A Fine Shot!
Major Harry Couzens Mace TD* 6th Battalion King's Regiment (Liverpool Rifles)
The Man Harry Couzens Mace was born in Liverpool between October and December 1911. Nothing is known of his parents except that his mother’s maiden name had been Turner. Harry attended Liverpool College and was a member of the Junior Division Officer Training Corps, reaching the rank of Sergeant. He was Commissioned into the 6th Battalion King’s Regiment (Liverpool Rifles) Territorial Army (TA) as 2nd Lieutenant on 22nd April 1931 aged 19 and promoted to Lieutenant three years later in 1934. His service number was 50092. The Liverpool Rifles, 6th Rifle Battalion were known as a keen shooting Battalion and it seems that Harry was amongst their finest shots, as on 31st May 1935 together with other officers of the Battalion he attended St. James’ Palace in London where he attended Levee held by His Majesty King George V, during his Silver Jubilee Year and was awarded an inscribed Territorial Army Rifle Association Medallion presented by the Lord Lieutenant. He was also part of the team winning the No 2 shooting cup at Altcar in May 1936. During 1936 The King’s Regiment suffered the loss of the 6th Battalion (Liverpool Rifles) as it ceased to be Infantry and was transferred to the Corps of Royal Engineers (RE) to work with Anti Aircraft (AA) Searchlight Battalions engaged in the air defence of Britain. Harry transferred to the RE with his old Battalion, that took the new title 38th (King’s) AA Battalion RE. The last parade of the 6th Battalion was held at St. Michael in the Hamlet, Liverpool on Sunday 8th November 1936 and Harry’s transfer date was 10th December. He was promoted to Captain on the same day. On 10th June 1937 aged 26 he was transferred from the active list to the TA Reserve of Officers (TARO) and during 1940 the 38th AA Bn underwent another change when their responsibilities were moved to the Royal Artillery (RA), Harry transferring to 38th AA Regiment RA the same year. His wartime service is unknown but between October and December 1942 he married Joan Frances Baxter. At the end of World War 2, he was awarded the 1939-1945 and France & Germany Stars, Defence and 1939-1945 British War Medal. On 21st April 1950 he was awarded the Efficiency Decoration and 1st clasp representing 18 years volunteer service in the TA and on 26th May 1962, aged 50 ceased to belong to the TARO and was granted the honorary rank of Major, having exceeded the age limit. Harry and Jean had one daughter Elizabeth Anne and his civilian job was as Head of Subsidiary Companies Unit at Glaxo Laboratories Ltd. Following his retirement he moved to Spain to live and his residence was La Marina, Numero 6 Javea, Allicante. Harry died on 21st January 2005 aged 93 and it seems he may have predeceased by Jean.
The Story The group of medals awarded to Harry Couzens Mace were acquired from e-bay on 15th January 2009. They were bid on and monitored by author whilst on a holiday in the Far East and watching their progress was often conduced in internet cafes in small towns on the Mekong Delta! Having acquired them the only named item was the above Rifle Association Medallion that was engraved around the edge, Lieut H C Mace. The usual research was undertaken and from the London Gazette, it was established that the first names of Mace were Harry Couzens. This also gave provenance to the group, as Harry’s TD and Clasp dated 1950, correspond to the relevant entry in the London Gazette. Extraction of his will then became possible and research on ancestry.com. As a result the above brief biography was compiled. Interestingly from his will it seems that he had a daughter who was still registered on the 2002 electoral register at an address in London. She was written to on 5th April and again on 4th October 2009 but to date no response has been received.
6th Battalion King’s Regiment (Liverpool Rifles)
Were raised by Adam Steuart Gladstone in 1859, as the 5th Lancashire Rifle Volunteer Corps. In 1860, a number of corps formed in Lancashire during the French invasion scare were organised into the 2nd Administrative Battalion. The battalion consolidated as the 5th Lancashire (The Liverpool Rifle Volunteer Brigade) Rifle Volunteer Corps in 1862. When allocated to King's (Liverpool Regiment) during the Cardwell-Childers reforms of the British Armed Forces, the Liverpool Rifles became the 2nd Volunteer Battalion. Further integration of the non-regular forces culminated in the establishment of the Territorial Force in 1908, and the Liverpool Rifles' re-designation as the 6th (Rifle) Battalion. The 6th was assigned to the Liverpool Brigade, West Lancashire Division, which was formed to administer territorial units in Lancashire. The battalion was based at Princes Park Barracks, Upper Warwick Street.
During World War 1 the battalion was not dispatched to the Western Front when the First World War began in August 1914, as initially only a select number of territorial battalions were chosen to join the British Expeditionary Force. The battalion moved to Canterbury, Kent in the autumn. In September the Liverpool Rifles formed a second-line duplicate battalion for home service, entitled the 2/6th. A third-line battalion, the 3/6th, was formed in May 1915. The newly re-designated 1/6th left Enfgland in February 1915, and landed at Le Havre on 25th February. The battalion moved to the Ypres area, where it formed part of the 15th Brigade, 5th Divison. The 2/6th followed in February 1917. The 1/6th’s first major engagement occurred on 5th May, in a German attack on Hill 60 during the Second Battle of Ypres. Control of Hill 60 had briefly fluctuated after its capture in a British attack on 17 April, but fighting ended with the British in possession. Poison gas was used during the preliminary German attack, facilitating the assault against positions held by the 2nd Duke of Wellington's Regiment. After Hill 60 was lost, companies from the Liverpool Rifles were used successively in support of the 1st Cheshires; "C" Company, heavily engaged, suffered 60 casualties. The Liverpool Rifles collectively sustained nearly 100 casualties between the period of 5 May 5-6 May, 22 of whom were killed. German control of Hill 60 was consolidated by 7 May. In November the Liverpool Rifles left the 5th Division to become Third Army Troops, later transferring to the 166th Brigade, 55th Division in January 1916. After the beginning of the Somme Offensive on 1 July, the 1/6th was one of many battalions utilised as reinforcements. The 55th Division fought at Guillemont on 8 August and moved to the Ypres salient. There, on 31 July1917, another Allied offensive was launched. The battalion's brigade fared better than the rest of the 55h Division, which faced considerable opposition. The final German offensive of the war (the Spring Offensive) commenced on 21 March1918. Substantial gains were made initially before the attack was halted on 25 March. The Liverpool Rifles was heavily engaged in the Allied defence. The eventual halting of the German offensives was followed by a period known as the Hundred Days Offensive, from August to November. The battalion was positioned west of Ath, Belgium, when the Armistce was signed on 11 November. After World War 1 reorganisation of the Territorial Army in the mid-1930s entailed numbered infantry battalions converting to other roles; the Liverpool Rifles trans ferred to the Royal Engineers in 1936, becoming the 38th (The King's Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Battalion. In 1940, the battalion transferred to the Royal Artillery as a searchlight regiment.
- 1939-45 Star: Unnamed as issued.
- France & Germany Star: Unnamed as issued.
- Defence Medal: Unnamed as issued.
- War Medal 1939-45: Unnamed as issued
- Efficiency Decoration: 1950 & 1950
This page last updated 6 May 15