M.M. 1914/15 trio & Memorial Plaque, 3/ Coldstream Guards. Killed in action, Hazebrouck 23/4/1918 during overwhelming attacks over two days in which the battalion was reduced to some 40 strong

Item type:

Product code: A8098

Item condition: E.F.

Our price: £975.00

Currently out of stock

Medal Description

M.M. (GV), 1914/15 trio, Memorial Plaque,  (George Slater)

Pte. G. Slater, 3/ C.  Gds.

With photo in Guards dress jacket. Copy of his 'Silkworth & Tunstall  (Sunderland) Illuminated Memorial scroll and copy of his attestation papers.

Group contains a French Croix de Guerre 1914/15 dated. Does not appear in the Gazettes. A photo with the group shows it mounted as worn with old ribbons but since unfortunately newly re ribboned. Possibly an award in the field. Left with the medals, but not priced as entitled.

Killed in action 13/4/1918 near Hazebrook. No known grave and commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial

George Slater of Hylton Road, Sunderland, a barman, aged 32 married with 4 children. enl.  Coldstream Guards, 16/2/1915

Hazebrouck, April 1918 (Arras)

The Germans launched a fresh attack in the north on 9 April the weakened British
line was quickly driven back. 4th Guards Brigade with the 3rd Battalion hurried to the area and
took up a position twelve miles behind our original front line.

The brigade had not had a chance to recover from the previous battle, but a strong Australian
division was due to arrive by train and take over the line late the next day to defend Hazebrouck,
a crucial rail and road junction only twenty-two miles from the coast at Dunkirk. 4th Guards
Brigade's task was simple - hold on until the Australians arrive - but not easy to execute in the
general confusion of the retreat where it even had difficulty in locating the units on either flank.

The overall situation was extremely serious and Haig issued his famous Order of the Day, saying,
"With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight on
to the end". Each company had some 400 yards of front and at dawn on 12 April the Germans
launched a big attack aimed at Hazebrouck which the 3rd Battalion halted with machine-gun and
rifle fire. The battalion then tried to advance to a better position, but No 1 Company on the right
could see no sign of any British on its flank, so its situation was critical after severe losses. 

At dawn on the 13th the brigade found itself holding a front of nearly two miles, with a fresh
division now on the right.

The German attacks continued, including an armoured car with a mounted machine gun, and
fog enabled them to infiltrate our positions. Companies found enemy on three sides.

The struggle continued with fury throughout the day with many acts of splendid valour; finally
the brigade was reduced to a series of isolated groups, unsupported and hemmed in by an over-
whelming mass of Germans. However, the line held while the Australians were able to de-train and
organize their defence in the rear. Congratulations were showered on 4th Guards Brigade by the
Duke of Connaught and Generals Haig and Plumer, and, although the brigade was replenished with
drafts, this was its last significant action for some months. 

When 3rd Coldstreams gathered at Arrewage/Beaulieu they numbered 40 men fit for action. Casualties were 12 officers and 453 men killed, wounded and missing. Hazebrouck became a battle honour for the guards.

A classic Guards group

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