G C Knight

Lt Col Guy Cunninghame Knight

Lt Col Knight was the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, and fell leading his battalion in September 1914 at the Battle of the Marne which halted the German advance outside Paris. He died of wounds received in action on 11 September 1914 at Priez, France, where he is buried.

The battalion suffered horrendous losses in the battle, with nine officers killed, five wounded and 500 other ranks killed or wounded. Among the dead was Lt Col Lloyd, Knight’s successor as CO of the battalion. They were the first two infantry battalion commanding officers to be killed in action. They lost their third commanding officer, Major A J Carter DSO, who was killed at Ypres in November 1914, 2 months later.

During the battle and the following days 21 other OWvs died, including Captains Reginald Heywood and Richard Howard-Vyse, Knight’s Adjutant. In all 10 OWs serving in the regiment would be killed during the war, including Thomas Wilkinson who received a VC.

Guy Cunninghame Knight was born at Ajaccio, Corsica. At Wellington he was in the Beresford and Combermere (a joint house then). He went from Wellington to the RMC where he played rugby for Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the North Lancashire Regiment.

In 1898 he raised the 1st New South Wales Mounted Rifles, which he commanded in the South African War, under fellow Lodge member Lord Roberts, and was ‘slightly wounded’. In one famous incident he captured De Wet’s artillery gun at Rensburg drift, a Krupps 75mm gun, which is now on display at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

His wedding to Miss Marnie Cross Thompson was the subject of a detailed Court & Social article in the Sydney Morning Herald which if nothing else does give a wonderful insight into  the fashions of the day.

Knight was a member of the Naval and Military Club and a proficient sportsman: a strong rider, he was keen on polo and hunted with the North Staffordshire. All his leave in India was spent in big-game shooting, and he had many tigers to his credit.