The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Regiment, (43rd and 52nd) became in 1958
The 1st Green Jackets
The King's Royal Rifle Corps became the 2nd Green Jackets, and The
Rifle Brigade became the 3rd Green jackets.
THE OXFORDSHIRE AND BUCKINGHAMSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY (43RD AND 52ND)
Raised in 1741 as the 54th Foot, becoming in 1748 The 43rd of Foot, and in
1755 changed to the 54th Foot and in 1757 the 52nd Foot.
In 1881 These two Regiments became the 1st and 2nd battalions of the
Oxfordshire Light Infantry and again changing in 1908 to the Oxfordhsire and
Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
Battle Honours shown on standards
- 1756 - 1763, Quebec, (1759) Martinique (1762) Havannah
during the Seven Years War
- 1789 - 1791 Mysore during the Third Mysore War
- 1790 - 1793 Hindoostan in India
- 1793 - 1802 Martinique during the French Revolutionary Wars
- 1808 - 1814 Vimiera, Corunna, Busaco, Fuentos d'Onoro, Ciudad Rodrigo,
Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse during the
- 1815, Battle of Waterloo
- 1851 - 1853 South Africa during the Eighth Kaffir War
- 1857 - 1858 Delhi, during the Indian Mutiny
- 1863 - 1865 New Zealand
- 1899 - 1902 relief of Kimberley, Paardeburg, during the Boer War
- 1914 - 1918 Mons, Ypres, Langemarck, Nonne Bosschen, Somme, Cambrai,
Piave, Doiran, Ctesiphon, defence of Kut Al Amara during the First World War
- 1939 - 1945 Cassel, Ypres Comines Canal, Normandy Landing,
Pegasus Bridge, Reichswald, Rhine, Enfidaville, Salerno, Anzio, Gemmano Ridge.
VICTORIA CROSS AWARDS Six members of the regiments have been awarded the Victoria Cross,
three during the Indian Mutiny, one during the Third Maori War and Two during
the First World War
The Oxfordshire Light Infantry
The 43rd Foot, formerly the Monmouthshire
Light Infantry, and linked, from 1873 to 1881, with the 53rd,
was combined with the 52nd Oxfordshire Light Infantry, which
had been up to then linked with the 85th, to form the present
regiment. The 1st
battalion was raised in 1741, and assembled at Winchester; but it did not
receive its numerical title until 1751.
Its county title was bestowed in 1782, and it was made light
infantry in 1803. Its first
active service was in North America in 1757, etc., where it was present at
Louisburg and Nova Scotia, and took an active part in the storming of the
heights of Abraham at Quebec, earning from the French the encomium that
“they levelled and fired absolument comme un coup de canon.”
It shared in the defence of Quebec, at Montreal and Sillery; and
also saw fighting at Martinique and Havannah.
Returning home in 1764, the regiment was sent back ten years later
to America, to take part in the War of Independence, and shared in the
fighting and heavy loss at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker’s Hill; at
Long Island, White Plains, Fort Washington, and New York Island; at
Quaker’s Hill, and other affairs, until the capture of York Town.
Then it went home, but was soon sent to the West Indies, to take
part in the attacks on Martinique, St. Lucia, and Guadaloupe in 1794.
The 43rd was at Copenhagen, and afterwards saw much and
distinguished service in the Peninsula: first at Vimiera, where the men
displayed the greatest gallantry; next, under Moore, at Corunna, where, it
is said, “many men came to take their places in the ranks crawling on
hands and knees, so fearfully lacerated were their feet;” and finally,
with the 52nd and 95th, as part of Crawford’s
Light Brigade. With it the 43rd
saw almost continous fighting. It was at the Coa, Busaco, Pombal, Redinha, Castelnuova,
Fuentes d’Onor, Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Sabugal, Salamanca (where it
advanced “in line for a distance of three miles under a cannonade with
as clean and firm a front as at a review”), Vittoria, Vera, Bidassoa,
Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, and Toulouse.
The names of twelve of these battles and “Peninsula” adorn the
colours. After the peace the
regiment embarked for America, and was under fire at New Orleans and at
Fort Bowyer, Mobile. Though
too late, on its return home, to take part in the Waterloo campaign, it
formed part of the Army of Occupation from 1815 to 1818, and also of that
in Portugal in 1827. Assisting
to suppress the Canadian insurrection in 1837, it saw no serious active
service until the Kaffir War of 1851-53, when it was present at the
Wateekloof and Berea. During
the Mutiny the 43rd marched from Bangalore to Calpee 1,300
miles-during the hot weather, and was employed at Kirwee, Bundeelcund,
etc. This campaign gained the
V.C. for Private Addison and Captain F.A. Smith.
In New Zealand it took part in the campaign of 1861-63, where the
loss was heavy, and has seen no further important war service since,
except against the Moplas in Malabar in 1873.
Among the distinguished officers of the regiment must be mentioned
the historian, Sir W. Napier.A 2nd battalion existed from 1804
to 1817, and served under Moore in Spain and at Walcheren, where the army
had 12,000 men on the sick list in fourteen days.
The present 2nd battalion, the old 52nd, has
an equally brilliant history with the 1st.
It is difficult to even summarise it.
It was raised at the 54th fifteen years after the 43rd,
and rendezvoused at Coventry; but it got its well-known number in 1757,
its county title in 1782, and its “Light Infantry” designation in
1803. Embarking for Canada in
1765, it was transferred to Boston in 1774, and fought at Concordm
Bunker’s Hill (where the grenadier company had only eight of its total
strength untouched), Brooklyn, Pell’s Point, White Plains, Fort
Washington, Rhode Island, Forts Montgomery and Clinton, Brandywine,
Wayne’s Skirmish, and Freehold. The
next active service of the 52nd was in India; at Cannanore
(where Private Taylor sounded the depth of the ditch under a heavy fire),
Dindigull, Bangalore, Savendroog (where the band played “Britons, Strike
Home” during the assault), Outredroog,
and Seringapatam (where the enemy lost 20,000 men), and Pondicherry. For these services “Hindoostan” was added to the colours. Two years after its formation it served in the French Coast
Expedition; and then at Bock, Minden, Corbach, and Warburg; at the defence
of Port Philip in Minorca in 1771, where, after an heroic struggle, during
which 1,900 out of a total of 2,600 had perished, the garrison was
compelled to surrender. But they marched out with all the honours of war, and “an
involuntary shout burst from the enemy as they passed, and many of the
French officers were affected to tears.”
In 1794 the regiment was engaged at Fiorenza and at Bastia, in
Corsica, where it captured a redoubt at the point of the bayonet, and
without firing; and in 1800 it didi good work in Ceylon; but its most
distinguished service was in the Peninsula, where it was sent in 1808.
The 51st was present at Corunna, and at Walcheren;
returning to Portugal, it fought at Fuentes d’Onor, Sabugal, Salamanca,
Badajoz, Vittoria, the Pyrenees, Nivelle, and Orthes, earning the right to
carry seven of these names and “Peninsula” on the colours.
In 1813 “every man of the 51st starting in pursuit of
the Fench, under Soult, put a sprig of laurel in his cap, ‘according to
an old custom of the corps,’ and the other regiments gave three cheers
as they passed by, the bands striking up the ‘Minden March.’”
In the campaign of 1815 it was on the left at Waterloo, and shared
in the storm of Cambray; but after that the 51st saw no further
active service until 1852, when it took part in the first Burmese War at
Pegu, Martaban, etc., while a detachment on board the H.E.I.C. steamer
Sesostris acted as marines at Rangoon, Bassein, etc.
A Burmese bell captured at Rangoon was presented after this
campaign, in 1858, to the City of York.
It assisted to suppress the Harzara insurrection in 1863, and
joined the Jowaki Expedition in 1877, completing its Indian service about
that time by forming part of the army for the Afghan campaign.
In that war the 51st was present at Ali Musjid, Zatra
Khel, at the numerous punitive expeditions about Jellalabad, and
Jugdulluck, etc. For
gallantry near Ali Musjid Lieutenant Reid gained the Victoria Cross.
The last name on the battle-roll is that of “Burma, 1885-87.”
The 2nd battalion of the regiment was the “2nd
Madras European Regiment,” and was formed in 1839, changing its name in
1858 to the “2nd Madras Light Infantry,” and, in 1861, to
the “105th Madras Light Infantry.”
It saw service in Madras and Burmah between 1839 and 1860.
The uniform is scarlet, the present facing blue; but those of the
51st were originally “grass green,” and were changed to
blue in 1821. The facings of
the 105th were yellow or “pale buff.”
On the button is worn the “Minden wreath,” a French horn,
or bugle, crowned, with a rose in the centre; the collar bears the bugle
and rose alone; the helmet-plate and waist-plate have in addition the
motto “Cede nullis,” which came from the 105th.
The 3rd battalion was formed from the 1st
West Yorks Militia, raised in 1759, and which was formerly a Rifle
Regiment. The only volunteer
battalion is the 5th West Riding (scarlet and blue), with head-
quarters at Wakefield. The
regiment has been called the “Kolis,” from the initial letters of the
words “King’s Own Light Infantry.” The
depot was at Pontefract.