The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

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The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
extracted from "The Territorial Battalions, A Pictorial History 1859-1985" by Ray Westlake
further details are given on these battalions in appropriate sections of the site

4th Battalion

In 1875 the several rifle corps that had been formed in Oxfordshire excluding that raised by the University, were merged as the 2nd Oxfordshire Rifle Corps. Headquarters was located at Oxford and the establishment authorised six companies. The 2nd became the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Oxfordshire Light Infantry in 1887 and in 1900 provided a number of its members for service with regular troops in South Africa.

In March 1915, the 1/4th Battalion landed with the 48th (South Midland) Division in France. It fought on the Western Front until November 1917, when it moved to Italy. The 2/4th joined the 61st Division, which went to France in May 1916 and the following year took part in the Battle of Cambrai. On the 28 April, 1917, CSM Edward Brooks won the Victoria Cross for his part in an action at Fayes, near St Quentin. Another member of the battalion, L/Cpl. Alfred Wilcox, also gained the VC the following year.

In 1940 the battalion went to France as part of the BEF and, after suffering heavy casualties at St Omer-La Bassee, returned to England where it remained for the rest of the war.

The battalion was amalgamated in 1947 with its war-time duplicate unit, the 5th Bn and in 1958 assumed the title -Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. The regular battalion had, by this time, become the 1st Green Jackets. With the transfer to the T&AVR in 1967, the regiment formed part of the Oxfordshire Territorials and the 4th (Volunteer) Battalion, Royal Green Jackets.

The Buckinghamshire Battalion

The Bucks Battalion of the regiment, when formed in 1908, was not allotted a number. It was, however, due to its position in the order of precedence of the several counties in the Volunteer Force, ranked after the 4th Battalion from Oxfordshire.

The first company of rifle volunteers was formed in Buckinghamshire during 1859. Others followed and in 1875 an amalgamation of these corps took place to form the 1st Bucks Rifle Volunteers. The corps had its headquarters at Great Marlow and included companies located at Wycombe, Aylesbury, Slough and Eton College.

The corps did not change its name when it became a volunteer battalion of the Oxfordshire Light Infantry in 1881. It remained as the 1st Bucks and as such contributed a number of volunteers from its ranks for service in South Africa.

As part of the 48th (South Midland) Division, the 1/1st Bucks Battalion fought on the Somme and at Ypres. In 1917 it moved to the Italian Front where it saw action at the Piave River and Vittorio Veneto. The 2/1st Battalion, which was formed in August 1914, also served on the Western Front, being disbanded at Germaine in February 1918. A third line unit was formed which joined the 3/4th Battalion as the 4th (Reserve) Battalion.

In 1939 the Bucks Battalion was divided as 1st and 2nd. The 1st suffered heavy casualties while serving with the BEF in France but in 1944 was able to play an important part in the Normandy assault landings. The 2nd Bucks remained in the UK.

In 1947 the two battalions were amalgamated and at the same time converted and transferred as 645 LAA Regiment, Royal Artillery.

5th Battalion

Formed in 1939 as a duplicate of the 4th Battalion, the 5th served in the UK throughout the war and was amalgamated with its parent unit in 1947.


Monday, 19 September, 2016 12:49

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