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First Name: George William Last Name: HAZARD
Date of Death: 26/08/1914 Lived/Born In: Paddington
Rank: Lance Corporal Unit: Royal Berkshire1
Memorial Site:

Current Information:

Born-Longhurst, Surrey

Enlisted-Kingston-upon-Thames

Maroilles 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 25th August, 1914, 2nd Division crossed the Sambre at Berlaimont and Pont sur Sambre.  6 Brigade  were the rearguard and at  6pm had reached Maroilles.  Enemy patrols, following close on their heels, engaged two detachments of 15th Hussars at the bridge there but were easily held at bay for an hour until they brought up a field gun.  Falling back, the troop of 15th Hussars met a company of the 1st Royal Berkshire battalion, moving up to relieve them.  This company took up a position by the Rue des Juifs, one mile south-east of the bridge The three other companies of 1st Berkshire were delayed by congestion in Maroilles, but when they finally arrived at Rue des Juifs, they found the Germans had retired so they pushed on to recover the bridge, the approach to which was a causeway across marshy ground. The Germans had barricaded the bridge and had their field gun in position so the battalion could make no progress and after losing sixty men they abandoned their attempt. On 26th August, there was no further attempt to retake the bridge and 1st Berkshire continued the retreat. Although the records show that George Hazard was killed on the 26th August, the battalion diary has no mention of any casualties on that day so he was probably killed on 25th August and his death not recorded until the following day.

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