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leibregiment

Inscribed “Presented to E B Herbert from G N Horlick” “Royal Gloucester Hussars”

The glasses made by J H Steward 406/457 Strand London, were acquired 20 years ago at Covent Garden Market and found there way to the US. They would have been purchased pre 1913.

They were give to The Honorable Elidyr Herbert by Gerald Nolekin Horlick, Son of Sir James and Lady Horlick, of Cowley Manor, Gloucester, Major Gerald Nolekin Horlick died of Malaria in 1918 and is buried in Egypt 

    

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leibregiment

Captain The Honorable Elidyr Herbert; 

Captain Herbert was the son of Sir Ivor Herbert, who had recently been elevated to the Peerage as Lord Treowen. Until joining the House of Lords he had been Liberal MP for South Monmouthshire and, as Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire, had been responsible for recruiting throughout the county at the start of the war. He later became director of recruiting for the whole of Wales.

 

Elidyr was born in 1881. According to his father he was ‘of a retiring disposition… not one of those who pushed himself forward or tried to advertise himself’. Coming from a military family, he had intended to train as an artillery officer at Woolwich Military Academy but was prevented from doing so due to poor eyesight.

 

He went instead to King’s College, Cambridge, graduating in 1902. After qualifying as a solicitor he returned to Monmouthshire, living with his parents at Llanarth Court. He served as a Justice of the Peace and became a County Councillor.

 

In 1913 he joined the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (RGH), part of the Territorial Force. When war broke out in 1914, as a 2nd Lieutenant, he summoned the Monmouthshire Squadron of the RGH to Llanover for mobilisation.

 

In April 1915 the RGH were sent to Egypt and subsequently to Gallipoli, landing at Suvla Bay, where he served as machine gun officer. They remained in Gallipoli until the campaign was abandoned in November and suffered heavy losses. After a brief spell in Egypt, where Lieutenant Herbert was promoted to Captain, he was sent with the RGH to the Sinai Desert and thence into Palestine.

 

As the British forces advanced through Palestine towards Jerusalem, they met fierce resistance from Turkish troops.

 

Third Battle of Gaza which was part of the Sinai and Palestine campaign. Here the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) pursued the Turks and their allies through Southern Palestine and eventually captured Jerusalem a month later.

 

By November 1917, Elidyr Herbert saw action at about nine miles north-east of Gaza where he would show great bravery but which was to prove fateful for him.

 

The Charge at Huj (8 November 1917), saw the forces of the EEF made up of British and Australian forces, face the Ottoman Turkish Empire’s Yildirim Army Group.

 

The charge was carried out by units of the 5th Mounted Brigade, against a German, Austrian and Turkish artillery and infantry. The attack was successful and the British captured the position, seventy prisoners, eleven pieces of artillery and four machine guns. But the British suffered heavy casualties. Of the 170 men taking part, twenty-six were killed and forty wounded. They also had 100 horses killed.

 

One of the few officers to escape uninjured was Lieutenant Mercer of the Worcestershire Yeomanry. He described the charge:

 

“Machine guns and rifles opened up on us the moment we topped the rise behind which we had formed up. I remember thinking that the sound of crackling bullets was just like hailstorm on an iron-roofed building, so you may guess what the fusillade was....A whole heap of men and horses went down twenty or thirty yards from the muzzles of the guns. The squadron broke into a few scattered horsemen at the guns and seemed to melt away completely. For a time I, at any rate, had the impression that I was the only man left alive. I was amazed to discover we were the victors”.

 

The action is claimed to be one of the last British cavalry charges and was pictured in a watercolour painting by the British artist by Elizabeth Southerden Thompson.

 

After a Turkish counter attack had been repelled Captain Herbert, noticing that the Turks were regrouping and preparing to attack again, rushed forward ahead of his men to grab an abandoned Turkish machine gun and turn it on the enemy.

 

In the war diary of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, Elidyr Herbert is mentioned, as “a captain of the Gloucester Hussars [who] had arrived on the scene [where the Warwickshires were pinned down] and used one of the four captured machine-guns to cause havoc amongst the Turkish infantry”.

 

He was killed shortly after, on 12th November 1917. He was described by one of his men as ‘one of the most popular officers in the brigade’, who was ‘sincerely mourned’.

 

Captain Herbert was buried in Gaza City military cemetery. His headstone bears Latin inscriptions meaning ‘The inn of a pilgrim travelling to Jerusalem’ and ‘Eternal rest grant unto him oh Lord’.

 

His death was widely mourned in Monmouthshire and in 1923 tenants from the Herbert Estates presented Lord and Lady Treowen with a painting by the famous war artist Lucy Kemp-Welch showing Captain Herbert with the Turkish machine gun. His family gave over part of the Llanover estate for a ‘garden settlement’, Tre Elidyr, in memory of their son and the 17 other men connected with the estate who lost their lives in the Great War.

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leibregiment

Given his documented gallantry I am surprised he was not recommended for a high honour....as to the signal telescope, was it left behind in the rear, captured and found its way back to London...did it even go with him to war....welcome your thoughts and comments, Paul  

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

The name Fox mentioned on the lists above is;

 

FOX    William George    2871    Pte    03 LHR    20R to 1 LHTR 9-16 tos 6 Sect/1 LH MGS 11-16 killed reported Lt's Hackney & Ross Sect's att 3 LHR in support of line around Esdud and Burka buried near Esdud by chaplain Boardman reburied Gaza War Cemetery Palestine      Station hand    18    Renmark SA   Nok  Loxton SA  enlisted 1-3-16    KIA 11-11-17 

S.B

Edited by stevebecker

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leibregiment

Many thanks for the information 

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RGA Grandson

Hi,

Thank you very much for this wonderful post.  You may be interested to know that the telescope was in my family's possession in the UK for many decades, until I sold it to an antiques dealer in the UK about 18 months ago.  The reference to it being acquired 20 years ago in Covent Garden is therefore a bit odd, but no matter!

My maternal grandfather, Francis Sutherland (who, incidentally, served with the 26th Heavy Battery RGA in Belgium and France), was Head Forester for the Llanarth Estate when, in 1948, Llanarth Court was given to the Roman Catholic Church to become a school. At that time, some items of furniture and other items were gifted to my grandfather and I can only assume that the telescope was amongst them.  My grandfather died in 1967 and it is after this that I first recall seeing and playing with the telescope as a child.  Of course, as a child, I had no idea of its importance.  To me it was just a wonderful toy!  It remained in my possession for over 50 years, during which time of course I became increasingly aware of its history and importance through very similar research and finds to those which you have detailed so well in your post. 

As my daughter had no real interest in 'inheriting' it I felt it was time to let it go and let someone else appreciate it.  I don't know if the telescope is now in your possession, but if it is, then I am delighted that it is with someone who values its history.

I don't know if it went to war with Elidyr Herbert, but my perhaps hazy 50+ year memory is that it was pretty much in its current state of showing clear signs of wear and tear, which would suggest it probably did.  Although I used it as a toy, I think I appreciated it was something special, even if I didn't know why.  So I'm pretty sure my wear and tear to it would have been fairly minimal.

With thanks and kind regards,

Bob Reid

 

Edited by RGA Grandson

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leibregiment

Bob, thank you so much for responding....yes very safe in my mini museum....pride of place...never buy the story lol, I guess the 20 years sounds more glamorous, I shall add this post and if you happen to come across of any photos especially war time you can post it would be fantastic, please do not hesitate to PM me, best regards, Paul

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RGA Grandson

That's great news Paul.  Thank you for letting me know it's found such a good home 

Bob

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