1812 – Light Division – In pursuit of French about Huerta. PENINSULA WAR
1818 – 43rd - New Colours presented to the 43rd at Valenciennes (France), by Lady Blakeney
1916 - Battle of Pozieres (Somme); 1/4th and 1/1st Bucks Bn heavily engaged. (WESTERN FRONT)
1/1st BUCKINGHAMSHIRE BATTALION - POZIERES 22/23 JULY 1916
On the night of the 22nd/23rd July a general attack was delivered by the greater part of the Fourth Army, during which the Australians captured Pozieres.
The 145th Infantry Brigade of 48th (South Midland) Division attacked on their immediate left, in the following order from right to left: 1/4th Oxfords, 1/4th Royal Berks, 1/5th Gloucesters, the Bucks Battalion being in reserve in the Mash Valley behind Ovillers. The Oxfords and Berks gained a footing in their objectives, but sustained very heavy casualties, and were cut off from the Australians by a large stretch of trench which remained in the hands of the enemy. On their left the attack of the 5th Gloucesters was unsuccessful, which left them in a very perilous position without any communication with the rear.
At about 4 a.m. the Bucks Battalion received orders to attack, and seize at all costs, that portion of the trench against which the attack of the Glosters had been directed previously. Zero had been fixed for 6.30 a.m., and there were 2 miles of strange trenches to be covered before reaching the jumping-off trench. There was no time to lose. Orders therefore were of necessity scanty, and much had to be left to the initiative of the Company Commanders concerned, who fully justified the confidence reposed in them by the Commanding Officer. The attack was one of very great difficulty owing to the way the trenches ran.
The enemy position was a stretch of trench approached by two communication trenches about 400 yards long. The right-hand one was in good condition and met the enemy’s trench at right angles, the enemy having a bomb stop about fifty yards from the end. The left-hand communicator was badly damaged, and ran at an obtuse angle into the enemy’s line.
“B” and “ D” Companies were detailed for the attack—“ B” under Captain 0. V. Viney on the left, “D” under Captain E. V. Birchall on the right. Both Companies at Zero were to leave their trenches and form inwards on the intervening space—about 200 yards. “A” Company, under Captain N. S. Reid, were to be in support in the right communicator; “C” Company, under Captain P. A. Hall, was to provide the necessary carrying parties after the attack had been launched.
Unfortunately “B” Company whilst getting into position came under a barrage of our own heavy guns, which were shooting short, and sustained many casualties, being thus delayed in getting into position. “D” Company, however, under the splendid leadership of Captain Birchall, carried out their orders to the letter, and by dint of advancing practically in the barrage succeeded in capturing the whole position single-handed.
The support Company at once moved up to assist in the work of consolidation and clearing the prisoners, about 150 The result of this action was that touch was immediately established with the isolated troops on the right, enabling bombing operations to be carried out by the 145th Brigade, and a junction with the Australians was effected.
Several attempts by the enemy to retake the position were successfully repulsed by the Battalion.
The casualties in this action were:
OFFICERS:- Died of Wounds: 1. Wounded: 4
OTHER RANKS:- Killed: 7.Wounded: 68. Missing: 8.
As a result of this operation the D.S.O. was awarded to Captain E. V. Birchall and to Captain N. S. Reid; the D.C.M to Sergeant P. Jennings, Corporal W. J. Barnwell, and Bugler J. H. Scragg, and the Order of St. George 2nd Class to Corporal Barnwell.
The Brigade Commander (Brigadier-General H. R. Done) expressed his appreciation of the services of the Battalion in a letter to Lieut.-Colonel Reynolds thus:
“Please give my heartfelt congratulations to all ranks of the Regiment under your Command on their gallant and entirely successful attack on the 23rd July. By this success, which was obtained in spite of heavy loss, you enabled the Brigade to carry out the whole of the task allotted, and also made secure the position of the troops who had already gained a footing in the enemy’s position on your right.”
1918 – 2nd Bn OXF & BUCKS LI – RIGHT BATTALION. (WESTERN FRONT)
1918 –1/1stBuckinghamshire Battalion – S. SISTO. (ITALIAN FRONT)
Fairly Quiet Day.
Intermittent shelling between Outpost and Front Line.
Right and Centre Coys sent out Patrols – Centre Coy Patrol brought in FLAMENWERFER from near SEC.
D Coy carried out Lewis Gun firing during Afternoon.
Ration Strength: 27 Officers 675 OR. Casualties: 2 OR to Hospital – Sick.
1944 - 2nd (Airborne) Bn, Oxf & Bucks LI – CHATEAU ST COME. (NORMANDY)
Last night was an exceptionally quiet one and our patrols had no fresh information to report.
This morning B + D Coys changed over areas.
A Coy snipers got two hits.
At dusk this morning a few enemy aircraft flew at [naught?] feet over our HQ but no bombs were dropped in our immediate vicinity.