The Gallipoli Association Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Roll of Gallipoli Veterans who Died other Theatres > Royal Naval Division
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Able Seaman Joseph Wm Longstaff KIA 3/1/1918
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

The Gallipoli Association Forum

Able Seaman Joseph Wm Longstaff KIA 3/1/1918

 Post Reply Post Reply
Mal Murray View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

Joined: 22 Apr 2010
Location: Ireland
Status: Offline
Points: 2366
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Able Seaman Joseph Wm Longstaff KIA 3/1/1918
    Posted: 10 Apr 2012 at 19:35
The following information has been correlated from information accquired and added to by Joseph Longstaff's Grand-nephew, Gallipoli Association member Rischard Longstaff. My thanks go to Richard for the information and the photograph.
Joseph Longstaff's service shows us the story behind the campaign and those who served at Gallipoli and went on who went on to serve in other theatres (many to die in those Theatres).
Simply by reading this young man's record one can see the effects that the war had on him and his health. The constant admissions to Hospital and return to front line duties.
Joseph apparently was a prominent subscriber to a local newspaper sending in reports of his war service and Richard is currently rearching this submissions.
Able Seaman Joseph William Longstaff, Tyneside Z/2953, Nelson Bn. R.N. Div. Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
         Anson Bn. Cap Badge.                                                                 Nelson Bn. Cap Badge
This photo shows the youthful looks of Joseph during his service, I believe that this may have been taken in 1915.

Age: 20 (?) (Born 6/3/1895)Date of Death: 03/01/1918 Cause: Killed in action

Family notes: Son of John and Margaret Ann Longstaff, of 11, Cross St., Willington, Co. Durham (also of 11, Cross Street, Brancepeth Colliery, Willington, Co. Durham).

Trade/profession: Prior to enlistment: table Boy.

Military Service: Enlisted Benbow Bn. 7/1/15; M.E.F. 5/3/15. Promoted Able Seaman 15/5/15, transferred to Anson Bn. 12/6/15-2/9/15 attached 134th Fortress Company Royal Engineers at Anzac, Invalided to UK 19/2/16 Diarrhoea ; Draft for BEF 25/9/16, joined Nelson Bn. 25/11/16-3/2/17 to hospital, rejoined Nelson Bn. 15/2/17-3/1/18. Promoted to Able Seaman (Higher Grade) 23/12/17.

Grave Reference V. C. 9. Cemetery Flesquieres Hill British Cemetery.

Other Memorials: Able Seaman Longstaff is commemorated on the Willington War Memorial Cross, Willington, Co. Durham.

Special Note: The CWGC shows his age at the time of his death as being "20" yet his enlistment records show his date of birth as "6/3/1895" which would imply that he was almost 23 when he died.
Service Details:

Enlisted: 7/1/1915 – Joined 4th Bn.


05/03/15 – Joined Benbow Battalion.

24/04/15 - Benbow Battalion, Blandford. (Checked for Disc (presumably I.D. Disc).

12/06/15 - Transferred from Benbow Battalion to Anson Battalion (Divisional Order 40).


Notes regarding the Benbow Battalion:

2nd Bn. 1st RN Brigade 1914. During their retreat from Antwerp in Oct. 1914, the majority of Benbow Bn. crossed into Holland & were Interned for the Duration. A new Benbow Bn. was raised, but they remained in England when the RND sailed for the Dardanelles, finally joining the RND at Cape Helles 30/5/15. After the RND's massive losses at the 'Third Battle of Krithia" 4/6/15, the Benbow Bn. were chosen to be disbanded 12/6/15 (along with the Collingwood Bn. 8/6/15) to reinforce the five depleted Naval Battalions, Drake, Hood, Howe, Anson & Nelson. The Benbow Bn. suffered negligible losses on the 4th of June & along with Hawke Bn, were the only full strength RND Battalions left. However, the reason they were chosen for the 'chop' seems to have been based upon certain observations of the new 'Benbows' by senior officers. Suffice to say, those observations were premature & the ex-Benbows went on to serve in the Drake, Hood, Anson, Nelson & Howe Bns. with great distinction.



02/09/15 – Attached to the 134th Fortress Co. Royal Engineers, Anzac.

13/02/16 – Admitted to Hospital Mudros with Diarrhoea and pyrexia.

14/02/16 – Transferred to Hospital Ship “Rewa” Invalided to England

29/02/16 – Admitted to Plymouth Hospital (Paratyphoid).

16/03/16 – Transferred from Plymouth Hospital to Blandford.

22/03/16 – 20/4/16 (Anson) Invalided to England undated (Diarrhoea).

03/05/16 – (3rd Res.) Transferred to Anson Battn.

10/05/16 – 7th Reserve Battalion, Blandford. Transferred to 2nd Reserve Battalion.

23/06/16 – (2nd Hawke Bn.) Transferred  from 2 Reserve Battn. 22/6/16.

31/07/16 – (4th Res) Transferred from (Late 2nd Hawke Bn).

26/09/16 – Entrained at Blandford on night of 24/25 Sept. 16 from 4th Res. Bn to Nelson

                  Battn. B.E.F.

05/10/16 – Admitted 3rd Canadian General Hospital Boulogne.

07/10/16 – Disc to Marlborough Dtls. Camp ex 3 Canadian General Hospital 28/9/16.


19/10/16 – (Nelson) Disembarked at Boulogne 25/9/16.

22/10/16 – From Base Depot to Hospital on Disembarkation at Boulogne 25/9/16.

25/10/16 – To Base Depot 29/9/16.

08/12/16 – Joined Nelson Battalion from 6th Ent. Battalion 25/11/16.

17/03/17 – To Hospital 3/2/17, rejoined Battn 15/2/17.

23/08/17 - General Hospital Hardelot 16/8/17, Scabies Mild.

11/09/17 – Disc to Marlborough Detls. Boulogne, ex 25 General Hospital , 4/9/17  


18/09/17 - Joined Base Depot from Hospital 8/9/17.

05/10/17 – Rejoined Battn from Base Depot Calais, 27/9/17.

10/11/17 – Leave to U.K. with R.A. 31/10/17 to 14/11/17.

08/01/18 - Promoted A.B. H.G. (Able seaman Higher Grade) 23/12/17.

16/01/18 – Report received from Base, Killed in Action 3/1/18.

12/02/18 – Director of Graves Registration (962W) Buried by Rev. G.B. Grosthwaite

                  C.F. attached Drake Battalion.

24/09/19 – Report received from Director Graves Registration. Buried 63rd Div. (Small

      Cem.) 7 ¼ miles South West of Cambrai. N.O.K. informed 25/9/19.

08/06/20 - Exhumation. Buried Flesquieres Hill British Cemetery. 5 ½ miles South West

     of Cambrai, Plot r Row C, Grave 9.  N.O.K. informed 10/6/20.


Edited by Mal Murray - 25 Apr 2012 at 09:02
Back to Top
RICHARD67 View Drop Down

Joined: 03 Apr 2012
Status: Offline
Points: 15
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RICHARD67 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2012 at 06:20
Mal you don't know how much this means to me and all the Longstaff family. This is the first time anyone beyound family knows of Joe and his time at Gallipoli. Thank you so much for all your efforts so far. Joe's story will be in FAMILY TREE MAGAZINE, JULY ISSUE for anyone who wants to read it.

Edited by RICHARD67 - 11 Apr 2012 at 14:05
Back to Top
Mal Murray View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group

Joined: 22 Apr 2010
Location: Ireland
Status: Offline
Points: 2366
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2012 at 18:31

Joseph's service records make reference to him serving at Anzac and being admitted to hospital in Mudros in 1916.

The following information expands somewhat on those entries and adds to the service record of  the Anson Battalion.

Brief Service record Anson Battalion

Motto: Nil Desperandum (Despair of nothing)

8th Bn. 2nd RN Brigade, RND 1914.


Gallipoli, MEF (Dardanelles) April 1915 - Jan.1916.

MEF (Mudros & Stavros, Salonica) Jan.-May 1916

Served with 2nd Brigade, RND at Stavros, Salonika, Feb.-April 1916.

BEF (France & Belgium) May 1916-May 1919

188th Brigade, 63rd (RN) Division 19/7/1916-May 1919.

Extract from the Australian Official History of WWI (may be viewed in full here;

On the Helles beaches the British used a proportion of hired Greek labour, and an effort was now made by the lines-of-communication staff to obtain a corps of Maltese for Anzac. The men were raised, but on reaching Mudros a large number were found unwilling to face the danger. Some 200, however, under Captain Stivala and four other Maltese officers, volunteered to undertake the service, as did about the same number of an Egyptian labour corps. But neither Maltese nor Egyptians proved well suited for working under the conditions of Anzac. The following personnel were eventually obtained at various times for the work of the Anzac base:-


Sept.  10   &  21   . .  Anson  Battalion (Roy. Nav.  Div.)  . ... .  84 

Sept.  15  . .............   Part of 37th  Fortress  Coy., R.E........ .   54

Sept.  20  . . ............  1st Essex Garrison  Bn.  . .   . ...........   207

Sept.  2 1  t o   28  .   Egyptian Labour  Corps  . .   . ..........   221

Sept.  28  . . ............  Maltese Labour Corps  . .   . .  ............ 212

Nov.  8  . .  . .  .......... 27th Labour  Coy.,  A.S.C.  . .   ... .....   539


This labour was not adequate for the works in hand, especially as winter approached and the weather grew more severe and the work heavier and more pressing. The Egyptians could not work in the cold, and the British labour company consisted of men who, though their spirit evoked the admiration of the other troops were hardly fitted for the work at Anzac. Recruited in Great Britain from those who were over age or otherwise incapable of more active service, they had expected to be employed in the docks at Alexandria or in similar surrounding. At Anzac their hardships were unnecessarily increased by the fact that both they and the Maltese were thoughtlessly allotted camp-sites on the northern side of Ari Burnu, in full view of the enemy post at Snipers' Nest. Here, housed in tents or in shallow shelter, they were subject to the fire of a machine-gun which played every night on the tracks and bivouacs in this area. During their first night two men are said to have been killed by this fire, and on subsequent nights others were hit. In spite of this special provision of labour the full quota for the works at the Anzac base was seldom if ever available. At the end of October the Chief Engineer, then Brigadier-General Leslie, asked that working parties from the divisions should again be employed on the engineering works, and his request was acceded to.

The following information was supplied by Steve Chambers (author of Suvla, The August Offensive, Anzac the Landing and Gully Ravine).
The 'Anson Battalion at Suvla & Anzac' was the subject of an article in Len Seller's magazine 'RND' No.6, Sept. 1998; see pages 464-478. Len's article was based upon the Ansons' War Diary and is worth tracking down.

At Suvla on 21st August there were Officers 7, Other ranks 458; and at Anzac, Officers 6, Other ranks 432.

"29th August 1915 – The men were now working in three shifts of 4 hours each in a system of 4 hours on and 8 hours off both day and night on West Beach [Suvla]. By this time it was becoming the principle beach. Each shift now comprised of 2 platoons containing 75 to 80 men.
Water had to be indented for and was drawn in dixies, no water carts being then obtainable. The ration of water per man was set at one gallon."
"30th August to 2nd September 1915 – Fatigues continued as before but the number of men being transferred to hospital now assumed large proportions, especially at Anzac. This was chiefly with bowel complaints and during the proceeding week some 30 men were hospitalized."
"3rd September 1915 – Orders were received to shift bivouac in a few days from just west of West Beach to a site further inland next to 33rd Field Ambulance. Fatigues continued as normal.
5th to 9th September 1915 – All available men employed in digging dugouts and constructing shelters in the new bivouac area but the normal fatigues also continued but with reduced numbers. However the following special duty men were supplied:
2 Orderlies to Base Commandant A Beach
5 Orderlies to M.L.Os on West Beach
1 Clerk to M.L.O. on C Beach
2 Water Clerks on C Beach
1 Clerk to N.T.O. on West Beach"

Len's article finished on 20th October 1915. He makes the point that even though the battalion was not in the front line here, "taking note of replacements, one would have about a one in three chance of becoming a casualty or being hospitalized."


Brief History -Nelson Battalion (Joseph served with Nelson Bn from 1916).

5th Bn. 2nd RN Brigade 1914.

Gallipoli, MEF (Dardanelles) April 1915-Jan.1916

First landed at ANZAC Beachhead 29/4/15. Transferred to Cape Helles 13/5/15.

MEF (Mudros) Jan.-May 1916.

BEF (France & Belgium) May 1916-Feb.1918

189th Brigade, 63rd (RN) Division 19/7/1916-Feb.1918.

Disbanded in France February 1918; personnel absorbed by remaining Naval & RMLI Battalions.

Edited by Mal Murray - 25 Apr 2012 at 09:06
Back to Top
RICHARD67 View Drop Down

Joined: 03 Apr 2012
Status: Offline
Points: 15
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RICHARD67 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2012 at 08:41
What a fantastic update Mal, thank you for all your efforts.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 10.12
Copyright ©2001-2012 Web Wiz Ltd.