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REMEMBERING THE EVACUATION JANUARY 10TH 2016
Joined: 13 Feb 2013
Posted: 01 Feb 2016 at 17:42
CEREMONY TO MARK THE GALLIPOLI EVACUATION
On Sunday January 10th, some friends, myself and my wife, travelled to Sandringham where a ceremony took place to mark the centenary of the final withdrawal of the Allied Forces from the Gallipoli peninsula and the end of this ill-fated allied expedition. Her Majesty the Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge remembered the sacrifice of those who served and died, laying wreaths at the cross and tablet on the greensward, unveiled by King George V, Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary close to the Church, bearing the names of all the Sandringham fallen.
We went because this small ceremony was, in effect, a national act of Remembrance for all those who served and who died at Gallipoli, a campaign, which aimed to force the Dardanelles to allow the capture of Constantinople and open a Black Sea supply route to Russia and we wished to remember the four men from our town of Saffron Walden, Essex who died during this campaign and at least a further sixteen who survived service on the peninsula only to die later in other theatres of the war.
Trooper Arthur John HAILSTONE (641) 1st. Australian Light Horse, Australian Imperial Forces, killed in action 7th. June 1915, aged 22. Buried in Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Anzac, Gallipoli, Turkey
Arthur Hailstone was born in London in July 1882 and was the second son of Mr. A J Hailstone of Ivy Cottage South Road. On leaving school he had emigrated to Australia where he worked as a station-hand until war broke out when he immediately answered his Mother country’s call and enlisted on September 8th. 1914. A letter from one of Arthur’s chums to his father describes his death, “He was the whitest man I ever met... hit in the temple by a shot from a machine-gun... he was always more daring than the rest, he stayed above a trench too long...his grave has a small cross.”
Corporal Julius JACKSON (8743) 1st. Essex Regiment, killed in action 6th. August 1915. Commemorated on the Helles Memorial to the Missing, Seddulbahir, Gallipoli, Turkey
Julius Jackson was the son of George and Elizabeth Jackson of 5 Copt Hall Buildings Ashdon Road He was a pre-war regular serving with the Essex Regiment in Mauritius when war was declared. They arrived in England in December and went to Harwich, joining the 88th.Brigade 29th. Division at Banbury. On March 21st. 1915 the regiment embarked on their way to the Dardanelles. After a short stop at the Mudros on the Greek island of Limnos, the harbour being the original assembly point for the fleet that landed the first troops at Gallipoli, they landed on W Beach during the morning of April 24th., taking part in the attack on Hill 138 the same day.
In August Julius found himself in the line having been warned that he would be engaged a big attack on the Turks, there were heavy casualties (3,480 British and 7,510 Turks) One of the fifty killed and 180 missing Essex men was Julius Jackson. His body was never found.
Private Charles Lewis GARDINER (99) 54th. (1st/1st. ) East Anglian Casualty Clearing Station, Royal Army Medical Corps (TF), drowned 13th. August 1915, aged 29. Commemorated on the Helles Memorial to the Missing, Seddulbahir, Gallipoli
Lewis Gardiner was also the Superintendent of the Sunday School at Saffron Walden Baptist Church.
On the outbreak of hostilities in 1914 Lewis joined the Saffron Walden Voluntary Aid Detachment of the Red Cross before volunteering for foreign service and being attached to the Royal Army Medical Corps (R.A.M.C), where he found himself bound for Gallipoli on a transport troopship, the Royal Edward. About eighteen kilometres south of Kos and near the entrance to the Gulf of Kos (Kerme Korfezi) in the Aegean the troopship was torpedoed by the German submarine UB 14 under the command of Korvettenkapitan Heino von Heimburg.
The 11,000 ton vessel sank in minutes, taking with it Lewis and 867 other men, mostly drafts of the 29th. Division. Lewis’ body was never found, and his name is to be found along with all who lost their lives is on the Helles Memorial
Private Bob CHANCE (G/1513) 2nd. Royal Fusiliers, died of wounds 21st. December 1915, aged 21. Buried at Portianos Military Cemetery, West Mudros, Lemnos
Bob Chance was the son of Joseph Chance of 25 Castle Street.. Bob had been to the Boys’ British School and was a printer employed by Walter Thompson in the Market Place. He was another keen member of the town football club, and a member of the congregation at the Baptist Church.
He enlisted on 11th. September 1914 the regiment embarked at Avonmouth on the Alaunia for Alexandria arriving there on 28th. March. The next stop was Lemnos on April 11th, an island Bob was to return to to die, before journeying to Gallipoli, landing on 25th. April 1915 on X Beach, before attacking Hill 114 the same day. The 2nd. Battalion were involved in the fighting at Krithia, and Suvla Bay and in one of these engagements Bob was severely wounded.
He was shipped back to the island of Lemnos where there were hospitals in name only. They were usually no more than tents, and the conditions terrible.
“Accommodation was primitive...no amenities. The weather was cold; harsh winds and blizzards had to be endured.” A nurse wrote, “We could do little for them except to help them die decently.” Here Bob arrived, having lived with mud or dust, flies, maggots and death on the peninsula, to where there was a scarcity of medical equipment and food. He died four days before Christmas and is one of 352 graves in the military cemetery.
Today these men from our town rest in graves or are remembered on memorials maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, small corners of a foreign field that hold important links to home.
For those who served and survived until evacuated from Gallipoli the overwhelming feeling was not one of defeat, but one of despondency at leaving so many of their comrades behind, a sentiment summed up by the great Australian poet, Leon Gellert, who had himself served there –
The dead would be remembered evermore –
The valiant dead that gazed upon the skies,
And slept in great battalions by the shore.
The Victor Heroes.Saffron Walden in the Great War
For Still We Hear Them Singing - Poems; ISBN-10: 1781489106 - ISBN-13: 978-1781489109
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Joined: 25 Jan 2013
Location: Portland, OR
A very good tribute, thanks for sharing.
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