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

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

Archive for the tag “22 August 1917”

1917, FEBRUARY 22nd – RECONNOITRING THE NEW FRONT LINE AT ABLAINCOURT

Ablaincourt Sector

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

It is morning of February 22, 1917. Colonel Bellamy and his four company commanders are setting out to reconnoitre the new front line. Guides are to meet us at Deniécourt Château, a heap of chalk slabs and old bricks, beneath which are Brigade Headquarters. To reach this rendez-vous_ we pass through Foucaucourt and then along a corduroy road through Deniécourt Wood to the village of that name. The wood has been fought through and but few branches remain on the trees, whose trunks, like so many untidy telegraph poles, rise to various heights from the upheaval of shell-holes and undergrowth. Dismal surroundings on a dismal morning, for the frost has relented for several days and already sides of trenches are collapsing (flop go the chunks into the water!) and on top the ground is loading one’s boots at every step.

We change into gumboots in an old cellar and our journey commences. See the Colonel, Cuthbert, Marcon, Brown, Stockton, Robinson and myself lead off down a communication trench behind a guide, pledged to take us to the Berks Headquarters. The going is desperate–water up to our knees; however, each hundred yards brings our goal nearer, and it can hardly be like this all the way. We come to a trench junction, and our guide turns left-handed; presently another–the guide knows the way and again turns to the left. Confound the mud! If we do not get there soon we shall never be home for lunch … but we do not get there soon. The guide, always protesting that he knows the way, has led us in a circle and here we are whence we started an hour ago!

After such well-meaning mockery of our efforts, a route ‘over the top’ is tried. Soon we are outside Battalion Headquarters of the Berks. Whilst we are there, German gas shelling starts–a few rounds of phosgene–and helmets require to be adjusted. It is not everybody’s helmet that fits, this being the first real occasion on which some officers have worn them. There is some laughing to see the strictest censor of a gas helmet (or its absence) in difficulties with his own, when the moment for its adjustment has arrived.

The company commanders duly separate to go up to their own sections of the front. They see the ‘posts,’ or any of them that can be visited in daylight, make notes of local details affecting the relief, and so home independently.

Billets never seemed so comfortable or attractive as on the night preceding a relief. Perhaps they would have seemed more so had the Battalion known, what luckily it could not, that an unpleasant tour was in store, and that afterwards, with the enemy in retreat, there would be no more billets until the summer.

From the War Diary of the 2/4th Royal Berkshire Regiment

1917-02-22
Regiment. 2/4th Royal Berkshire
Location France, Trenches Deniecourt
Entry Greater artillery activity. 1 OR wounded (gas).

Private Albert John Priday

Name: Albert John Priday
Birth Place: Epney, Glos.
Residence: Glos.
Death Date: 22 Aug 1917
Enlistment Location: Down Hatherley, Glos.
Rank: Private
Regiment: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Battalion: 2/4th Battalion.
Number: 33086
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theater of War: Aldershot
Comments: Formerly 28673, Glos. Regt.

Private Clifford Davies

Name: DAVIES, CLIFFORD
Initials: C
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
Unit Text: 2nd/4th Bn.
Age: 27
Date of Death: 22/08/1917
Service No: 202574
Additional information: Son of Charlotte Davies, of Hotel York, Bridgend, Glam., and the late Herbert Davies.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 96 to 98.
Memorial: TYNE COT MEMORIAL

Name: Clifford Davies
Birth Place: Carmarthen
Residence: Cardiff
Death Date: 22 Aug 1917
Rank: Private
Regiment: Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Battalion: 2/4th Battalion.
Number: 202574
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theater of War: Aldershot

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: