1812 - The Light Division in bivouac at San Martin, near Salamanca.
1915 – 2nd Bn Oxf & Bucks LI -TO TRENCHES AT CUINCHY.
In the afternoon the Regiment took over A.1. section from the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards.
3 companies are in trenches and 1 company in Reserve in HARLEY STREET.
1915 – 1/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion – COIGNEUX
Battalion in bivouac
1916 – 1/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion OVILLERS – POZIERES (Somme).
On the night of the 20th/21st July the Battalion was ordered to carry out an attack in conjunction with the 1/5th Gloucesters and 1/4th Oxfords against the enemy positions between Ovillers and Pozieres “A” “B,” and “C” were detailed for the attack, with “D”’ Company in reserve.
The 20th July was a busy day with the issuing of detailed orders, explanatory lectures to the N.C.O.’s and men, and the drawing and distribution of stores such as small arms ammunition, grenades, Verey lights, ground flares, shovels, all of which would have to be carried into the attack.
By 10.30 p.m. company commanders had given their final instructions to the men, and the battalion started for the front line, which lay some two and a half miles distant
The Battalion was to attack in four lines, on a front of two companies, each in line of platoons in column of sections,—two sections in the first line, one in second and one in third, —C Company (Captain G. G. Jackson) on the right A Company (Captain N. S. Reid, M.C.) on the left. B Company (Captain L. W. Crouch) was in immediate support to both companies in one line, and formed the fourth wave.
The enemy trench was situated about 325 yards distant from our front assembly trench (known as Sickle Trench), but a tape was laid by the Royal Engineers 175 yards from the German line, for the Battalion to form up on.
Zero was fixed for 2.45 a.m. on July 21, and at 2.15 a.m. companies left Sickle Trench to form up on the tape. D Company (Captain E. V. Birchall) moved up to garrison Sickle Trench, as soon as the other three companies went forward to their tapes. Although no unusual amount of gunfire had as yet started, the enemy appeared to be very nervous, starting at 2.30 a.m. to send up large quantities of flares. This was disconcerting, as it showed too plainly that he was very much on the alert. A few minutes later, red flares went up from his lines. Whether these were a signal to his machine guns to open fire is not known, but open fire they did—and to so some tune. So long as the hands of the watch did not point at to 2.45 a.m. it was possible to lie flat, though even then some few were hit. The moment to go forward, however arrived, and still the German machine guns chattered unceasingly. At 2.45 a.m. the British guns opened up with a roar, and shells flew just over the Bucks heads, bursting their shrapnel in a line of flashes along the trench opposite. It was the signal to advance. Few, however, were able to do so, for as men rose the machine guns of the enemy, upon whom our barrage appeared to be having no effect, scythed them down.
Officers especially were dropping on all sides. A few isolated men reached the objective, but of these hardly any returned. The attack, including that portion of it made by the Gloucesters and Oxfords on the flanks, failed.
Casualties were heavy and included:
Wounded and prisoner. 1
Missing . 41
The lack of success in this attack was keenly felt by all ranks, as it was the first serious attack in which the Battalion had been engaged.
For the survivors, sleep was the first consideration, for they were worn out; after that, reorganisation, with a view to the next attack, orders for which might arrive at any moment. The battalion was terribly short of officers and N.C.O.’s.