By Walter H B Smith, Illustrated
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Extra resources for Mannlicher Rifles & Pistols
7” Howitzer of 1932 vintage presented by 93 (Le Cateau) Battery, successor to 37 (Howitzer) Battery. Le Cateau is also the birthplace of the artist Matisse and there is a museum dedicated to him. Most of 5th Division’s sector of the Le Cateau battlefield can be viewed from the northern end of B Company, 2nd KOYLI’s position, where the track from Le Cateau to Troisvilles crosses the D932. This is a very fast road and it is advisable to get off it completely on the west side of this junction before alighting, while ensuring the track remains accessible for farm vehicles.
He is buried in St Symphorien Military Cemetery (I A 10) with many others killed during the Battle of Mons. Next morning, a 4th Dragoon Guards’ picket near Casteau pursued a German cavalry patrol and Corporal Edward Thomas fired the first British shot of the war. During the night of 22nd/23rd August 1914, the BEF completed its move forward to the line of the Mons-Condé Canal (Canal du Centre), with I Corps on the right and II Corps on the left. On the right of II Corps was 3rd Division, holding the line from Harmignies, seven kilometres southeast of Mons, via Obourg on the canal, then westwards to Mariette.
In darkness the enemy fire became inaccurate and the opportunity to overwhelm the picket passed. , the CO, Lieutenant Colonel Fielding, brought up a howitzer from 60th Battery. With its third round it scored a direct hit on the enemy gun, silencing it and effectively bringing the Affair at Landrecies to a close. The action cost 3rd Coldstream Guards 124 casualties, but the losses would have been greater had Wyatt not extinguished the flames. On 1st September, at Villers-Cotterêts, 4th (Guards) Brigade was covering the withdrawal of 2nd Division.