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Remembered Today:

9th Worcestershire Regiment Gallipoli


crackingbloke
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Evening All.

I wonder if a kind soul out there can fill me in on details of 9/Worc from about 25th August 1915 until 12th ish October that year. Trying to find out more details on the death of (Leonard) George Davies 20792 who joined them on 27th Sep (mic) and died of wounds on 10th October. Newspaper said hit in the head while washing died following day. Very grateful for any input.

Guy

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Guy

Your man was part of a large reinforcement for casualties suffered by 13 Division during Aug 1915. At the beginning of October the Division (9 Worcs were part of 139 Brigade there) moved from ANZAC to Suvla Bay and thereafer took regular casualties from Turkish Artillery,so maybe your man either died from sniping or from shrapnel from an exploding shell.

You might get more detail from the unit War Diary under WO95/4302 (Jun 1915 to Jan 1916) which is at Kew,but not yet digital.

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Evening All.

I wonder if a kind soul out there can fill me in on details of 9/Worc from about 25th August 1915 until 12th ish October that year. Trying to find out more details on the death of (Leonard) George Davies 20792 who joined them on 27th Sep (mic) and died of wounds on 10th October. Newspaper said hit in the head while washing died following day. Very grateful for any input.

Guy

MIC says 27 August, not 27 September - I am sending you a PM with transcriptions of the relevant diary pages. Hope this helps.

C

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I just want to publicly thank Woollamc for sending me the copies of the War Diaries. It's such a help.

Guy

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From Stacke - Regt History


After several days of comparative quiet, heavy firing broke out again at dawn on August 27th, 50 TH

when a mixed force, mostly Australian, on the left flank endeavoured to capture Hill 60. That

hill was well entrenched and stubbornly defended, and after forty-eight hours of hard fighting only

the near side of it could be gained. The Turks retained the further slope. The 9th Worcestershire

on Bauchops Hill were able to bring some long-range covering fire to bear and thereby to assist

the attack.

During the fight the command of the Battalion was changed. Major C. E. Foster of the 6th

King's Own arrived and took over command, while Colonel Hubert and his Adjutant rejoined their

New Zealand corps. Two more days the 9th Worcestershire held Bauchops Hill; then on the

evening of September 1st the Battalion was relieved by East Anglian troops of the 54th Division

and marched back down the Chailak Dere to reserve bivouac near that gully's mouth. Here were

also the 7th North Staffordshire. The remainder of the 39th Brigade had already marched northward

to the Suvla area. On the next night the Worcestershire and Staffordshire battalions marched

in their turn northwards along the sea coast. The march through the darkness was made as silently

as possible and there were no casualties. After three hours of plodding along the sandy track the

two battalions, at 11.0 p.m., reached their destination, the reserve trenches by the Salt Lake near

Lala Baba. The remainder of the Brigade was already in position.

The 39th Brigade remained in those reserve trenches during the next two weeks, being busily

employed on working parties. Gradually the battalions were filled up to strength by drafts(a),

and at the end of the fortnight the 9th Worcestershire were again a sizeable battalion, counting 19

officers and 674 N.C.O's. and men.

The officers, as we have seen, had been assembled from many units, but the bulk of the

N.C.O's. and men were from the Reserve Battalions of the Regiment, and very soon the name and

spirit of the Regiment welded the re-formed battalion into an efficient fighting unit. That fine soldier

General Maude was now making his influence felt throughout his command, inspiring all ranks

with energy and confidence. On September 18th the Battalion was strengthened by a large draft,

including Lieut. A. M. Martin Smith, and by a senior Regular officer of the Regiment, Major W. F. O.

Faviell. Major Faviell was at once appointed Second-in-Command. In a short time the Battalion

was again in good condition.

That recovery was noted at the beginning of October by a competent critic, a second Regular

officer of the Regiment who joined the Battalion—Captain E. B. Conybeare who, after recovering

from wounds in France, reached Gallipoli at the end of September. At first he was ordered off to a

battalion of another regiment. He was appointed adjutant of that other battalion and not without

great difficulty and much persistence did he get permission to return to his own Regiment. After

sundry adventures on his way across the hills from Anzac to Suvla (B), Captain Conybeare reached

the 9th Worcestershire on October 6th. Instantly he observed and recorded the impression

given by the Battalion. " Here," he wrote, " I might be in the 1st Battalion again. Perfect order,

organisation and system " and added that " the men are just about the same as those of the 1st

Battalion " ; than which he could have given them no higher praise.

Captain Conybeare was a great acquisition to the renascent battalion. Fearless, sturdy

and capable, he was a fine type of Regimental officer and one of the most popular leaders in the

Regiment. On arrival he was appointed Adjutant; and it was largely due to his work and example

that the Battalion maintained its high standard during the trying time which followed.



(a) Drafts for 9th Worcestershire—6th September 3 officers and 255 men. 8th September 3 officers and 208

men. 12th September 194 men. These are the Brigade figures ; the Battalion diary gives rather different

figures.

(6) Including being arrested as a spy by a nervous sentry of a Yeomanry regiment.

© A draft of six young subalterns from the 5th Battalion (2/Lieuts. A. L. Wills, L. A. W. Knight, M. Hurford-Jones,

H. Croom-Johnson, M. H. Meredith and J. M. P. Baird) had an eventful time in joining the Battalion. They

arrived at Suvla on September 5th, only to find that the Battalion had gone to Imbros. They were taken

off again in a rowing boat, which was compelled by rough seas to shelter under the lee of H.M.S. " Swiftsure."

There they had to remain while that battleship bombarded the Turkish positions; after which ear-splitting

experience they were transferred to a destroyer which eventually landed them at Imbros.

105


------------------------



Ten days later the 9th Worcestershire also came up into the front line. The 13th Division,

9 T H hitherto in reserve trenches by the Salt Lake, were now to relieve the 53rd Division in the centre of

the Corps front. On September 19th the relief began. Marching forward across the dry bed of

the Salt Lake the 9th Worcestershire took over the trenches round Sulajik Farm.

The new position of the 9th Worcestershire was little more than a mile south of that then

held by the 4th Battalion. Both formed part of the main line of defence which ran across the low

ground facing the Anafarta Hills. The ground was rough but fairly open, dotted with trees and

scrub which afforded good cover for snipers and patrols. The enemy, however, was anything but

active, and there were few encounters between the lines. Shell fire, however, was regularly kept

up, and the Turkish snipers were a constant danger.

The enemy's snipers indeed caused most of the loss. Incessant work was necessary to

make the long line of trenches reasonably safe and the officers (a) supervising the work were always

under fire. Perfect weather and a bright moon at night made easy the task of the Turkish

sharpshooters.



A mile to the southward, the 9th Battalion was passing a very similar time. The energy

of Major Faviell and the restless enterprise of the young Adjutant, Captain Conybeare, were

responsible for many minor adventures. On the night of September 26th a working party under

(B)

©

a) During this period several officers joined or rejoined the 9th Worcestershire, notably Capts. A. N. C. Kittermaster,

P. Mac D. Sanderson and E. H. Hiscock, Lieut. C. E. Sladden and 2/Lieuts. C. J. Howell, R. C. Marshall,

C. W. F. Rawle and E. K. Myles.

2/Lieut. B. G. T. Hawkes took over the Adjutancy during the next fortnight.

More 2/Lieuts. joined in large numbers during October, as follows :—Oct. 4th J. E. Overbury. Oct. 7th G. P.

Brettell, L. A. Bruton, D. A. W. Green-way, C. S. Jagger, J. Powell, E. P. Thornton and G. W. Mellor. October

9th G. W. Field, L. L. Goold and K. Greenaway. On Oct. 10th 2/Lt. L. A. W. Knight took over the duties

of Quartermaster and 2/Lt. M. H. Meredith was appointed A/Adjt.

It was later reckoned that, up till October, the 4th Worcestershire had received 105 officers.

106



Lieut. A. M. Martin-Smith was attacked by a strong force of the enemy («). After a sharp fight

with rifle grenades and much firing, the Worcestershire party fell back to their trenches. The

pursuing enemy were beaten back by rapid fire. Three nights later Major Faviell led out a party

into " No Man's Land " to cover the erection of new wire entanglements, was attacked by some

two hundred of the enemy and dispersed them by a salvo of rifle-grenades.

Later Captain Conybeare carried out several successful bombing raids, with clever arrangements

of flares and fireworks to startle the enemy.

Those minor enterprises were very much to the liking of the new Divisional Commander.

" Am busy trying to stimulate offensive spirit in the troops," wrote General Maude in October, " but

it is uphill work in this sedentary warfare. Still one can do something in the way of patrolling,

and the 39th Infantry Brigade have started well, two officers having already distinguished themselves."

He was not alone in his recognition of the fine fighting spirit in General Cayley's command.

Despite all encouragement it was difficult to prevent a spirit of depression. The obvious

failure after such bitter sacrifice had led to a suspicion of general mismanagement, which was

deepened in_ the eyes of the troops by accidents inevitable in sea-borne communications. Hostile

submarines interfered with the naval arrangements and prevented, sometimes for days, the arrival

of mails and fresh food. Letters and eatables were by now the main interests of the troops in the

front line ; and nearly all troops at Suvla were in the forward defences. The line was too long and

too precarious for any large force to be held back in reserve ; and such reserves as were kept near

the beaches were no better off than the troops in the front line, either as regards comfort or danger

from shells (B). Such interruptions of communication were, in consequence, matters of extreme

annoyance ; and Regimental officers and men cursed the Navy and the Staff with fine impartiality.

The gloom deepened when it became known that the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Ian Hamilton,

had been recalled. Sir Ian visited the trenches of the 4th Battalion on October 5th. A fortnight

later he was recalled and his Farewell Order was issued to the troops.

" Sir Ian Hamilton," the order ran, " thanks all ranks, from Generals to private soldiers,

for the wonderful way they have seconded his efforts to lead them to decisive victory " and the

General expressed " his admiration at the noble response which they have invariably given to the

calls he has made upon them. No risk has been too desperate ; no sacrifice too great."

Sir Ian concluded by expressing his confidence in ultimate victory; but to the troops the recall

of the Commander-in-Chief and the absence of fresh reinforcements were anything but reassuring.




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