OBLI War Chronicle

Discussion in '1940' started by MattH, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. MattH

    MattH New Member

    I am currently researching my late father-in-laws experiences with the 4th OBLI in early 1940 up to his evacuation from Bray Dunes. I have read lightbobs record based on extracts from the war chronicle however, could someone with more experience than myself let me know how much more detail there is in the full text of the chronicle, and hence whether it is worth tracking a copy down.
    Many thanks
  2. vac

    vac Member

    The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Chronicle was written in 1949. It is a series of 2 or 3 volumes covering the whole regiment that is 5 battalions in different places. This includes both territorial battalions ie the 4th and the 1st Bucks (my particular interest). As such it is a summary of the war diaries. However, the war diaries for the battalions were lost for May and so a lot of the narrative for May is made up of personal accounts which are in the Chronicle. a lot of the info on Lightbobs is taken from the Chronicle, but there will be more in the Chronicle than on the website. My copy of the Chronicle cost £25 years ago for 2 volumes 1939-1940 and 1940-1942. You might want both if your father-in-law stayed with the regiment after evacuation. You might find them on the Abebooks site.

    The battalion war diary is at the National Archives in Kew , if you can't get to Kew look for Drew on this site who will be able to supply you a copy at 10p per sheet (a bargain compared to Kew's copying service). The regimental diary will be very good for the period upto the middle of May.

    If you search the Imperial Museum website you may come across private papers, which are very useful for filling out the picture. There may be some recordings which are likely to be on line, but you will have to go the museum to read papers.

    There is the Soldiers of Oxfordshire museum which I have not visited yet. If you want to read their copies of the war diaries or other papers they charge £50 per 3 hours.

    Two books by Jerry Murland are good, Dunkirk 1940 Retreat and Rearguard and Cassel and Hazebrouck 1940 which will cover a lot of the action in which the 4th took part.

    Hope this helps
    Drew5233 likes this.
  3. MattH

    MattH New Member

    Many thanks for that Vac, I'll set about tracking a copy down. I have the war diaries but as you say, it is mid May to June 1st that is a bit thin. I have read Jerry Murlands books, both very useful, and been to the soldiers of Oxfordshire museum in Woodstock. I also visited Cassel and with the help of his memoirs and Google earth managed to trace his last position before he withdrew to Bray Dunes.
    Drew5233 likes this.
  4. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    £50 for three hours...

    Drew5233 likes this.

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