Lieutenant-Colonel N.A.L. Corry

Born on 25 December 1867, Noel Corry had fought in South Africa 1899-1901. He had no staff experience.


Commanding 2nd Grenadier Guards, he was sent home for withdrawing without orders (being out of contact with his Brigadier) from Bois la Haut (Mons) on 23 August 1914, but the War Office noted him as "not an inefficiency case".  Corry had fallen foul of the vagaries of being the 'man on the spot'.   


"Colonel Corry determined to take upon himself the responsibility of ordering the retirement of the two battalions.  His impression was that in the case like this, when local conditions could not be known to the Divisional Staff, it was for the man on the spot to make his own decision. Superior authority, however, afterwards held that while under exceptional circumstances such powers might well be delegated to the man in mediis rebus, in a case like this it could not be admitted that an officer in actual touch with the enemy was the best judge of how long a position should be held.  It was felt that there were many considerations in the decision of the sort, of which the officer in the front line could know very little. Colonel Corry was therefore severely blamed to his action, and was a fortnight later relieved of his command".


[Sir F. Ponsonby, The Grenadier Guards in the Great War, 1914-1918 Vol. 1 (London: Macmillan, 1920), p. 27].


Corry assumed command of 3rd Grenadier Guards on 29 November 1914, and took them to France in July 1915, but was removed from command within three months. He was made Temporary Brigadier-General (AAG) 29/10/15and placed on half-pay in January 1916, indicating that the reassuring War Office note likely hid competence issues.



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