• Christina Drummond

Lieutenant Robert Cornwallis Maude, (6th Viscount Hawarden and Baron de Montalt), 3rd Battalion, the


Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1914, Lieutenant Robert Cornwallis Maude, (6th Viscount Hawarden and Baron de Montalt), 3rd Battalion, the Coldstream Guards, died during the Battle of Landrecies during the retreat from Mons.

The only child of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Henry Maude, 5th Viscount Hawarden, he was educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford, during which time he had been a member of the university contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps. After taking his degree in 1912 he obtained a commission in the Coldstream Guards. The following year his father died and he succeeded to the title as well as being promoted to lieutenant.

The 3rd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards, as part of the 1st (Guards) Brigade of the 1st Division, mobilised for war and went to France early in August of 1914 as part of the British Expeditionary Force. They fought in the Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, along with the 2nd Grenadier Guards, 2nd Coldstream Guards and 1st Irish Guards - around 5,000 men. The German met them with at Landrecies with around 8,000 men.

The British Guards reached Landrecies during the afternoon of the 25th at the end of what was described as a “hurried and painful march”. Lieutenant Maude’s battalion was the first into Landrecies they took up quarters in the French infantry barracks to the north of the town. The battle was apparently as much a surprise for the Germans as it was for the British, who learned from rumours among the locals that the Germans were in the vicinity. The other battalions of the 4th (Guards) Brigade then adopted defensive positions around Landrecies and the fighting ensued all that afternoon and into the night. The Germans were described as having lost their momentum and finally ceased their onslaught in the early hours of the 26th. Lieutenant Maude was found to have been killed during the heavy shelling. Most of the British casualties were from his battalion, with another officer having been killed along with twelve soldiers, over a hundred wounded and eleven missing. The Germans lost four officers and forty-eight, plus two missing. Lieutenant Maude is buried in the Landrecies Communal Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais in France.

Robert, born in London, with the family seat being in Adisham in Kent, was 23 years old.

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