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

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

Archive for the tag “Harbonnieres”

1917, DECEMBER 31st – MARCHED TO CAIX

Bray-sur-Somme, December 31 1917 Rose, Geoffrey K (MC)  A view across the roofs of buildings in Bray-sur-Somme, with a line of telegraph poles crossing the foreground.

Bray-sur-Somme,
December 31 1917
Rose, Geoffrey K (MC)
A view across the roofs of buildings in Bray-sur-Somme, with a line of telegraph poles crossing the foreground.

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

The Battalion’s mid-winter respite was brief. On New Year’s Eve, 1917, the 2/4th Oxfords quitted the wretched Suzanne huts and marched through Harbonnières to Caix. No ‘march past’ was necessary or would have been possible, for so slippery was the road that the men had to trail along its untrodden sides as best they could. Old 61st Divisional sign-boards left standing nearly a year ago greeted the return to an area which was familiar to many. The destination should have been Vauvillers, but the inhabitants of that village were stricken with measles. Better billets and freedom from infection compensated for a longer march. At Caix the Battalion was comfortable for a week.

The Division’s move from the Bray-Suzanne area to south of the Somme heralded a new relief of the French, whose line was now to be shortened by the amount on its left flank between St. Quentin and La Fère.

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1917, MARCH 15th – RELIEVED BY THE WARWICKS AND BACK TO FRAMERVILLE

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

On the night of March 15 the Brigade was relieved by the Warwicks. The Battalion moved back to Framerville, where Quartermaster’s Stores and Transport rejoined.

This could have been either the 2/7th or 2/6th Warwickshire Regiment. As both were part of the 182nd Brigade of the 61st (South Midlands) Division.

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

1917-03-15

Regiment. 2/4th Royal Berkshire

Location France, Denicourt Trenches

Entry Working parties as previous day. Battalion relieved by 2/7th ROYAL WARWICKSHIRE REGT, and marched to HARBONNIERES relief completed by 10.30pm.

1917, FEBRUARY 15th – MARCHED FROM WIENCOURT TO RAINECOURT

Harbonnnieres Church, January 1st 1918

 

On February 15 the Battalion marched through Harbonnières, where the Major-General, Colin (John) Mackenzie (now Sir Colin, K.C.B.) was standing with a French General to see us pass, and on to Rainecourt. The latter village, where the Battalion was billeted, improved on acquaintance. It had lain some 3-1/2 miles behind the old Somme front and had suffered a good deal from German shells. French industry and French materials had, since the advance, converted damaged barns and houses into quite good billets.

Harbonnieres, 1st January 1918

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

The Battalion’s Relief mid-winter respite was brief. On New Year’s Eve, 1917, the 2/4th Oxfords left the wretched Suzanne huts and marched through Harbonnieres to Caix. No ‘March Past’ was necessary or would have been possible, for so slippery was the road that the men had to trail along it’s untrodden sides as best they could. Old 61st Division sign-boards left standing nearly a year ago greeted the return to an area which was familiar to many.

A modern link to Harbonnières and the church. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harbonnières

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