Marsden Memorial

We will remember them.

It was the 30th of October 1944, the sky was clear and the moon was bright. 2nd lieutenant Hornes Platoon was ready to engage the enemy who were holding a portion of anti tank defences north of Telberg near to Roosendaal.

The approach to these defences were across bare open fields with no cover and were surrounded by mine fields. Earlier that day efforts had been made to take down the defences, but had been met with small arms, Mortor and artillery fire. 2nd lieutenant Hornes platoon were ordered to gain a footing by night as near to the ditch as possible to protect the right flank and keep the energy engaged, 2nd lieutenant Horne led his men on the mission.

On arrival near to the objective, the area was held by an enemy post which was captured. The platoon came under heavy fire from Mgs and Mortor fire from enermy defences dug in 30 to 40 yards from there objective. 2lt Horne gave the order to fall back to a position which was less exposed, under bright moonlight, under enemy fire and having to cross a minefield this was no easy objective with many hazards. With great courage patients and skill, 2lt Horne conducted the withdrawal personally, passing through the minefield twice, exposing himself to heavy fire at short range in the bright moonlight withdrawing every man to the new position. 2lt Horne by his actions showed great courage under Fire, skill and patient leadership, with conspicuous success in his task of fully engaging the enemy’s attention during a difficult and anxious period of the operation. 2lt Horne was awarded the Military Cross.

2lt Horne had a large wooden cross placed on the moors looking down upon the village of Marsden in remembrance of the men who served in the Duke of Wellingtons 7th battalion. This memorial was cruelly vandalised, and in 2004 a new cross was made, dedicated and put in place upon the moors. I had the privilege of attending the dedication service with 2lt Hornes widow, children and grand children.

Every year since 2004 on the Saturday before Remembrance Sunday I walk across the moors through all weathers with veterans, representatives from the United church and other members of the community to lay a wreath on the cross in remembrance of the fallen.