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Heroic history of forgotten solider revealed
9:00am Saturday 11th January 2014 in News
LONG-LOST records revealing a soldier from Wix was a hero of the last British cavalry charge a century ago have been revealed.
Bertie Mason, who was born in the village in 1892, joined the 9th Lancers at the age of 18 before leaving for France with the British Expeditionary Force near the start of World War One.
The service records of many soldiers who served in the Great War were lost during a bombing raid in World War Two, including Mr Masons’.
However he was transferred to the Royal Tank Corps Enlistment in 1920 where he eventually became Regimental Sergeant Major and those records have been published and include a summary of his service.
His stint during the war lasted less than a month but took in the Battle of Mons in August and the First Battle of the Mame in early September.
At the former his regiment along with the squadron of 4th Dragoon Hussars charged six battalions of German infantry and a further six batteries of guns and a number of men and horses lost their lives. Although there were fewer casualties at the First Battle of the Mame, it was the last ever lance-on-lance action which ever took place before more long-range weapons like machine guns became the norm.
German forces had to retreat as British troops drove forward on horseback with their weapons drawn.
Unfortunately Mr Mason was wounded when, according to family tradition, his horse was shot from under him and he was forced to return to England less than a week after the battle.