1843 – 52nd – a Regimental Savings Bank opened in the 52nd.
1917 - 2nd Bn Oxf & Bucks LI - BATTLE OF CAMBRAI – Battalion heavily engaged in repelling German counter attacks
1917 – 2nd Bn OXF & BUCKS LI –
The early morning broke quiet and fine but was shortly afterwards disturbed by a heavy bombardment on Divisional Front.
The Regiment had been at 2 hours notice for nearly 48 hours and now began to be involved in the operations of the ensuing week.
Shortly after 10am (30th November) orders were received to stack in present position all packs and other articles surplus to fighting scale and to prepare to move equipped for battle conditions.
It was possible shortly before 12 noon to report that the Regiment would be ready by that hour.
Immediately on being ready, orders were received to move by Companies to LOCK 7, which was done, Major BRETT and the Officers and others surplus to fighting scale, remaining to superintend the removal of stores to the Transport Lines. (Slag heap in J.34).
Almost on arrival at the Lock orders were received to Counter Attack in conjunction with 24th Royal Fusiliers against the Sugar Factory in E.29.a said to be in German hands but in reality never other than within our own Divisional Line, where the forward troops (6th and 99th Infantry Brigades on Left and Right flanks respectively were making a magnificent defence against a series of very determined attacks.
Evidently considerable confusion and misunderstanding of the situation prevailed and it seemed best to place the Regiment under Brigadier General R C Kellett GMG commanding 99th Infantry Brigade and get into touch with him at the earliest possible moment.
Steps were being taken to effect this when a further order from Brigadier General Kellett requiring 24th Royal Fusiliers to go up to the vicinity of his headquarters at once arrived at Lock 7. This was put into affect and the Regiment was preparing to follow when the brigadier General commanding 5th Infantry Brigade and Staff (less the Staff captain, said to have been left under his horse which had been shot) 5th Infantry brigade arrived at LOCK7 and approved movements which he directed should proceed.
The Regiment was eventually stopped as Reserve Battalion to 99th Infantry Brigade and located in HUGHES SWITCH (K.10.a. and b.) where some casualties occurred from shells hitting the trench, B and D Coys suffering to the extent of 7 killed and 14 wounded.
I would emphasise the movements of the Regiment as at this juncture for two reasons:-
(i) the leading by the Captains of Companies, who were given map references, in a complicated trench system, in the dark, without any previous recconaissance and on whom everything depended, was in my opinion beyond all praise.
(ii) Fiction sometimes becomes history; Messrs Beach Thomas, Dewar and probably other War Correspondents seem to have credited British Troops with having retaken the Factory in E.29.a; the original orders to do so, addressed to 24th Royal Fuiliers and the regiment are filed with the Office Copy of this Diary, but no such attack was ever attempted, which had it been, would have resulted in the capture of our own supporting troops to the front brigades, who never yielded the ground at all.
It is therefore very desirable that it should be converted into history that the Regiment was not in any way concerened in any “retaking” of the Sugar Factory.
R CROSSE, Lt Col. Commanding 52nd Lt Infty.
1917–1/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion - IN THE TRAIN. En route to ITALY.
NO 1 TRAIN
Moved to ROVERESO, starting at 3pm.
Distance about 5 miles.
Very good billets.
Transport a difficulty.
All GS wagons having to make a second journey to fetch blankets.
NO 2 TRAIN
Train arrived at 8am.
After an hours wait Coys detrained.
Billeting party was sent off and returned about 11am and Coys after an hours wait in a field marched to billets.
Mens billets Very Good, and all Officers had beds.
No work done during the day, as there was certain to be a move the next day
Ration Strength of Battalion 30-11-17
43 Officers 844 OR
1917 – 2/1st Bucks Bn (TF) Oxf & Bucks LI – Moved from ARRAS to BAPAUME and BERTRINCOURT.
1917 – 2/4th (TF) Bn Oxf & Bucks LI – Moved from ARRAS to BAPAUME and BERTRINCOURT.
1917 – 6th (S) Bn Oxf & Bucks LI – BATTLE OF CAMBRAI.
At 6 a.m. a further attack was made by the Guards. They succeeded with the aid of Tanks and at 8 a.m. the southern part of the ridge was held by us.
On our front the attack failed and the line remained the same.