2nd Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire L.I.

#1
The first troops to land on D DAY June 6th 1944 were members of 2nd Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry who seized the two bridges over the Caen Canal and River Orne. Where can I find out the names of soldiers who were in the gliders that landed at the bridges on D DAY? :D
 
#2
Contat the museum in Buckingham which is should have all the info. Are you referring to that fine bunch of soldiers who took the Pegasus bridge at beneauville, and the what is now the Pegasus cafe, previously owned by Mme Gondree ??
 
#3
Try reading Pegasus Bridge by Stephen Ambrose. It gives a very good account of the Ox & Bucks through their training and through the ensuing battles in Normandy.

If I remember rightly it concentrates very much on Major John Howard, and Jim Wallwork (the glider pilot).
 
#4
Stephen Ambrose wrote a book on the subject. If I remember rightly it has a nominal roll as an appendix.

No longer have the book so cannot verify it for you.

Edit. Also see above post.
 
#6
Just to clarify, the first unit into France on D Day was D Company 2nd Ox & Bucks, not the whole Battalion

The book Pegasus Bridge is an excellant resource, I have a copy right next to me as I write, and has input from a great number of different participants, however it doesn't have a nominal roll, well at least my copy doesn't have one. It does however talk of those in the book and what happened to them post war. Unfortunatly their number is dwindling due to the onset of old age, I have the great honour of growing up next door to one of the main contibutors to the book, a certain Mr Wally Parr, who recently left this parade square to fall in with the great and mighty of the next
 
#7
At the risk of being pedantic, the first formed body of men into northern France was D Coy 2 OBLI plus two platoons (14 Pl and 27 Pl (sic)) of B Coy plus 3 medics, 12 Glider Pilots, 30 sappers from 249 Field Coy RE and a 7 PARA LO. The first men ashore were undeniably pathfinders, SAS and, I think, SOE but they weren't formed bodies.

The details given for Slade Park are correct but it is the OBLI Museum. The RGJ museum is in Winchester.

Artic_Ranger, if you want to know the full list, PM me with your email address.

PS. Col John Tillett was the 2 OBLI adj on the day and became the curator of the OBLI museum. He does not rate Ambrose's book that highly. I think that this is because the book was not deliberately researched but was assembled as an afterthought from the 'cutting room floor' of his D-Day book which was very heavily US-centric.
 
#8
Agree RGJ museum is in Winchester, but a lot of archives held at loca museum in slade, so probably better to check with both. I had the pleasure of visiting Mme Gondree in 1975 as a sprog soldier for 1 armddiv on a tank recovery. Ran into the Welsh rugby union supporters club at the cafe as one of their number actually landed at the bridge and knew Mme gondree from past reunions. Copious quantities of beer were consumed.
 
#9
Sad to say that the Old Boys no longer visit the Cafe Gondree; they go to the Trois Planeurs opposite.

AIUI the reason for this is that some years after the was the late Major Howard met Hans Von Luck, who was CO of the local Garrison during the war. They seem to have got along famously, which upset Mme. Gondree.
 
#10
bobos said:
Agree RGJ museum is in Winchester, but a lot of archives held at loca museum in slade, so probably better to check with both. I had the pleasure of visiting Mme Gondree in 1975 as a sprog soldier for 1 armddiv on a tank recovery. Ran into the Welsh rugby union supporters club at the cafe as one of their number actually landed at the bridge and knew Mme gondree from past reunions. Copious quantities of beer were consumed.
Sorry, what I meant was Slade Park is the right place to go but it is not the RGJ museum. That is a separate entity altogether and is in Winchester.

B_B, the falling out was over the new museum on the opposite side of the river. Mme Gondree opposed it whereas the veterans wanted it (she had that small effort at the back of the cafe and didn't want any competition). There was a meeting held at the cafe at which John Howard tried to mediate but it all ended in tears and Mme Gondree now snuggles up to the AAC at the ceremony having snubbed the RGJ. Not a particularly nice affair but there it is.
 
#11
I remember staying with Mme Gondree (well, staying is putting it a bit strong, we had one of the fold-up 1.2ton trailer caravans in the garden for 2 weeks) and she slated the premises over the road as she alleged that they were collaborators. She was very upset with the museum (and consequently the frog govt) as they charged and entrance fee and almost all the stuff in it was either hidden by her, buried in her garden, or collected by her.
Wonderful old lady though, fed us for the time we were there, introduced us to her two daughters, looked after all the REME lads who recovered the tank that now sits outside the museum.
From memory there used to be an old comrade who used to come every year and give a talk to the RGJ(V) at Wycombe and Aylesbury, about the D-Day landings as he was there. Apparrently, until his demise, Maj Howard used to give the briefings every year.
 
#12
Before everyone swells the overrated Ambrose coffers still further, why not try Penny Bates' book based on her father's diaries: The Pegasus Diaries.

Bobos, do you mean Tich Rayner?

Edited for mong grammar
 
#13
Yes I think so, it was a few years ago that I went to a presentation, sadly Aylesbury fell to the signals and a lot of history has gone.
 
#14
John Howard came and did a pre-tour lecture at Slade Park in 1996 before we went and did Ex Ham & Jam. Alas, it wasn't a regular feature.

Tich is an avid supporter of the ACF I believe.
 
#15
As a scaley I spent 2 years sharing barracks with 2 RGJ and had a good time with them. Alas, this year, I had a big fall-ou twith a crap OC at Aylesbury so no longer have any contact with any army in Aylesbury, High Wycombe, ACF or otherwise
 
#16
Just wanted to add that the 1st Bn, The Hampshire Regiment was the first British Infantry of the invasion to land on the beaches.

Source:
Wykes, A. (1968): The Royal Hampshire Regiment, London, Hamish Hamilton, P.107.

The casualties amounted to 182 all ranks:

5 officers killed / 11 wounded, six sergeants, 12 corporals and 143 privates.

Source:
Daniell, D.s. (1955): Regimental History: The Royal Hampshire Regiment Volume 3, Aldershot, Gale & Polden Ltd, P/219.

The other battalions landing with them as part of 231 Bde of 50 (Northumbria) Div were 1st Bn, The Dorset Regiment on the left and 2nd Bn, The Devonshire Regiment following on at H+ 40.
 
#17
Artic_Ranger check your pm's

I had the honour of meeting Maj Howard and being entertained in his house many years ago. A very humbling experience for one about to join the crowd at RMAS.

I share a birthday with the DDay landings and had a father involved with the AAC who spent many a summer in the 80's deployed from BAOR to France to move some of the veterans about by air. I had the opportunity of meeting many of them then and find it hard to put into words the feelings they generated as a result. To a man they were exceptionally humble and would rather talk of other things than their own part in the process.

I have a copy of the book by Stephen Ambrose which has been signed by Maj Howard and many of the radio operators and glider pilots that still survived at the time. If someone can tell me how I can place a copy on here for all to view then please let me know............

Many thanks

570
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#18
O&B LI stolen from the Light Infantry in the reorgs of the 50's and 60's.
In fact the Ox and Bucks themselves struggled to get along! I had a friend who was my team signaller from banbury. We served in 1LI together and his father was ex O&B LI and refused his blessing for his son to be a Jacket. I watched his pass out parade at Peninsular bks in Sept or oct 82 and he was the only badged LI on the square! This was before Winchester took any adults from The LI.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#19
Bravo_Bravo said:
Sad to say that the Old Boys no longer visit the Cafe Gondree; they go to the Trois Planeurs opposite.

AIUI the reason for this is that some years after the was the late Major Howard met Hans Von Luck, who was CO of the local Garrison during the war. They seem to have got along famously, which upset Mme. Gondree.
Hans von Luck wrote a very good autobiography (sorry, name escapes: came from the library, though I suspect it might be back in print as ISTR spotting it on a bookstore shelf in the Chrimbo run-up).

Face to face with an English cavalry regiment in the desert, they had a gentleman's agreement against the common enemy - the desert.

Having been in a leading Panzer on Barbarossa, at War's end he was sentenced by the commies to ten years in a Gulag for illegal entry. Too old to work a salt mine, he was left to find food for the prisoners. Finding a pile of beans at the back of a shed that the commies simply could not boil up into anything edible, he ensured that for the first time since the 1930s, throughout their time there his men at least drank real coffee.
 
#20
Artic_Ranger said:
The first troops to land on D DAY June 6th 1944 were members of 2nd Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry who seized the two bridges over the Caen Canal and River Orne. Where can I find out the names of soldiers who were in the gliders that landed at the bridges on D DAY? :D
You can try Denis Edwards, who was in John Howard's glider. I can't find his e-mail address, but can be found on http://www.servicepals.com as 'pegasuseddie'. Or failing that, write to him care of Pen and Sword books.
I can only give you Chalk 91 Major R Howard, Lt D Brotheridge (25 Platoon); Chalk 92 Lt D Wood (24 Platoon); Chalk 93 Lt R Smith (14 Platoon); Chalk 94 Capt. B Priday, Lt C Hooper (22 Platoon); Chalk 95 Lt E Sweeney (23 Platoon) and Chalk 96 Lt D Fox (17 Platoon). (All from D Coy) There were also some RE attached personel on board these gliders, but I don't know how many or from which unit.
 

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