Major Charles Beck Hornby was born in Bangalore, India, on 7 February 1883 as the son of John Frederick Hornby of the 12th Lancers and Mary Ellen Beck. He was educated at Harrow and joined the 4th Dragoon Guards on 8 May 1901. He became a Lieutenant in 1903 and Captain in 1909, and served as the regiment’s adjutant from January 1911 to January 1914. When the First World War broke out, Hornby was made second in command of the C Squadron of the Dragoon Guards. On 22 August he led a cavalry charge against German cavalrymen during which Drummer Edward Thomas fired the Great War’s first shot by a British soldier.
4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards | Meet the Dragoons