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  • Christina Drummond

Lieutenant Colonel Guy Cunninghame Knight, 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1914, Lieutenant Colonel Guy Cunninghame Knight, 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, was killed in action during the Battle of the Marne.

Born into a military family, he was educated at Wellington College and attended the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, and was commissioned into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in February of 1887. He was promoted to Lieutenant in September of the following year and to Captain a year later, from which time he was Adjutant of the 1st Battalion until 1898.

In February of 1898 Lieutenant Colonel Knight transferred to the Colonial Forces in New South Wales, where he raised the 1st New South Wales Mounted Infantry Regiment. He served with them during the South African War, and saw action at Poplar Grove, Driefontein, Vet River, Zand River, Wittebergen and Bothaville – he was wounded during the conflict in Cape Colony, Mentioned in Despatches, promoted to Brevet Major and awarded the Queen’s medal with five clasps. After a period of service as a staff officer in Malta and Egypt, he was appointed Deputy Assistant Adjutant General in South Africa in 1909.

Early in 1911, having been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, he took command of the 1st Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, and arrived in France with them during the initial deployment on the 12th of August, 1914. A month after the battalion’s arrival they saw their first action during the Battle of the Marne. Lieutenant Colonel Knight was killed as he led his men into action. He was one of nine officers killed in that battle, five more were wounded, and 500 soldiers of other ranks were killed or wounded. One of the fallen officers was Lieutenant Colonel Walter Reginald Lloyd, Lieutenant Colonel Knight’s successor as Commanding Officer of the battalion - they were the first two infantry battalion commanding officers to be killed in action, and are buried in the Priez Communal Cemetery, in the Aisne department in Hauts-de-France.

Guy, born in Corsica, was 47 years old and married.

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