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First Name: Robert Cornwallis Last Name: MAUDE
Date of Death: 26/08/1914 Lived/Born In: Belgravia
Rank: Lieutenant Unit: Coldstream Guards3
Memorial Site: Belgravia, St Peter

Current Information:

 

Age-23

Served as HAWARDEN

Landrecies Communal Cemetery, France

 

After the opening battles of the war at Mons on 23rd August, 1914 and Le Cateau on 26th August, the British Army (BEF), in conjunction with the French Army, began a retreat that took them all the way back to the River Marne, 200 miles to the south. With the Germans in hot pursuit they were forced to fight a series of rear guard actions as they fell back in extremely hot weather. The Great Retreat, as it became known, came to an end on 5th September, 1914 when the allied forces attacked along the River Marne and drove the Germans back to the River Aisne.

On 25 August, 1914,  2nd Division crossed the Sambre at Berlaimont and Pont-sur-Sambre.   At 4 pm, 4 Brigade reached Landrecies where, at 5.30 pm panic ensued.  Civilians were shouting that the Germans were coming.  Two companies of 3rd Coldstream Guards, went  to a road junction near the railway, half a mile north-west of the town but  mounted patrols failed to locate any Germans . The patrols returned and reported all clear, but all was not clear.  A German infantry brigade had marched to Landrecies intending to billet there too.  On discovering the Brits already there they entrenched parallel to the road, 500 yards from 3rd Coldstream, loop-holing a garden wall even closer.  At 7.30 pm, No. 3 Company, 3rd Coldstream Guards, were positioned on the road with a machine gun on each flank and wire just ahead.  Transport was heard approaching and was challenged.  This was answered in French by the Germans who moved close and then charged with the bayonet, capturing one of the machine guns.  They had gone but 10 yards  when they were swept aside by fire from other guardsmen and the machine gun was recovered. At  8.30 pm German artillery opened up on the town and fighting went on until past midnight, the Germans trying but failing to enfilade the single thin line of the Brits. 3rd Coldstream suffered 120 casualties, one of whom was Robert Maude who died from wounds on the following day

 

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