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2nd Battalion, The Grenadier Guards
The 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards was based in Chelsea with 4th (Guards) Brigade, 2nd Division when war broke out in August 1914. On the 15th of August 1914 they proceeded to France, landing at Le Havre. The were in action in The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, the First Battle of Ypres and the Winter Operations of 1914-15. In 1915 they were in action during The Battle of Aubers and then on the 20th of August 1915 they transferred to the newly formed 1st Guards Brigade, Guards Division. The saw action in The Battle of Loos. In 1916 they fought on The Somme in The Battle of Flers-Courcelette and The Battle of Morval, capturing Lesboeufs. In 1917 they were in action in The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, the Third Battle of Ypres and The Battle of Cambrai. In 1918 they fought on The Somme, during the Battles of the Hindenburg Line, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle and The Battle of the Sambre. At the Armistice they were near Maubeuge and were then ordered to the Rhine, crossing the German frontier on the 11th of December. Battalions began to return to England on the 20th of February 1919 and had all returned home by the 29th of April 1919.
Can you add to this factual information? Do you know the whereabouts of this unit on a particular day? Which battles they took part in? Or any other interesting snipts?
Those known to have served with 2nd Battalion, The Grenadier Guards during the Great War 1914-1918.
Select a story link or scroll down to browse those stories hosted on this site.
- Capt William Amherst Cecil MC. (d.16th Sep 1914) Read their Story.
- Gdsm. Percey Horace Drayton (d.21st Dec 1915) Read their Story.
- Pte Frank Moore (d.25th Sep 1916) Read their Story.
- Gdsm. Walter Henry Moulson (d.16th Sep 1914) Read their Story.
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Gdsm. Walter Henry Moulson 2nd Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.16th Sep 1914)Walter Henry Moulson was my great uncle. I believe that he joined the Grenadier Guards in 1911 enlisting at Chester. He was born in Worthenbury in Ceshire in 1883 and whilst a young child his family moved to Sareshill near Wolverhampton. Walter was the eldest child of seven. His father, a groom, died at the young age of 41 years in 1899 when Walter was just 16. His mother remarried in 1901 but this happiness was short lived as she died in childbirth aged 36 years in 1902 leaving Walter to be the head of the family. He was a tile carrier for several years until his siblings grew up and when they were all settled he joined the army.
His service number was 12390 and when World War One began he travelled from Chelsea to Le Havre between 4-15th August 1914 where, as a member of the British Expeditionary Force he was one of the first soldiers to go to France serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. It is believed that he fought at the Battle of Mons and then the Battle of the Marne. He was killed in action on 16th September 1914 believed during the 1st Battle of the Aisne. I have no further information of the incidents leading up to his death or how he died but i suspect that as it was the early part of trench warfare he may have been shot whilst digging a trench or hit by a morter shell. Unfortunately, I have no photograph of my great Uncle Walter who was my paternal grandmother's brother. He is remembered with honour by myself and at the ancient church of St Marys in Shareshill village where there is an inscription to the fallen residents of the village during the great war.
Gdsm. Percey Horace Drayton 2nd Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.21st Dec 1915)Percey Horace Drayton a horse keeper from Smith End, Barley, he enlisted at Walthamstow on the 16th of December 1902 as a gunner with the Household Cavalry and Royal Artillery. Occasionally reprimanded for being out after curfew in Canada (8 days confined to barracks) and for causing a disturbance in a girl's school at night in Allahabad (14 days detention), admonished for drunkenness twice in 1903 and hospitalised for diphtheria and Malaria 1907 and 08. After completing his colour service he transferred to the Reserve before reenlisting as a Guardsman in the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards. He went briefly AWOL 14th Sept 1914 after being wounded on the Western Front. He died of his wounds, 21st December 1915 having been transferred back to England two weeks earlier.
Capt William Amherst Cecil MC. 2nd Bn. Grenadier Guards (d.16th Sep 1914)Capt William Cecil was 28 years old and died apparently after being shot by a German sniper during the First Battle of the Aisne, one of the opening clashes of the conflict. Capt Cecil, of the 2nd Bn Grenadier Guards, a career soldier, had been sent to France just eight days after the outbreak of war and was part of the army that found itself in pursuit of retreating German forces near the Aisne river, in north-eastern France. When the Germans turned to face them, the two sides engaged in a bloody confrontation. With neither side able to dislodge the other, both began to dig themselves into defensive positions, beginning the strategic stalemate that was to endure for four years. Capt Cecil, who would have become Baron Cecil of Hackney if he had lived, was killed on the 16th of Sept 1914, two days after the first order to entrench was made.
Posthumously, his courage was recognised, he was decorated with the Military Cross, the third-highest honour available to officers, and was promoted from lieutenant to captain. One memoir notes that he was among the first aristocratic casualties of the war.
Pte Frank Moore 1st Bn Grenadier Guards (d.25th Sep 1916)Only found out that I had a member of my family in the Great War when my grandad died. In his brief case was a cut out from a newspaper saying that Pte Frank Moore had been killed in action in France in 1916. Also found postcards sent to and from him that my great nan kept.
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