1807 - 52nd - embarked for service in Denmark.
1810 – Light Division - Combat of the Coa, near Almeida.(PENINSULA)
1919 – 2nd Bn Oxf & Bucks LI - OXFORD.
Regimental Dinner 43rd and 52nd at Hyde Park Hotel.
Major-General Sir John Hanbury- Williams, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., C.M.G., in the Chair.
1927 – YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL – UNVEILING
JULY 24th,1927, will be for ever a memorous day in the annals of the British Army.
On this date Field-Marshal Lord Plumer, in the presence of the King of the Belgians, the British Ambassador and an immense crowd, unveiled the Great War memorial at the Menin Gate of Ypres in memory of the 56,000 officers and men who fell within the Ypres Salient during the Great War and whose bodies were never recovered.
The ceremony which was most impressive, and at the same time struck a simple note, commenced with the singing of the hymn, "O God Our Help in Ages Past," followed by a prayer specially written for the occasion.
After this the Secretary of State for War called upon Lord Plurner to unveil the memorial.
Lord Plumer in an admirable speech, said:
"Our hearts are stirred by feelings of deep emotion as we stand here to pay a nation's tribute to the memory of the great army of men whose names are inscribed on this beautiful memorial, who have no known graves.
One of the most tragic features of the Great War was the number of casualties reported as 'Missing, believed killed.'
To their relatives, there must have been added to their grief a tinge of bitterness and a feeling that everything possible had not been done to recover their loved ones' bodies and give them reverent burial.
That feeling no longer exists; it ceased to exist when the conditions under which the fighting was being carried out were realized.
"But when peace came and the last ray of hope had been extinguished, the void seemed deeper and the outlook more forlorn for those who had no grave to visit, no place where they could lay tokens of loving remembrance.
The hearts of the people throughout the Empire went out to them, and it was resolved that here at Ypres, where so many of the missing are known to have fallen, there should be erected a memorial worthy of them which should give expression to the nation's gratitude for their sacrifice and their sympathy with those who mourned them.
A memorial has been erected which, in its simple grandeur, fulfils this object, and now it can be said of each one in whose honour we are assembled here to-day:--
'He is not missing; he is here.'
"But this monument which is now to be unveiled does not express only the nation's gratitude and sympathy; it expresses also their pride in the fullness of the sacrifice.
It is an acknowledgment that it was only by their sacrifice and the sacrifice of all who laid down their lives that we who fought and survived were able to carry out the task entrusted to us.
Indeed, this archway, standing as it does in splendid grandeur at the gate of the town, is like the main body of a protecting army, the lines of defence being represented by the numerous cemeteries grouped around it.
Together they are a testimony, more eloquent than any words, of how the troops defended successfully for four years the Ypres Salient.
"Moreover, this ground, which for all time will be known as the Ypres Salient, is a historical record of the friendship and comradeship which existed and will always exist between the two armies, British and Belgian, who fought there side by side; and the town of Ypres, which was shattered beyond all recognition during the war and has now been rebuilt, illustrates fitly the unconquerable spirit of the Belgian nation."
He then pressed an electric button which released the flags covering the central entablature above the cornice.
The King of the Belgians next gave an address in English:
"His Majesty declared that there was no ground in the world more sacred than that of the Ypres Salient, for it was to uphold the sanctity of treaties that England came into the war; it was to avenge the unjustifiable attack on Belgium that the British Empire took up arms to the remotest parts of its possessions.
In truth, for fifty months Ypres marked the threshold of the Empire, and throughout centuries to come its name would stand as the symbol of British courage and endurance.
Ypres was to the British Army what Verdun was to the French Army.
Those two bastions remained inviolate in spite of inconceivable efforts made against them."
Prayers and two hymns followed the speeches, then the Last Post, sounded by the Buglers of the Somersetshire Light Infantry, and the lament, "The Flowers of the Forest," played by the Pipers of the Scots Guards.
Next came a minute of silence—a silence so absolute that it seemed that the whole salient must be standing hushed in prayer—and then the Reveille was sounded, followed by a roll of drums and "God Save the King."
The memorial consists of a double archway between which is a vaulted hall, 40 yards in length.
On both sides the walls, except where they are broken by entrances to staircases leading to the loggias above the arches and to the ramparts, are covered with panels bearing the names of unidentified dead in 44 columns on either side.
These are grouped by regiments, the names of regiments in gold, and those of officers and men in black against the greyish white stone.
Those belonging to the Regiment number 449, and are engraved on panels 37 and 39, and consist of :--
52nd Light Infantry.—5 Officers and 108 other ranks.
1/4th (Territorial) Battalion.—1 Officer and 14 other ranks.
1/1st Bucks (Territorial) Battalion.—6 other ranks.
2/1st Bucks (Territorial) Battalion.—1 other rank.
5th (Service) Battalion.—6 Officers and 292 other ranks.
6th (Service) Battalion.—16 other ranks.
A complete roll of these names appeared in The Oxford Times on Friday, July 22nd, 1927, a few copies of which are obtainable from the Secretary, Regimental Committee, Cowley Barracks.
1944 - 2nd (Airborne) Bn, Oxf & Bucks LI – CHATEAU ST COME. (NORMANDY)
A really fine day at last and a great day for our snipers who got the biggest bag of the season, 'C' Coy hitting 3 certains and 2 possibles and 'D' Coy hitting 6 certainties.
Otherwise it has been a quiet day.