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Remembered Today:

Royal Munster Fusilier 10506 Richard Hampson Cheeseman


le grand fromage
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Richard Hampson Cheeseman was my Great Uncle (Known as Uncle Dick to us) and as a young teenager I can remember sitting in a pub with him listening to his landing on 'V' beach from the 'River Clyde'. Over the years I've dipped in and out of researching Uncle Dick's war record so I already know he started in the 12th Lancers but was quickly moved to the 1st Battalion RMF in 1914. Subsequently he also served in the 2nd Battalion and 6th Battalions RMF.

 

I've just got hold of a copy of the 'Wooden Horse of Gallipoli' (about the 'V' beach landings) but am holding off reading it as I've always wondered and have never found out which 1st Battalion RMF Company Uncle Dick was in during the landings. Hopefully someone here can point me in the right direction to find this out as I'm sure it will make reading the book that more 'special'.

 

If it's of any help, other snippets of 'hearsay' I know are:

He saw William Cosgrove's VC action

He said the Lord's prayer over a young subaltern who died in his arms

He became part of the 'Dubsters'

He was evacuated from Gallipoli due to frost bite

The Hospital Ship he was on was twice? hit by torpedoes which failed to detonate

 

Obviously if there's any other info anyone has on 'Uncle Dick' I'll be grateful for that as well. I know he was wounded later in the war but don't have any details

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Hello

 

Welcome to the forum

 

I am a little lost on your info. The River Clyde landing was from Wiki

 

The 1st Munsters, together with the 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers and Hampshire Regiment, were on the converted collier ‘River Clyde’ when it ran ashore for the Cape Helles 'V’ beach landing on 25 April 1915 at 06.20 am. On departing from the ship's bay they were subject to fierce enfilading machine gun fire from hidden Turkish defences. One hundred or more of the Battalion's men fell at this stage of the battle, and those who managed to get ashore could not advance due to the withering Turkish fire. On the following day it was decided to destroy the wire entanglements facing the men, as the naval bombardment had failed to do so. It was during this attack that Corporal Cosgrove 1st RMF, performed the action that was to earn him the regiment's first Victoria Cross of the war.

 

However bother your relatives MIC and the Medal Roll itself give him landing on 31 Jul 1915

 

Can you clarify?

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Corisande - The very short answer is No, I can't clarify. The only 2 pieces of the jig saw I have is that conversation we had in the pub and his written memoirs done some time later.

 

I do have a copy of the MIC with the 'qualifying date' of 31-7-15 (should this match with the landing date? or was so many days in theater required?).

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My understanding is that it is the date he qualified to be in a  War Zone . For example Cosgrove (he of the VC) has 16 Mar 1915 as his qualifying date.

 

I know that the 1st RDF  sailed from Avonmouth for Gallipoli on 16 March 1915, going via Alexamdria and Mudros, where their transport anchored on 9 April. hey landed off the River Clyde on 25 Apr. Cosgrove's MIC is consistent with being in the same convoy

 

I would have expected your ancestor to have had that date if he was in the RMF and RDF troops going ashore off the River Clyde

 

I would be grateful if someone on the forum who knows more on the minutiae of MIC and qualifying dates could confirm this

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The War Diaries of the 1st RMF are on this link - click

 

It gives you an idea on a day by day basis where they were and what they were doing

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Corisande - Cheers for that as I haven't seen it before. Incidentally, a quick wizz through and I noticed the 'Dubsters' only existed between 27th Apr and 19th May, so 'the plot thickens' as they say as I always remembered Uncle Dick telling me of being amalgamated with the RDF, because there were so few of them left. Plenty of roll calls made in this period as well, hopefully one of them may still exist to 'prove' he was at least on the beaches prior to 31-7-15.

 

Postscript, interestingly the entry in the war diary for 31-7-15 reads "A draft of two officers and 120 NCOs and men reported their arrival at Bn HQs at 7am this morning. During the afternoon they were distributed among the coys to equalise their strength. " But then again, following your Cosgrove example the qualifying date for these men would be when they boarded a ship in England for their overseas posting

Edited by le grand fromage
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Qualifying dates on Medal rolls can be a little random. I have seen examples of date departing UK and also date of landing.  The Roll entry for him has been amended from 17/7/15 to 31/7/15.  This may indicate 17/7/15 was the date he left UK and 31/7 was date of landing

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8 hours ago, Mark1959 said:

This may indicate 17/7/15 was the date he left UK and 31/7 was date of landing

 

Looks logical, and fits with that draft arriving in Gallipoli on 31 July

 

If we cannot find any other records, then it looks as if he did go to Gallipoli, but did not take part in River Clyde landings

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In case you do not have it, this is his birth in Dublin.

 

Although he does not seem to be "Irish" , I would guess his Dublin birth is why he was put into RMF. But there afgain you would have thought on that logic, that he waould have been put into RDF

 

cheeseman.jpg.def0a2d5ea067030c89feaceac4ad014.jpg

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A few quick points:

 

1. His number, 10506, indicates that he joined RMF as a regular in or after March 1915. Does this make his participation in the Helles landings problematic?

2. His date of entry suggests that he may have been a member of 6 or 7/RMF who landed at Suvla Bay on August 8 1915 rather than 1/RMF.

3. These units were evacuated to Salonika on 5 October, where they relieved French troops. There they suffered badly from exposure with 30° of frost leading to the evacuation of 88 OR to hospital. 

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A draft of 1st Royal Munster Fusiliers boarded 'Simla' at Devonport on 12th July, leaving the following day for Gibraltar, Malta and Egypt. There is a handwritten sheet indicating this comprised of 2 Officers and 122 Other Ranks. A typed sheet for the same ship gives the Officers as Lieutenant J.H. Poingdestre (I suspect this should be Thomas Heath) and Lieutenant E.R.H. Hudson (Not sure about the first initial). The number of Other Ranks is given as 150 but this is crossed out in red ink and replaced with 115. On the same sheet a draft of 7 Munster Fusiliers are attached to 1st Lancashire Fusiliers.

(Source WO 25-3536).

 

Perhaps the Officers names and arrival may be recorded in the War Diary at some point.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Alan

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22 hours ago, le grand fromage said:

Corisande - Cheers for that as I haven't seen it before. Incidentally, a quick wizz through and I noticed the 'Dubsters' only existed between 27th Apr and 19th May, so 'the plot thickens' as they say as I always remembered Uncle Dick telling me of being amalgamated with the RDF, because there were so few of them left. Plenty of roll calls made in this period as well, hopefully one of them may still exist to 'prove' he was at least on the beaches prior to 31-7-15.

 

Postscript, interestingly the entry in the war diary for 31-7-15 reads "A draft of two officers and 120 NCOs and men reported their arrival at Bn HQs at 7am this morning. During the afternoon they were distributed among the coys to equalise their strength. " But then again, following your Cosgrove example the qualifying date for these men would be when they boarded a ship in England for their overseas posting

UK newspapers on 25th of June were reporting that they had been unofficially titled Dubsters " for the time being"

   The papers could of course have been well behind the facts though.

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LLT gives

 

Between 30 April and 19 May 1915, following heavy casualties, the battalion and 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers formed one composite unit, called the ‘Dubsters’.

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Guys, first of all thanks, some great info there, some of which I already knew some I didn't. Unfortunately it doesn't help me much in finding which company my Uncle Dick was in lol but then again I know it's the nature of researching, if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

Ultimately I'm still of the opinion that my Uncle Dick landed from the River Clyde on the 25th April 1915 mainly as he told me that himself (and my father) and I still have a copy of his hand written memoirs which state the same. So far the only thing against are a couple of dates on medal cards/rolls which may or may not be correct as I'm well aware that 'official' docs do contain  mistakes, misinformation and errors.

Interestingly today when I mentioned this current discussion to my Dad and the doubt about Uncle Dick landing on the 25-4-15 one of the snippets he mentioned was that Uncle Dick told him an Officer stopped Uncle Dick from going through one of the sally ports of the River Clyde as he could see that the troops that had gone before were getting cut down. This lends me to think he would  not have been in the 1st company of RMF's off the River Clyde.

Anyway I'll keep digging, except I'm now looking for something to substantiate my Great Uncle being on the River Clyde as well as what company he was in

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Hi,

 

In the medal rolls his overseas service is shown as...

 

image.png.ae84b6cc3e7b5a248f11a6f0915c943c.png

Image sourced from Ancestry.co.uk

 

The broad movements of the various battalions of the RMF is shown on the LLT here

 

Findmypast have a medical record which reads as:

 

First name(s): R

Last name: Cheesman [sic]

Age: 23

Service number: 10506

Rank: Corporal

Regiment: Royal Munster Fusiliers

Company: C

Battalion: 2nd

Admission to: 2nd General Hospital on 05 Oct 1918

Ailment: "SW. Arm. Lt & Thigh (Rt) flesh"

Transferred to: A.T. Yale on 06 Oct 1918

Completed service: 4years - 42 months with the "field force"

 

That wounding is very probably reflected by...

image.png.a6f9e00f7e09c455431c379ee01a2c97.png

 

image.png.d51f2eafe0c7574835e262b779d38e73.png

 

image.png.5c5adf98ce1f02f0d3e0321904b203ee.png

Images sourced from the national Library of Scotland

 

If you were to find service papers for other men in the report, you may be able to make a reasonable inference about his actual date of wounding, and cross reference to the Bn war diary.

 

34 minutes ago, le grand fromage said:

first of all thanks, some great info there, some of which I already knew

 

For the future, please post everything you know. It may help Pals  wasting their time, by duplicating your research.

 

Regards

Chris

Edited by clk
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CLK - great info on his wound. I knew he was wounded and funny enough talking to my Dad today he mentioned that Uncle Dick was "wounded leading a patrol and as I came around a corner a whizz bang got me". But we never knew where or when. He took some of the shrapnel to his grave when he died.

 

Yes understand re duplicating research however in my defence I am only looking for which company he was in (when in the 1st Battalion RMF) although that has now 'grown' to trying to substantiate that he actually did land off the River Clyde on the 25th April

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In trying to substantiate that my Uncle Dick landed from the River Clyde I’ve come across the following (attached) from the enlistment books at the Army Museum Chelsea. It’s from the column headed ‘Campaigns, Wounds, Medals or rewards or any kind’.

 

 

20190812_120216_001.jpg.c2e4b27680da2169d53c647351a8f28f.jpg

 

 

It appears to suggest (to me anyway) that his 1914-15 Star award commenced on the 6-3-15 which obviously differs from his MIC of 31-7-15. Can anyone see or know any different?

Additionally the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal are obvious but does anyone know what the following abbreviations to those are?

Thanks in advance for any help

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Richard Cheeseman was one of many former Lancers transferred from Reserve Cavalry Regiment(s) in Ireland to the RMF mid-1915. Some received serial numbers from the 3rd (SR) Bn then in Aghada Co. Cork. In SDGW these were in the range 3/5628 to 3/5913. Others received Regular Battalion type serial numbers (again from SDGW) in the range 10438 to 10555 which would include Cheeseman's 10506. The Medal Rolls would not give this info as they did not see front line service until after transfer to the RMF. Most were sent to the 1RMF in the Dardanelles (1914/15 Star date 31/7/1915) and they were heavily represented in the battalion's dead at Scimitar Hill 21/8/1915 which was actually the highest battalion total for the war. 

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8 minutes ago, le grand fromage said:

In trying to substantiate that my Uncle Dick landed from the River Clyde I’ve come across the following (attached) from the enlistment books at the Army Museum Chelsea. It’s from the column headed ‘Campaigns, Wounds, Medals or rewards or any kind’.

 

 

20190812_120216_001.jpg.c2e4b27680da2169d53c647351a8f28f.jpg

 

 

It appears to suggest (to me anyway) that his 1914-15 Star award commenced on the 6-3-15 which obviously differs from his MIC of 31-7-15. Can anyone see or know any different?

Additionally the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal are obvious but does anyone know what the following abbreviations to those are?

Thanks in advance for any help

6/3/15 is probably MEF 1915 (Med. Expeditionary Force).  It says he did not get to BEF (France) until 1918. As 1st Bn went to France 1916, this would only make sense if he ended up with 6th or 7th RMF who served in Macedonia and (6th only) Palestine before being sent to France mid 1918 wher ethey were used to rebuild the 2RMF cadre. This is confirmed by his BW VM Medal roll details which has Previous units 1RMF to 6RMF to 2RMF.

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Martin thanks for all that, firstly you are correct that he transferred to the 6th Battalion sometime, as his memoirs talk about Salonika and Palestine and Jerusalem and he finally ended up in the 2nd Battalion and France late in the war.

 

You've also solved another 'mystery' for me as the enlistment records make mention of 'R. Cav. R'. which I could'nt equate to the 12th Lancers but is now obviously 'Reserve Calvary Regiments'. Unfortunately the date given is 2-6-15, which is after the River Clyde landed. However I'm still hanging onto these document dates not being too accurate as his memoires clearly state "Early in 1915 I was transfered to the Royal Munster Fusiliers. I went to Tralee and as I was nearly trained I was sent to Coventry to join the 1st Battalion who were in the 86th Brigade 29th Division training to land at Cape Helles Dardeanelle's from the River Clyde". 

 

Incidentally what does 'SDGW' stand for?

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6th Reserve Cav Rgt looks good - https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/cavalry-regiments/the-reserve-regiments-of-cavalry/ as it was 12th Lancers affiliated;

 

6th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry Formed August 1914 at Dublin in Ireland. Trained men for the 5th and 12th Lancers, City of London Yeomanry and 1st County of London Yeomanry. Was absorbed into new 1st Reserve Regiment early in 1917

 

SDGW - Soldiers Died In The Great War 1914-1919, A remarkable work published 1921 and now easily available online or CD

 

The mention of Tralee is interesting as that was the RMF regimental depot and would explain why 'regular' serial numbers (10k range) were allocated.

 

1RMF did indeed train in Coventry after return to UK before Gallipoli but records are consistent that Cheeseman was a replacement who arrived end July. When Suvla was evacuated, he would have been sent to Helles with his unit and could well have landed via the river Clyde jetty before the final evacuation there. As he did not proceed with 1RMF to France, he may have been sick and sent, probably from Egypt to the 6RMF in Macedonia upon recovery. Some good memoirs from that battalion if of interest;

https://www.amazon.com/Chindwin-Criccieth-life-Godfrey-Drage/dp/B0006E3OD0

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ambrose-Dorothy-Story-Munster-Fusilier/dp/1457543265

 

 

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Cheers Martin, very informative and something I'd never realised (R. Cav. R).

 

With regards to his number, he joined as a regular ie 7 and 5, so that's why he got a regular number I guess. Interestingly his attestation was dated 31/8/14 so I believe he could have joined 'for 3 years or duration' but chose not to. I've just sent off for his service record (if it survived WW2) but one thought I had was what reserve unit would he have been in, as the RMF ceased to be after 1922. Hopefully I'll get something back.

 

Cheers for the reading, the Ambrose Dorothy book looks a likely read as I think Uncle Dick spent most of the war in the 6th RMF.

 

I understand your reasoning as all the dates point to him being a replacement but I haven't bought into that, yet. Whilst I can understand soldiers bigging themselves up as to what they'd done in any war, I can't get my head to believe someone (let alone my Uncle) actually writing their memoires well into their 80s still doing it. Especially as he went through the whole war in an infantry battalion(s), serving in multiple theaters of war until finally getting wounded in October 1918, he just did'nt have any need to 'big' himself up (my view anyway lol). I'll just keep digging and hopefully some roll call, manifest doc will place him there before July.

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  • 2 years later...

Thought I’d do an update on where I’m at with ‘proving’ that my Uncle Dick landed off the River Clyde on 25th April 1915. The short bit is that I’m no further forwards ***.

Since I last posted I’ve read 3 books

Before Gallipoli – Chris Holland

The Wooden Horse of Gallipoli Stephen Snelling

Blood Fire & Flood – Jean Prendergast

I’ve  also obtained Uncle Dicks service record. The one glimmer I had was on the service record. Nothing conclusive and all the dates listed point to him not being there other than whilst it details his embarkation for England from Gallipoli as 26/12/15, it doesn’t detail when he actually left England for Gallipoli. Is that normal?

The other glimmer I have is, from his memoires he states “…..so off I went to Marlbough Barracks, Dublin where I joined 3 troop W squadron (12th Lancers). I just loved the horses I passed out my training and musketry. Early in 1915 I was transferred to the Royal Munster Fusiliers. I went to Tralee and as I was nearly trained I was sent to Coventry to join the 1st Battalion…..”. Now basic training was around 3-4 months so if he was posted around mid Sept 1914 to 3 troop we are looking at a lot earlier in the year than 2nd June (see below) for being transferred to RMF. Certainly not 8-9 months.

So from his Army official Statement of Service, Medal Index Card and Casualty form, for the relevant period there are the following dates:

Joined up on 31– 8-14

Posted  6R R Cav R 12-9-14

Transferred to 3rd RMF 2-6-15

Posted 1st Batt RMF 17-7-15

Medal Index Card Qualifying Date 31-7-15

To hospital C-C-Station Gallipoli 21-8-15

Admitted to Hospital Gully Beach (constipation) 22-8-15

Rejoined unit 24-8-15

To Hospital Gallipoli 26-11-15

Admitted 15th Stat Hospital (Exhaustion) Mudros 2/12/15

Embarked for England on H S Acquitania Mudros 26-12-15

Depot Posted 4-1-16

Posted 3rd RMF 10-3-16

Posted 6th RMF 8-8-16

I’m still of a mind that he did land on the 25th April as whilst I’m still trying to decipher all his handwriting, so much he mentions in his memoirs dovetails with events in Jean Prendergast book. He mentions the barb wire in the water at the landing, men’s equipment on fire at Chocolate Hill, the blizzard and flooded trenches.

The theory I’m working on is that there was so much reorganisation going on with the Calvary training regiments cross posting men to infantry units, 1RMF newly returned from Burma, RMF Depot sending men to 1st RMF and 2nd RMF, 1RMF sending men to 2RMF, a new brigade being formed in Coventry, a new Division being formed in Coventry and all in and around Coventry in billets and not in a barracks environment, his actual docs were misplaced and the gaps were filled in at a later date with miscellaneous dates.

Anyway I’ve several avenues to explore, none in any particular order.

From 1RMF War diary on 3rd Feb 1915, 35 men arrive from 3RMF. Had a look at the National Archives for the 3RMF War Diary to see if any names are listed there, could’nt find the diary. Does anyone have a copy? How did the draft get to Coventry?

From 1RMF War Diary on 23rd Feb 1915 a draft of 24 men arrived from 5th Battn and posted to ‘C’ Company

6R R Cav R war diary for men leaving around the time in question

Evidently billeting in Coventry was organised by the Police, anyone have any info on who was billeted where or who to contact for info? (PS I’ve tried Chris Holland).

Must be a record somewhere of payments made to each household for the men billeted there

Need to check Coventry newspaper archives for any mention of him

Need to check any Irish Newspapers for any mention of him

Need to find how a draft travelled from Ireland to Coventry

Need to find any muster rolls for embarkation at Avonmouth

Need to find any muster rolls for embarkation at Mex Camp, Eqypt

Need to find any muster rolls for embarkation at Murdos

Need to find any muster rolls post River Clyde landing when the’ Dubsters’ were formed

How were the Dubsters organised, is there a war diary/record?

If his official dates are guesswork, is that an isolated case or are there others? Check out regt numbers adjacent to Uncle Dicks both 6th R Cav R and RMF

Bottom line is that I need to try and find some mention of Royal Munster Fusilier 10506 Richard Hampson Cheeseman on some piece of paper/list that pre dates 2-6-15, which is his Army doc date of joining 3 RMF. If I can disprove his army date of joining 3 RMF then that’s the best I can hope for though ideally I’d like to find something in one of the newspapers pre 25th April1915. Not much to ask for ***.

Obviously I’d be very appreciative if anyone can shed any new light.

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12 hours ago, le grand fromage said:

 

So from his Army official Statement of Service, Medal Index Card and Casualty form, for the relevant period there are the following dates:

Joined up on 31– 8-14

Posted  6R R Cav R 12-9-14

Transferred to 3rd RMF 2-6-15

Posted 1st Batt RMF 17-7-15

Medal Index Card Qualifying Date 31-7-15

To hospital C-C-Station Gallipoli 21-8-15

Admitted to Hospital Gully Beach (constipation) 22-8-15

Rejoined unit 24-8-15

To Hospital Gallipoli 26-11-15

Admitted 15th Stat Hospital (Exhaustion) Mudros 2/12/15

Embarked for England on H S Acquitania Mudros 26-12-15

Depot Posted 4-1-16

Posted 3rd RMF 10-3-16

Posted 6th RMF 8-8-16

From what you've written above, it's clear that he didn't land on the 25/04/1915.

If his Service Records, MIC, Medal Rolls etc say he was posted to 3 RMF on the 02/06/1915 and then to 1 RMF on the 17/07/1915 I don't understand how he could have landed on the first day?

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