Reference: {Private Collection}
Dated 16th May 1915

Pictured above on the 11th of November 1918
Letter from General Charles Kavanagh to a senior officer.
My Dear Colonel

        I feel I must write and let you know about the gallant behaviour of the Leicestershire Yeomanry two days ago, even though they are no longer under my command.

        They were holding a badly placed line of trenches that they had only just been put into and had no time to improve, when the Germans opened a tremendous bombardment against them with every sort of heavy gun and howitzer. The 1st & 2nd Life Guards on their left were fairly blown out of their trenches * {and must of been **a* were left ba* to retire}. The Leicesters however hung on some only falling back a little way. A counter attack was then made in splendid style by the 10th, Blues and Essex Yeomanry, and Colonel Freke with what men he could collect joined in. It was completely successful   and drove the German right back, but poor Freke was killed during it leading his men gallantly on. Every Officer I am afraid who was with the dismounted men was hit and as far as I can hear 6 were killed and 7 wounded. Among the former besides Freke were Liebert, Teddy Brookes and the elder Martin, and among the latter Peake, Thompson, Ricardo and Codrington the latter badly I am afraid.

        I can not tell you much more, as my  Division came to take over very soon afterwards and I was so busy that I had no time to see people to ask particulars. But one thing I am certain of is that the whole Regiment did splendidly just as well as any regulars could have, and from what I saw of them while they were under my command in the 7th Cavalry Brigade I was sure they would, and I am proud to think that I had had them under me and once belonged to them.
Poor Freke will be a tremendous loss. He worked like a slave all winter to make them efficient, as indeed did all under him, and he was cool and gallant under fire as on parade. I do not know what they will do without him.

        Besides the Army losing a very valuable soldier, we have all lost a very great friend. He and the elder Martin were the only two left who soldiered in the Regiment with me and now they are both gone and with so many other good fellows.

        Everyone says that if only we had had something fresh to put in after the gallant attack, the Germans would not have stopped until they got to Brussels!



* this part of the sentence was struck out by the writer.