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The Grenadier Guards

The Grenadier Guards was formed in 1656, the regiment has fought in almost every major campaign undertaken by the British Army. during the Great War 1914-1918, four battalions of the Grenadier Guards saw action in all the principle battles of the Western Front. 12,000 casualties were suffered.

Battalions during the Great War 1914-1918

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Those known to have served with The Grenadier Guards during the Great War 1914-1918.

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L/Cpl. Edward George Merrilees 1st Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.14th Sep 1916)

L/Cpl Edward George Merrilees of the 1st Btn Grenadier Guards was born 18 July 1893 Died 14 September 1916 aged 23 he was killed in action on The Somme, France and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial

Sheila Andre


Pte. Charles Henry Trull 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards (d.17th Oct 1915)

Charles Tull was the first of my Great Grandfathers brothers killed in WW1, I will apply to the Grenadier Guards for his service record one day. The only information I have is his obituary which reads:

The first of the four sons of William and Margaret Trull to fall in action. He met his death on the western front on October 17th,, he was only 23 years of age, and had been in the army about 3 years.

Charles may have been killed in very early action at the Battle of Loos, he has no known grave but is commemorated on panels 5-7 of the Loos Memorial.

Jon Eeley


Pte. George S. Steed 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards (d.21st Oct 1918)

George S Steed is my father's uncle. He served overseas in the 1st Grenadier Guards. He came home with shrapnel wounds in the head. He died in Torquay later of his wounds on 21st october 1918 aged 25. He was then in the Grenadier Guards, 5th Battalion, 6th Coy and is remembered on two memorials in Torquay, Devon. One is in the public gardens in Torquay near the seafront and the other is on a Commonwealth War Grave Memorial in St Mary Churchyard. He was the son of William Steed and Emma Jane Steed. The local newspaper in Torquay did a feature on him a year or two ago in the paper. The family are very proud of him.

Rosalind Sparkes


Gdsm. Noah Clarke 3rd Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.18 Oct 1918)

Noah Clarke was born 1880 in Cheshire. In 1899 he joined the Grenadier Guards. He then served with the regiment in South Africa (Cape Colony). He then joined the reserves 1902. He re-engaged March 1911 was mobilised August 1914 posted to France October 1917. He was killed 18th October 1918 fighting on the Hindenburgh line. His grave is at St.Hilaire-les Cambria British Cemetery.

Paul Brevitt


Pte. Samuel Liddle 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards

My grandfather, Samuel Liddle, was born 10/9/1889 and enlisted to the Grenadier Guards pre-war in 1907 on his 18th birthday. His peacetime service was spent with 2nd Bttn in 1907 at Aldershot, 1908 Wellington Barracks London, 1909 in Chelsea Barracks London and 1910 Wellington Barracks where he would have carried out Palace Duties.

In October 1914 he was recalled to The Colours where he went with 1st Bttn to France and was counted as one of the "Old Contemptibles" disembarking at Zeebrugge from the "Turcoman" at 6am on 7th Oct 1914.

He served with 1st Bttn Guards 20th Infantry Brigade under Maj Gen T. Capper at 1st Ypres from 20th - 28th October 1914.He returned to England in 1915 on leave then was sent back to France to join 4th Bttn and remained with them till the end of the war and was discharged in February 1919. On 1/5/1918 he suffered "Gas shell poisoning".

My Grandfather was just an average soldier, no hero as such but by the sheer fact that he served his King and Country in the most horrific conflict ever he is considered by his family as a hero. He was, according to his service history absent on several occasions often referred to as cowardice (maybe?)(wrongly in most peoples opinion considering the horror) due to drunkenness! He served the full term of the war and died in the 1950's as an indirect result of the gassing in 1918.

I am currently trying to research his campaigns and movements and have been sent some very interesting documents from my sister Lynne who still lives in the UK so will update as soon as I can.

Michael Donohue


Pte. Noah Clarke 3rd Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.18 Oct 1918)

Noah Clarke joined up in May 1899. He served in South Africa from Jan to Oct 1902 earning the Kings South African medal with clasp. He then transferred to the army reserve. In March 1911 he was re-engaged. He was mobilised August 1917 and was posted to the 3rd Battalion in France. He was killed in action on the 18th of October 1918. The battalion was fighting on the Hindenburgh Line at the time.

Paul Brevitt


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.

John Scott


L/Cpl. Louis Corbin 3rd Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.27th Nov 1917)

My Grandfather, Louis Corbin, died in WW1 on 27 November 1917. He was in the Grendier Guards, 3 Btn. Quite a sad story really. My grandmother, Maggie Corbin, was born in a remote location in the north west corner of Ireland in County Donegal. She had been married and had a child who had died probably in childbirth and in the 1911 Census she was living in Donegal in her parent's house because her husband had already died. That was a pretty poor situation for a woman in those days in that area where there was virtually no employment for men, never mind woman, she was also 37 years of age and her prospects would not have been good, but she was strong woman like the rest of her family.

Anyway, she made her way to London and met Louis Corbin and they married in 1915. Louis Corbin was from Nynehead near Wellington in Somerset. They lived in Battersea and he was based in Wellington Barracks according to their marriage certificate. Louis Corbin went off to war and sent postcards home etc and came back on leave, my grandmother became pregnant and my mother, Eileen Corbin, was born on 6 Dec 1917. Louis Corbin at this time was in France and had taken part in the battle of Cambria and according to the records died on 27 Nov 1917 so he never saw his child and my mother never met him. I don't think my grandmother became aware of his death immediately and she would have no family members in London so must have been quite a shock. According to my mother all my grandmother knew was that the whole battalion had been wiped out and all bulldozed into a mass grave.

It such a shame that these two people could not have lived happily ever after but that's the reality of war. Louis Corbin would have been looking forward to seeing his child in a few weeks but it was not too be. My grandmother moved back to Ireland with her child and raised her next door to her own parents in Donegal in a beautiful spot. My grandmother lived in Donegal from about 1918 until her death in 1957 and never married again.

The sad thing is my grandmother never knew where my grandfather's grave was, and neither did my mother. All her life my mother never knew where he was buried, she had an idea that he was from a region around South Wales in a place called Port Talbot and travelled there a few times to see if she could find out anything about him but could never find anything. She never even knew where he was buried. There was no Google then. My sister then, in the eighties, tracked him down to Somerset and travelled there. But could find no relatives or where his grave was. My mother died in 1984 and never found out anything about her father, although she searched all her life. You have to remember the area my mother was brought up in in Donegal was very remote, no electricity till the seventies, no running water till the seventies, no phones in houses till late seventies, so when my grandmother was living in the 20's to 40's it was almost impossible to communicate in any meaningful way.

I was named after my grandfather and I wish I knew more about him but of course now we have the Internet and I finally found his grave. Well, I did not, a friend of mine saw my grandfather's medals and typed the info into the Internet and The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Website came up and revealed his resting place in the Louvrral Memorial in Northern France. I visited his grave in 2005 and it was sad to think that the poor man had lain alone here for so many years before some one came to visit him, not for the want of caring but because we never knew where he was and I am happy I know where he is now. I have inscribed his name on my mother's gravestone in Donegal so at last they are united in a strange way. I feel sorry for these people imaging what they went through and not knowing whether they would be alive the next day.

I would like to know more about my grandfather and where he was before the war and where his battalion was based. If anyone could help I would be most grateful. He will be dead 100 years in 2017. It would be great if I could find some of his descendants to let them know he is not forgotten.

Louis McGee


Pte. Arthur Scripps 3rd Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.3rd Nov 1918)

Arthur Scripps enlisted in Royston and joined the 3rd Battalion The Grenadier Guards. He died in the Capelle region of Flanders near Bapaume, on the 3rd of November 1918, only eight days before the Armistace. He is buried at Delsaux Farm Cemetery, Beugny

Chris Allan


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.

Chris Allan


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.

S. Flynn


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.


Pte. James George Handford 1st Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.20th Dec 1916)

James Handford was my father's uncle, son of James and Sarah Handford of 19 Peel Street Derby. He was one of five children and was their only son. James worked at the Derby railway works as a spring maker's assistant, and in his spare time played football for a local team and enjoyed fishing. He volunteered in December 1915 aged 25, and, following in the footsteps of his great grandfather, joined the Grenadier Guards. He went to Caterham for training in January 1916 and was sent to France at the end of August the same year.

He died of wounds on 20th December 1916. There are no details in his service record of the nature of the injuries, but a friend of the family who was serving alongside him and saw him in the field hospital told the family that his spine was injured and it's thought that he would probably have been paralysed had he survived. His mother (my great grandmother) never got over his death and wore black from then on. My great grandfather who had been a devout church-goer and lay reader, completely lost his faith.

James' name appears on the large War Memorial near the railway station in Derby which commemorates railway staff who lost their lives. He is buried in Grove Town Cemetery near the French town of Meaulte. His sacrifice has never been forgotten by his family.

Alison Hiscock


Pte. John Thomas Cowens 4th Btn Grenadier Guards (d.6th Jul 1916)

John Cowans died age 32 whilst serving with the 4th Btn Grenadier Guards. He was born in Jarrow in 1884 Son of Thomas and Isabella Cowens (nee Gibson) He was native of Bishopton, Ferryhill. John Thomas Cowens age 27, bricklayer, listed as living with his parents Thomas and Isabella Cowens and family at Bishopton, Ferryhill on the 1911 census. He enlisted in West Hartlepool.

John is buried in La Brique Military Cemetery No. 2.

Vin Mullen


Sgt. Thomas Henry Brain 1st Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.24 Sep 1916)

Thomas Henry Brain was born in Gloucestershire in 1866 to Worthy James Brain and Sarah (Clissold). He was a cloth weaver before he joined the Grenadier Guards. He was 30 when he died in France of wounds and is buried in St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen, Seine-Maritime.


Grdsm. John Bradon 2nd Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.12th Oct 1917 )

John Bradon was born in Dublin and enlisted in Manchester. He served with the Gtrenadier Guards 2nd Battalion and was killed in action in October 1917.

s flynn


L/Cpl. Lees Mills 4th Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.23rd Mar 1918)

Lees Mills served with the Grenadier Guards 4th Battalion and died on 23rd March 1918.



Pte. George Crundwell 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards (d.25th Sep 1916)

My great uncle George Crundwell fought and died on the day the village of Lesbeoufs was taken by the Guards divisions. He is buried at Guards Cemetery outside Lesbeouf. His elder brother, Fred, also in the 2nd Battalion fell in 1918



Sgt. Robert George Rymer 4th Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.6th July 1916)

Robert Rymer served with the 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards during WW1. He died on the 6th July 1916, aged 24 and is buried in La Brique Military Cemetery No. 2 in Belgium. He was the son of Joseph William and Rhoda Ann Rymer, of Fairfield, Stogursey, Bridgwater, Somerset.

S Flynn


Capt. Thomas Tannatt Pryce VC MC. 4th Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.13th Apr 1918)

Captain Thomas Pryce served with the 4th Battalion, Grenadier Guards during WW1 and was killed in action on the 13th April, aged 32. He is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing in Belgium. He was the son of Thomas and Rosalie S. Pryce, of Pentreheylin Hall Mont; husband of Margaret Sybil Pryce, of Craufurd Lodge, Maidenhead, Berks.

An extract from The London Gazette, dated 21st May, 1918, records the following-

For most conspicuous bravery, devotion to duty, and self-sacrifice when in command of a flank on the left of the Grenadier Guards. Having been ordered to attack a village he personally led forward two platoons, working from house to house, killing some thirty of the enemy, seven of whom he killed himself. The next day he was occupying a position with some thirty to forty men, the remainder of his company having become casualties. As early as 8.15 a.m., his left flank was surrounded and the enemy was enfilading him. He was attacked no less than four times during the day, and each time beat off the hostile attack, killing many of the enemy. Meanwhile the enemy brought three field guns to within 300 yards of his line, and were firing over open sights and knocking his trench in. At 6.15 p.m., the enemy had worked to within sixty yards of his trench. He then called on his men, telling them to cheer and charge the enemy and fight to the last. Led by Captain Pryce, they left their trench and drove back the enemy with the bayonet some 100 yards. Half an hour later the enemy had again approached in stronger force. By this time Captain Pryce had only 17 men left, and every round of his ammunition had been fired. Determined that there should be no surrender, he once again led his men forward in a bayonet charge, and was last seen engaged in a fierce hand-to-hand struggle with overwhelming numbers of the enemy. With some forty men he had held back at least one enemy battalion for over ten hours. His company undoubtedly stopped the advance through the British line, and thus had great influence on the battle.

S Flynn


Pte. Samuel Richardson 4th Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.28th April 1918)

Samuel Richardson died of wounds as Prisoner of War 28th April 1918, aged 32. He is buried in the Hamburg Ohlsdorf Cemetery in Germany. He was the husband of Christiana Richardson, of 27, Ulster St., Burnley, Lancashire.

S Flynn


Pte. David Underwood 4th Btn. (d.29th Sep 1916)

My Granddad, David Underwood was killed at the Somme, remembered with honour at Thiepval Memorial. He has no known grave.



L/Cpl. Richard Stockley 2nd Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.25th Sep 1916)

L/Cpl Richard Stockley was my grandmother's younger brother. He served in the 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards in 1st and 4th Guards Brigade. He died at the age of 20 years on 25th September 1916 in the battle to capture Les Boeufs. He is commemorated in the Guards Cemetery of the same name. I followed in his footsteps many years later joining the Welsh Guards and also served in 4th Guards Armoured Brigade

Leslie Ellson


Pte. Frederick William Henry Appleton 2nd Btn. Grenadier Guards

Frederick Appleton served with the 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards.

Colin Appleton


Cpt. George Henry Tatham Paton VC MC. 4th Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.1st Dec 1917)

George Henry Tatham Paton VC MC

Captain George Paton VC MM served with the 4th Battalion, Grenadier Guards and died on the 1st December 1917, aged 22. He is buried in the Metz-en-Couture Communal Cemetery in France. He was the son of George William and Etta Tatham Paton, of Wolviston House, Whyteleafe, Surrey

An extract from the London Gazette, dated 12th Feb. 1918, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice. When a unit on his left was driven back, thus leaving, his flank in the air and his company practically surrounded, he fearlessly exposed himself to re-adjust the line, walking up and down within fifty yards of the enemy under a withering fire. He personally removed several wounded men, and was the last to leave the village. Later, he again re-adjusted the line, exposing himself regardless of all danger the whole time, and when the enemy four times counter-attacked he sprang each time upon the parapet, deliberately risking his life, and being eventually mortally wounded, in order to stimulate his command. After the enemy had broken through on his left, he again mounted the parapet, and with a few men, who were inspired by his great example, forced them once more to withdraw, thereby undoubtedly saving the left flank."

S Flynn


Pte. William Martin Young 1st Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.27th September 1918)

Private William Martin Young

William Young died on the 27th of September 1918 and is buried in the Sanders Keep Military Cemetery in France. He was the son of Fanny and the late Edward Martin Young. Husband of Charlotte Fanny Young, and father of three children, Kathleen, William, and Jessie

Grave at end of war

Card which accompanied the photo of his grave

s flynn


Sgt. John Harold Rhodes VC. DCM and bar 3rd Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.27th Nov 1917)

Serjeant John Harold Rhodes, VC. DCM and bar

John Rhodes died on 27th November 1917, aged 26 and is buried in the Rocquigny-Equancourt British Cemetery in France.

An extract from The London Gazette, No. 30400, dated 23rd Nov., 1917, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery when in charge of a Lewis gun section covering the consolidation of the right front company. He accounted for several enemy with his rifle as well as by Lewis gun fire, and, upon seeing three enemy leave a "pill-box," he went out single handed through our own barrage and hostile machine-gun fire, and effected an entry into the "pill-box." He there captured nine enemy including a forward observation officer connected by telephone with his battery. These prisoners he brought back with him, together with valuable information."

s flynn


Pte. Edward Barber VC 1st Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.12th March 1915)

Edward Barber was killed in action on the 12th of March 1915, aged 22 and is commemorated on The Le Touret Memorial in France. he was the son of William and Sarah Ann Barber, of Miswell Lane, Tring, Herts

An extract from The London Gazette, dated 19th April, 1915, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery on 12th March, 1915, at Neuve-Chapelle. He ran speedily in front of the grenade company to which he belonged, and threw bombs on the enemy with such effect that a very great number of them at once surrendered. When the grenade party reached Pte. Barber they found him quite alone and unsupported, with the enemy surrendering all about him."

s flynn


Capt. Montague Aubrey Rowley Cholmeley 4th Btn. Grenadier Guards (d.24th Dec 1914)

Montague Cholmeley was killed in action in France on 24th December 1914

s flynn


Gdsmn. Arthur Edwin Shortland Grenadier Guards

My Grandfather, Arthur Edwin Shortland, served in the Grenadier Guards during WW1. I have the 3 medals commonly know as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.

Chris Shortland

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