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

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

Private John Cummings

From the Archives Hub

John Cummings, a Private, 2nd/4th Battalion, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, served on the Western Front. He was captured in 1918 and held as a POW (Prisoner of War) at Cassel and Langensalza.

From The Kaiser’s Battle, by Martin Middlebrook, Pen & Sword Military, 2007 (First published 1976).

“I am not educated, having left school at thirteen, and am now nearly seventy-eight. I should like to give some of my own thoughts as an ordinary infantryman of that war. Youngsters like me , after a few months of action, soon became tough and hard and very quick minded, not professional, but good fighters. We put up a good show to stop the German counter-attack at Cambrai on the morning of December 1st 1917 and would have done our best on 21 March if the morning had been clear. However,as we got battle hardened, things were ether ‘cushy’, if all went well, or, if not, we said ‘san fairy an‘. That is as near as I can get with the spelling but we meant, ‘What the hell does it matter’. And when we were in a German Prison camp, the verdict passed on the 21 March fighting was that it was ‘all a proper balls-up’  (Private J. Cummings , 2/4th Oxford & Bucks Light infantry)”

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