The 4th Battalion didn’t leave France at Dunkirk. They had been fighting rear guard actions south of there. They initially landed at Cherbourg on 18/11/39. The Companies were split up but eventually they were concentrated at Nantes in May 1940. From there they moved to Roune and then near Dieppe. The general withdrawal was ordered on 8 June and the Battalion was ordered to hold on until the last man 20 miles south of Sauchy and Graincourt as an attack was expected. This didn’t materialize and they were ordered to fall back further. Contact was kept with enemy by patrols and the men were subjected to artillery bombardments. They fell back to Le Havre where they embarked on ships and sailed for Cherbourg where they left for the UK, arriving at Southampton on 13 June. Some of the men were detached during the confusion of the withdrawal and boarded ships at Brest, landing in Southampton on 17 June. Losses totalled 139 killed, wounded and missing.
They were reformed and sailed from Liverpool at the end of October, arriving at Malta on 10 November. They were involved in the defence of the island. They moved to the island of Leros in October 1943 for the Aegean campaign. They lost 135 men when HMS Petard struck a mine and rapidly sank. Fighting was intense and too lengthy to describe here. Most of the Battalion were taken prisoner with only 12 of them escaping to Egypt. 28 died in the operations, 59 were wounded and 14 reported missing. The 4th Battalion now ceased to exist
My father was in the 4th Buffs, in Malta and then Leros. I have a copy of a "Souvenir Copy" of Beer- Bits for 1942-1943, This has a list of those in the "B " company; July 1943. Are there any other copies of this around I wonder and is there any more information about the Leros campaign? I believe my father was injured and captured.