Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (The 2/4th Battalion)

Research and Resources around the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry during WWI

5th/6th December 1917, Gonnelieu

The following details are extracted from a great Web site: http://www.purley.eu/H142.htm. The site details the operations of the 2/4th Royal Berkshire Regiment, but within it is contained a wide range of information on the 184th Brigade and the Battalions that made up the Brigade.

During the night of the 5th-6th the 184th Brigade relieved the 183rd as ordered. The Royal Berkshire were then still attached to the 183rd Brigade, but appear to have been returned to the 184th at the time of the relief,so remained in front line. The disposition of the 184thBrigade after the relief was thus – 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry on the right, 2/1st Buckinghamshire in the centre, and 2/4th Royal Berkshire regiment positioned on the left. The 2/5th Gloucestershire were in support in the Villers Plouich quarry.

In the morning of the 6th December the Royal Berkshire were ordered to extend their holding to the left, and, in order to enable them to garrison this extra piece of trench, two hundred and thirty-five other ranks of the 2/8th Royal Warwickshire (182nd Brigade) were placed under the orders of the O.C. 2/4th Royal Berkshire.There was no infantry action during the 6th in this part.

From G. K. Rose, The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

“The end of 1917 was as cold as its beginning. Snow and frost, destined to play utter havoc with the roads, laid their white mantle on the battlefield. Fighting had slackened when the Battalion went into the line in front of Gonnelieu. The trenches there ran oddly between derelict tanks, light railways, and dismantled huts ; in No-Man’s-Land lay several batteries of our guns.”

Some maps of the area from The Long, Long Trail.

“This is a map of a small part of the Hindenburg Line, north west of Flesquieres. The position to be attacked consisted of two trench systems, with deep barbed wire defences in front of each. The trenches were dotted with concrete blockhouses containing machine gun posts, signals stations, infantry shelters and so on.”

The German counter attack on November 30th pushed the British forces back through Gonnelieu and Villers Guislain.


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