Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1914, Second Lieutenant Maximilian Francis Broadwood, 1st Battalion, the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment, was killed in action at Wasmes, during the Battle of Mons in Belgium.
He was educated at Evelyn’s School in Hillingdon, Uxbridge (founded by G.T. Worsley, whose sons Evelyn and John both died in the Great War) and Wellington College – he passed from there to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Second Lieutenant received his commission in September of 1912, and joined his battalion in Dublin the following month.
On the 15th of August in 1914 the 1st Battalion had mobilised for war and landed at Le Havre. Eight days later they were in the midst of the fighting during the Battle of Mons, losing a total of thirty-nine men over three days. On the 23rd the advance guard were holding the line of the canal from Mariette through Pommeroeul. Captain George Lister reported: “I saw the enemy’s infantry emerging from Tertre in large numbers. I counted on the east side of the road some 400-500 men. Fire was at once opened upon them and it could be seen that the enemy was suffering considerable loss. I have ascertained that in my immediate front the Germans had three Battalions of the Brandenburg Grenadiers, one Battery of Artillery and one Machine Gun Company.” Orders were given that the line of the canal was to be evacuated, and this was achieved by 1:30 on the morning of the 24th; the bridges were blown up and the battalion retreated to Wasmes, arriving around 4:00 a.m. when the enemy began shelling the town. At 10:00 a.m. the German infantry moved in, and Second Lieutenant Broadwood’s company was sent to support the Duke of Wellington’s – they came under heavy fire at close range and were forced to withdraw. That morning Second Lieutenant Broadwood, along with two other officers and fifteen men from the ranks were killed. He is buried in the Hautrage Military Cemetery, Hainault, Belgium.
Maximilian, of Hever Court, Singlewell, Gravesend, was 21 years old.