|Lieutenant Dudley Gerald MEIN MC|
|31st Duke of Connaught’s Own Lancers attached to the Mysore Imperial LancersDate of birth: 1st May 1898
Date of death: 26th October 1918
Killed in action aged 20
|He was born at Chakrata in India on the 1st of May 1898, the second son of Colonel Alexander Lechmere Mein, Royal Engineers, and Alice Ellen (nee Turner-Irton) Mein of Gangbridge House, St Mary Bourne, in Hampshire.He attended Junior King’s Canterbury from January 1909 to July 1910, going on to Kelly College, Tavistock in Devon.
On leaving school he attended Wellington Cadet College in Madras where he won the cavalry saddle and bridle and was specially congratulated by Major General Sir Arthur Phayre on his horsemanship.
On the 18th of April 1916 he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Indian Army Reserve of Officers and on the 25th of April he was attached to the 31st Duke of Connaught’s Lancers in the Indian Army. He saw service in Egypt and Palestine part of the Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade, 2nd Mounted Division and was promoted to Lieutenant on the 18th of April 1917. In 1917 he served with his regiment in the Mahaud Campaign on the North West Frontier following which he was attached to the 25th Cavalry and returned to India in March 1918. In April he was sent to Palestine and was attached to the Mysore Imperial Service Lancers.
He won the Military Cross on the 23rd of September 1918 which appeared in the London Gazette on the 4th of October 1919. The citation reads:-
“For gallantry and skilful leadership before Haifa on the 23rd of September 1918. He worked his squadron round to the coast about two miles, East of Haifa, and charged the enemy simultaneously with the Jodhpur Lancers. Capturing two guns, two machine guns and 110 prisoners. He showed himself to be an officer of exceptional gallantry and coolness under fire.”
This is from General Sir Edmund Allenby’s Dispatch which was published in the London Gazette #31087, dated 30th December 1918.
“Early on the morning of October 26th the armoured cars and the 15th Cavalry Brigade, moving round the west side of the town, followed the enemy along the Aleppo-Katma road and gained touch with him south-east of Haritan. The Turkish rearguard consisted of some 2,500 infantry, 150 cavalry, and eight guns. The Mysore Lancers and two squadrons of the Jodhpur Lancers attacked the enemy’s left; covered by the fire of the armoured cars, the Machine Gun Squadron and two dismounted squadrons of the Jodhpur Lancers. The Mysore and Jodhpur Lancers charged most gallantly. A number of Turks were speared, and many threw down their arms, only to pick them up again when the cavalry had passed through, and their weakness had become apparent. The squadrons were not strong enough to complete the victory, and were withdrawn till a larger force could be assembled.”
His Commanding Officer wrote:-
“He will be a great loss to us, for he was always so keen and cheerful and quite fearless and was beloved by all the officers and men.”
His Brigadier wrote:-
“He was a born soldier and leader of men and extremely popular with all who knew him. By his death the service he sustained a very great loss and we in the brigade have lost a sincere friend. He met his end in a glorious charge against heavy odds, in a manner which anyone connected with him may well feel proud.”
The Commanding Officer Duke of Connaught’s Own Lancers also wrote:-
“He was specially selected by my predecessor in command for appointment with this regiment from the excellent reports he had received at Wellington and he so thoroughly justified his selection that we feel the regiment has sustained a great loss in so gallant a lad.”
He was mentioned in dispatches for his actions during the period from the 16th of March to the 16th of September 1918.