1757 – 43rd - Left England for North America.
1801 – 52nd - Major-General John Moore appointed Colonel of the 52nd.
1917 - Battle of Doiran; 7th Bn Oxf & Bucks LI (casualties, 15 Officers and 456 men) and 8th Bn Oxf & Bucks LI both present.
1943 – 7th Oxf & Bucks LI took part in Operation “LIGHT INFANTRY” – BATTLE OF ENFIDAVILLE (Tunisia). (8th/9th MAY)
1945 – 1st Bn Oxf & Bucks LI – Germany.
SPECIAL ORDER OF THE DAY by major-general R. K. Ross, C.B., D.S.O., M.C.
Tomorrow, the 9th May, has been officially declared V Day and so ends for the 53rd (W.) Division a campaign in which the division has played a part second to none.
I attach as an appendix to this order extracts from a letter I have received from the corps commander and my reply on behalf of the division.
The corps commander has paid us a high tribute and all ranks of the division can feel justly proud that General Ritchie, who knows the division better than any other higher commander, has felt able to speak so highly of us.
Further, the unbroken line of successes of the division throughout the whole campaign enables all ranks to feel with quiet confidence that General Ritchie's generous praise is well deserved.
V Day coming as it does one day short of the completion of the fifth year that I have been privileged to serve the division as brigadier and divisional commander, I am in a better position than most to appreciate the years of hard work and effort by all ranks which have forged the efficient fighting machine which has proved itself so consistently on the battlefields of Europe.
General Ritchie is right when he attributes our success largely to the magnificent team work which exists throughout the division, but good team work is born of a thorough knowledge of and confidence in the ability of each member of the team and this cannot exist without a long period of hard work and training. Further, it implies complete loyalty to the team and allows no place for petty jealousies or individualism. I would say, therefore, that General Ritchie's tribute to our team work is the highest compliment he could pay us.
Those of you who can look back to the conditions of May, 1940, in Ireland—conditions of complete lack of transport and negligible equipment—will realize, as I do, how far we have gone since those days, and the immense amount of work which has been put into it by everybody to achieve the present team. "Battles cannot be won without paying the cost and we have had heavy casualties, though I am thankful to say that the numbers who have made the supreme sacrifice are astonishingly few considering the almost continuous fighting in which the division has been engaged throughout the campaign. I feel at this moment we should pay tribute to those whose gallantry contributed so much to our successes but who are unable to be with us now at the moment of our . . . triumph.
I would end on a personal note. I have had the honour of commanding the 53rd (W.) Division for the last two and a half years. It has been and will always be a matter of great pride and satisfaction to me that I have been privileged to be in charge of the final preparation of the division for war and to have seen the campaign through with you all to its successful end. I wish to acknowledge with gratitude the unfailing loyalty, understanding and support I have received at all times from all commanders of whatever grade, from all staffs and, indeed, from all ranks of the division, which has made my work so simple and at the same time so pleasant. I am most grateful to you all.
"N. K. Ross, Major-General, "Commanding 53rd (W.) Division.
"british liberation army. "8th May, 1945."
1945 - 2nd (Airborne) Bn Oxf & Bucks LI - Bad Kleinen
Fine weather continues.
Our varied activities include athletics, rowing, sailing, swimming and occasional short route-marches.
The area is searched for arms & suspects twice a week.
Today we provided guides to help in the dispersal of civilians from the camp.
These are being moved in batches of about three hundred each to various villages & hamlets in the neighbourhood.
A Coy have returned from WITTENBURG.