DEACON, Edmund

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Lieutenant / Essex Yeomanry,formerly 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards,Yeomanry (Volunteer)

Died on 13 May 1915

Lieutenant Colonel. Born 3rd April 1872, son of Edmund Deacon, husband of Sybil Deacon, of Sloe House, Halstead, Essex. He was at Charterhouse [H] 1885 - 1888. He was commissioned into the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards and later served with the Essex Yeomanry. He was killed in action on 13th May 1915. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Panel 5. The Essex Imperial Yeomanry was a cavalry regiment raised for home defence in November 1902, with headquarters in Colchester. In 1908 it became part of the newly-formed Territorial Force and was then retrained as mounted infantry.  The Regiment was mobilised in 1914, and left Southampton for Le Havre on 1st December under Deacon’s command, to join 8th Cavalry Brigade. After a further period of training it was assigned trench duties; the Western Front found little use for cavalry, or even for mounted infantry, then or ever. On 13th May together with the Royal Horse Guards and the 10th Royal Hussars, also dismounted, it was ordered to reoccupy front line trenches east of Potijze, near Ypres, which had been lost to the Germans.  The attack began at 2.15 p.m., with British artillery still shelling the German positions about 200 yards distant. A party of Germans suddenly leapt from their trenches and ran off. Crying “Tally Ho, yonder they go!”, the Yeomanry and the Hussars left their own trenches and charged across no man’s land in pursuit. They were five minutes too early; the artillery barrage, which was short of its target, was still in progress and the cavalrymen ran straight into it. Almost at the same time they also came under enemy fire. Amongst those killed was Lieutenant Colonel Deacon.
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