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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Brian Walton Onslow in Indian Army


rksimpson

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Hi

I am doing some research For this museum - http://www.maryboroughmuseum.org/ on Lieutenant Brian Onslow.

He was listed in the Indian Army Quarterly List of January 1912 as a 2nd Lieutenant (from 6th September 1911) with the 2nd Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment and also under remarks it has unattached list. By the 1st World War he was with the 11th King Edwards Own Lancers (Probyns Horse) as part of the Indian Army and was with the ANZAC forces at Gallipoli as Aide de Camp to Lieutenant General Sir William R Birdwood, K.C.S.I., K.C.M.G., C.B., C.I.E., D.S.O.

He took part in the landings at the Dardanelles on 25th April 1915. On 28th July he was killed at Gallipoli and was buried at Anzac Cove in Beach Cemetery II F 6. He was Mentioned in Despatches by General Sir Ian Hamilton on 5th November 1915.

I have all his records from Ancestry, CWGC etc, but was hoping to find his service records. On looking at National Archives I thought I had found him, but when a kind forum member checked, he found it was for someone else with the same initials and surname. It would appear as he was with the Indian Army his service records are somewhere else. Does anywhere have his service records and is it accessable?

If anyone knows how to access anything else on his service it would be appreciated.

I also have information on his brothers, 2 who were also killed.

Milo also served in an Indian Regiment and no record is available.

Arthur was in the RN and I have his records from NA.

Eric has records at NA, but as it looks like he served after the war they are still with MOD and 30 pounds is too expensive to get them!

Thanks for any help

regards

Robert

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Robert, theoretically, if he was in the Indian Army his service records may be at the National Archives of India. There is a paragraph on the FIBIS Fibiwiki page Indian Army, section National Archives of India

http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php?title=Indian_Army#National_Archives_of_India

You could try, but I received no response to an enquiry I sent about someone in my family tree. It is a fact that one seldom receives a response to enquiries sent to India. In my case, I have no idea whether my email was actually received, or whether it was received and there was no record.

There are some records at the British Library, but for Brian Onslow there does not appear to be a service record. There are two records for Brian Walton Onslow which appear too be in respect of a nomination to a King's India Cadetships at Sandhurst. If you are thinking of requesting a copy, be aware that usually the price of copies at the British Library is quite high.

Cheers

Maureen

Edit. I subsequently received a response from the National Archives of India after about seven weeks, although the advice was that the Archives did not have a record.

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Hi Maureen

Thanks for your reply, it does not look like any easy, not confusing or inexpensive options left.

What I have on him and his family will have to do.

regards

Robert

PS I am surprised that India has not caught onto this as someone could make a small fortune putting all their old British documents online!

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HI CGM

Thanks for the link, again a bit hard when I am in Australia and cant go to the Library.

regards

Robert

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Robert,

I can only very few details to your request about Lieutenant Brian Walton Onslow.

He was commissioned from Sandhurst onto the Unattached List for the Indian Army on the 6th September 1911.

He then went to India and spent a year attached to a British Regiment (which was standard practice) before joining his Indian regiment

He was admitted to the Indian Army and joined the 11th K. E. O. Lancers on the 4th December 1912.

He was promoted Lieutenant 6th December 1913.

The regimental history mentions his attachment to Birdwood but does not detail his fate.

I have to say that the policy in force at the time was that when officers were killed their service records were sent to the family as a memento, so if they have not come in from the family they probably no longer exist.

As to his elder brother Milo Richard Beaumont Onslow, I have a bit of information. He was a Captain in the 21st P. A. V. O. Cavalry when he died of wounds received in an air raid in Mesopotamia 5th November 1917. If you want more about his WW1 service please ask. Again with having died in service his service papers would have been sent to his family.

I hope that helps.

Matthew

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Hi Matthew

If you have more, yes please.

thanks and regards

Robert

As for Brian, I found this out about how he died- . Birdwood’s headquarters on Anzac were in the most dangerous area of the beach. Brian had a habit of sleeping outdoors in the hot summer. He was sleeping on the roof of his shelter that hot night in July when a shell from Beachy Bill hit and killed him.

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Robert,

Only a snippet. Served attached to the 33rd Light Cavalry from November 1914, was wounded at Shaiba in March 1915 and again at the battle of Ctesiphon in November 1915. MID 12 June 1917.

Matthew

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Thanks for that Matthew, another bit to the story.

regards

Robert

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Robert

I have a letter written by Captain Oswald Bruce Ryrie, 1st Australian Light Horse, dated 28 July 1915, which mentions the death of Brian Onslow. In this letter to his fiancee, written at dusk in his dug out at Anzac, he said:

'Sad news- poor Brian Onslow, I hear, (I hope is a false report) was killed this morning by a Turkish shell at his dug out near the Beach at Army headquarters. I think it must be true from the way I heard it."

From the tone of the letter, it would appear that O. B. Ryrie and his fiancee, Miss Jean Howatson, Scotland, must have known Brian Onslow quite well.

O. B. Ryrie was a cousin of Brigadier General Sir Granville Ryrie.

I hope this may be of some interest.

Regards

John

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Hi John

Thank you very much for that information, it is always good to get personal accounts, it helps to give emotion to the story.

Thanks for posting it.

regards

Robert

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