^ Home
< Back
? Search
Print this page




Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

Directory Listings





Parish Records




War Memorials



The Captured Loos Guns at Exeter
From our postcard collection


From a contemporary account of the Presentation in 1915:


" Two of the guns taken by the Devons at Loos were presented by the War Office to the County of Devon, and were formally handed over on November 12th to the Mayor and Corporation of Exeter for safe custody. At the parade there were present about half a dozen officers and 40 men of the two Service battalions with detachments from the 3rd battalion, the Yeomanry and the Territorial batteries. It was about the first ceremony of the kind and provided an impressive and memorable scene, which did much to bring home to the City and County the fine work of the junior battalions of the old Regiment."


The 8th Battalion had 19 officers and 620 men  on their casualty list after the three days of this action.  Their CO, Colonel Alexander George William had distinguished himself while serving in the West African Regiment before taking command of the 8th Battalion. He was killed on 25 September at the age of 47. Major  Henry Charles Carden was 60 years old when he met his death on the same day. He already held the DSO and had come out of retirement to fight with the 8th as their senior Major. Captain Arthur St. John Mackintosh Kekewich, the Battalion's Adjutant, was 28 and was also killed on September 25th.

The fighting strength of the 8th Battalion after the engagement on September 30th  was reported to be down to 6 officers and 263 men.

The 9th Battalion's casualties were 15 officers and 461 men and their fighting strength on the 30th was reported to be 12 officers and 325 men. Lieutenant Geoffrey Eugene Tracey was just 19 when he fell on the 25th of September . 2nd Lieutenants Frederick John Allen (died on the 27th) and Maurice Albert Davies (died on the 25th) were the other two officers killed from the 9th Battalion.


Presentation of the Loos gun to Devon

German Guns captured by the 8th and 9th Devon Regiments

at the Battle of Loos, Sep. 25th 1915


The original photo caption is quoted above. It was followed by these words:

"Conspicuous in the winning of these guns (two of which are seen in the above photo taken on Northernhay, Exeter) were Col. D. C. James DSO; Capt. J. A. Pryor; Lieut. G. B. D. Cracroft; Lieut. P. L. Costello; Company Sergeant Major H. Freemantle; Company Sergeant Major E. C. Tucker; Sergt. E. Gibbons; Sergt. Horace Russell; Sergt. F. Kettley; Corpl. A. Colquhoun; Corpl. A. Waller and Pte. L. Hanford who, with their Battalions and Platoons, won for Exeter trophies that will  be treasured for ever."

Colonel James (at that time Captain), Captain Pryor and Lieutenant Cracroft had all been badly wounded at Loos and it seems fair to assume that the other men seen above had a similar history.

It is believed that eight guns were taken in the so-called "Gun Trench" - four by the Gordon Highlanders and four by the Devon's 8th Battalion.


^ Home
< Back
? Search
Print this page