1815 - 43rd left England to join Wellington's Army in Belgium.
1915 – 2nd Bn Oxf & Bucks LI – In The Trenches Near VERMELLES
Head Quarters are at LA RUTOIRE FARM,
2 companies are in the Front Line, which has lately been made by 1st Division, since they took over this line from the French in the middle of May.
2 companies are in Support and occupy old French 1st Line and Reserve trenches.
All trenches are deep, and on the whole well made, with many dugouts where the French were in occupation.
The enemy’s trenches are from 500 – 1000 yards distant.
Very quiet period indeed practically no shelling or sniping.
1915 – 1/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion – DOUVE TRENCHES
1944 – 1st Buckinghamshire Battalion:-
On the 16th June, while Queen beach was being shelled heavily, six out of seven landing craft, tank, beached at the time were hit. A petrol coaster carrying 500 tons of spirit and beached between these landing craft was not touched. At 2000 hrs. on this day a Spitfire crashed in the petrol dump, setting petrol alight. Miraculously the pilot was saved before being burnt, and the fire put out.
Things were now going so well that we were told that it was intended to replace the labour provided by the Battalion with pioneers and move the Battalion to Ouistreham so that it could protect the locks.
As a result of the speed with which the 6th Airborne Division had attacked on D Day these locks at the entrance to the Caen Canal had been captured undamaged, and as it was planned to use the docks of Caen as a principal supply port as soon as the town was captured, it was vital that these locks should be preserved intact.
In spite of the foothold won by the 6th Airborne Division on the east bank of the River Orne it had not been possible to drive the Germans from Franceville Plage at the mouth of the Orne. The 6th Airborne Division, in fact, was hard put to it to maintain the ground which it had won, and great battles were raging at Ranville and Herouvillette. In consequence the enemy were stationed only 3,000 yards from the docks, with no intervening troops, and it was considered probable that they would make a raid to demolish the gates and pumping machinery. The fact that they had not already made the attempt will always remain a mystery.
On the 16th June C Company was withdrawn from the ammunition dump and moved to defensive positions on the strip of ground between the locks and the entrance to the Orne. On the same day an enemy aircraft attempting to bomb the locks was shot down.