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First Name: Horace Ernest Last Name: HILBERT
Date of Death: 01/09/1914 Lived/Born In: Balham
Rank: Lance Sergeant Unit: Coldstream Guards3
Memorial Site: Smithfield Market Memorial

Current Information:



Guards Grave, Villers Cotterets Forest

3rd Coldstream Guards, 4 (Guards) Brigade, 2nd Division

 On 1st  September, as the Great Retreat continued, 3rd Coldstream Guards came into action. Along with the rest of 4Brigade they covered the withdrawal of 2nd Division, from a position to the east of Taillefontaine, 5 miles from Villers Cottérêts. 3rd Coldstream were in the second line of this defensive formation when, at 10am, it was attacked by a large German force. 3rd Coldstream Guards and 2nd Grenadier Guards were drawn up on a grass ride along the highest ridge of the Villers Cottérêts forest which passes through an open space, Rond de la Reine, to another open space, Croix de Belle Vue, a mile on.  Here they were very extended with wide gaps between the coys which the Germans were able to penetrate. Nevertheless the two battalions were able to fall back slowly and eventually they were joined by the 1st Irish Guards. There was a degree of confusion and much intermingling as the three battalions fought their way back through the forest to Villers Cottérêts which they reached by 2pm. They had been engaged against a much larger German force and 4Brigade suffered over 300 casualties.

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