Today we remember …
|First Day of the First Battle of the Somme
1st July 1916. Maurice Kennard, MC, C Social, 1896. Lt-Col commanding 18th Bn, West Yorkshire Regt. Killed in action, Battle of the Somme. He was a career soldier who joined the 6th Dragoon Guards from the Militia in 1902. After holding the adjutancy of the regiment for a period from April 1910, he became Captain in 1913. While serving with the 6th Dragoon Guards in the early days of the war, he was wounded, and was mentioned in dispatches as early as October 19, 1914. Subsequently in November, 1915 he was appointed temporary major and second in command of the 13th York and Lancaster Regiment, and was afterwards transferred to the command which he was holding at the time of his death.
The history of the Regiment records: Less than a hundred yards in front of Dunmow trench they came under a heavy cross fire from machine guns firing from their right, probably from the Quadrilateral Redoubt and south of the Serre Road. Almost everyone dropped flat on their stomachs to escape this murderous scythe, except their commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel M.N. Kennard. Standing calm and erect amid the crack and whine of bullets and carrying only a walking stick he called out ‘come on boys, up you get’, turned and began to walk at an easy gait towards the enemy. The Battalion rose to their feet and followed him. As they came out of the dead ground in which their assembly trenches were dug they were additionally engaged by a rapid fire from the front. Casualties were heavy, particularly amongst the officers and including Lieutenant-Colonel Kennard, who was killed by a shell which burst close by him. Everard Wyrell. The West Yorkshire Regiment in the War 1914-1918