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Eugene E. Maynard
Hugh Charles Maynard,was born the seventh of nine children, and his father was a solicitor, a member of the legal profession, but not a member of the bar. Joseph Henry Maynard could not give testimony or argue before a judge. Hugh Charles was a professional military man.
Hugh Charles was a gallant man.Hugh had noble traditions, coming from a military background, strong national feelings, love of history, literature, and art. Rigor, and skill in sports. All the qualities of a complete gentleman. His lack of a university education was not due to his fault, it was because of the lack of adequate means.
The Battle of Somme.
September 15, 1916.
When the Guards, set out at dawn, to go forward with the rest, to the battlefield, for the first time in history of the regiment, three battalions of the Coldstream Guards charged together. - As one eyewitness described it. - As steadily as though they were walking down the mall. The line rippled over the broken ground, never halting or hesitating. While shells burst above and around them. Gaps were blown in their ranks, only to disappear, as the battalion closed ranks again. Machine guns raked the fields over which they passed, but could not stay the steady, onward drive of the cheering Coldstream Guards
At themLilywhites! Shouted the sergeants! Come on Lilywhites! and on they went. ( Never would a person see this kind of courage today.) Behind them swarmed the heroes of the Irish Guards, tramping fiercely across the craters.
The Guards fought gloriously. The shells rained down on them, as they lay in the captured trenches; The machine guns beat an internal tattoo across the slopes, as they scrambled out to charge again, another thousand yards. They swept into the second line like a whirlwind, and it was theirs!!
All the rest of the day, they lay under a devastating hail of fire. So they dug into a crumbling earth and threw out their outposts; when night fell, they were still hanging on grimly.No counterattack could shake them loose from the ground they had won!
As they crouched in their shallow trenches, they saw the beaten enemy falling back = saw them slinking away from the remnants of the line they tried to hold = men, machine guns, bomb stores, all in full retreat from the positions that they had been told to hold at all costs.They had met the Guards!!
We wanted to chase them,said one of the Guardsmen, who told how they watched this fight, - But we could not leave our trenches. When they were relived at dawn, they marched back steadily, as they had advanced, thin battalions and weary, but undaunted!!
They were simply splendid -nothing could stop them - was the tribute of one of their officers.
To have taken part, and a adequate part, in such an memorable battle, it was worthwhile to come into the world. Life could offer no better satisfaction, then so noble a death. But life to Hugh Maynard was deeply interesting, and he sacrificed it gallantly, ungrudging, at the moment when, in both his professional and private affairs, he had attained the happiness and inward peace, he so ardently desired and sought (yet scarcely hoped for.) during a career in which his moral courage, self-command, chivalry and fortitude were all tested, as iron in the fire.
Since August of 1914, much has been written about the British officers and British soldiers. The outstanding feature of these literary tributes, is not that they are excessive, extravagant, or inaccurate, or lacking in eloquence and warmth - but that there is in so many of them, an undercurrent of astonishment at the chivalry, valor and innate nobility, which shines out so brightly amid the tremendous clash of world forces
The Great War seems to have changed the men into something different, then what they used to be. A spark of chivalry has been fanned into a flame- in nine cases out of ten - each man's character has not changed, but developed. The war has not effected a magical transformation in human nature, but has shown to the world the value of the officers and men, who were in the peace time army, now that the Great War revealed their qualities.
Hugh Charles Maynard,although he was individual, was also a typical national - of a type, seldom or never portrayed in realistic novels - was the type of man that the German's misunderstood, as they thought the British soldier was not willing to fight for his country. The German's were sure that the British would sell their very soul, for a hollow and spurious peace, without a fight.
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