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

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

Cambrai, 1st December 1917

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

“The night of November 30 / December 1 was spent in an open field. It was intensely cold. At 4 a.m. a flank march was made to Fins, where some empty huts were found. Enemy long range shells, aimed at the railway, kept falling in the village. Through Fins at 10 a.m. on December 1 the Guards marched forward to do their famous counter-attack on Gouzeaucourt ; on the afternoon of the same day the Battalion moved up to Metz, whijher Brigade Headquarters had already gone. During the night, which was frosty and moonlight, the Colonel led the Battalion across country to occupy a part of the Hindenburgh Line west of La Vacquerie.”

War Diary of the 2/4th Royal Berkshire

Saturday 1st December 1917 France, Fins

Battn marched at 3.45am and after a long night march through mud and water reached FINS. Div and Bde HQ had not arrived so again Battn had to shift for itself and got accommodation in some tents and huts and broken down houses.

Cookers had been left going and hot tea was served.

The cold was intense, so much so that even though tired out, men could not sleep. Battn was ordered to equip in fighting order.

Transport was organised into fighting and rear positions, ammunition made up, and arrangements made to dump packs.

Orders to move at short notice were issued, and blankets and kits collected.

These orders were cancelled as Battn was not to move until 10am on 2nd.

Blankets and kits re-issued and all ranks turned in to rest.

At 11.40 Battn was ordered to be ready to move at once.

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