1900 – 1st Bn Oxf LI – engaged with Boers near Helibron.
1915 - 7th Bn Oxf & Bucks LI sailed from Marseilles for Salonika.
1916 – 2nd Bn Oxf & Bucks LI engaged in Battle of the Ancre (Somme) at Redan Ridge.
1916 –2nd Bn Oxf & Bucks LI – MAILLY MAILLET.
Z" day. All these preparations made and dispositions taken up by 3.45 a.m.
Operation Orders and Instructions in full, in their amended form, with all appendices are filed with the regimental Office copy of this diary and will show every detail of the preliminary arrangements and plans.
Objective.-The 24th Royal Fusiliers on the left of the 5th Infantry Brigade, having on their right the 2nd Highland Light Infantry and on their left the right battalion of the 6th Infantry Brigade, were to take and consolidate that part of the German Front System opposite them as far east as a trench referred to as the GREEN LINE. This to be attacked by that Regiment (24th Royal Fusiliers) in four waves, with the 52nd Light Infantry following in support, ultimately to pass through the 24th Royal Fusiliers and capture that part, to its front, of a trench referred to as the YELLOW LINE, but to be prepared to afford all possible support, if and when required, to the 24th Royal Fusiliers.
On at any rate the 5th Infantry Brigade front, the attack, which began at ZERO 5.45 a.m., by a short and very heavy bombardment of the German Front Line System, came as a complete surprise to the enemy, and within the GREEN LINE very little (if any) resistance was encountered.
Considerable inconvenience and some casualties were, however, caused by a party of about 40 Germans, who remained for nearly 48 hours "unmopped-up" in the German Front Line about the point to which it was intended to dig the CAT STREET TUNNEL—possibly because they happened to be just at a point of junction between two attacking brigades, for which the troops of neither felt directly responsible.
The thick mist made the keeping of direction very difficult.
Watched from the CHATHAM TRENCH near its junction with BUSTER TRENCH, the attack appeared to go very well on our own front but soon after dawn it became obvious that on our left it was going far from well.
According to the programme the joint Headquarters of the 24th Royal Fusiliers. and the 52nd Light Infantry were to move across to approximately selected positions in the German lines as soon as definite information was received that the GREEN LINE was taken; but, owing to the uncertainty of the situation on the left, and the ultimate necessity of forming a defensive flank facing northwards, orders were received to delay this move.
Headquarters 24th Royal Fusiliers therefore, remained stationary throughout until relieved, and Headquarters 52nd Light Infantry moved forward about midnight, 14th/15th November, to the position approximately selected for Brigade Headquarters had they moved forward.
Presumably the failure of the 3rd Division, attacking on the left and north of the 2nd Division, in front of SERRE was responsible for the failure of the 6th Infantry Brigade on our own left. Elements of this Brigade, with parts of the 24th Royal Fusiliers and the Regiment, combined to form this defensive flank until it was finally taken over on the night of 13th/14th November by the 22nd Royal Fusiliers, of the 99th Infantry Brigade in Divisional Reserve.
The Regiment sustained a certain number of casualties in the advance, including Captain KITE, from our own artillery, due to an attempt to follow too closely our own barrage, but otherwise the casualties west of the GREEN LINE were inconsiderable.
There was considerable bombing of German dugouts west of the GREEN LINE, and altogether , one soldier being seen by an Officer to throw 21 bombs in succession down the steps of a German "Regimental Command Post" in MUNICH TRENCH East of the GREEN LINE.
In the advance forward from the GREEN LINE the leading waves appear to have lost direction, and to have wheeled Northwards in the mist into a communication trench known as LAGER ALLEY, running East and West between the GREEN and YELLOW LINES, and so parallel to the real and correct line of advance. This mistake was discovered, and the GREEN YELLOW LINE was penetrated by elements of all companies who had by now become thoroughly mixed up.
In the YELLOW LINE no British troops could be found right or left, although on the right, elements of the 17th Royal Fusiliers had also entered it. These also, however, failed to get touch on either flank, and withdrew.
Considerable fighting ensued in the YELLOW LINE, in MUNICH TRENCH, and in LAGER ALLEY, our forward parties being at one time all but surrounded. After some difficulty and numerous casualties, a withdrawal, covered very well by bombers and Lewis-gunners on the night of the 15/16th November
2nd H.L.I, and the 24th Royal Fusiliers were withdrawn to billets in BERTRANCOURT, the 52nd Light Infantry and 17th Royal Fusiliers returned to the O W British Line.
Casualties for the period 13.11.16 – 17.11.16 inclusive:
Killed on 13.11.16 :
2nd Lieut. A. 0. W. Webster-Jones (A Company).
Wounded on 13.11.16 :
Captain W. J. Littledale (C Company),
Captain R. B. Kite, M.C. (D Company).
Captain N. W. Hill (A Company).
2nd Lieut. F. C. L. A. Lowndes (A Company),
2nd Lieut. O. H. M. Sturges (B Company),
2nd Lieut. H. Vernon (C Company).
2nd Lieut. T. A. Ionides (died of wounds on the 16.11.16.).
Missing 13.11.16 :
2nd Lieut. H. Davies (C Company),
2nd Lieut. R. A. Creswell (D Company),
2nd Lieut. J. D. C. Holland (D Company), (known to be wounded badly.)
Lieut. V. E. Fanning (B Company).
Captain H. W. H. Rawson.
1916 – 1/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion – ACID DROP CAMP
Battn in Huts.
The Battn supplied Working Parties for R.E. & for work in camp.