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Remembered Today:

29th Division ARC


rclpillinger
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Does anyone have any information about the ARC presence on the beaches at Gallipoli. They were landed at Cape Helles on the 25th April 1915 and evacuated on the 6th/7th January 1916. I believe that my Grandfather, Major Pillinger was with them for some of the time, but cannot confirm it. I have spoken to the Archivist at Deepcut, who was very very helpful, but he can find no records about Grandpa. I do however have some very positive evidence that he was part of the project.

Thus, any information about the ARC at Gallipoli would be of interest.

Richard

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any information about the ARC at Gallipoli would be of interest

If by ARC you in fact mean ASC, then a look at “A Gallipoli Diary" by Major J. G. Gillam DSO would be a good start, and you should be able to find it on-line

re Major Pillinger - I do however have some very positive evidence that he was part of the project.

It might be helpful if you could share this evidence - it may provide a useful starting point for any search

Good luck

Michael

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Thought there was an element of deja vu about the name ! You have another thread.

I did mention that there was no sign of a service record on Discovery and now wonder if you can actually get it from Army Records in Glasgow as he seems to have served beyond the war;

http://www,veterans-uk.info/service_records/service_records.html

The MIC says RASC (EFC Section) and something related to Canteens.

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Micheal

The following letters, written by Major Pillinger to Pat Armstrong, who was a fellow Officer with the Tenth Hussars in India for some eleven years, was sent to me by a researcher in the Library at Limerick University, where they have set up a site www.longwaytotipparay.ul.ie describing the Armstrong family during the Great War.

The first letter was written on Friday 12 March 1915 at the Turf Club, Cairo:

"My dear Pat. The sending of a card at Xmas was a very small matter compared with your letter, written so long ago as the 7th [?] Jan: its receipt was an unspeakable pleasure to me. The delay in acknowledgment arose from my absence from Cairo. I’ve been doing a bit of campaigning – a very modest bit you will say when you hear all about it. Despairing of getting a job at the front, I attempted to secure one with the Flying Corps here, as an observer, and failed on a/c of my ignorance of Arabic – (are you surprised to hear that my French, which was also a condition, was accepted without question?). then, hearing of the contemplated formation of a Camel Corps, I fired in another application, and was at once taken on. We were ordered to join within 24 hours, and off I went, mobilised at a place called Abu Sueir, 1400 camels, 800 Arabs, with an Indian NI [?] Regt of Imperial Service Troops as escort. It was an Alwar Regt, the most moderate unit I ever struck. Here my Hindustani came in useful, resulting in my appointment as Provost Marshal Interpreter and General utility man. We never came under actual fire – were at Nefishe [?], not far from the scene of the fight, on morning of 3rd. The poor show of the Turks convinced the Govt that the maintenance of the Corps at its full strength was unnecessary, so it is reduced to 500 camels and a small personnel which does not justify my inclusion. We finally found ourselves at Ismailia, whence I returned here on Monday. In the meantime the Committee had determined that it is not in the interests of the Club to retain and [sic] Asst Sec, and pay him for doing nothing, consequently the present holder is given ye order of ye boot. The Secretaryship of a club at Alexandria is becoming vacant and my application for that went in. There were legions of local applicants which were reduced to three of whom I was one, but the Committee of that Club, I learnt yesterday, have decided to defer the final selection, pending results of advts in “The Times” and other English papers; not being over-keen to stay in Egypt I shall not await further developments. Also I can, if I feel inclined, take over a job as Censor here, at the end of the month, but it does not appeal to me, so I’ve determined to return to England and take my chance of getting some sort of job with the Army there. It is the only thing in which my heart is. Probably I shall leave here on or about the 5th April, by a Bibling [?] boat, and my address will henceforth be the “Junior Army & Navy Club, Whitehall”. You will have had eno’ of me and my affairs so to other matters. In the papers which arrived by yesterday’s mail is to be read Giblet’s gazette as Major, Shaver as Lt Col, and tilgai [?] retaken on from the supernumerary list. I am wondering if he has rejoined: the last letter I had from him was written from Russia: he was serving with the Russian army, and very pleased with everything. Webb, the Vet of Pindi days was in the Club on Wednesday, going thro’ from the Sudan to Alexandria, he told me Giblet is engaged to be married, to a lady of the same name. I have not seen it in any paper. I owe him a letter too, and must write today. All the dear lads are so good in writing to me. Their letters are so welcome, and so looked for. I am so glad you are having such valuable and I take it, enjoyable experience on the staff. How I long for meetings with you all, to hear from your lips, the things that you have done and seen, I pray you may never have such terrible times as the retreat furnished; it seems to me a pity that you are not all with the Regiment, which is certainly the most desirable thing in life. Clem, & Billy & Giblet are very sick because they are detained in England. What a pity it is that dear old Narcisse had to go home: it was good to see his name in despatches. How splendidly all Tenths have done. I’ve not heard a word of or from Brock, and wonder how he is getting on. Jno Vaughan is a C.B: Bungo a KCMG, and Hans [?] a Major Gen – all for good service in the field: each will, I’m sure, be accorded further honours before everything is finished. They are a trio impossible to beat. As you say, it is dreadful to reflect upon the terrible loss we’ve sustained – Pic, Willie, Rosie, Rabbit, Foureyes, Bob Drake – search the world o’er and you will not find more gallant soldiers, more lovable friends: always I am very sad when I think of them. The regiment will never be the same again. Luckily we have some very good boys coming on, by all accounts; they will no doubt live up to the old traditions and prove as good as their predecessors, but to an old “has-been” like me, that knowledge is poor comfort for the loss of the dear, kind comrades of so many years. Be sure Pat that my thoughts are ever with you, that my constant wish is, that you may come out of this terrible war safely: almost I am reduced to hoping that the Cavalry may not again be exposed to danger – but not quite – I want the Regiment to earn every glory which the war can yield. How I wish I were with it. Much love to you, dear Pat. Yours ever Pilse"

On 6 October 1915, Pat notes in a letter to his mother: "... they are starting a field force canteen here in a few days (about time too) & we ought to be able to get anything we want there. I hear that little Pilse is going to run it, so he’ll get me all I want." On 9 October he repeats the news: "We ought to be well of [sic] now for stores as they are going to open the field force canteen on Monday on the beach. One can buy practically anything there I hear. It will be a great affair if they don’t sell out in the first week like they did with the place they opened at Helles. I hear that little Pilse is running it so I expect it will be well done. It will be a great blessing to the men. They say that there is 20 thousand pounds worth of stuff there." And on Tuesday 16 November Pilse writes to Pat from Kephalos:

Major Pillinger then replied

"My dear Pat. Your letter of 30th Oct was received, on my return from Mudros, yesterday week: on Wednesday I went, hot foot, to Suvla, only to find that you had “cleared”. I was very disappointed. But I ought not to be since the cause was your advancement to staff captain, you know how proud I felt on hearing that. I’ve been trying to see you this many a day. Last August we only just missed each other at Helles: I was there and was told by Jimmie Watson that you had left “about an hour ago” He saw you taking ship. I was there for ten days and you shot off on the third of them. I am not quite sure whether you are with the 87th or the 88th Bde: think the latter so address this accordingly. I’ve seen every one except Long Un and Dofus. The latter wrote me the other day, from Anzac where he is adjutant of the Welsh Horse. I must try to get to him ere long. I am sorry to hear of the introduction of a KOG [?] to command as I’m sure Giblet would do better with the Regiment than a stranger. We’ve tons of milk, but suppose you are not catering now. Do let me know if you want anything we have, and rely you will get it. Love to you Pat – and hope to see you soon. I am off to Suvla again, tomorrow. Yours ever, Pilse"

All the places he visited seem to coincide with the route that the 29th Division took from Egypt to Gallipoli and so I have at present made the assumption that Grandpa must have been with the 29th Division ASC (Not ARC as I first typed!),

I hope this might help.

Richard N.B. "Pilse" was my Grandfather's nickname.

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Fascinating stuff, and he was certainly somehow involved in the Gallipoli campaign, though I am not yet convinced about a specific connection to the 29th Div.


See his I am not quite sure whether you are with the 87th or the 88th Bde; Had he been in that same Div then surely he would have known?


However, if you wish to pursue the 29th Div theory, then check the National Archive file WO95/4309 which may help



The way that he is able to dodge about the various points (Mudros [on Lemnos], Helles, Suvla & Kephalos – the latter on Imbros) suggests to me that he was on the GHQ Staff in some role or other, probably connected with the ASC/stores/canteen.



If I have read it correctly then Pilse himself does not confirm the canteen managership mentioned by Pat in his letter to his mother.


There was an Expeditionary Force Canteen at Helles and though he is not mentioned by name, the manger's work is referred to in Col Michael Young's history [“Army Service Corps 1902-1918” published by Leo Cooper, 2000, ISBN 085052 730 9] – this in particular ref to the evacuation; see page 179.



regards


Michael


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I see that Sotonmate has discovered The MIC says RASC (EFC Section) and something related to Canteens so perhaps it would be better to follow that line of enquiry

This is the ref in Col Young's ASC history which I mentioned earlier

HellesExpForceCanteen_zps3c54e487.jpg

Brigadier General Fred W G Koe was the Director of Supplies and Transport in the MEF and he mentions the soon to be established Canteen in his letter of 21st October 1915 addressed to Major General S S Long, his direct superior at the War Office.

As I mentioned previously, Pilse's gadding about from place to place suggests that he had some job to do with the GHQ Staff, and if indeed from October '15 he managed the Expeditionary Force Canteen then he would have been working under Brig-Gen Koe.

I would suggest that you try to get a look at the Nat. Archive files relating to the MEF's Quartermaster General* and the Director of Supplies and Transport; Pilse may turn up there rather than with the 29th Div.

Good luck

Michael

* edit to add: The MEF's Deputy Quartermaster-General was Major Gen. G F Ellison (until 7AUG1915) then, Brig-Gen. S H Winter

Edited by michaeldr
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Michael, thank you very much for that thread; that is a very exciting direction. If Pilse was indeed working with Brig-Gen Koe, whom I have never come across before, then that could explain why he was appointed ADC in June 1915. Looks like I have work to do!

Thanks.

Richard

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HellesExpForceCanteen_zps3c54e487.jpg

How bizarre,taking steps to preserve the Officers Mess supplies of vino collapso but stuff the rest of it ! OK, so the rum MAY have been spread more widely !

Hopefully not too many underlings were marmalised in this noble task.

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