4th Battalion Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire


The 4th Battalion of the Ox and Bucks were a Territorial battalion that were mobilised at the start of the Great War and stationed at Writtle, Essex.

Most of the men lived under canvas although a few were billeted with villagers.

Recruitment was brisk and by the end of September the Battalion was up to full strength and designated suitable for foreign service.

Training was undertaken to bring the men up to the required standards for physical prowess and military knowledge.

This entailed route marches and exercises in the area as well as much activity on the campsite.

By February 1915 the Battalion was inspected and passed suitable for service and they left Writtle in April 1915 en route for service on the western front in France.

During the time in Writtle there was considerable interaction with the villagers and resulted in a bond between the Battalion and the villagers. A good example was of Private Alfred Thornitt who courted a Writtle girl, returning to marry her and settle down in the village.


Main Source and more details - Local Heroes  The villagers of Writtle who gave their lives in the Great War by John W Trusler.