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Remembered Today:

T/y Lieutenant John Charles Spencer Warwick, Anson Battalion 1915


RPea
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I wonder if someone an help me out?

Temporary Lieutenant John Charles Spencer Warwick landed at "x" beach on 25th April. His Naval record says that he was subsequently wounded on 29th April. However, the Naval Record also records that he was wounded on 2 or 3rd May. Is this an error? He returned to his Battalion on 8th May. Was he wounded twice?

In his letters he refers to having been on a hospital ship. Even more intriguingly, a letter exists from JCSW that he wrote to the parents of another casualty Leading Seaman F C Lancaster informing them of his death and burial dated 6th May. However, he would have been on hospital ship at this time,?

Churchill, in his introduction to Jerrold's Royal Naval Division, says that Warwick helped support Senegalese troops who had become officerless. Would this be the First Battle of Krithia, which would make the wound more likely to be 2 or 3rd May? This is all very confusing.

Sadly, JCSW was killed on 4th June 1915 at the Third Battle of Krithia.

Jack Spencer Warwick.jpg

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It is difficult to reconcile the discrepancies in wounding date. His RNVR record (ADM 337) shows “wounded in action during operations at Dardanelles during 2nd & 3rd May 1915”. These dates are repeated on his RND Record Card (ADM 339). Neither of these two entries sources the wounding report. The action on these dates (beginning 10 pm on 1st May) concerned the opposition to Turkish assaults on the Allied lines. In response to French requests for British support, the Official History notes that Anson Battalion was sent to “…the French Sector where it was at once pressed into service on the extreme right of the line.” This could be the action involving WARWICK and Senegalese troops referred to be Churchill. Anson Bn. had about a dozen men killed in this action and, probably, dozens more wounded.

His RND Record Card (ADM 339) also records the entries on his Army Form B.103. These include his wounding on 29th April [VIII. Gunshot wounds of the upper extremities. 1. Simple flesh contusions and wounds] and return to Anson Bn. on 8 May 1915. These dates imply a period of nine days away from his unit being treated for minor wounds (hospital ship?). It also means that he could not have been in the 1st -3rd May battle on the right of the French line, noted by Churchill. The 1st Battle of Krithia (0800-1800 on 28th April and its immediate aftermath on 29th April) did not involve Anson Bn. (only Drake Bn participated, attached to 87 Bde). Anson Bn had just one man killed on 28th April and none on 29th so woundings were probably few.

If LS LANCASTER was in Lt WARWICK’s company a letter written to his parents a few days after the 6th May death in action is quite feasible and did not require WARWICK to be present in person.

On balance of evidence, I am inclined to date the wounding on 2nd/3rd May in the French sector, followed by a few days being treated.

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Thank you so much for your advice. I believe that JCSW led his platoon on "X" beach on 25th which was relatively easily taken. Foster suggests that the Anson platoon there went on to support the French. Could that be right?

I wonder if this letter provides an answer to the dates.

Writing to Mr. Lancaster, Lieut. J.C. Spencer Warwick, R.N.V.R. conveyed the sad news of Leading-Seaman Lancaster’s death thus:-


Dear Mr. Lancaster, - It is with great regret that I write to tell you of your brave

son’s death. He was killed outright during an attack on May 6th. His courage was
a magnificent example in every way, and I assure you he is a great loss to me. He
was one of my leading seamen, and he has always been a great help in training

the company.
“As I write this we are being shelled by the enemy. I found your boy’s body
where he had fallen, and I buried him with his head facing the enemy. As I was
under fire at the time I was unable to have a proper burial service, but will do so
as soon as I can. I must ask you now to be brave in this great loss you have
sustained, especially when you think of the cause for which your son died.

Is it possible that JCSW was not present when Leading-Seaman Lancaster died but was able to bury him?

In a letter JCSW tells his grandfather that he has been on a hospital ship. Indeed that all his things had been stolen when he was there!

 

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1 hour ago, RPea said:

Is it possible that JCSW was not present when Leading-Seaman Lancaster died but was able to bury him?

Quite likely, as we are discussing the front held by 'C' Company of Anson Bn. during 2nd Battle of Krithia (6-8 May), and JCSW coul not have wirnessed every casualty. I would not be surprised to find that JCSW had to organise several hasty burials and had to write to several families in the following days.

1 hour ago, RPea said:

I believe that JCSW led his platoon on "X" beach on 25th which was relatively easily taken. Foster suggests that the Anson platoon there went on to support the French. Could that be right?

I think it unlikely that a small number of Ansons (landed to work as beach parties)would be sent right across the peninsula at such an early stage. Rev Foster was probably referring to the later move of Anson Bn.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you. Is there any way of finding out how these few days were organised (25th April - 3rd May). Is there a Battalion diary?

 

 

Edited by RPea
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War diaries for the RND at Gallipoli are very thin on the ground. Anson Bn. is one of the few battalion diaries but it covers only 110 June to 20 October 1915. There is a diary for HQ 2nd Brigade RND (Anson Bn. was in 2nd Bde.) but that only survives from August 1915.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4557444

The precise movements of the various units of Anson Bn. druing the landing days at the end of April are, therefore, sparsely recorded. The Official History makes brief mention of their employment.

 

Edited by horatio2
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I can't add any thing to the topic other than posting a different image of the man.

Spencer Warwick.png

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Can I find out what medals JCSW was awarded and who they were given to? I'm guessing these and all jis other goods were given to his sister, Gillian.

As far as I know, only four photos exist. The three in this thread and the photo in the Sept Daily Sketch which shows JCSW returning to camp, exhausted, just a few days before he was killed.

 

 

JCSW photo on RNVR 1914.jpg

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10 hours ago, RPea said:

Can I find out what medals JCSW was awarded and who they were given to?

His 1914 Star and Clasp, Victory and British War Medals were all claimed by and issued to his sister. 1914 Star & Clasp noted as issued to Mrs. Bryant 13/9/21.

He qualified as a pilot at Brooklands on a Vickers Biplane, the 113th naval pilot to so qualify and the 96th naval officer.

Edited by horatio2
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Thank you. I have a copy of the certificte for qualification as pilot. I wonder if the third image in this thread was taken in conjunction with this course given the date?

J C Spencer Warwick aviators certificate.jpg

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Certificate 745 dated 26 Feb 1914 and the image, similarly numbered and dated, are part of the same set of records.

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I have one last question, if I may. In the Daily Sketch photograph below, JCSW is described:  Lieut. J. Spencer-Warwick, coming back with ‘C’ Company of the Anson Battalion after 14 days continuous fighting.

 Ths photo being taken a few days before he died. In other references he is leading "D" company. Is this an error in the report? Or, would a company have been combined through loss of life? Or, is there another explanation? Thank you again for your help.

JC Spencer Warwick - Daily sketch.jpg

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This is an annoying discrepancy. In his divisional history (p.89) Jerrold seems to say that JCSW is OC 'D' Coy at 'X' Beach. However, in his narrative (pp.,96-97)Rev HC Foster states that OC 'D' Coy at'X' Beach was Lt Cdr GG Grant DSC RNVR. He does not mention 'C' Coy.

I think the Jerrold record has caused confusion by listing 'C' and 'D' Coys in alphabetical order and then separately listing their OCs in order of rank.

I think the image caption is correct: JSCW was OC 'C' Coy. This isconfirmed for me by the latter you posted where JCSW writes to the family of LS Lancaster, whose RND record shows that he was a member of 'C' Coy. JCSW would not have written had he not been LS Lancaster's Company Commander and the wording "... he is a great loss to me. He was one of my leading seamen, and he has always been a great help in training the company.", in my opinion, confirms this.

Circumstantial evidence, perhaps, but I am persuaded that JCSW was OC 'C' Coy.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for your help. P108 RND says CJSW was fighting on 2nd May. This ties up with the Churchill comment and also being wounded on 2 or 3rd May, perhaps.

Edited by RPea
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Completetely random connection. the archive copy of RND on line comes from NainiTal Municpal libaray which is a few kilometers from where JCSW's mother lived in Jeolikote. When she died her library, reputed to be 10,000 volumes, was dividedupand some sold to the Municipal Library in Naini Tal. Wouldn't be extraordinary of it was her own copy of the book describing her son's war?

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1 hour ago, RPea said:

P108 RND says CJSW was fighting on 2nd May. This ties up with the Churchill comment and also being wounded on 2 or 3rd May, perhaps.

RND p.103 is the correct reference. What Jerrold reports is consistent with JCSW being wounded on 2 or 3 May. Unfortunately Jerrold is in error in here in giving Warwick a DSC - he never won  this award. Jerrold also credits Lt George Davidson with his DSC "for fine work at this time" [i.e. 2 - 4 May] whereas this DSC is clearly stated as awarded for "...great courage and coolness in action on May 6th during operations South of Achi Baba." [i.e. for 2nd Battle of Krithia.]

 

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I have been re-reading the RND record. What do the acronyms  A.F.B. 103 and A.F.B. 2090a, refer to, please? And also D.O. No 18?. TYIA.

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16 minutes ago, RPea said:

I have been re-reading the RND record. What do the acronyms  A.F.B. 103 and A.F.B. 2090a, refer to, please? And also D.O. No 18?. TYIA.

    They refer to Army Forms, without which the British Army (and the RND) would have disintegrated.   Army Form B. 103 is usually the most useful single item in a service file, as it lists movements with dates, promotions/demotions, leave (sometimes) and casualty details-including chain of evacuation with medical details.

    The best place to look is the excellent War Records site:

image.png.07056936bffff063289843e834b057cb.png

 

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Just a small tit-bit from British Newspaper Archives- giving a fuller name and a religious (?) association:

image.png.d0b09deb5a7fc56a9b5047e94140de31.png

Civil & Military Gazette (Lahore) - Sunday 13 June 1915

 

2)   Discrepancies in date of death in the record are usually  due to the different  dates  recorded as a man passed up the chain of medical evacuation.  The earliest date is usually the most likely to be true. So, a first date could mean,say, treatment at a field ambulance or aid post, the next date at at CCS and beyond that,say, evacuation to a base hospital (or the like) further back. Each of these moves should be on  the Army Form above.

     I cannot see WHERE   Warwick actually died. What there is in the two downloadable records from The National Archives does not help, nor does the CWGC record which gives no clue as to whether he died on land or at sea.  I read it-thus far-that he was wounded on 29 April 1915-and recorded as such,probably at an aid post or field ambulance. The later dates-more than one day- suggest a CCS and "Died of Wounds".  But in the absence of further information it is not clear to me that he died at Gallipoli or at sea while being evacuated by ship, usually either to Mudros or Alexandria

2)   And this item from "Discovery" at The National Archives looks tempting:

image.png.4040b31fa366218c3803f9c951682b66.png

Edited by ALAN MCMAHON
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Hi Alan. JCSW was killed in 3rd Battle of Krithia on the initial assault on Turkish trenches 4th June.  Letter from Rev. HCFoster, Chaplain to Anson Battalion, writes he was one of the first in the trench and was shot above the heart. His friend Willoughby Henry was killed attempting to bandage his wound. His servant   Draper, was able to relay what had happened. His body was never found. The newspaper reports the wrong date. Strangely, Commanding Officer writes a slightly different account and says he was short three times and fell into the trench. 

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1 minute ago, RPea said:

Hi Alan. JCSW was killed in 3rd Battle of Krithia on the initial assault on Turkish trenches 4th June.  Letter from Rev. HCFoster, Chaplain to Anson Battalion, writes he was one of the first in the trench and was shot above the heart. His friend Willoughby Henry was killed attempting to bandage his wound. His servant   Draper, was able to relay what had happened. His body was never found. The newspaper reports the wrong date. Strangely, Commanding Officer writes a slightly different account and says he was short three times and fell into the trench. 

Excellent.  I was going through  my notes as to what had happened to 2 officer casualties I have an interest in-at Gallipoli- and have come across this variability before. You are lucky  to have a source that confirms the true version!!

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2 hours ago, ALAN MCMAHON said:

 I cannot see WHERE   Warwick actually died. What there is in the two downloadable records from The National Archives does not help, nor does the CWGC record which gives no clue as to whether he died on land or at sea.

A naval casualty who had been buried at sea (whether killed ashore or afloat) would be commemorated on one of the UK naval memorials. Other naval casualties at Gallipoli are commemorated on the Helles Memorial if their place of burial (as in this case) is not known, as are all army casualties, even when buried at sea.

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