Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Major Eustace Anthony Whaley Maude



Eustace Anthony Whaley Maude was born on 27 February 1895 at Robertstown, Naas, County Kildare, the only son of Scots Greys lieutenant Eustace Addison Maude and his wife Olivia Georgina Katherine (nee Whaley). His father later became lieutenant-colonel in command of the North Irish Horse, serving in that role from 1913 to 1925.

Maude was educated at Marlborough College (1909-12), where he served as a cadet in the school's Officer Training Corps, and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the North Irish Horse on 23 April 1913.

On 12 December 1914 he was promoted to lieutenant, and he embarked for France on 15 March the following year, where he was posted to one of the two North Irish Horse squadrons then serving in France. On 18 November 1915 he was promoted to captain.

In January the following year Captain Maude was seconded for duty as aide-de-camp to the General Officer Commanding the 55th (West Lancashire) Division.

He remained in that role until 8 December 1916 when he was seconded for duty with A Battalion of the Heavy Branch, Machine Gun Corps (the forerunner to the Tank Corps). In doing so he gained the distinction of being the first of many North Irish Horsemen to serve in a tank regiment.

Following a short period of leave in Italy, Maude was posted to the tanks' C Battalion, joining it in the field on 22 January 1917. In August 1917 he transferred to F Battalion.

The regiment was formally renamed the Tank Corps on 28 July 1917.

Maude was transferred to the 17th Battalion of the Tank Corps on 25 June 1918. He was promoted to the rank of major on 19 October. On 23 January 1919 he returned to the UK for duty, and was demobilised on 11 July that year.

Maude disappeared while sailing his yacht Fiona off the coast of Essex on 9 October 1919. His body was never recovered. However the following newspaper article from the time reveals his fate.


On Tuesday afternoon the body of a young man was found floating near the shore at Hythe. On the body was a lifebelt bearing the name "Fiona" which is believed to be the name of a missing yacht. An inquest was held by the Hythe Coroner (Mr. B. C. Drake) on Thursday, when Mr. Percy Kenn, Limehill House, Chertsey, a retired officer, gave evidence. He had seen the body, which was unrecognisable.

Major E. A. W. Maude, a great friend of his, who was in the Tank Corps with him, was a member of the Royal St. George's Yacht Club, Kingstown, and he had a yacht of his own, named Fiona. On October 9th Major Maude went out from Leigh-on-Sea, intending to sail to Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex. It was a distance of about 40 miles. He had with him a lad named Ned Harney, of Dublin. The yacht had not since been heard of. Major Maude was a good sailor and capable yachtsman, whilst the lad was also fairly good. He had seen the waistcoat on the body at the mortuary, and from that he believed the deceased was the lad, who was 17 or 18 years old.

John Crump said that on Tuesday afternoon he was in a boat about 200 yards from the shore at Hythe, when he saw a body floating on the water. He brought it ashore. P.C. Playle said on the body were a waistcoat, a blue jersey, also a lifebelt bearing the words, "Fiona, R.St.G.Y.C." There were some safety matches in the waistcoat pocket. The body was in a very decomposed condition.

The Coroner recorded a verdict of "Accidentally drowned on or about Oct. 9th."

(Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, 8 November 1919. Article sourced from the Sussex History Forum.)

Major Maude was recently accepted as qualifying for commemoration by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (as he was still an 'active' officer at the time of his death). His name is now recorded on the Brookwood 1914-1918 Memorial, Surrey, England.



Irish Times, 18 October 1919