1815 – Battle of Waterloo – 52nd under the command of Sir John Colborne, led the decisive attack on the French Imperial Guard. (see below)
1915 – 2nd Bn Oxf & Bucks LI – In The Trenches Near VERMELLES
Very quiet period indeed practically no shelling or sniping.
1915 – 1/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion – DOUVE TRENCHES
Quiet Day. – Patrol from T 72, found 2 rifles, a cap & some rounds left by German patrol showing them to be Bavarians they were handed to 2/LT LADENBURG 3 Corps Intell Corps who was in trenches at the time.
1944 – 1st Buckinghamshire Battalion:- (Normandy)
On the 18th June Battalion headquarters moved to its new position (an old civilian transport park)
1815 - 52ND LIGHT INFANTRY AT WATERLOO
Extracted from – “A short history of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, 1741-1922 for the young soldiers of the Regiment.”
Lt Col R.B. Crosse: Gale and Polden 1925
May, 1815, found the 1st Battalion 52nd at full strength, doing intensive training in billets near Mons, in General Clinton's (2nd) Division, forming, with the 71st (now 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry), and the 2nd Battalion 95th, a light brigade under Major-General Adam. On June 14th it was known that Napoleon was advancing on Brussels, where British General Headquarters then were, and on the 16th, as the Regiment was parading about 9.30 a.m., an order was received to be at a starting point on the road to Ath at 10a.m. Napoleon was then attacking the British at Quatre Bras, and as the Regiment tramped along in pouring rain gun-fire could be distinctly heard. This, said an old Peninsular soldier, in reply to a question by a recruit, was the noise of "Napoleon shaking his blankets." At 11.30 p.m., wet through, the Regiment reached Braine-le-Comte, fifteen miles from Quatre Bras, but at 2 a.m. the next day (Saturday) moved another eight miles to Nivelles, left there again at 11a.m. for the field of Waterloo, and halted for the night in a ploughed field near the village of Merbe Braine, in extreme discomfort.
Shortly before noon on Sunday, June 18th, the great battle began, but the 52nd, with the rest of Adam's brigade was in reserve and took little part in it, except to have some casualties by shell-fire, until about 3 p.m., when the brigade was moved forward and formed in squares of battalions, or in the case of the 52nd of wings (half-battalions), in which formation the brigade was alternately shelled and charged by cavalry until withdrawn about 6.30 p.m. A little later the brigade was brought forward again near to Hougoumont and on the right of Maitland's Brigade of Guards.
It was then that Colonel Colborne became aware that Napoleon, making his final bid for victory, had committed his Grand Reserve, the veterans of the Imperial Guard, to the attack, and that this column was drawing near. On his own initiative, and without waiting for orders, lest the opportunity be lost, the Officer Commanding the 52nd took the Regiment forward in line, wheeled it obliquely to the French columns, paused under cover to allow a few seconds breathing space, and then, as the bugles sounded the charge, the Regiment bore down upon, broke and routed single-handed the best soldiers of France, and for the first time on that memorable day put victory beyond doubt; for immediately afterwards came the Duke's order: " The whole line will advance," and the British Army, led by the 52nd, swept across the field, pushing on until the arrival of the Prussians to continue the pursuit.
In the farm buildings of Rossomme, where Napoleon's headquarters had been, the Regiment lay down for the night, and marched next morning with the rest of the Army towards Paris, into which Adam's Brigade entered on July 7th.
The casualties of the Regiment in the battle of June18th, were 38 killed, and 168 wounded, of whom several died later.