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lascamelias

2215 Cpl Lionel G Churchill, Royal Gloucestershire Hussars

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lascamelias

I've been researching Lionel George Churchill, died of wounds Gallipoli 24 August 1915 age 32 (born 1882). I have two situations I need help with please.

1. CWGC states "Served in the South African War, and five years in Cape Mounted Rifles"

On the 1911 Census he was working in Eastgate, Gloucester.

A newspaper article in Sept 1915 indicates he was recently working in Lincoln and that he volunteered at the outbreak of war in 1914.

Question: Could he have completed the service mentioned by the CWGC? Is there any way of checking?

“There was general grief in the town when it became known that as a result of the terrible battle for Hill 70 in the Gallipoli Peninsula two highly respected Gillingham young men had lost their lives, viz Mr Lionel Churchill, only son of Mr and Mrs Mark Churchill, who was attached to the Gloucester Hussars and who died of wounds received in that engagement; and Mr Bertie Hiscock of Bay, Gillingham, who was attached to the Queen’s Own Dorset regiment and who died of wounds in the same engagement. Mr Churchill had been for some time in a situation at Lincoln. Both young men volunteered at the outbreak of the war and the news of their death cast quite a gloom over the town.”

Three Shires Advertiser 18 September 1915

2. http://glosters.tripod.com/Gallipoli.html This website shows service number 2215, Cpl, Churchill, buried Chocolate Hill - but the initials are wrong.

Soldier's Effects for Lionel Churchill states "buried at sea" along with a ship's name, but can't decipher.

UK Commonwealth War Graves states Burial Country Turkey

Can shed any light on either of these two issues, please. Thank you.

LC

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HERITAGE PLUS
lascamelias

Hi Dave, how funny - that is actually my own posting! Just trying now to get it right!

LC

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roughdiamond
lascamelias

Oh well done Sam, and thank you very much. 1 problem solved, 1 to go!

LC

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roughdiamond

Not a problem, I don't subscribe but it doesn't stop you searching. Did the Queen's and King's South Africa medal rolls show him as "Cape Mounted Rifles"?

Sam

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lascamelias

Yes, Cape Mounted Rifles, and two award rolls - Queen's South Africa Medal and 1902 Clasp. Also gave his discharge date as 30 November 1905. So that was a good find Sam. Learned something else now, that Ancestry have Boer War medal rolls, although not sure I'm going to need to look at them again soon.

Any thoughts on Cpl Churchill's burial - at sea or Chocolate Hill - which one is right?

LC

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roughdiamond

Any thoughts on Cpl Churchill's burial - at sea or Chocolate Hill - which one is right?

LC

Looking at the units casualties died from 20th - 30th there were 16, 10 died 21st and 22nd, his death was next chronologically on 24th, the only one that day which could be due to wounds? try to decipher the name of the ship or post an image, it maybe the name of a Hospital ship. I'd be far more inclined to go with the CWGC.

Sam

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MickLeeds

I think the ship is possibly the HMT (RMS) Alaunia.

Mick.

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lascamelias

Yes, Alaunia now that you have printed it! CWGC don't state anything about his death, not dow, kia or even just died. Soldier's Effects says "wounds, at sea, HMT Alaunia"

One forward, two back!

LC

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Guest

Any thoughts on Cpl Churchill's burial - at sea or Chocolate Hill - which one is right?

LC

LC

The History of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Yeomanry has his initials as L G and he most definitely is on the Helles Memorial (I have photos of all the Yeomanry panels). His initials are L G on the panel. The Helles memorial also carried the names of men buried at sea who died of wounds. It is distinctly possible (I would argue probable) that he was wounded in the vicinity of Scimtar Hill (near Chocolate Hill) on 21st Aug and Died of Wound on 24th Aug having been evacuated to a hospital ship.

Separately I have photos (I think) of every Yeomanry headstone in Green Hill Cemetery*. There is no Chocolate Hill Cemetery - Green Hill and Chocolate Hill are less than 100 yards apart. I have no headstone with his name on. Unless I missed one, I think it likely that the info in the link you posted contains errors. i.e he was not buried at 'Chocolate Hill' simply because there is no Cemetery there and I am 99% sure there is no headstone in the nearby Green Hill Cemetery.

There are three other Churchills recorded as killed in Gallipoli and none of the others are RGHY men.

MG

* In all I have 590 photos of headstones (mostly Yeomanry in Suvla) and panels (all regiments) from the Helles Memorial.

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lascamelias

Good Morning Martin,

Thank you very very much for that information.

I will certainly bow to your superior knowledge re Lionel George Churchill's burial at sea and clarification re Green Hill/Chocolate Hill Cemetery. Could I ask if you would be kind enough to send me an image of Helles Memorial Panel 13 containing Cpl Churchill's name please? I would be most appreciative.

With regards, LC

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Guest

I will certainly bow to your superior knowledge re Lionel George Churchill's burial at sea and clarification re Green Hill/Chocolate Hill Cemetery. Could I ask if you would be kind enough to send me an image of Helles Memorial Panel 13 containing Cpl Churchill's name please? I would be most appreciative.

With regards, LC

LC

I certainly don't know for sure, but it is an informed guess. Over many years I have come to understand that almost anything is possible in the Great War. Diarists made mistakes, compilers of medal rolls made mistakes and CWGC make mistakes, albeit in very low percentages and website make mistake. The trick is to work out what is possible against what is probable. As you doubtless already know his is named as Lionel George Churchill in the RGHY 1914-15 Star medal roll and the comments merely state 'deceased' on 24th Aug 1915

If you PM me with your details I will email you the photo of the Helles memorial panel.

MG

MG

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roughdiamond

Soldier's Effects says "wounds, at sea, HMT Alaunia"

There's your answer, DOW on what was a transport ship that also was used as a hospital ship from what I read by googleing the name of the ship. Almost certain someone who died on a ship would not then be transported onto a beach under constant fire for burial. As Martin said, almost certainly an error by whomever compiled the site. If you check "Soldiers Died Great War", it may also state DOW.

Sam

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lascamelias

Cheers Sam for all your help. I am raring to get this one to bed, so to speak.

Best wishes

LC

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woollamc

Soldiers who Died in the Great War does, as Sam says, state that Churchill died of wounds and at sea (here), supporting what it says in Soldier's Effects.

In fairness to CWGC, there is nothing on their website (here) to suggest that he was buried in Turkey - merely that he is commemorated on the Helles Memorial. It is only Ancestry's interpretation of the CWGC data that says that he was buried in Turkey and I think that "Country of Burial" is short-hand for the place of commemoration in this case, rather than the actual place of burial.

C

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rghya

Dear LC,

It is with some pride and no apology that I post such a lengthy reply to your enquiry; your subject has given reason to the efforts of those who strive to create an archive in memory those who came before us and is a way of showing our appreciation for there sacrifice.

I hope that the following information will enable you to complete your task.

Regards,

Larry

Cpl. Lionel George Churchill

“Gloucester’s Roll of Honour, men who are with the Colours” (sic) [Gloucester Journal published 12th September 1914] Under “Recruits since Mobilisation Order” [Aug. 5th]

‘A’ Squadron: Churchill L. G. 2215

Active Service Roll, The RGH on Service [Gloucester Journal published 8th May 1915]

“Through the courtesy of Captain F. Colchester-Wemyss we are able to give the complete roll of the First Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Yeomanry now on active service” (sic)

‘A’ Squadron: Cpl. Churchill L. G. 2215

Promotion to Corporal within eight month of joining a well-established, fully manned Territorial Yeomanry Regiment, (some Officers and men having served with Imperial Yeomanry in South Africa), demonstrates his probable previous military service and likely active service.

Theatre of War first served in 3)Egypt is correct for 1RGHY; arriving Alexandria from Avonmouth 20th April, Minneapolis and 24th April, Saturnia. The arrival date given on MiD would suggest an above average level of horsemanship as the Minneapolis was carrying the Regiments 700 horses but only enough troops to care for them.

Extracts from 1RGHY (hand written in pencil)War Diary;

Sat Aug 21st; The Division paraded at 3pm & mvd to CHOCOLATE HILL. Came under very heavy Shrapnel fire……subsequent advance in direction of HILL 112 heavy losses were suffered by Regiment…. 2am the order to concentrate on LALA BABA was given. One Squadron “A” under MAJOR PALMER having been ordered earlier in the day to the right of the line….. The loses for the day amounted to 1 officer killed, 4 wounded. 8 Other Ranks killed, 49 wounded and 1 missing .

Cpl. Lionel George Churchill died of Wounds 24th August 1915; no other casualties were suffered before Friday 27th so it is safe to assume that he received his wounds at the Assault on Chocolate hill.

"The advance of these English Yeomen was a sight calculated to send a thrill of pride through anyone with a drop of English blood running in his veins. Such superb martial spectacles are rare in modern war. Ordinarily it should always be possible to bring up reserves under some sort of cover from shrapnel fire. Here, for a mile and a half, there was nothing to conceal a mouse, much less some of the most stalwart soldiers England has ever sent from her shores. Despite the critical events in other parts of the field, I could hardly take my glasses from the Yeomen: they moved like men marching on parade. Here and there a shell would take toll of a cluster; there they lay; there was no straggling; the others moved steadily on; not a man was there who hung back or hurried. But such an ordeal must consume some of the battle-winning fighting energy of those subjected to it, and it is lucky indeed for the Turks that the terrain, as well as the lack of trenches, forbade us from letting the 2nd Mounted Division loose at close quaters to the enemy without undergoing this previous too heavy baptism of fire.

Gen. Sir Ian Hamilton, Commander, M .E. F.

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lascamelias

Good Morning Larry,

Thank you very very much for your contribution. I am so grateful for all the help I've been given on GWF for without it I would not have learned so much or got so far with my very humble attempts to keep the men who died in WW1 in our thoughts.

Best wishes

LC

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rghya

Just an update for you LC,

The entry in the "Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Yeomanry - Gallipoli Roll of Honour" that has recently been prepared for the Regimental Centenary Archive by a serving member of the Regiment.

Regards, Larry

Corporal Lionel George Churchill – Lionel was born at Gillingham in Dorset in 1883 to his parents Mark, a Sussex born man who, in 1891 was a manager in a Dairy Factory in Gillingham, and Gillingham native Elizabeth. Together with his sister, Ethel, they lived at No. 60 Station Road.

1901 saw the family living in the same village and same street albeit in a different house having moved to No. 42. Lionel was now 18 years old and an Outfitters Assistant, his father was still managing the Dairy Factory and his elder sister had moved out and gone into domestic service. 1902 was to see a dramatic turn in Lionel’s life when he went to South Africa and enlisted in the Cape Mounted Rifles serving in the last throes of the Boer War, and earning the Queens South Africa Medal with the clasp ‘1902’, he was discharged from service on the 31st of November 1905 and returned to England.

By 1911 Lionel was working for the large Department store Blinkhorn & Son at the Eastgate in Gloucester as a Hosier and Shop Assistant. All those that required it, Lionel included, were provided accommodation by the company and he lived in the upper levels of the shop itself.

In August 1914, as soon as the war started, Lionel volunteered for service with the TF and the RGH. He spent that winter on the East Coast before going with the RGH to the Mediterranean theatre of war. Lionel was wounded on the 21st of August 1915 during the advance across the salt lake at Suvla Bay. He was transferred to the Hospital Ship NEURALIA where, on the 24th of August, he died of his wounds and was buried at sea. Lionel is now remembered on the Helles Memorial.

As well as his back pay, Lionel had also left a will which was read on the 5th of November 1915, he left the sum of £98. 15s. 0d. to his father Mark.

Wayne Price 2015

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Guest

Cpl. Lionel George Churchill died of Wounds 24th August 1915; no other casualties were suffered before Friday 27th so it is safe to assume that he received his wounds at the Assault on Chocolate hill.

I hope you dont mind me pointing out in the interests of accuaracy you probably mean assault on Scimitar Hill. Chocolate Hill was already in the possession of the British. The Yeomanry marched across the Salt Lake to the shelter of Chocolate Hill and from there attacked Scimitar Hill (left and north) and W Hills (right an south) of Chocolate Hill. RGHY were in the left/north group attacking Scimitar Hill (Hill 70).

Scimitar Hill was also known as Hill 70 and W Hills (Ismail Oglu Tepe) was Hill 112. Chocolate Hill was also known as Yilghin Burnu (Mastan Tepe) or Hill 53 an was immediately adjacent to Green Hill (Hill 50). Some relevant material....

History of the RGHY:

In August the final effort was made and to reinforce the final stage of that effort was he task of the Yeomanry. In Aug 21st the entire Division including the RGH was bivouacked on Lala Baba Hill and in the afternoon moved on to Chocolate Hill. There was no cover and the Regt came under very heavy shell fire before reaching the hill. 2nd Lt Gething was killed, Lt Col Playne severley wounded, Capt Longworth dangerously wounded, Lt Howard severly wounded and 2nd Lt Colledge, Bde Staff severely wounded. The Div concentrated under Chocolate Hill and at 5 pm advanced in the direction of Hill 112, the Worcesters in the front line, the RGH in support. The RGH MGs which had been carried by men of the section the previous night from the bivouacs at Suvla Bay to Lala Baba were again carried across the Salt Lake to Choc Hill where they were ordered to remain. They were able to come into action at 1,200 yds on the Turkish trenches in the very early morning. After an advance under dropping fire over very difficult country, the Regt reached the front line trenches held by the 29th Div. Then owing to the approach of dark the heavy losses of the 29th DIv the number of Turkish MGs and the uncertainty of the enemy's position it was decided that further direct advance was impossible.. D Sqn and Maj Yorke (now in command of the Regt) and Capt Godman rejoined the Bde about 300 yds in rear of 29th Div and dug in for the night....

Diary of E T Cripps RGHY

DIVISIONAL BIVOUAC, AUGUST 20th, 1915. SULVA BAY. We are still here, but we hear a big show is to come off. I can't tell you where -- neither do I know. Ralph, Bertie (Palmer), Gething and I went up the hill, about a mile behind the firing line, and met a Brigadier up there, who showed us the position from the hill sky-line; so now we know how the land lies more or less. My Troop were out on fatigue all last night -- poor beggars! I had a night in my dug-out and slept well, except when a five-inch centipede walked in and wished to share my valise with me. I made short work of him. It is quite nice weather: warm in the day but with a nice breeze blowing, but cold at night. 4 p.m. -- I had a nice bathe with Aubrey and they only put one shell anywhere near us. This morning we had a lesson in bomb throwing. I am dying to have a go. One of us has to be left behind with each squadron, and I tossed up with Gething and lost! So I sha'n't see the beginning of it I suppose. Micky (Beach) is the other. I am so sorry I shall be parted from Smith: all servants go in the firing line.... I saw Teddy Gooch, Phil Wraughton and heaps of them in the Division to-day. I like my Troop the more I see of it; good material who will do well, I hope, when our turn comes.They have been well taught under Ralph, but, of course, this infantry job is so difficult to what we have been accustomed to. We live on "iron rations" -- bully beef, tea, sugar and biscuit; carry two days' supplies, and there is no room for anything else in the haversack.

DIVISIONAL BIVOUAC. AUGUST 21st, 1915. The Division moved off last night after dark, with two days' iron rations only, no packs, no blankets. The whole hillside is vacant now. We have had a very hard morning, with six lame men, Micky and I carrying all regimental kit and stores up to another part of the hill-side, higher up, each regiment being allotted a space so I must find a new dug-out.... The Regiment have gone to Lala Baba, into reserve about two miles from here. It is sickening being left behind and being parted from Smith. I stood on the side of the track as they marched off in single file last night. I saw Smith as he went by and Wilf. Barton, and lots of others whom I knew so well, and.... They gave us their usual morning and evening "hate" yesterday: shelled us well, but not up our side of the hill. One does not notice it much. There was a tremendous lot of rifle fire last night for an hour. Something was on.... The flies are beginning, I am sorry to say. I wonder when I shall go up to the Regiment. I do hope soon. It will be very dull stopping here. We live entirely on bully and biscuit and lime juice. Rum served out every third day.... You would laugh to see me, with a scarf round my neck, shorts and puttees: no one would take us for officers. The Naval guns are having a good go now. Good-bye for the present.

DIVISIONAL BIVOUAC. AUGUST 22nd, 1915. At three o'clock the show began yesterday. Micky and I went up the hill a bit to see the most wonderful panorama of low ground to the sea, with high hills in the distance all round. The ball began with artillery fire and warships shelling the ground we were to advance over, and then you could distinguish bodies of infantry all over the place. We could see the whole thing: the distance up to six miles and the battery close below us being shelled whenever they spotted it. I shall never forget the sight. Micky and I both said we wished our wives were there, to be quite close and practically safe and see a big battle from a unique position! We hear our boys advanced in third line at 3 p.m., and I fear have had rather a doing from all accounts. I am afraid the movement was only partially successful, but that is only what we are told. The sight at night was extraordinary -- fires burning all over the landscape, and the guns firing and machine guns engaged. I don't know when Micky and I will go up. We have worked like dogs to-day and have moved all our stores and camp with practically four men and two servants. My new dug-out is very good and I have a permanent blanket covering and officers' valises as a head cover. We had the usual morning "hate", as one gun is evidently told off to shell the watering place and landing. They are at it now.... My hands are so sore from carrying boxes of ammunition and stores. It is too sickening being left behind and still in view and being able to do nothing. I hope Wilf. Barton and Smith are all right: it is beastly not knowing....3 p.m. -- Just had orders to join with Micky. Playne, Howard, Longworth, Colledge wounded; Gething killed. Wilfred Barton killed 21st August.

Diary of a Yeomanry MO (O Teichmann)

Bombardment at first light. Battleships and 60 pounders 50 yds to left shelling Turks. Danger zones near batteries. Div HQ established on W slopes of Lala Baba.. News of attack scheduled for afternoon.. Observed targets with binos. Notes all features. Guns on Hill 112 (W Hill). 14:00 ships move closer. Balloon goes up. Bombardment of Hills 112 and 70. 15:00 firing ceases. 15:10 Div forms up behind Lala Baba....start to march across Salt Lake. Orbat: 2nd Bde (Berks, Bucks, Dorset), 4th Bde (London Yeo) 1st Bde (Worcs, Warwicks, Gloucester) 3rd Bde (Derby, Notts, Notts) 5th Bde (Herts, Westminster). HE Shelling starts . Many casualties. Ghastly effects of HE. Dead from concussion effects. No visible damage. Notes cool discipline of soldiers. Sigs Coy RE laying cable. Shell holes used to protect wounded. Snipers. Scrub catches. Urgent need to rescue wounded from flames. Choc Hill: 2nd and 4th Bdes moved left, 1st Bde moved right. 3rd and 5th Bdes resting at base of hill. Followed 5th Bde which started to move right. Heavy MG fire. Concussed. 23:30. descended E slopes of Choc Hill in Open Order.. Little moon.. Fires broken out all over Hill 112 and on Hill 60.. Surroundings brilliantly illuminated. Stumbled into trench occupied by the Sherwood Rangers. Fires burning lower. Neutral ground covered with dead Turks. Bde advances up Hill 112 but has to retire.

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rghya

Thanks Martin, you are correct, my error.

As for Cripps Diary, it is still in the hands of his family, (Fenton), and I was lucky enough to get permission to edit and print a limited number of copies to distribute throughout the regiment; one copy being sent to Gloucester Archives, this was some years ago now but still a valuable research tool. A more recent book "A Trooper's Diary" has been published by the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum and this details the RGHY's daily life from the start, Aug.'14

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lascamelias

Larry, thank you very much indeed for thinking of me and forwarding that information. I have sent a pm.

LC

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Guest

Thanks Martin, you are correct, my error.

As for Cripps Diary, it is still in the hands of his family, (Fenton), and I was lucky enough to get permission to edit and print a limited number of copies to distribute throughout the regiment; one copy being sent to Gloucester Archives, this was some years ago now but still a valuable research tool. A more recent book "A Trooper's Diary" has been published by the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum and this details the RGHY's daily life from the start, Aug.'14

Copies of the Cripps diary seem to be in a number of archives. I certainly didn't get my copy from the family. I have also seen it as a slightly different version 'A Personal Diary of An Officer' with no attribution at least 10 years ago. MG

Yeomanry accounts from Aug 1914 are reasonably scarce as the units generally only started their diaries when embarking for overseas. The Derbyshire Yeomanry started their diary on 5th Aug 1914 an it is a very detailed account of mobilisation, concentration of 2nd Mt Div and service in the UK. I have 40 separate accounts (diaries, and histories) of the 2nd Mtd Div, all transcribed which makes for an interesting research database for the 2nd Mt Div. Some time ago the curator of the Sharpshooters Museum gave me permission to show some of Lt Col Weston Jarvis' Gallipoli photos which I spliced with various Yeomanry accounts an posted as a thread on GWF see here it included some Goucestershire Yeomanry diary entries. By consolidating the best diary entries from various sources it provided a fairly rich narrative of events that impacted all 14 of the Yeomanry Regiments in the 2nd Mtd Div at Gallipoli.

MG

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