41844 L/Cpl Guy George Mace, NZEF. Killed in action 29th March 1918.
BWM and Memorial Plaque - Mace
The British War Medal and Memorial Plaque issued in commemoration of 41844 L/Cpl Guy George Mace, who was killed in action on 29th March 1918 in France.
Guy Mace was born 3rd March 1886 at Masterton, New Zealand. Son of Walter William Rudd and Emma Jane Mace (née Rudd). By 1914 he was self-employed as a farmer at Brammeron near Masterton. In December 1914 he married Noeline Parata Cruickshank, and in 1915 their first daughter, Margaret, was born. A second daughter, Shirley, was born in 1917 - a daughter he would never meet.
Guy enlisted in late November 1916, and embarked in March 1917. He served on the Western Front with B Company, 4th Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade from July 1917. He was promoted to lance-corporal on 12th October 1917 - the day of the disastrous assault on Passchendaele. During the German Spring Offensive in March 1918, the NZ Rifle Brigade were heavily involved in bitter fighting to stem the German advance. The official history of the NZRB makes repeated mention of 4th Battalion's efforts over this period. One action, on 28th March involved Guy's company: "The enemy was holding 1,200 yards of the Hebuterne Road from 400 yards north of Euston to the flank of the 3rd Battalion, with a series of posts pushed well forward. He was strong in machine-guns, and from his commanding position on the ridge had the whole battalion frontage under observation and fire. A night reconnaissance was made, but as the sector was otherwise unknown it was impossible to make a general attack on the salient at once. Some slight gains had been made, however, even before the relief was actually complete, for at 5 a.m. a platoon of "B" Company, under 2nd Lieut. G. Malcolm, fought their way forward against heavy odds and established posts in old gun-pits below the road. It was a stiff struggle, and in the hand-to-hand fighting the platoon-commander was killed". Guy Mace was killed in action the following day, 29th March 1918. He is buried in Euston Road Cemetery, Colincamps.
The British War Medal is correctly impressed 41844 L/CPL. G.G. MACE. N.Z.E.F. and the Memorial Plaque is correctly named GUY GEORGE MACE. The plaque comes in it's original cardboard sleeve, although details of Mace's service have been written on it in biro. The photograph of Guy Mace is taken from the New Zealand Free Lance of 25th April 1918.