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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Why was Sir John Millbank called "Snails"?


Jo K

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I am currently copying out the war letters of my Great Uncle who was in the 6th Wiltshire Regiment. In a letter dated 14th September 1914, was the following:

When I went into mess the first person I sat next to was Sir John Millbank; apparently they call him "snails" for short; don't ask me why.

Can anyone enlighten me? Thanks.

post-44131-1235774554.jpg

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Presumably that was the Sir John Millbank who won the VC in the South African War?

Have absolutely no idea. The letter was sent from 5th Wiltshire Regt, Aliwal Barracks, Tidworth, Hants.

There is no other reference to him. Just curious really.

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Presumably that was the Sir John Millbank who won the VC in the South African War?

and

Have absolutely no idea. The letter was sent from 5th Wiltshire Regt, Aliwal Barracks, Tidworth, Hants.There is no other reference to him. Just curious really.

The VC's name was Milbanke

see THE BOOK OF THE VICTORIA GROSS

COMPILED BY MAJOR RUPERT STEWART

(LATE) DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY

here http://www.archive.org/details/bookofvictoriacr00stewuoft

IOTH (PRINCE OF WALES'S OWN ROYAL) HUSSARS.

MILBANKE, LIEUTENANT SIR JOHN PENISTONE, BART.

Date of Act of Bravery: 5th January, 1900. (South Africa.)

On the 5th January, 1900, during a reconnaissance

near Colesberg, Sir John Milbanke, when retiring under

fire with a small patrol of the 10th Hussars, notwithstanding

the fact that he had just been severely wounded

in the thigh, rode back to the assistance of one of the men

whose pony was exhausted, and who was under fire from

some Boers who had dismounted. Sir John Milbanke

took the man up on his own horse under a most galling

fire and brought him safely back to camp.

London Gazette, 6th July, 1900.

He was killed in action on 21st August 1915 at Gallipoli (by then a Lt-Col with the Sherwood Rangers)

Before this action he is reported to have said

"We are to take a redoubt, but I don't know where it is and I don't think anyone else knows either, but in any case we are to go ahead and attack any Turks we meet."

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial

Sorry, but I have not seen any ref to a nickname

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Thanks for that. I took the spelling directly from my Great Uncle's letter - no wonder I had trouble finding out who he was. Still hoping that someone will know why "snails"!

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