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Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry




   1st Battalion of the Ox and Bucks, were a territorial unit, they went to France as part of 11th Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division with the British Expeditionary Force. In late January, the BEF began integrating the Regular and Territorial units and the 1st Ox and Bucks moved to 143rd Infantry Brigade, 48th Division, putting them alongside the 4th Ox and Bucks. They were in action in the Battle of the Ypres-Comines Canal bewteen the 26th and 28th of May and were rescued from Dunkirk after suffering over 300 casualties. Back in Britain, the Battalion was brought up to strength by army conscripts. They transferred to the 148th Independent Brigade Group and served in Northern Ireland. In June 1942 they moved 71st Infantry Brigade, serving alongside the 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment and 1st Battalion, Highland Light Infantry. In October 1943 the brigade joined 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division and began training for the invasion of North-Western Europe. The 1st Ox and Bucks landed in Normandy in June 1944 with the rest of the 53rd (Welsh) Division. On the 25th of June they were in action during the unsuccessful Operation Epsom to take the town of Caen. When the Germans counter-attacked, the battalion moved to positions around the Odon bridgehead suffering casualties from heavy German artillery fire. The Battalion's first major engagement the successful attack to capture the village of Cahier and a nearby mill. They fought in the Second Battle of the Odon and in August took part in the sucessful advance towards Falaise, known as Operation Totalize. The battalion also captured Pierrefitte during the operation to close the Falaise pocket, encircling two German field armies, the Fifth and 7th, the latter of which was effectively destroyed by the Allies. The 1st Battalion, Ox and Bucks then took part in the advance across Eurpoe, entering Belgium in early September. The invasion of the Netherlands began with Operation Market Garden on the 17th of September and the Battalion was involved in in the ground operations in support of the airborne corridor to Arnhem. They led the advance to the Wilhelmina canal where they encountered strong enemy resistance, which delayed the advance to take the bridges. During October and November, they were in action in operations around the Lower Maas, including forcing the enemy from the bridgehead west of Roermond. On the 16th of December 1944 the Germans launched their last major offensive of the war in the Ardennes forest, The Battle of the Bulge. The 1st Battalion, Ox and Bucks, as part of 53rd (Welsh) Division, was rushed to Belgium to assist in the defence and endured terrible weather conditions. 53rd (Welsh) Division was relieved and returned to Holland to prepare for the invasion of Germany. In February 1945 they were in action in the Allied invasion of the German Rhineland, including Operation Veritable, a five-division assault on the Reichswald Forest, where the battalion was involved in heavy fighting against German paratroopers and armour at the village of Asperberg. The battalion crossed the River Rhine in late March and continued its eastwards advance attached to 7th Armoured Division. They saw action at Ibbenburen in April and met fierce enemy resistance at Gross Hauslingen before continuing the advance through Dauelsen, Gyhum and Wehldorf, reaching the city of Hamburg, which was captured on the 3rd of May 1915 by British forces.

   The 2nd Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry was based in India when war broke out, they returned to England in July 1940. They joined 31st Independent Brigade Group, alongside 1st Battalion, Border Regiment, 2nd Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment and 1st Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles. In October 1941 31st Brigade, was became glider infantry and the 31st Brigade was redesignated the 1st Airlanding Brigade, 1st Airborne Division. In mid-1943 the 2nd Ox & Bucks with the 1st Royal Ulster Rifles, transferred to 6th Airlanding Brigade, 6th Airborne Division. They prepared to take part in the invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky) but in April 1943 the battalion the mission was taken over by 1st Airborne. D Company commanded by Major John Howard were selected to land Horsa Gliders as part of Operation Deadstick just before the landings on D-Day on 6 June 1944, to capture Pegasus Bridge over the Caen Canal and the bridge over the Orne River which became known as Horsa Bridge. Teh aim being to secure the eastern flank of the British 3rd Infantry Division that was due to commence landing on Sword Beach at 07:25hrs. D Company, as the first Allied unit to land in France, landed very close to their objectives at 16 minutes past midnight. The remainder of the Battalion took part in the beach landings. Lieutenant Colonel Mark Darell-Brown DSO, replaced Lieutenant Colonel Michael Roberts who had been injured during the landings and would remain in command of the battalion during the defence of the Ardennes and over the Rhine landing. After fighting through Normandy, the battalion was in action during the advance to the Seine in August and continued through St Philibert, La Correspondance, Pretreville and Malbortie. The 2nd Ox and Bucks, and 6th Airborne Division, was withdrawn to Britain early September to recuperate and reorganise. They returned to the front in Belgium in December 1944 to assist in the defence of the Ardennes. They fought through Holland to the River Mass and returned to Bulford Camp, Wiltshire, on the 28th of February 1945 to prepare for Operation Varsity and the Rhine Crossings in late March 1945. The battalion advanced across Germany and linked up with the Russians near the Baltic port of Wismar on the 3rd of May 1945. The 2nd Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was selected to represent the British Army by providing the Guard of Honour for the meeting between British commander Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and his Russian counterpart, Rokossovsky, at Wismar, on the 7th of May 1945. On the 17th of May they were relieved by Gunners from the 5th British Infantry Division and moved to the former German cavalry barracks at Luneburg before flying home and returning to Bulford Camp, Wiltshire.

   The 6th Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry was formed in early July 1940, they served with 14th Infantry Group alongside the 19th, 20th and 21st battalions of the Royal Fusiliers. They were later assigned to the 140th (London) Infantry Brigade of the 47th (London) Infantry Division. In mid 1942 the battalion was sent to India to join the 74th Indian Infantry Brigade, 25th Indian Infantry Division. The 6th Ox and Bucks served on the Arakan Front during the advance down the west coast of Burma in 1944/45, they saw action at Akyab in 1944 and at the main Japanese Base at Tamandu in 1945. The battalion was disbanded on the 5th of December 1945 with most of the men being demobilised, the remainder transferred to 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

   In October 1940 the battalion was redesignated the 7th Battalion, Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was formed in October 1940 by the redesignation of the 50th (Holding) Battalion, which had been formed on the 3rd of June 1940. In February 1941, they joined 167th (London) Infantry Brigade, serving alongside the 8th and 9th Battalions, Royal Fusiliers in 56th (London) Infantry Division. In late August 1942, the division was sent to the Persia and Iraq Command In April 1943 the battalion made a 3,000-mile road move from Iraq to Tunisia and made a successful attack at Enfidaville. 7th Ox and Bucks took part in the landings at Salerno in September 1943 and then the Anzio landings in February 1944 sustaining heavy casualties on both occassions, with only 60 men remaining after the fighting at Anzio. In late March, 56 Division was transferred to Egypt to rest. The 7th Ox and Bucks were reinforced by large numbers of anti-aircraft gunners of the Royal Artillery whose original roles were now redundant. The battalion returned to Italy in July and fwere in action around the Gothic Line near Gemmano, again sustaining heavy losses. On 23 September 1944 the 7th Ox and Bucks was reduced to a small cadre, placed in 'suspended animation' and transferred to the non-operational 168th Brigade, where the remaining men were used as replacements for the 2/5th, 2/6th and 2/7th battalions of the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey), 169th (Queen's) Brigade, 56th Division. The battalion was finally disbanded on the 1st of January 1945.

   The 4th Battalion Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was a Territorial unit, which proceeded to France and served alongside the 1st Battalion, Ox and Bucks and the 4th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment, in 145th Infantry Brigade, 48th (South Midland) Infantry Division. The German Army launched their invasion of the Low Countries on the 10th of May 1940, after the Dutch Army had surrendered during the Battle of the Netherlands, the BEF were forced to withdraw west towards the Dendre river and then to the Scheldt river by the 19th of May. Having given a good account of themselves in the defence of the Scheldt, the British eventually withdrew into France, moving towards the area around Dunkirk. The evacuation of British forces back to Britain began on the 26th of May. The 4th battalion Ox and Bucks took part in the defence of Cassel, Nord until the 29th of May, but as they withdrew they were encircled by German forces near Watou with most being captured. The 4th Battalion was reformed in England and remained with the 145th Brigade until the brigade disbanded in November 1943, when they transferred to 144th Infantry (Reserve) Brigade, 48th Division, which was a reserve division responsible for the training of all new Army recruits. On the 24th of July 1944 they transferred to 213th Brigade, later redesignated 140th Brigade, in 47th Infantry (Reserve) Division. The battalion acted in a training capacity, sending drafts of replacements overseas and did not see active service again. By 1943 the battalion had sent 46 officers and 1,524 other ranks as replacements.

   The 5th Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was a Territorial unit raised shortly before the outbreak of war in September 1939 as a 2nd Line duplicate of the 4th Battalion. They served as a training unit with 184th Infantry Brigade, 61st Infantry Division throughout the war and did not see active service aside from briefly serving in Northern Ireland.

25th May 1940 On the Move

27th May 1940 Under Attack

28th May 1940 Consolidation

29th May 1940 Orders to Withdraw

2nd Jan 1945 On the Move

4th Jan 1945 Heavy Fighting

6th Jun 1944 Complete Suprise

7th Jun 1944 Intense Fighting

13th Jun 1944 On the Move

26th Jun 1944 Village Occupied

8th Jul 1944 On the Move

23rd Jul 1944 On the Move

30th Jul 1944 In Trenches

7th Aug 1944 Holding the Line

25th Aug 1944 Heavy Attack

26th Aug 1944 On the Move

23rd Dec 1944 Back to France

25th Dec 1944 Freezing Conditions

30th Dec 1944 Holding the Bridgehead

9th Jan 1945 A Rapid Advance

17th Jan 1945 A few days Static

24th Jan 1945 On the Move

28th Feb 1945 Back to Wiltshire

19th Mar 1945 On the Move

24th Mar 1945 Airbourne Landings

26th Mar 1945 A Brief Rest

27th Mar 1945 On the March

31st Mar 1945 Heavy Fighting

1st Apr 1945 Under Fire

2nd Apr 1945 On the March

14th Apr 1945 Advance Continues

15th Apr 1945 Under Fire

16th Apr 1945 Heavy Fighting

18th Apr 1945 On the Move

23rd Apr 1945 On the Move

30th Apr 1945 Advance Continues

3rd May 1945 Allies Meet

7th May 1945 Guard of Honour

17th May 1945 Relieved

4th Aug 1945 Advance Party Prepare


If you can provide any additional information, especially on actions and locations at specific dates, please add it here.



Those known to have served with

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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There are 5 pages in our library tagged Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry   These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Second World War.

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Marshall Lindsay Newton Ox and Bucks Light Infantry

My father Marshall Lindsay Newton talked to me when I was a little girl about being a prisoner of war and being kept in a "pit" and fed on only onions,as he was moved from camp to camp, Stalag V11A must have been where he ended up. He talked about being liberated by the Americans at the end of the war and them pulling him out of the pit. Mum said he looked half starved when he came home " you could put your fist in the hollows of his cheeks". I found only yesterday his identity tag it says, Stalag V11/A 137638 Does anyone have any relevant information about my dad, or the pow camp? Dad was in the Army with the Oxford and Bucks L.I. I would be grateful of any information at all to pass onto his grandchildren.

Sandra Simpson



Arthur Soilleux Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry

I am trying to retrieve any military records of Arthur Soilleux, my Grandad. I believe went to Dunkirk and was captured as a POW there. Any information is a help, thank you.

Craig Calvert



John "Paddy" O'Connor Ox & Bucks Light Infantry

My father's name was John 'Paddy' O'Connor. All I know is that my father joined the Ox & Bucks Regiment when he was 15/16 years old in about 1937. He lied about his age (so he used to say!) He came over from Ireland as there was nothing for him there. He said he was at Dunkirk. We have a photo of him, very young, in his uniform but with no insignia - I presume he was a private. Mum said he was a 'valet to the Padre'. He also mentioned being 'in the Gliders'. His only physical war wound was losing his big toenail of his right foot!! My father hardly ever talked about the war. He died over twenty years ago now but as a family we would love to know his history. He was demobbed at the Cowley Barracks in Oxford sometime between 1947 and 1949. Post war he worked as a Brickie, and at Morris' Car Works in Cowley Oxford.

Maria O'Connor



Donald Brownsey 1st Battalion Ox and Bucks West Yorkshire Regiment

I am trying to find out about my father, Don Brownsey. He served in 1st Batt Ox and Bucks and later in the West Yorkshire Regiment from which he was discharged in June 1946. If anyone can help I will be very grateful.

David Brownsey



Leslie Bruce Marcham Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry (d.30th May 1944)

I am part of a team researching the names on our local Memorial to the Fallen, in Woodcote village. One of the names, Leslie Bruce Marcham, 15311 of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, was at some point a POW at Stalag VIIIB and drowned in a quarry whilst exercising on 30 May 1944. He was buried in Krakow Rakowicki Cemetery. Can anyone tell us more about him?

Hazel Lobo



Private James Albert Meadowcroft 1st Bucks. Battalion Oxford & Bucks. Light Infantry

My father was in the BEF defending Hazebrouk in France as part of the Dunkirk retreat. He was captured and sent to Stalag XXI B and at the end of the war walked across Germany, returning home by USAF transport plane. I was born in 1940 and did not see my father until his return home in 1944. He lived until 1990 but hardly ever spoke of his wartime experiences. I have photos etc. similar to those on your site and have also been to Hazebrouk.

Ron Meadowcroft



Private Albert Jobson 1st Bucks, Company D, 13 Platoon Royal Norfolk Regiment

My father, Pte. Albert Jobson, crossed to Arromanches beach on D Day +1 June 8th 1944 with the Royal Norfolks and was transferred to the Ox and Bucks in Sept. 1944.

I have photographs of him in Hannover in May 1945 and Bremnen. He is also pictured as a member of 1st Bucks Coy.D 13 Platoon with the other members (names recorded on back of photo) with a captured German tank at Alterhunden. Glad to share with anyone interested.

Christopher Jobson



Pte. Raymond Herbert " " Nash 4th Btn (d.Between 25th & 28th May 1940)

G.Tomey



Sgt. Wilfred Albert "Dabber" Disbury Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

My Father, Wilfred Disbury, never really spoke too much about his time as a POW, he was taken prisoner during the retreat at Dunkirk, he was a Terriortial. I would like to hear from anyone with any information about him. As with many, I suppose, you want to know more when it is too late to ask. Sadly he passed away in 1980.

Liz Goodchild



Pte. Bertie Boscott Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

Bertie Bosciott was in the BEF at Dunkirk & just missed out on getting on a ship only to see it bombed moments later with many killed. He was able to get on another ship and got back to England.

Robert J Boscott



Pte. James Albert Meadowcroft 1st Battalion Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

My father, James Meadowcroft, was captured at 2130 hrs in Hazebrouk, Northern France on 27 May 1940 with a group headed by Major Elliot Viney who had been in an orphanage garden. He was taken by train across Germany to Stalag XXB in Poland.

I was born in 1940 and did not see my father until he returned home. I understand he walked out across Poland and was picked up by the Americans who flew him back to Wescott Bucks. He was taken to Hartwell House near Aylesbury to clean up, which was only a mile or so across the fields from home.

I have a few POW photos from this time but otherwise know nothing about his time in the POW camp. For years after I can remember him waking in the night, swearing in German as described by another writer on this site.

I would appreciate if anyone has any further information as he would never talk to me about his experiences. Two years ago I attended a ceremony in Hazebrouk where they have set up a plaque remembering the stand taken by the Ox and Bucks and others. Also a similar ceremony at Cassel.

Ron Meadowcroft



Sgt. Donald Peter Belcher 4th Btn. Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

I have no outstanding events just routine. I did see active service in Sicily, D Day, Ardennes, Rhine crossing also when the war ended served in Palestine, as a regular. I was demobbed February 1949 I would dearly like to be able to contact some or if anyone is still out there with army numbers around mine, it would be interesting to see us trying to step out at light infantry pace.

Donald Peter Belcher



Sgt. Arthur George Riley Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

I am trying to find out details of my late uncle Arthur Riley, who passed away 1993. We have found newspaper cuttings and letters showing he was amongst the first gliders to land at Peagsus bridge. Would be grateful for any further information

June Riley



Cpl. David L. Bateman 52nd Btn. Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

My granddad, David Bateman was in glider 4 out of the 6 gliders that landed at Pegasus bridge on d-day. His glider landed 8 miles away from the bridge and was later captured I believe on the 7/6/44. He served under Major Howard and there is a memorial at Pegasus bridge Ranville-Benouville Normandy for the men who served in the 6th airborne division, 52nd battalion Oxford and Buckingham Light Infantry. I do not know much about his time at Stalag 357 as I never had the chance to meet my granddad as he died before I was born. If by chance anybody has any more info on David Bateman please let me know.

I do know he did a lot of his training in Ilfracombe, Devon and I believe this is where he met his wife, Kathleen Pugsley. On a picture of a glider is a list of ladies names including Kath.

Jane Bateman



Quartermaster Sergeant John William "Bonnie" Cannon Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

I am trying to find out more about my father, QMS John Cannon during the war, I have his book with his details, he served in the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry He joined up from Father Hudson Homes in Birmingham at the age of 15 and he served for over 22 years. If anybody has any information about him I would appreciate hearing from you.

Pauline Holgerson



Pte. Leslie Cyril Atkinson Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

Les Atkinson was my father who was in the TA prior to the outbreak of WW2, he was in the Ox and Bucks and was sent to Northern Ireland where he married Mary Dunnion from Co Tyrone, he was stationed in or near Coleraine at the time of his marriage, and was married in Coleraine. He transferred to KOYLI, in 1943/44, and saw action in Italy. It would be nice to know if anyone remembered him, it might be a bit late.

Les Atkinson



Pte. E. G. Wheeler Ox and Bucks Light Infantry

I have an old newspaper cutting with a picture of E G Wheeler along with Private S Pettit both from North Stoke amongst about 40 stalag prisoners. This was in my late fathers scrapbook from the war. His name was Percy Albert Wheeler from Reading. I am trying to find information about E G Wheeler as suspect he may be a cousin of or somehow related to my father.

Sue Orchin



Pte. Howard Clifford Bryant Ox & Bucks Light Infantry

Like many of the prisoners my Dad, Howard Bryant never spoke about his time as a POW but I know he was captured at the time of Dunkirk and was then marched to Poland where he spent many years. I have his Stalag badge with the details: Stalag V111B Number 10170.

Karen Mckenna



Pte. John Harry Wasdell 2nd (Airborne) Bn. Ox and Bucks Light Infantry (d.6th April 1945)

John Wasdell is buried in Hannover Germany. He went over to Northern Ireland in 1940 where the Airborne was formed with the Royal Ulster Rifles, and that is where he met my mother, however we do not know much more about what he did during the war.

Paul Graham



2nd Lt. Peter Hubert Mosenthal 1st Btn. Ox and Bucks Light Infantry

My grandfather, Peter Mosenthal, served with the TA Battalion (1 Bucks I believe) in France in 1940. He was captured in Hazebrouk on 27 May. His company had been holed up in a farmhouse which was surrounded by German infantry and armoured cars. They had fought for a number of hours before the farm house took a direct hit from a mortar and was burning fiercely. The cellar by this stage had been filled with wounded who would perish if not evacuated. The remaining men had no choice but to surrender. He had been lightly wounded and the German medics put his arm in a sling. He was part of a group that was force-marched to trains in Germany, but a young German officer saw his rank and arm in a sling and gave him a lift to the train in his Kubelwagen. He was sent to an Oflag 7C in Laufen, on the border between Germany and Austria. The prison building is now luxury flats which I visited when by coincidence when I was an exchange student in the town. He subsequently moved to various camps in Poland and suffered increasing deprivations. He was liberated by American forces on 30 April 1945 and flown back to England, but not until after he had been in charge of guarding German prisoners in early May. He had been on some fairly horrendous forced marches from Poland to Ingolstadt as the Germans emptied the camps in Poland from the advancing Soviets. Very sadly his column was strafed by the US Air Force which mistook their 1940 battledress uniform as Hungarian. A lot of prisoners were killed.

I have photos of the farmhouse where his company was captured, taken when he visited Hazebrouk in 1946. The burnt out shells of the trucks in which they arrived on the 26th of May and which were destroyed in the fighting on 27th of May were still there. He also told me of the Battalion Adjutant going off to recce the forward elements of the Wehrmacht advance and never being seen again. On or around the 25th of May his platoon were in trenches when the German recce infantry were spotted. His platoon still had 12 inch WW1 bayonets which he ordered to be fixed. All the Germans could see were the bayonets glinting from the top of the trenches and they ran away as fast as possible. They did not shoot the fleeing Germans as it was regarded as ungentlemanly. The battalion was neither equipped nor trained to fight German armour and was effectively destroyed. His only armour training had been a battalion exercise on Newbury racecourse in December 1939 where cyclists with flags represented German tanks!

He had had to temporarily change his name to Morten in 1939 at the Army's request, for his name was German Jewish, although he was Christian. This was lucky in view of the fate of his company.

Charles Macdonald



2nd Lt. Colin Lewis Dillwyn 4th Bn. Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry (d.30th May 1940)

My great-uncle was Colin Lewis Dillwyn, who died during the Retreat to Dunkirk in May 1940. If anyone has any info to share about him, I would be most grateful.

Dave Morris



Pte. Thomas John Lawrence Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

Tom Lawrence passed away in 2010 leaving behind a family of 3 girls and a boy, a family who didn't really know the man? It quite by chance that I found a newspaper clipping of his marriage, this gave no more than the regiment he had served in, I also remember how he would talk of how he had been in Germany while serving. That would make him about 20 in the late 40s, there is no other information, just a reference to the Oxford & Buckinghamshire Regiment, following his discharge he worked as a printer, or in a printing environment in Bletchley, Milton Keynes. I am his son-in-law and the question asked was can you find anything else? My answer was, I don't know but at least I will try. I'm sorry to burden you with this and without the relevant info, but I hope you understand, like most families it is not until those most important go that you realise how empty life can be. Can anyone help?

Alan Tully



Sgt. Richard Rolfe Ox & Bucks Light Infantry

Hi, I am attempting to trace some history of my Uncle Richard 'Dick' Rolfe. Here's the tricky part, I don't know that much to be going on with and what I do know may not be exactly correct.

The family history goes as told by my Dad (now suffering from Alzheimers, so difficult to confirm) was that Dick was in the Ox Bucks Light Infantry and then drafted into the 6th Airborne.

I thought I was told that he was in the initial glider assault on Pegasus Bridge under Major Howard, but any research I have attempted has drawn a blank. Another family member seems to think he was in the parachute support at the bridge after the gliders had landed and taken the bridge. After the war, I believe my uncle lived in Royston, Herts, and sadly passed away some years ago. I wish I had found out more, but I was only a child. Has anyone any ideas of where to try next or any information on Dick himself? Many thanks in advance.

Richard Rolfe



Eric Foye Rogers Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry

My grandfather Eric Rogers was in the Ox & Bucks in WW2. He died recently, but was always very private about his role in the war. He did open up to me on several occasions and it was so interesting (the bits he told me) I would love to find out more and now that he's passed away I really don't think he'd mind! I don't know much about the rank he held, any specific missions he went on, so if anyone has any info, or knows where I can find out.... please help.

Andy Gorman



Pte. John James Martin 1st Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry (d.22nd Sept 1944)

I'm trying to find out any information about my uncle, John Martin who died at the age of 19. He is buried in Geel War Cemetery in Belgium.

Alan Martin



Pte Arthur Frederick Newman 70th Young Soldier Battalion Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

My father, Arthur Newman, enlisted with the 70th Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry on the 15th May 1942, in Birmingham. He started his military training at No:16 Infantry Traning Centre, which I believe was at Cowley Barracks in Oxford, in June 1942. After his training he remained with the 70th Bn until his embarkation for India in April 1943.

If anyone has any information about the 70th Battalion OBLI between these dates, then I would love to hear from you

Paul Newman



L/Cpl. Maurice Raymond Maine Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry

My father, Maurice Maine has been dead now for over 20 years but I have only recently found out that Stalag 8b was in Poland, stupidly I presumed it was in Germany. My father rarely talked about the war but I would really pleased to hear if anyone knows anything about him.

He was captured on the 30th of May 1940 in Hazebruck, France. He spent 4 years and 11 months in Stalag 8b. He was moved to a camp called Altheim, spending 3 weeks there before his release on 29 th of April 1945. I am not absolutely certain but I think he worked in the coal mines. He tried to escape several times and was shot in the leg on one occasion. He only explained this when I saw his scar. I do know he was in a very poor state when he finally came home and my uncle didn't recognise his own brother. My father was married to his first wife Doris when he was captured.

I am not hopeful of finding out too much as so much time has passed but if anyone can help, please contact me

Pamela Maine



Richard Lawson Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

My dad, Dick Lawson was prisoner at Stalag 9c Bad Sulza. He worked in the Salt mines at minegan and was released by the Americans in 1945. He served with the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry and is still alive, living near Croydon and going strong. We are looking to contact anyone who was in Stalag 9c after the Anzio Landings in 1944.

Paul Lawson



Pte. Charles "Mick" Cushing 7th Battalion. Ox & Bucks Light Infantry

I never knew my father, Charles Cushing. I only have his service record which indicates he joined up in 1931 then served in India and Burma. During WW2 in India then France. He was possibly Court Marshalled and reduced to the ranks in March 1943. He was back up to Corporal but due to injuries and malaria he again lost rank due to hospitalization (in Scotland) many times. He was demobbed on the 29th of Oct 1949 to the reserve, his Military Conduct was Exemplary.

Michael Cushing



Pte. Ronald Adams 4th Btn. Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry

My uncle, Ronald Adams, a gardener pre war, served with the 4th Bucks Battalion (TA) Oxford and Bucks L.I. He was captured while acting in the rearguard defending those escaping from Dunkirk June 1940. He was then interred in Stalag VIIIB Lamsdorf until 1945 and was force marched westwards due to the Russian advances. He wrote several cards to us (Kriegsgefangenekarten) all heavily censored. He told me after the war he had worked in coalmines and in industry during his captivity. He returned to live in Slough after his marriage to his fiancee Lena, also from Beaconsfield. If any one has any further information, please contact me.

David Low



Sgt. Thomas Parkin Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

My father, Sgt Thomas Parkin, was with the Ox & Bucks as a Bren Gun carrier driver. I assume he was with the First Battalion. I am trying to get background on any Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry action in South West Holland and in and around the town of Goes. Time frame is sketchy but would be, I believe, late July to October, 1944.

Can anyone assist?

Clive Parkin



Roy Liebermann Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry

My Uncle was Roy Liebermann of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry who, according to family stories, was captured very near the start of the war and spent most of his time at Thorn Podgorz (Stalag XXa). He told us very little, the only thing I can remember is that instead of weeding the vegetable fields they hoed up the veges and left the weeds!!

Mary Wilson



Sgt. James Stanley Hicks Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

My grandad's father, Stan Hicks was in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. I know that he was a POW sometime between 1939-1945 in Stalag IV-A and was a Private at the time. He was wounded in battle (shot in the upper arm) and was told he would need the arm amputated, but it was saved.

I know that when he returned from the POW camp he was very thin and could barely eat for weeks. He also used to say he hated the smell of oranges and if I remember correctly this was due to a battle in an orange grove where people lay dying around him.

Ritchie Hicks



Pte. Moses Bingham Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

I've just discovered that my late uncle, Moses Bingham, was a prisoner of war. I would appreciate any photos or other records that are available.

Pauline Byllaardt



Pte. Dennis William Gutteridge 4th Btn, B Company Ox & Bucks Light Infantry

Sadly, my father Dennis Gutteridge was no different to many others who found they couldn't talk about what happened to them during the war with those who hadn't gone through the experience. And now I have useful questions to ask, he's long gone.

I have some notebooks and various other memories of what he told me - enough to piece together a rough outline of his wartime story: He enlisted at Kidmore End into 4th OBLI on 24th April 1939, just 6 days after his 24th birthday and his engagement to my mother, who also shared the same birth date (she was 18). They married in November 1939, and in January 1940 he was sent to France. He served as batman to a Lieutenant 'Whinney' (?sp) in Belgium and was notorious for riding his bicycle everywhere even on route marches. After a brief sojourn back in UK, he returned to France and took part in the rearguard action to hinder the German advance on Dunkirk - one of the forgotten army which was sacrificed. As a member of B commpany he defended Cassel, and retreated through the woods at Watou (Wateau St Jean), where the Germans encircled them and took them prisoner on May 30th 1940. He was lucky not to have been captured by one of the units/commanders who massacred British POWS after surrender/capture, and was transported to Lamsdorf, where he arrived on June 25th 1940 - so this journey took a month! He never spoke about this part of the war, and the next I know was he was assigned to a work camp - E114, in a stone quarry.

Not unusually, his notesbooks are not a chronicle of how hard conditions were, but a collection of stories, songs, jokes, poems, articles, thoughts, comments, memoirs of pre-war days, and a list of POWs in camp E114. He demonstrated a trenchant wit which got him in a bit of hot water with his fellow POWs from time to time, and at every turn you can see his wry humour. There is one rather sad story about his early life, and another regaling the reader with his encounters as a young man with women. The final story is his description of being on a German farm in Bavaria and his thoughts and comments about the life of the small German farmer. He left Germany for home in 1945 and that is all he says.....whether he took part on one of the Death or Long Marches I can only guess, but as he was in Bavaria, he must have. Not a word did he write about this.

The only stories I can remember from when I was a child is how he was hiding in a wood and the Germans were calling to the British soldiers in English, to give themselves up. Fellow POWs who I know he kept in touch with after the war were 2 sappers serving in the Royal Engineers: Douglas (Duggie) Lawrence, and Rupert Sugden, who kept an offlicence after the war in Henley on Thames and was married to Molly Sugden the TV actress.

Carol Horne



W/O Frank Richards King Shropshire Light inf Northants Regiment

My father, Frank Richards, was in the K.S.L.I 1936-1939, Northants Regiment 1939- April 1944, Oxs and Bucks 1944-April 1945,the Queens Regiment April 1945-May 1946. I Know very little detail about his actual movements during the war except that he was at Dunkirk and that he learned Swahili and trained African troops. This was the reference his commanding officer gave him when he left the Army. Of which I am very proud. "Thoroughly reliable and has plenty of initiative. Can handle men well. Hopes to obtain appointment in police force, for which his leading, tact, and wide military experience including the handling of native troops in East Africa,should make him ideally suited. A fine type of man." signed by Captain Balding Commanding 2/7 Queens Royal Regiment. Any information relating to my father would be gratefully recieved. He passed away in 1997.

Anne



James Victor Allen Oxford and Bucks

I believe my father, James Victor Allen, from the Oxford and Bucks was a prisoner in Stalag 8B he was reported to have been in the march from Poland to Germany. My father died in 1967, aged 44. I know almost nothing about his life during the war, but would love to know more about it. Is there anyone who remembers him?

James Victor Allen



Pte. Harry Edward "Titch" Bennett Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

I'm trying to find out about my Grandad Harry Bennett,as with most we got snippets. We know he was in the Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry which we were told by him the fastest regiment in the British army and he trained in Scotland. We also know for reasons unknown he went to Bermuda (where he saw his first banana) and travelled by train in USA up to Canada before getting on a ship to UK. He also met by a fluke his older brother being shipped out of a harbour(injured) as his unit landed. When he was asked what did you say to your brother, Harry replied "alright" had a fag and nothing else. We also have a snippet that they gave kids some chocolate in Germany as they looked starving.

If anyone could tell me what unit he was in or any other info I would be very grateful.

Scott Bedding



Raymond Morris 1st Btn. Oxfordshire & Bucks Light Infantry

My uncle, Raymond Morris served with the 1st Battalion, Oxon & Bucks Light Infantry and was amongst the airborne troops who landed next to, captured and held what is now known as Pegasus Bridge. Attached is an article from BSA News (where he worked) June 1962 edition, describing his involvement in that action. Having visited the Pegasus Bridge Museum I was disappointed that I was unable to find his name amongst those recorded on the memorial stones there as this was supposed to be a complete list. I would welcome any feedback that may shed some light on this.

Duncan White



Pte. William James F. Nunn Oxford and Buckingham Light Infantry

My dad William Nunn was born in 1920. He lied about his age and joined the Regular Army. He was stationed in Kent where he met my mother. He served in the Oxford and Buckingham Light Infantry and was sent to Sword beach on the D Day landing 1944. Sadly he passed away in October 2013 aged 93. I am very proud of my dad and what he did for his country.

Isabella Worster



Pte. Fred C. S. Vowles MID. 1st (Buckinghamshire) Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

Fred Vowles was adopted by Greys WI, near Henley on Thames. He appears in the WI archives of Greys as "Fred" or "our prisoner of war". From 1943 until 1945 letters to and from Fred were documented, gift were sent, mainly hand knitted garments such as gloves and socks, but also cigarettes and a book on combustion engines. In July 1945 he visited Greys and was presented with a wallet and 11-5s. We know nothing more, except I have discovered that Fred was held in Stalag XXB for 5 years. If anyone knows anything about Fred Vowles, we would be very grateful.

Merryl Roberts



Pte. Robert Howard 1st Battalion Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (d.28th May 1940)

Robert Howard was my grandfather on my mothers side. My nan (his wife) had always thought that he had been injured in the withdrawal from Dunkirk and died on the beach, I am not sure how she got this info because the truth was discovered about ten years ago when my mum went to visit his grave in Hondeshoote, Belgium. He is buried in a section of the graveyard dedicated to the 50 men of mixed regiments and armies who stayed behind to fight a rearguard action against the Germans, as far as it says on the memorial none survived.

My mum has told me he was a regular soldier who had joined up as a young man and said that he had served some where in India possibly Burma. Before the war as she has a picture of him in a pith helmet. He was in the first battalion and I am trying to find out more about his service record

Adrian Beddis



Cpl. Douglas Hallam Cutts 2nd Btn. Oxford & Buckingham Light Infantry

Douglas Cutts first served with the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He had been to university and was a Lance Corporal after his exams, the highest ever scored. He served in Burma until, due to so many casualties, the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was disbanded and he joined the Royal Berkshire Regiment in Intelligence as a person who drew maps. He went out on reconnaissance in the jungle and helped with supply drops which were difficult during the monsoons.

Theresa Kowall



Cpl Robert Sheard 7th Btn Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

Suez 1942

Army Buddies

Plymouth 1946

Brother & Sister

My grandad Robert Sheard, served in the 2nd World War, I think with the 7th Battalion of the Ox & Bucks but cannot be sure. He has only talked once about his time serving in the war about 10 or 11 years ago for a project my son was doing at primary school, and this is where all my information has come from. I am unsure where he served for certain and have no idea of the dates but he did mention Palestine. I am sure he was in Egypt and somewhere in the Suez canal area as I have photos of him there dated 1942.

He definitely served in Italy as he was captured in Rimini in 1944 and was shocked when I realised he'd been a prisoner of war. He was taken to Stalag VII-A located at Moosburg an der Isar in Bavaria, a journey that took 3 days in the back of a cattle cart. He was liberated by General Patton on his way to Berlin in April 1945. He was demobbed soon after and home either just before or after his 25th birthday in June 1945, but I have a photo of him in an army uniform in 1946 with CPL Berry, Bateson and Smallman taken in Plymouth.

If anyone has information, photos or stories in connection with my grandad or the 7th Ox & Bucks can please get in touch. I would really like to know more about his time serving in the army, particularly the people he served with before, during and after the war.

Andrea Baldwin



Cpl. Walter Henry Cadden 6th Btn. Ox and Bucks Light Infantry (d.6th May 1944)

I am looking for information about Cpl Walter Cadden. Does any have any information about him?

C. Cadden



Sgt. Donald Frederick Saunders Ox & Bucks Light Infantry 6th Airborne

I served in the 6th Airborne with the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry. We glided into Rainville in June 1944.

Donald F Saunders



Lt. Robert Preston att. 2nd Airborne Ox and Bucks LI King's Liverpool Regiment (d.24th March 1945)

My uncle, Lt Robert Preston, was killed on 24 March 1945 during the glider assault on Hammenkein. He was attached to the 2nd Airborne, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry from the King's Liverpool Regiment. I would be keen to hear from anyone who knew him or anything about his army service prior to Operation Varsity.

John Preston



Jim Meadowcroft 1st Btn. Ox & Bucks Light Infantry

My father was at Stalag XXB and I have some group photos of Scots, Yorks, Midlands and Serbs at the camp. My father was billeted at Wagaries, Northern France and captured at Hazbrooke.

Ron Meadowcroft



Edgar Jolliffe 1st Btn. Ox & Bucks Rgt.

Does anyone remember Edgar Jolliffe from 1st Btn Ox & Bucks in 1943-44?

Chris Jolliffe



Pte. Edward Egerton 1st Btn. Ox & Bucks Light Infantry (d.19th April 1943)

Pte. Egerton died on Monday 19th April 1943, aged 21 and is buried in Grave 26, Wolverhampton Borough Cemetery.

Pauline Goodyear



Sgt. John Henry Taylor 4th Btn. Ox & Bucks Light Infantry

My father, John Taylor, was a sergeant with the Ox & Bucks Light Infantry. He was a POW from 1939 to 1945 and may have been with the 4th Btn in France with the BEF which was overwhelmed near Watou. His POW number was 1091 in Stalag 383.

Jean Powell



Cpl. Ray "Lofty" Haynes Ox & Bucks Light Infantry

I'm looking for information on my grandfather Cpl Ray Haynes who was a member of the 6th Airborne Berks/Bucks Light Infantary. He passed on when I was 1 and I hope someone can help me.

Patrick Haynes



Drvr. Olaf Bramwell Wilfred Brinicombe 1st Btn. Ox & Bucks Light Infantry

Does anyone remember Olaf Bramwell Wilfred Brinicombe who served in the 1st Btn. Oxfordshire & Bucks Light Infancty as a driver? He was awarded a medal from the Netherlands.

Elizabeth Martin



Pte. T. Brooker 2nd Btn. Ox and Bucks Light Infantry

Operation Varsity was the airborne crossing of the Rhine in March 1945. My late father, Pte T Brooker, 5110129, 2nd Btn Ox and Bucks Light Infantry, 6th Airbourne Division, became a POW in Stalag XIb from 25th March to 27th April 1945.

I have small notebook given to him by the Germans and in it there are names of pals in the POW camp and also Army pals. Does anyone know any of the names below?

Stalag pals

  • C. Moss - Henley on Thames
  • R.W. Gant - Reading
  • W.I. Ireland - Darwen, Lancs
  • J. Woodward - Handsworth, Birmingham, Warwickshire
  • W. Shelsher - Hoddesdon, Herts
  • R. Rolfe - Aylesbury, Bucks

    Army pals

  • A.T. Ashford- Handsworth, Birmingham
  • [?]. J. Mutch - Radford, Coventry
  • S. Fearn - -Burton on Trent
  • S. Read - Northmoor, Oxon

    I am building a website of my family tree and would like to put as much as I can about my father and his pals. Also where he and his pals were serving from 1939 to 1946 and any stories about the POW camp.

  • Kelvin Brooker



    Harry Bever Ox and Bucks Light Infantry

    Does anyone remember Harry Bever? He was stationed in Buckfastleigh around 1942-1944. If anyone remembers him I would be grateful to hear from them. He was stationed with the Ox and Bucks. Other variations on his name could be Beaver or Beever, but we think it is Bever.

    Jean Brown



    Pte. William Bray Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

    My dad, Private William Bray, Ox and Bucks Light Infantry was a POW in Stalag XXID. Any information or photos would be appreciated.

    John Bray



    Elijha "Tom" Brooker 6th Airborne Ox and Bucks Light Infantry

    My late father, Elijha "Tom" Brooker, was with the Ox & Bucks Light Infantry, 6th Airbourne Division on Operation Varsity. Within hours of the glider landing, he was captured by the Germans and sent to Stalag XIb in Fallingbostel. Does anyone out there remember him or anything about the camp?

    He was also in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in India from 22nd February 1938 to 17th March 1944. While he was in India he was also with the Royal Scots. Does anyone knows him from India?

    Kelvin Brooker



    Pte. Langley Robert Ernest Shearer 4th Battalion Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (d.12th Apr 1945)

    My Uncle, Bob Shearer was taken prisoner after the Battle of St. Valerie and remained in custody as a POW for the remainder of the war.

    Bob was killed, believed by friendly fire, following the exodus when the Soviet Army advanced towards Germany. He died with his friend by his side and was later interred in Hanover Military Cemetery. I have visited the grave but would like to know more about him. He has been described as a likeable figure who used to entertain the family with the spoons. I was born in 1942 therefore never met Bob. It is believed that Bob at one time served with Scottish Regiments on being captured, but this information is rather vague, though possible. Any information about him would be appreciated no matter how seemingly insignificant it may be considered to be.

    David Coates



    Pte. Langley Robert Ernest Shearer 4th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry

    Bob Shearer is buried in the Military Cemetery Hanover. He was captured at St. Valerie and imprisoned in Marienburg until end of the war. He is believed to have had some connection with a Scottish Regiment, not sure which one. Any knowledge please contact his nephew.

    David Coates



    Pte. Arnold Edward Dossetter Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

    My father, Ted Dossetter who sadly passed away in 1980, told me that during the lead up to the D-Day landings he was based at Portland in Dorset. He told me that during this time his unit were ordered to clear bodies washed up from the sea on the beach near to where they were billeted for special training. These were later identified as the infamous friendly fire personnel who sadly lost their lives in the training prior to the invasion of the Normandy beaches. This and other memories of his time in Belgium, Germany and Denmark as part of the Allied Expeditionary Force lived with him until he died. I still have his roll-call book plus other items and photos of him and my uncle in Holland, Belgium and Denmark. My father's best friend in the army, Bert Harberd, introduced his sister (my mother) Iris (nickname 'Tootie') to him on a visit to Portland and they later married. So I had two members of my family in this unit; my uncle who boxed for the regiment, and my father who was goalkeeper in the football team. Uncle Albert died at the age of 91 in 2014. I am very proud of them both and grateful for the contribution they both gave fighting for their country.

    Gill Waller



    L/Cpl. Reginald Hermon Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry

    My grandfather, Reginald Hermon, was conscripted into the Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry, the exact date is unknown. We know the unit travelled to France in January 1940, in May 1940 he was captured at Dunkirk.

    Photos sent home to my grandmother have the stamp of Stalag XXB on the reverse. Although he didn't speak much of his time in the POW camp we know he was involved with farming local land and many local women smuggled chocolate to them under their skirts.

    My grandfather died in September 1999, having not really spoken of his time in the POW camp to many people.




    Pte. Geoffrey Handley 4th Btn. Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (d.19th May 1940)

    My great uncle Geoffrey Handley, was born in March 1919, at Tipton, Dudley, Staffordshire, West Midlands, England. He was the loving son of Annie Kinsey-Handley.

    During World War 2 Geoffrey served in the 4th Battalion, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He was part of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force). His regiment had been surrounded by Germans and they made it to the Dunkirk beaches, during the evacuation of British and French soldiers off the beaches of Dunkirk.

    Geoffrey died aged 21, on Sunday 19th May 1940 and he was buried at sea on Sunday 19th May 1940, aged 21. His memorial is at Dunkirk town cemetery, Dunkirk, France.

    Kathi Handley



    Pte Harry Smith 4th Battalion Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

    My Dad, Harry Smith was captured in Belgium in late May by the Albert Canal in 1940 He was a prisoner of war for 5 years until "the long walk" and a lift home. I have a letter he sent to his Mother in 1946 saying he was in hospital to be fattened up then he would be home. He gave his address as Mid Glamorgan Hospital but no records can be found? I have found records that suggest he was in Stalag XX-A but another records suggests it was Stalag XX-B so perhaps he was moved around. Dad, like many other brave men who endured this horror never spoke about it to anyone other than to remark when asked once about friends, "I lost my friends in 1940". I am slowly gathering snippets of information but if anyone thinks they can fill some of the gaps?

    Robert Smith



    L/Cpl. Stanley Henry Gordon Elliott 1BDE Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry

    My grandfather, Stanley Elliott, died back in the UK when I was very young, after emigrating to Australia with his family in 1951, and from stories my mother has told, he didn't like to speak about his time in the war.

    From the information I have researched he was captured during the retreat at Dunkirk in 1940 and sent to Stalag XXA in Thorn (Torun) for the rest of the war.

    If anyone has any photos or information about him during that time, I would be extremely grateful.

    Christine



    Capt. Michael Valentine Paul Fleming MID. 4th Btn. Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (d.1st Oct 1940)

    Michael Fleming was the younger brother of James Bond author Ian Fleming. Michael died in France in October 1940 he had been serving with the 4th Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Michael is buried in Lille Southern Cemetery, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France.

    Patrick Smith









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