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Captain James Maynard - 50 years of Service

Captain James Maynard This information and life time achievements were found by chance during a house sale and are an astonishing testimony to the 50-year military career of dashing moustachioed Royal Marine, Captain James Maynard. Who signed up during Queen Victoria's reign and later fought Hitler when he was 64 years old.

James Maynard pictured with his wife and two children shortly before World War I when he served on the Western Front

1894. He enlisted in the Royal Marine Artillery in 1894 aged 19, and spent many years attached to the Egyptian army fighting in the Sudan. Among the medals he won there was one from the Royal Humane Society for saving a native who had fallen into crocodile-infested waters. He was also one of only 27 officers to be awarded the Queen's Sudan medal, and earned the Khedive medal. In 1909 Captain Maynard, who was born in Islington, London, was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. During the First World War he served on the Western Front. He became an officer during 1916 and won the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. In 1919, at age 44, he retired to Beccles in Suffolk, where he was thought to have a wife and at least two children.

It's evidently clear that James Maynard could not tolerate the lack of action and soon volunteered to serve with the Royal Irish Constabulary in Ireland. Serving for 18 months. During the inter war years, he was appointed skipper of a private ocean-going yacht and in 1929 undertook and led a big game hunting party in central Africa. At 63, he got involved in the Spanish Civil War, joining the Spanish non-intervention Organisation as a sea observation officer and helped escort ships into Spanish ports.

And when World War Two broke out in 1939, he volunteered for service, despite being 64 years of age, and was commissioned and made responsible to protect the Admiralty. He won the Defence and War Medal, and in 1945 he resigned his commission just shy of 70 year birthday. He died at his Suffolk home in 1968 aged 93.

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