Caption: Phil Watson, lancer major turned historian, examines this historic charge and strips away the myths.
About the talk: On 7 September 1914, the 9th Lancers (2nd Cavalry Brigade) conducted the last lance verses lance charge on the Western Front. It took place at Le Moncel, just outside Paris, on what would become the end of the Retreat and the beginning of the Battle of the Marne. The commanding officer, and two troops of B Squadron charged a squadron from 1st Garde Dragoner. The story was depicted in paintings, which misrepresented the action. Likewise, the regimental history only recorded that which supported the cavalry narrative. This talk seeks to present an accurate account from both German and British sources.
About the speaker: Phil joined the 9/12 Lancers in 1976 and was commissioned from the ranks in 1988. After various staff appointments, he returned to regiment duty to command Headquarters Squadron. He left the 9/12L in 2012 after 35 years-service and was appointed Assistant Regimental Secretary, a mainly welfare role. He is an adult volunteer with Lincolnshire ACF, after completing three years as the commandant for Leicestershire, Northampton, and Rutland. He is also Chair of SSAFA Leicestershire and Rutland. Currently he is completing his master’s at Wolverhampton University under Prof Gary Sheffield and Dr Spencer Jones. His main research interest is the regiment's last two mounted lance actions (during the Retreat from Mons). They are examined in his books, The Last Charges, published by the regimental trustees in 2016, and Audregnies: The Flank Guard Action and the First Cavalry Charge of the Great War, published by Helion in 2019.
This online talk: opens at 19:20 for a 19:30 start, ending at about 20:30. Participating is quick and easy. The only equipment you need is a computer, or a tablet, or a smart phone. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org for your link and the passcode. We'll also automatically add you to the mailing list to keep you updated with future events.