4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards Cairn

The commemorative cairn of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards at Casteau, Belgium.

The commemorative cairn of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards at Casteau, Belgium.

Snapshot of the Great War 22 August 1914

It was during the same day’s visit to Private Parr’s graveside at St. Symphorien that my friends and I visited the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards commemorative cairn located north east of Mons at Casteau. Here we pulled up in front of a fine building and crossed over the road to the cairn. Certainly the site makes one think back upon that day and now 100 years later I am sure there will be a presence there to mark this anniversary too. On our return to our car, another plaque upon the building, records the last outpost of the 116th Battalion C.E.F. on the day of the ceasefire 11 November 1918.

“This tablet is erected to commemorate the action of “C” Squadron 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards on / 22nd August 1914 / When Corporal E. Thomas fired the first shot for the British Expeditionary Force and Captain C.B. Hornby led the first mounted attack against the Germans.”

For more information see the Telegraph article, “The man who fired Britain into battle a century ago today.”


About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and in Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was further amazed by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Film captivated Paul and with time he became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was entranced when he learned Weir had visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. The film "Gallipoli" alone led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and Gallipoli. It was, however, when Paul watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", that Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests would be a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, he believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


Leave a Reply