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Yeomen Going into Action Under Fire

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Martin, just a couple of things I know about human moments in this action, right off the top of my head. Captain Viscount Quenington (Michael Hugh Hicks-Beach) was "The Squire" in my village, and served in the Royal Glos Hussars whilst still a Member of Parliament. He is on our village memorial, and there is a plaque in our church, as he was killed at Katia in 1916. He recounted that throughout the Salt Lake advance he was engaged in a vigorous discussion with a Trooper about dairy farming.

Quenington was heir to his father's earldom (St Aldwyn)but missed succeeding by about a week, as his father died just after his son. The old man had been Chancellor of the Exchequer in Salisbury's government during the Boer War, and the local story is that the news of his son's death was withheld from him. Quenington, mortally wounded, was brought in by a corporal whose name I forget, but who was second whipper-in to The Beaufort, of which Quenington was a member. (The RGH was essentially The Beaufort in khaki!) Lady Quenington had made her way to Cairo, but died there a few weeks earlier. Her husband was buried next to her in Cairo New British Protestant Cemetery.

Major Hoel Llewellyn is another man I have had a long time interest in. At the time of Salt Lake he was 2 I/c Sharpshooters (3 CoLY)and was wounded in the advance with shrapnel piercing his left scaphoid bone. He wrote to his CO (Weston Jarvis) from St Thomas's Hospital saying "the last time I saw you, you were stepping through shrapnel like rice at a wedding." Llewellyn and Jarvis had known each other since (at least) Matabeleland 1896 and again at Mafeking.

Many of Jarvis's letters, including private correspondence with his wife, are still held by the regiment (in their current guise) at their drill hall in Croydon.

Thanks Stoppage Drill.

I am familiar with most of the above. I have a copy of one of Weston Jarvis' many diaries. There is another thread with lots of Sharpshooter photos taken by Weston Jarvis which I ran a year or so ago with lots of quotes from the various diaries.

Ref Viscount Quenington. At Gallipoli he was LOOB on the day of the attack on Scimitar Hill with 2 Lt E T Cripps who kept a detailed diary. It is an interesting read and one of the more colourful Yeomanry accounts. The both re-joined the RGHY on 22nd August. The main sources I have are the war diary, published history and Cripps' diary.

Here's Jarvis' on the action of the 21st Aug:

Incessant rifle fire in the trenches on the other side of the hill all night. Chiefly Turkish - very cold towards dawn. Shelling commenced soon after dawn but intermittent until 2:30 p.m. When a terrific bombardment was started by all the guns ashore and afloat. The ships firing all their big guns - this was continued for an hour when (3:30 p.m.) an Infantry attack commenced on the Turkish position - the 29th Div from the left and part of the 11th Div and Australians on the right. Our 2nd Mounted Div moving out simultaneously to reach CHOCOLATE HILL (some 2 1/2 miles) from which point we were to develop the central attack. After we had proceeded about a mile we came under heavy shrapnel fire which lasted until we got to the cover of the hill. The men behaved splendidly and marched on in open order as if they were on parade - men fell in all directions but not a man wavered. I had some very near shaves and never expected to reach the hill alive but luckily only got one through the toe of my boot without touching my foot and got a sack on the ankle from a spent bullet. We arrived eventually at the hill with a loss of about 30 Officers and men - LLEWELLYN being hit through the foot and DE PASS through the leg. Nearly everybody had near shaves and many curious freaks of the bullet were recorded. All the regiments had many casualties except the Westminster Dragoons who were in rear an only had one man hit. After concentrating at the hill, the attack quickly developed and we pushed on to our objectives under heavy rifle fire at times very heavy - we had not reached our objective at dark but the Bde rallied in perfect order and either dug or occupied deep ditches which served the purpose. Bullets flew in all directions all night. Snipers causing many casualties both Sgt McGashan and Sgt Inman being killed this way - Gen Talyor and I were together in a deep ditch. Heavy firing at intervals on the right? to our front and constant sniping from our right flank. After conferring with Gen Wiggin (Comd 1st Bde on our left) Gen Taylor decided to endeavour to occupy a further position during the night which we should never be able to do if we had waited until dawn, so at 2 a.m. he directed me to prepare to advance by sending an officer's patrol to recconoitre the position. At 2:30 a.m. however we received orders from the Div to withdraw to LALA BABA.

Arrived at LALA BABA at 4:15 a.m. Walking the last mile or two with Gen Kenna who had commanded the Div during the day and who spoke with enthusiasm of the behaviour of the men - Cpl HASLOP was shot on the way back in the dark. I find that I have lost some 40 men killed or wounded and 2 Officers wounded (LLEWELLYN and DE PASS) - Altogether the casualties have been very severe - LONGFORD (Comd the 2nd Bde) severely wounded and it is said died on the ship today - Jack MILBANKE (Comd Sherwood Rangers) and Gunny/Gurny SHEPPERD (Comd Herts) killed - COLE (Comd South Notts) GOOCH (Comd Buck) PLEYN (Comd Glosters) wounded. The 2nd Bde suffered severely in attempting to take HILL 70 - The Dorsets I understand have all their officers killed or wounded except the CO Troyte Bullock. The Bucks in much the same condition but of course the Officers left behind at LEMNOS will now arrive. Marche at 8 p.m. for CHOCOLATE HILL. Elisha of C Sqn was killed whilst the Regt was lying on the ground below that hill waiting to move up to our dug outs - eventually had a section of the hill allotted to us and all got snugly dug in.

The Palestine info is interesting. Thank you. MG

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Stoppage Drill

Weston Jarvis subsequently took a dim view of Llewellyn. When the latter returned to the regiment in Egypt, Jarvis wrote to his wife that he (J) had not missed him (L). Later in the year L was promoted to Lt Col and appointed PM MEF. Jarvis wrote that "The Admiral has got a job. It should suit him as a policeman. I won't miss him, for he has done absolutely nothing since he got back." (I am writing this from memory, so exact words may be wrong, but gist is spot on.)

Admiral ? Llewellyn had been educated at Dartmouth, reached Sub-Lt but could not pass the Maths paper in his Lieutenancy exam. He was required to leave the Navy, and went to Rhodesia 1892 where he eventually joined the British South Africa Police, and where (I believe) he first met W-J (1896, Sekombo's Kraal under Baden Powell with a certain Lt Colonel Plumer, Yorks and Lancs in the offing.)

Llewellyn transferred to B-P's South African Constabulary when the guerrilla phase of the Boer War started, then left South Africa to eventually become Chief Constable of Wiltshire (1908-1945). When the GW broke out, he used his contact with WJ to get a majority in 3 CoLY even though he had never served in the Army (although the BSAP and SAA were essentially MI in S Africa). The vacancy was available because about a 100 officers and men (including a Sqn Comd) had declined overseas service. If you have W-J's photographs, you'll spot Llewellyn wearing a bush hat, not only at Gallipoli but also when the Regiment were at Streatley !

Somehow or other, he was given command of 9 Bn Tank Corps in October 1918 after a short course at Bovington. He only left Egypt on 11 August, yet arrived at Bermicourt on 17 October, the previous CO, Lt Col MKK Woods having left to command 2 Tank Brigade. On the very day of Llewellyn's arrival the Battalion received orders for operations which would become Foret de Mormal, and the Bn 2 I/c (Major Butler) was placed in command in place of Llewellyn. He (L) left France on 27 November.

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Stoppage Drill

The hat doesn't look too out of place in the Gallipoli photo, but there is one of him wearing it in SD whilst doing sword drill at Streatley, in a group of officers, which goes towards the conclusion I have of him as being an arrogant man who thought rules were for other people.

On his return from South Africa he married a divorcee, Winifred Ross nee Behrens. (Please excuse lack of diacritics.) She had been married (dissolved 1897) to Sir Charles Henry Ross, the designer of the eponymous straight pull Canadian rifle. David Cameron is a great (great ?) nephew of Llewellyn.

His sister Gwynedd is one of the few women on the CWGC register (died 3 Nov 18). His brother, Arthur, is on there too, though he died in 1920 and is buried in the country churchyard near the family home some miles south of Bristol.

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Janey

Thank you, Martin G. I shall follow up your suggestions. Janey

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AndrewFrench

I am researching Pte Frank Martin, Berkshire Yeomanry, service number 2075, who was killed at Gallipoli, I understand. Any information on the involvement of Berkshire Yeomanry at Gallipoli would be appreciated. CWGC record suggests that he died or was buried at sea (from a hospital ship perhaps?)

Janey

Hi Janey

Frank Martin enlisted pretty much on the outbreak of war but due to so many men wanting to join was placed on a waiting list and finally attested around 11th September 1914 at Yeomanry House Reading. He was now Pte F Martin No 2075 Berkshire Yeomanry. It would seem that he was enlisted along with his other brother Fred who was given the Regtl number 2086

Having been kitted out from stores he would have been given a railway warrant and sent to the regiment which was then in training on Churn Downs. Passing out from basic foot drill etc, he was posted to D (Wantage) Sqn - possibly to 1st Troop.

Sadly neither brother survived the battle of 21st April 1915. This is the information we have on each man

Martin Private Frederick James No.2086 born and lived Highbray Devon enlisted Reading Killed in Action Gallipoli 21-8-1915 A Sqdn. Frank Martin youngest son of the late Joseph and Frances S Martin Wickham Heath nr Newbury, d/w on August 25th 1915; Rdg Std 11/9/15.

Martin Frank [2075], youngest son of the late Joseph and Frances S Martin, Wickham Heath, near Newbury. Died of Wounds on 25th August aged 32 [at sea]. Reading Standard Sept 11th 1915

I have photos of all four D Sqn Troops so if you have a photo of either brother we might be able to match them

Regards

Andrew

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AndrewFrench

Hi Janey

One other thing - the 1/1st Berks Yeo War Diary does exist. We have a copy at the museum from the N.A. We are missing a couple of month in 1917 - I assume the ship carrying them across the Med was Torpedoed.

Rgds

Andrew

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Janey

Thank you, Andrew. Will be in touch, probably visit the Museum. My co-worker is actually researching Frank Martin (we have divided 27 men on the Memorial Tablet between 5 of us) so it may not be me. But again thanks

Janey

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