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

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

1916, JUNE 29th – FIRST RAID BY THE 2/4th OXFORDS: BAPTISM OF FIRE

From The Story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, by Captain G. K. Rose M.C. (Oxford: B.H. Blackwell, 1920)

That same night (28th / 29th) the Battalion did its first raid, by B Company under Hugh Davenport. The raid was ordered at short notice and was a partial success. If the tangible results were few, B Company was very properly thanked for its bravery on this enterprise, which had to be carried out against uncut wire and unsubdued machine-guns. Zeder, a lieutenant with a South African D.C.M., was mortally wounded on the German wire and taken prisoner. The casualties were numerous. Davenport himself was wounded, but unselfishly refused treatment until his men had been fetched in. It was a night of battle and excitement. To the most hardened troops a barrage directed against crowded breastworks was never pleasant. The Battalion bore itself well and earned recital, albeit with some misdescription, in the English press a few days later.

At zero they all advanced, but the wire was insufficiently cut. Lieut, Stockton, with the right party, under very heavy fire cast both right and left about 50 yards to try to find a gap, but did not succeed in doing so, and brought the right party back. 2nd Lieut. Zeder, in charge of the left party, got up to the wire but could not get through, and this party suffered severely as they came back, 2nd Lieut. Zeder being killed. The supporting party were also held up by uncut wire, and eventually returned to the trenches, having lost 8 killed and about 30 wounded, nearly all of whom were brought in. Sergeant Prentice, Corporal Brereton, and Private Gardner received the Military Medal for their actions during this raid, and the G.O.C. 61st Division wrote that he considered it had been carefully planned and gallantly carried out. The failure of  the raid was due to the uncut wire.

KILLED IN ACTION JUNE 29th 1916

200305 Lance Corporal Albert Norris

2030 Lance Corporal Reginal Leslie Pink

5341 Private Percy Ball

201969 Private George Gladstone Burge

241361 Private Edward Busby

202002 Private Leslie Hine

4694 Private Harry Parker

5349 Private Walter Edward Frank Smith

5325 Private Kaleb A Wyatt

DIED OF WOUNDS JUNE 29th 1916

3554 Lance Sergeant Victor Maurice Elliott

6730 Private Noah Davies Huzzey (Formerly 1336, Welsh Regt.)

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