Luard DSO, Charles Elmhirst

Luard, Charles Elmhirst (Charles)

Distinguished Service Order


1st Battalion, Norfolk Regiment

Killed in action on Tuesday 15 September 1914 (aged 38)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France


The death of Major Charles Elmhirst Luard DSO was reported in the local Press because he and his wife were living at Oakdene, Holywood before the outbreak of the Great War and it was there that their only son was born.

Charles Elmhirst Luard was born on 5 August 1876 in Fareham, Hampshire and he was a son of Major-General Charles Edward Luard and Caroline Mary Luard (nee Hartley) who were married in the summer of 1875 in Malling, Kent.  They had two children:

Charles Elmhirst (born 5 August 1876)

Eric Dalbiac (born April 1878)

Charles Elmhirst Luard was educated at Harrow and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.  He was gazetted to the Norfolk Regiment on 18 November 1896 and became Lieutenant on 10 February 1898.  He served in Central Africa in 1899 and in West Africa.  He was severely wounded in the operations in Ashanti (now southern Ghana) and, in recognition of his services, he was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order in 1901.  He served in East Africa in 1903 and was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1905.

His brother, Lieutenant Eric Dalbiac Luard, also a career soldier, served with the Royal West Kent Regiment and died of enteric fever (contracted in Africa) in November 1903.

His mother, Caroline Mary Luard, died on 24 August 1908 when she was the victim of an unsolved murder.  She was shot and killed at an isolated summerhouse in a heavily wooded area near Igtham, Kent.

His father, Major-General Charles Edward Luard, took his own life by jumping in front of a train at Teston, Kent on 18 September 1908.

Like his father before him, Charles Elmhirst Luard was a career soldier and, before the outbreak of the Great War, he and his wife Dorothy Frances Luard (nee Barrett) were living at Oakdean, Holywood. They were married in 1913 in Taunton, Somerset and their only son, Charles William Hartley Luard, was born on 31 May 1914 at Oakdene, Holywood.

Major Charles Elmhirst Luard DSO served with the 1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment and was killed in action on 15 September 1914.  At that time, his wife was living at Sark Brig, Camberley in Surrey.  Initially Major Luard was reported missing in action at Chivres Hill, Missy-sur-Aisne and later it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action.

Major Charles Elmhirst Luard DSO was 38 when he died, has no known grave and is commemorated on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial in France.