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Remembered Today:

Capt H C C TIPPET. MC - a cad ot not a cad


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I get easily distracted in researching. I was looking at the 7th Bn Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Gallipoli. One of the many that dies there was a Major Charles Henry TIPPET. Charles died aged 52 on 7th August 1915, the day after landing at Suvla Bay on the Gallipoli peninsular and lies buried in Green Hill Cemetery, Turkey.

A write up on him told me that his son Capt Herbert Charles Coningsby TIPPET, joined his father’s regiment; serving with 4th Battalion he survived the war, winning the Military Cross. His medal card showed he entered France 14 May 1916. And also he served on RDF Staff. He claimed his medals from an address in the USA after the war, "Meadow Brook Club, Long Island". Following that lead up:-

I then learned from a Daily Mail Article that Capt H C C Tippet married the divorced Edith Shand (later the grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall)

I should say at this point that I tend to disbelieve on principle anything the Daily Mail says about anything. Anyway the Daily Mail says in a long article about Camilla's grandmother, that she married a second time to Capt Tippet MC and among other things

Bruce (Bruce Shand, Camilla's father) was aware that his stepfather (Capt H C C Tippet) was also the recipient of the MC, won in 1916 while serving in France. Curiously, he makes no mention of this in his memoirs. A military historian consulted explained why. "Tippet's MC probably came with the rations. There was a period during the First War when MCs were handed out to officers for doing virtually nothing except being there, and his award falls into this category. "That he was in France, there can be no doubt. That he was brave, equally no doubt. But neither is there a special citation recording what he did to earn his medal."

The Daily Mail article is fairly backbiting on Bruce's mother - that is Tippet's wife.

I would be interested in any further information anyone can give on Capt H C C Tippet MC. The 4th Battalion was an Extra Reserve Battalion, and as such never went to France. His MIC shows he did go to France, so must have served with another battalion there

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His MC was gazetted in issue 31092 in New Year Honours (did they call them that then?) 1919.

Gazette 29060 has him being made captain, dated 6 Sept 1914, although with the incorrect forename Henry.

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Awarded MC

Capt. Herbert Charles Coningsby Tippet, 4th

Bn., R. Dub. Fus., Spec. Res.

I hate the term brought up with the rations, often termed new years awards these were awarded for an accumulation of service rather than specific acts. Very easy to demean the men that were awarded these medals.

I think theres nearly 2000 WO's and Oficers awarded MC's in that particular supplement, it takes a supreme arrogance to suggest none of these were earned.


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Thanks for the two references to the Gazette

Can you suggest any references to whether these MCs were "different" to "normal ones".

Was the term "brought up with the rations" specifically aimed at this list. Is there evidence that MCs were given for accumulation of service, I have thought (perhaps naively) that the MC was always for a specific act.

Certainly the Daily Mail article on Capt Tippet is a "knocking" article, I am trying to get at the truth, if any, behind it!

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They were only different in respect of the notices because no action or specific deed is mentioned in the LG.

The warrant itself is fairly ambiguous

Our Royal favour We do by these Presents

for Us Our heirs and successors institute and

create a Cross to be awarded to Officers

whose distinguished and meritorious services

have been brought to Our notice.

Firstly: It is ordained that'the Cross shal


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Thanks for clarification on MCs

It would be interesting to know who the "military historian" is.

I would doubt that whoever they are, that they should contribute to this Forum. On of the great problems with journalism today is the unattributed quote. The popular press use it to con the public into thinking that they have researched an article, you get it with "Scientists say that" or "doctors have discovered that"

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  • 1 month later...

I have just found your post regarding Capt. H.C.C. Tippet and welcome the opportunity to put the record straight. I am a cousin of the Duchess of Cornwall whose grandmother, Edith Shand (nee Harrington) married Charles Tippet after divorcing her first husband. Edith Harrington and my late father were first cousins. I have, over the past few years, read the succession of articles published by the Daily Mail, which denigrate various members of my family, with increasing anger as they are no longer here to defend their reputations. The articles are part of an on-going campaign by that newspaper to discredit the Duchess of Cornwall. The substance of these articles ranges from half-truths and invention to outright lies and I feel I can no longer allow these misrepresentations to go unanswered.

The newspaper articles, including the one you quote from, imply that Tippet was a cad who used his “cut glass” English accent and exaggerated war record to curry favour in the United States. They also claim that my late cousin Edith was a social climber, fostered by strangers as a child, who abandoned her only son as soon as she re-married and disappeared off to New York. All of this is complete fabrication.

There is no evidence that Herbert Charles Coningsby Tippet had a “cut glass” English accent; he was a Welshman, born in Newport, Monmouthshire in 1892. A keen amateur golfer in the years before the Great War, he served as a Captain in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and was awarded the MC for service in France. His war record is as described in your post. He may not have been awarded his MC for conspicuous gallantry, but neither is there any evidence that he was anything other than a brave man serving his country like millions of others. For the Mail to have implied otherwise is grossly unfair. Indeed my late cousin Bruce Shand, writing in his memoir “Previous Engagements”, describes him as having fought gallantly. A golf course designer by profession, Tippet married my cousin Edith in 1921, a year after her divorce, and immediately set out for New York where he secured a succession of contracts to design golf courses. Among these is the Meadow Brook Golf Club on Long Island, the address from which he applied for his medals in 1922. Records show Tippet competing in a number of golf tournaments in the USA in the early ‘20s and several US golf courses are still ascribed to him.

Edith Marguerite Harrington was born in Fulham in 1893, the first of the five children of my great uncle George Harrington, an accounts clerk. The Mail’s suggestion that she was abandoned as a child and brought up by strangers is also total fabrication; she lived around the corner with her grandparents due to space constraints. The Mail invented a fostered upbringing to justify their fabricated claim that she later abandoned her own son. In 1916 she married Morton Shand, a wine and architecture critic, who safely hid himself away at the War Office while the ‘cad’ Tippet was serving in France. A serial adulterer, Edith was well rid of him when she divorced him in 1920. The newspaper then implies that she quickly married a man of lower social standing and ran off to America, abandoning her son.

It should be remembered that divorce carried a significant stigma in the ‘20s and, with millions dead, my late cousin did well to re-marry at all. Contrary to reports in the Mail, Edith followed Tippet to New York in December 1921, taking young Bruce Shand and his nanny with her. Bruce Shand lived with his mother and step-father in the USA for a number of years. Even a rudimentary inspection of US immigration and steamship company records confirms this. When he did return to the UK, in 1927, it was to attend Rugby School. His education was paid for by his Shand grandparents who, embarrassed by the behaviour of their son, were determined that their grandson would not go the same way. When Mr. and Mrs. Tippet returned to the UK, they gave the Shands’ home as their address. Sadly, my late cousin Bruce was somewhat sparing with detail in his autobiography, describing his childhood as movemente and curiously choosing to omit all reference to his time in America, giving the impression of having been abandoned. The fact was that Tippet’s job necessitated him moving around. When young Bruce came home for school holidays it was invariably to his grandparents’ Kensington home. In the 1930s the Tippets lived for some time in Ireland, where a number of golf courses still boast of his involvement. The Tippets returned to the UK shortly before WW2, living for some years in Reigate when Tippet was secretary of Walton Heath Golf Club, and ended their days at Cooden Beach in Sussex where Tippet was secretary of Rye Golf Club. He died on the golf course at Rye in 1945. His widow remained at Cooden Beach until her death in 1981.

Charles Tippet may not have had the breeding of Morton Shand, but he was a far better husband to my late cousin than Shand ever was. The Daily Mail’s attempts to muddy his and his wife’s memory as part of an agenda to rubbish the Duchess of Cornwall is not something the newspaper can be proud of. Not that I suppose they care.

Duncan Harrington

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Welcome to the forum

Thank you for that very interesting post. Nothing worse than that which one reads in the popular press! And to have "celebrity" or "related to celebrity" status these days makes one a target for such articles.

The bit that you may be able to add to is his service career, as my interest in the Tippets is their connection with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. I assume Capt Herbert Charles Coningsby TIPPET joined the RDF as it was his father's regiment.

I have not been able to find out anything more about his service record that that which I put in my original post above (1st post in the thread)

Can you add anything to my knowledge. The Daily Mail article came up in searches when I was trying, and failing to get more information on Capt H C C Tippet. Not much out there about him.

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Thanks for that.

The 7th RDF War Diary for the day he was killed says

7 Aug Suvla Bay Arrived Salt Lake Bay at 4am. It was only at this stage that Brigade (Brig Gen Hill) saw Gen Stopford and received orders for the landing. Gen Stopford was said to be surprised to hear that Brig Gen Hill had not received any operational orders. A and C Coys and 1 Platoon of B Coy under Major M P E Lonsdale disembarked on motor lighter at 7am landing on C Beach. During trip came under accurate shrapnel fire. One officer (2nd Lt C D Harvey) severely wounded, 1 man killed, 14 wounded.

The remainder of the Battalion, less two platoons on bagage fatigue, under Lt Col G Downing, landed at 8.30am. Both half battalions came under heavy shrapnel fire, on landing. The half under Major Lonsdale having advanced to the south east corner of Valli Babah. At this point both half battalions stacked their packs and advanced eastwards across the spit under a heavy fire from enemy shrapnel. A and C Coys still under Major Lonsdale, continued eastwards for about 1.5 miles where they wheeled to the right and formed the firing line of the attack on Hill 53. Their advance being entirely by rushes.

In the meantime, the remainder of the battalion under Lt Col G Downing, had also advanced and entered the attack by cuting in the rear of A & C Coys. This at about 2pm. C Coy however having moved well to the left, D Coy joined in with A Coy near a well some 2000 yards from the position

From this the battalion was subjected to heavy shrapnel, maxim and rifle fire, through where it steadily and quickly advanced from one piece of cover to the next, owing to the rapidity and frequencies of the advances the casualties were greatly reduced, but C Coy were unlucky in losing their company commander, Major C H Tippet (killed) and Lt E L Julian (badly wounded). The hill was captured about 2pm by parts of A and D Coys and details of other regiments, the whole led by Major R S M Harrison. Casualties, 3 officers, 109 other ranks.

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  • 2 years later...

I was at Suvla last month, and accidently came across his grave


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He is mentioned here;

September, 2, 1915

Vivid Story of Irish Gallantry.

Clare Officer tells how the advance was made from Suvla Bay.

The following account of the operations of the 7th Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the Dardanelles between the 6th and 14th August was written by our gallant Captain Poole H. Hickman, who commanded the D Company, and was killed on the 15th inst. It is as vivid a picture as has been given by anyone yet from the firing lines—

We left Mitylene at 3 p. m. on Friday, August 6th, and arrived here at 4 a. m, on Saturday morning. We carried our rations with us—a sandwich for the voyage, and two days iron rations, consisting (each day’s ration) of a tin of bully beef, tea, sugar, biscuits, and Oxo tablets. From 2 o’clock in the morning we could see the flashing of the big guns and hear the rattle of musketry, the first indication to us that we were within the war zone. Our first two boats, consisting of A and C Companies, started landing at 5. 30 a. m. , but did not get ashore without mishap as a shrapnel struck the boat, killing one man and wounding eleven. Amongst the wounded was one of our officers, Second Lieutenant Harvey. We landed a short time later, but escaped without being hit, and then about 8 a. m, we commenced a general advance. It was allotted to us and to another Irish Regiment to take a certain hill, which was 3 ¼ miles from where we landed. We had not advanced one hundred yards when we were greeted with a perfect hail of shrapnel. And shrapnel is not a pleasant thing. You hear a whistle through the air, then a burst, and everything within a space of 200 yards from where the shrapnel burst is liable to be hit. The wounds inflicted are dreadful—deep, big irregular gashes, faces battered out of recognition, limbs torn away.

“An open target to the enemy. ”

We got some protection under cover of a hill, and steadily continued our advance in a line parallel to the enemy’s position. We had to change direction and advance in a direct line on a position at a small neck of land, and the crossing of this neck was awe-inspiring but ghastly. The enemy guns had got the range to a yard, and a tornado of high explosives and shrapnel swept the place. Your only chance was to start immediately after a burst, and run as fast as you could across the place, as there was some cover at the other side. We lost heavily at this particular place, and from then on commenced the serious business. The enemy were strongly entrenched on a line of hills about two miles from the neck of land. The right of the attack had to get over a bare, sandy sweep, but there was some cover, such as it was for the left. The heat was intense and the going very heavy. We advanced in long lines, with two paces between each man, and about eight such lines altogether at the start; of course, by the time we got to the hill the supports and reserves had closed up with the firing line. Meanwhile we presented an open target to the enemy, but, though we advanced through a regular hail of bullets and shrapnel, our casualties were not heavy. Major Harrison was in command of the first line, and was marvellously good. About 3 o’clock in the afternoon we were within 600 yards of the hill, which was fairly high—a net-work of trenches, and sides covered with furze and thorny scrub, which afforded cover from view. When we got to the foot of the hill, A and D Companies, led by Major Harrison, were in the first line, about a platoon of each, with some Enniskillings and a few stragglers.

“At the point of the bayonet. ”

They took the hill at the point of the bayonet, the Turks fleeing in all directions. It was a magnificent performance, and we have been personally congratulated on it, and we called the hill Fort Dublin. Our casualties were over 100, including Major Tippett, shot dead, and Lieutenant Julian, who has, I hear, since died. D Company lost 22 altogether, and only one killed outright, though I am afraid some of the others will not recover. It was just disk when the hill fell, and then we had to go and get water for the men, who were parched with the thirst. This was a long job, and we had to go some miles back to a well. Meanwhile we had established ourselves in the trenches on the hill, and at 1. 30 on Sunday morning I ate a biscuit, which was my first food since breakfast the previous morning. The enemy counterattacked during the night, but were easily driven off.

All Sunday morning and afternoon a furious fight was going on on the ridge to our right, where our forces had the advantage. Meanwhile, all day shrapnel and high explosives were spoiling our day’s rest, and the place was full of snipers. These snipers----unreadable-----, and it is very hard to spot them. We captured some, including a woman, and a man dressed in green to resemble the tree he was in, and shot several more. On Monday there was a tremendous fight for the hill on our left by an English division. The brigade on the right rant out of ammunition, and D Company were called upon to supply them. I sent 40 men, under Captain Tobin, to bring uo 20, 000 rounds to the supports, and took 80 men myself with 40, 000 rounds, which were further away, to the same place, but with orders from the Colonel to come back immediately, as our side of the hill was very weakly held. When I got up I found that

Tobin and twelve of his party had gone on further, as the ammunition was very urgently needed. I dumped down our ammunition with the supports, and came back to the hill, as ordered. Meanwhile Tobin and his party got into the firing line, and one of my best sergeants, Edward Millar, was killed…. He died gallantly, and his name has been sent forward for recognition.

“Waiting to go forward again. ”

The next few days were uneventful, save that we got no sleep, as we had to stand to arms about six times each night; and the incessant din of howitzers and heavy guns allowed no rest whatsoever. Finally, on Thursday night, or rather Friday morning, at 1. 30 a. m, we were relieved, and were not sorry to leave a hill which none of us will forget, and the taking of which was an achievement which will add lustre to the records of even the Dublin Fusiliers. “D” Company’s casualties amounted to 40 out of 188 men landed on Saturday morning. I forgot to say that we discarded our packs at the landing (and have never seen them again), and all this time we never had even our boots off, a shave, or a wash, and even the dirtiest water was greedily drunk on the hill, where the sun’s rays beat pitilessly down all day long, and where the rotting corpses of the Turks created a damnably offensive smell. That is one of the worst features here—unburied bodies, and flies, but the details and more gruesome, some than my pen can depict. Well, we marched out at 1. 30 on Friday morning, a bedraggled and want of sleep tired body, and marched seven miles back to a rest camp. Several of the men walked back part of the way in their sleep, and when we arrived at 4. 30 on Friday morning everyone threw himself down where we was and fell asleep. But our hopes of a rest were short-lived, as we were ordered out again at four the next day, and here we are now on the side of a hill waiting to go forward again and attack. Meanwhile it is soothing for us to know that we have achieved something which has got us the praise of all the Staff and big men here, but I dare say you will hear all about it in despatches from the front.

The Pals Battalion.

Letter from Dublin Man.

The following interesting letter, dated 14th, August, 1915, has been received from Lance Corporal W. B. Honeyman, 7th Service Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, at present fighting in the Dardanelles;--

“ Just a few lines to let you know that we have been through our first engagement, and came through it with credit. It was quite a success, and we did everything that was required of us. It lasted about fourteen hours, and was very severe; but, as all the troops behaved splendidly, we captured the position just at sundown, and have finally established ourselves since then, despite repeated attacks by the enemy. Owing greatly to the courage and resource of our officers, our losses, considering everything, were slight. What I have written so far occurred a week ago, and are now having a few hours away from the trenches. At first one felt the roar of shot and shell—like hell let loose—but now I can sleep soundly through it all.

“Wonderful is no name for the supreme courage and fortitude displayed by one and all, and it makes me feel so proud to be associated with such men. Poor Jack McGrath met his fate cheerfully and bravely the first day as did our dear brave Major Tippet, who fell like a hero, heading his men on the first day’s attack. God was very good to me, as so far I have escaped a scratch, although I have been with the rest through it all.”

“ We need safety matches, cigarettes and writing materials badly. In the daytime the beat is awful, but the nights are cool enough.

“If the enemy get a sight of the bayonet they run, but we are troubled slightly by snipers; otherwise at times it is like spending a holiday on the hills. There was great excitement when the first post for five weeks arrived to-day.

“Tell anyone having friends in this regiment they should be proud, and, if circumstance permit, should join one of our other battaliuons.”

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  • 2 years later...


Thank you for the update. That is an interesting article you have written in wikipedia on him. There is plenty in your research to keep me up to speed on Herbert Charles Tippet

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Hope you have brought all of this to the attention of the Mail's editor. I'm sure he'd be mortified to discover his paper had published inaccurate information.

Edwin :angry2:

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