enemy's machine gun fire, and whether they got in or not, they never returned”.
C Coy (the Company which carried over R.E. material for consolidation purposes) went out into NO MANS LAND at 6.10PM but, again the enemy’s machine Gun fire prevented any advance without extermination.
By 6.30PM it was clear that:-
1. The attack could not succeed without more men.
2. That given more men say 2 coys the attack must have succeeded
No reserves however, were available and the Commanding Officer of the Battalion was ordered to reorganise and to attack again at 8.30PM.
This order was received at a time when every man save a few Telephone Operators - orderlies and wounded, was in NO MANS LAND.
Gradually about 80 men (of A, C & D Coys) were reorganised , and 40 men of B Coy (the Reserve Coy) were added.
The order then came to postpone the attack until 9PM.
And at 8PM the order came through that no further attack would take place that night.
Every Officer who went out with the assaulting Coys was either Killed or Wounded & Capt H S G Buckmaster was the only officer who went out into NO MANS LAND who came back unhurt.
During the 18th and 19th July the 2/1st Bucks Battalion lost 322 ALL RANKS – as follows:-
OFFICERS:- Killed = 4. Wounded = 8. Missing = 2. Died of Wounds = 1
OTHER RANKS:- Killed = 62 .Wounded = 180. Missing = 65
1919 - 2nd Bn, Oxf & Bucks LI – LONDON VICTORY PARADE.
Victory March through London.
Memorial of Dead saluted.
Colours carried from the Admiralty to Buckingham Palace.
His Majesty the King took the salute at the Victoria Monument.
Processional Route 6 1/2 miles.
1919 - 2nd Bn, Oxf & Bucks LI – OXFORD VICTORY PARADE.
Victory March of the Regiment, with representatives of all its Battalions, through Oxford.
Parade formed up in Parks at 11 a.m. in rain; marched off at 12.30 p.m. via Keble Road, St. Giles, Corn Market to Tom Quad at Christ Church; Mayor saluted at Town Hall.
Speeches by Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Member of Parliament for University, and Major-General Sir R. Fanshawe, K.C.B., D.S.O., who commanded the parade.
Dinners served at various colleges and Town Hall.
The 52nd to Balliol College, entertained by Deputy Mayor and Master of Balliol.
Parade dismissed after dinner.
1944 – 1st Bn Oxf & Bucks LI – NORMANDY.
On the 19th July the Regiment moved forward again, occupying quiet positions at Gavrus (9161) and later south-east of LesVilains (928624).
1944 - 2nd (Airborne) Bn, Oxf & Bucks LI – CHATEAU ST COME. (NORMANDY)
The big battle SW of CAEN still continues but most of the fighting is now well beyond our range of vision and the majority of the sp arty has moved up so the noise has not been so deafening.
On our own front the enemy still appears to be occupying the same positions and 'D' Coy snipers claimed another two hits, otherwise a quiet day.
1953 – 1st Bn Oxf & Bucks LI (43rd & 52nd) - The Regiment arrived at the Hook of Holland and moved in two train parties to Osnabruck where they all arrived at Belfast Barracks before 1800 hours.
1977 – 1st Bn Royal Green Jackets – 6th Tour Operation Banner – Northern Ireland.
1RGJ starts 6th Tour. 19/05/1977 – 20/09/1977. Belfast (Ardoyne/New Lodge).
1987 – 1st Battalion, The Royal Green Jackets – NORTHERN IRELAND.
Remembering today – L/Cpl T W HEWITT
“As with many tours in Northern Ireland, if tragedy strikes then it does so early.
Our tour this year was to be no exception and on the first day that the Battalion arrived in Ireland Lance Corporal Hewitt was shot and murdered in Belleek by a gunman who fired from across the border.
Lance Corporal Hewitt's murder came as a shock to everyone in the Battalion, particularly as the style of his murder was so typical of the normal pattern of terrorist activity in Fermanagh.
It occurred without any apparent warning, at a time of year when the streets of Belleek were full of foreign tourists.”
2010 – FROMELLES (PHEASANT WOOD) MILITARY CEMETERY OPENED.
Following the discovery of the mass graves at Pheasant Wood in May 2008, the British and Australian governments set up a jointly funded body to achieve three main aims: to recover, identify, and re-inter the bodies.
Following their recovery, the remains of the 250 British and Australian soldiers were stored in temporary mortuary facilities until such time as the new cemetery was ready.
The inaugural reburial and ceremony took place at 11 am local time on 30 January 2010, with around 400 people watching from the viewing areas outside the cemetery walls.
The cemetery grounds were covered with a light dusting of snow.
The ceremony was attended by representatives from Australia, France, the UK and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, all of whom paid tribute to the fallen.
The remainder of the reburials, with the exception of one reserved for the dedication ceremony in July, took place in February 2010.
The reburials, starting on 1 February, took place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, starting at 9 am, with up to thirty soldiers being re-interred each day, all with full military honours.
The opening and dedication of Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery took place on Monday 19 July 2010, to mark the 94th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles.
This commemorative event centred around the re-burial of the final set of remains.
A restored First World War general service wagon, drawn by horses from the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery transported the coffin from the original mass grave site at Pheasant Wood, through the streets of Fromelles, to the new cemetery.
It was escorted by British and Australian soldiers.
The coffin was then carried into the cemetery by a bearer party of soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, The Rifles and Australia's Federation Guard.
The dedication service then took place.
The coffin was then lowered into the grave, and a joint British-Australian firing party fired three volleys.
This was followed by a minute's silence, and then laying of wreaths.