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Remembered Today:

Ox & Bucks LI Buttons


Gareth Davies
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I have just been looking at a photograph of officers of A Coy 1st/4th Ox & Bucks LI together with an officer from the 1st Bn, taken in the spring of 1918 in Italy. The former have brass buttons whereas the latter has black buttons. Why didn't the 1st/4th wear black buttons?

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Hi Gareth,

There was a shortage of the traditional Rifle black buttons in the war, hence many men were issued with general service buttons. The attached image are all men from the same Company in the 7th Rifle Brigade.

Andy

post-1871-0-81879900-1409144537_thumb.jp

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Thank you Andy. I think I had hoped it was something to do with the 4th losing their right to black buttons due to the antics of their Adjutant, a ballet dancer, a chicken, two bottles of Metaxa and the unlikely outcome of three double 6s in a row. Hey ho.

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TF soldiers usually had to buy their regimental buttons - available from the regiment's tailor (not the regimental tailor in the QM's stores). IIRC SD uniform was issued with GS buttons later in the war - as stiletto_33853 says there was a shortage of black buttons. Not unusual to see photographs of TF Rifle regiments wearing a mix of GS and black buttons.

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Thank you.

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Thank you Andy. I think I had hoped it was something to do with the 4th losing their right to black buttons due to the antics of their Adjutant, a ballet dancer, a chicken, two bottles of Metaxa and the unlikely outcome of three double 6s in a row. Hey ho.

I think that's Episode Four of Our World War :rolleyes:

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I think that's Episode Four of Our World War :rolleyes:

I'll pitch it to Hayley, the nice young lady from the BBC. Over dinner. :thumbsup:

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In the photograph the officers are wearing SD with rank on the shoulders and most of them seem to be have gorgettes on their lapels. What's the story?

Edit:

And here is the answer: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=214765

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You may recall that in the first incarnation of WiT, the photo Martin G posted of an unknown officer was solved (by Martin) following the gorget tab collar dogs being identified. That and the double-brace Sam Browne is a dead giveaway for officers of the O&BLI.

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Yes. Although my inner geek says that double braced belt technically is not a Sam Browne but a Graham-Montgomery I am happy to go with the flow.

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What colour belts and shoes did the OBLI wear? And same question for the Scottish Rifles.

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As regards 1st/4th Ox & Bucks LI Officers' buttons - I have the service dress jacket of Major John Josias Conybeare MC, later Sir John Conybeare, in my collection. This has the small sized brass buttons used by this Battalion as well as the khaki gorget braid and buttons.

As regards ORs buttons - A Rifle Brigade veteran once told me that when he arrived at his Battalion with other recruits, he was told to purchase a set of buttons from the Battalion canteen. A full set of buttons cost a few shillings, not an inconsiderable sum at the time. Those that couldn't or wouldn't comply were told that their GS buttons would have to be chemically blackened before going on their first parade.

That was 6th (Reserve) Battalion KRRC at Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey in 1917. No doubt other depots and training Battalions adopted similar procedures.

Some of the TF Battalions continued to supply buttons of Regimental pattern throughout the war. I have a series of letters and invoices to and from the QM of the 1/9th (County of London) Battalion (Queen Victoria's Rifles) The Battalion regularly ordered buttons and woven shoulder titles from Hobsons and other insignia manufacturers, the whole time that the Battalion was in France. Quite large amounts too in each order.

Regards

Tocemma

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  • 8 months later...

I have just been looking at a photograph of officers of A Coy 1st/4th Ox & Bucks LI together with an officer from the 1st Bn, taken in the spring of 1918 in Italy. The former have brass buttons whereas the latter has black buttons. Why didn't the 1st/4th wear black buttons?

Have only just seen this post I think I can explain the query here. The 1st Battalion referred to here would be the 1/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion of the Oxf & Bucks LI and was brigaded throughout the war with the 1/4th in 145 Brigade, 48 (SM) Division.

The Bucks Battalion originally raised as "Rifles" continued to carry on their "Rifle" traditions even though belonging to a Light Infantry regiment and this extended not only to keeping their own distinctive Black maltese cross cap badge but also their insistence on wearing the black crown and bugle "rifles" button throughout their existence.

Steve

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Have only just seen this post I think I can explain the query here. The 1st Battalion referred to here would be the 1/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion of the Oxf & Bucks LI and was brigaded throughout the war with the 1/4th in 145 Brigade, 48 (SM) Division.

The Bucks Battalion originally raised as "Rifles" continued to carry on their "Rifle" traditions even though belonging to a Light Infantry regiment and this extended not only to keeping their own distinctive Black maltese cross cap badge but also their insistence on wearing the black crown and bugle "rifles" button throughout their existence.

Steve

Spot on Steve! I wondered what this was all about, the rest of the regiment were like any other regular LI unit and wore GM GS buttons.

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