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Remembered Today:

Lt.-Colonel Henry Mark Tuite, 26th Battalion Royal Fusiliers


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Remembered today: Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mark Tuite, 26th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. DOW on the battlefield, aged 32, on 24 March 1918. Arras Memorial.

Henry, the only son of Lt-Col Mark Antony Tuite and Madeline Rachel Catherine nee Joseph, was born in Madras on 24 September 1885 and educated at Dulwich College. He entered RMC Sandhurst in 1904, was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant with the Border Regiment in 1905 and resigned in 1908. During the Great War he served with the 20th Bn Royal Fusiliers, 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers and as 2nd in command, 26th Bn Royal Fusiliers.

The 26th Battalion was brought up to the front hurriedly on 21 March 1918, the first day of the German offensive 'Operation Michael', and the following day were in support of the 41st Division near Vauix-Vraucourt. One after another the companies became involved and fought against repeated attacks.

From: The Royal Fusiliers in the Great War, H.C. O'Neill:

On the 24th the position on the Fifth Army front had changed so fundamentally that the Third Army front was drawn back a much greater distance, and Lieut.-Col. H.M. Tuite was killed while commanding the rearguard, who covered the retirement of the mass of the battalion. When he fell an attempt was made to carry him back; but, seeing how near the enemy were and how inevitable it was that the men should be captured if they stopped to remove him, he ordered them to leave him.

Henry Mark Tuite has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

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Not forgotten.

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A brave man not forgotten, Rest Peacefully :poppy:

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  • 2 years later...

A very useful reference from O'Neill's regimental history as the War Diary mentions Tuite as being in command of the Bn on 22nd March but no reference to his death on 24th.

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I regret picking this up a day late.

 

I've had an interest in him due to his 20RF connections.  A few lines from his file confirm his death; Private Coleman of 26RF was likely one of the last men to see him alive.  His last thoughts were for his men:

 

‘On Sunday March 24th on the Somme at a place not far from Bapaume, about 5pm I saw our Colonel get wounded in the groin by a bullet.  When he was hit I was only three feet away.  He dropped and I tried with a stretcher bearer to get him away but could not.  We then tried to pull him along on a waterproof sheet, but again failed.  The enemy were close on us, and our Colonel saw we could do nothing, so he said “retire and leave me boys”…’

 

Coleman did find the time to relieve him of his binoculars however!

 

Regards

 

Colin

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24 minutes ago, Colin W Taylor said:

I regret picking this up a day late.

 

Me too Colin. I can offer is this however as a small tribute to a brave man.

 

Pete.

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