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

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

Archive for the tag “Caulaincourt Chateau”

1917, MARCH 31st – REACHED AND BIVOUACED AT CAULAINCOURT CHATEAU

part of "MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIRST WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION" Photograph by: Brooks Ernest (Lt)  1917-04-21 German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line. Ruins of Caulaincourt Chateau on the River Omignon.

part of “MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIRST WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION” Photograph by: Brooks Ernest (Lt)
1917-04-21
German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line. Ruins of Caulaincourt Chateau on the River Omignon.

By G. K. Rose.

By G. K. Rose.

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

and the next night made bivouacs at Caulaincourt Château, formerly German Corps Headquarters, now wrecked past recognition. Amid the rubbish, whose heaps represented buildings of grace and dignity, the eye caught the half of a gigantic Easter egg. During our stay a German High Velocity gun several times shelled the château grounds. Our own artillery was now getting to work and made the nights lively with noise and flashes.

1917, APRIL 7th – FAILED ATTACK AND RELIEF BY THE 2/1st BUCKS

AdvanceStQuentin

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

Before dawn our troops were in their old positions.

In the attack the sergeant-majors of both A and B Companies were hit. Of the officers, Barton, commanding B, and Tilly, of A, were killed. Aitken and Wayte were wounded. Nearly 40 of rank and file were casualties.

The attack had proved a failure, but, as often happened, hopes of success were reluctantly abandoned by the staff. Thus my company was warned that it might have to repeat the attack at dawn. Pending such a fate, I was sent to bivouac in a windswept spinney known as Ponne Copse. It was still snowing. After their week’s exposure I was loth to inform my men of such a destiny.

But a more favourable turn of events was in store. The weather cleared, and at 11 a.m. on the 7th I was allowed to return to my version of Montolu Wood. On the same day the Battalion was relieved by the Bucks and marched back through Soyécourt to Caulaincourt. There we found Bennett, who had come from the Aldershot course to be Second in Command. The château grounds were quieter than before, for our guns had now moved further up towards the line.

On relief by the 2/1st Bucks, the Battalion moved to Caulaincourt, except B Company, who went into close support at Sailor’s Wood.

KILLED IN ACTION APRIL 7th 1917

Lieutenant C. J. Barton

2nd Lieutenant A. H. Tilly

200230 Company Sergeant Major Cecil Amos Witney

200917 Sergeant Bertie Elliott

200401 Lance Corporal William James Pacey

200864 Lance corporal Richard Yeates

203455 Private Donald Carruthers

200924 Private Frederick Jesse Gulliver

203473 Private Edward Harris (Formerly 2768, R. Bucks Hussars)

201263 Private Francis Walter Salcombe

1917, APRIL 8th, EASTER DAY , ALBATROSS SHOT DOWN AT LE CHATEAU DE CAULAINCOURT

part of "MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIRST WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION" Photograph by: Brooks Ernest (Lt)  1917-04-21 German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line. Ruins of Caulaincourt Chateau on the River Omignon.

part of “MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIRST WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION” Photograph by: Brooks Ernest (Lt)
1917-04-21
German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line. Ruins of Caulaincourt Chateau on the River Omignon.

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

At 3 p.m. on ApriI 8 a curious noise was heard in the air. A German aeroplane had attacked the kite balloon, which hung, suspended by its gas, above the (Caulaincourt) château park. A French machine, not a moment too soon for the balloon’s safety, had swooped and shot the attacker to the ground. All the Battalion was out staring up at the balloon rotating on its wire, and the portions of the German ‘plane, which amid smoke were fluttering to earth. A rush, as always, commenced towards the scene. The aeroplane, brought down from a height, was half embedded in the mud. It was an Albatross, painted all colours, and possessed two machine-guns and several sorts of ammunition for use against balloons. I could see nothing of its former occupant, who must have been removed for burial, except a pool of bright blood upon the ground.

In a film taken soon after called, The German Retreat To St Quentin, officers are seen  the wreckage of an Albatros DIII, no 2234/16, north of St Quentin. (This aircraft was shot down on April 8, 1917 by Lieutenant A de Laage de Meux in his Nieuport Scout of Esc N124; the pilot, Lieutenant d R Roaland Nauck of Jasta 6, was killed and 2234 was given the British “capture number” G21). Please see: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060022639

Pictures of Caulaincourt château in its prime.

Captain H. J. Bennett posted to the Battalion as second in command in place of Major W. L. Ruthven.

During the night orders arrived for a move forward to support the Warwick Brigade, which had been fighting for several days between Maissemy and Fresnoy.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: