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Remembered Today:

Jean Verdenal, died 2nd May 1915


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After twice gaining an exemption from military service for his medical studies, in March 1913 Verdenal enrolled in the 18th Rêgiment d'Infanterie, intending later to begin his internship at the Hôpitaux de Paris.

With the outbreak of war he became a médecins auxiliaires (MA). He became a médecins aides major 2nd classe (MAM2) in November 1914 (?)

He was at Camp de Ger until February 1915

At this point the 175th Rêgiment d'Infanterie was formed specifically for the Corps Expéditionnaire d'Orient, and it included drafts from various regiments, amongst others the 18th

Verdenal left Camp de Ger 18 February 1915, joining 175th's service de santé (Medical Corps) and reaching Mudros in mid-March 1915

It is unclear whether or not Verdenal took part in the landing at Kum Kale (?)

After the French landed at Helles, Verdenal was straight into the thick of the fighting earning a Citation á l'Order du Régiment 30 April 1915 - “Scarcely recovered from pleurisy, he did not hesitate to spend much of the night in water up to his waist helping to evacuate the wounded by sea, thus giving a notable example of self-sacrifice.” (translation by George Watson)

Morning 2 May 1915: Verdenal was almost certainly at an aid post in the Petit Ravin and as a médecins major he would have led stretcher parties to rescue wounded, bringing them back to the aid post for first treatment, then evacuation

About 10:00am on 2 May 1915 Verdenal went forward with his stretcher party to bring in a wounded lieutenant of the 175th who was lying in sight of the Turkish lines. Bending over the officer to administer first aid, Verdenal was shot in the head and died instantly.

The above info has been garnered from an article on Verdenal by Claudio Perinot. I would be grateful if someone with knowledge of the French army and their part in the Gallipoli campaign can cross check this for me.

with thanks, Michael

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The basic details check out as follows:

Jean Jules Verdenal

[from https://www.memoiredeshommes.sga.defense.gouv.fr/fr/ark:/40699/m00523a036da9055 ]

Died for France on 02-05-1915 (Sedddul Bahr, Turkey)

Born on 11-05-1890 in Pau, Basses-Pyrénées

Age 24 years, 11 months & 22 days


grade - auxiliary doctor

unit - 175th Infantry Regiment

class – 1910

Recruiting office – Pau

Recruitment No. - 1315


If you can add anything to the above, then please do so - thanks, Michael

Edited by michaeldr
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  • 1 month later...

Hi Michael,

no, Verdenal's unit did not take part in the landing at Kum Kale.

Btw, I've published 3 studies on Verdenal...

Thanks for posting.


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welcome to the Great War Forum and thank you for your reply above.

Your article which I read and which was the basis for my opening posts here

appeared in the South Atlantic Review and was titled

'Jean Verdenal, An Extraordinary Young Man: T. S. Eliot's mort aux Dardanelles'.

Re your article Further Notes....I have submitted a request via Reaserchgate and I look forward to reading it too.

I do not have a French reference specifying precisely where the Petit Ravin was

however I am almost certain that it was that to the west of Süleyman Reis Deresi – see the maps below.

Thank you again




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Hi Michael,

I must really thank you for the map, which is not among the ones I found during my research. I will certainly study it closely.

My 3 essays are:

  • Perinot, Claudio (1996). "Jean Verdenal: T.S. Eliot's French Friend". Annali di Cà Foscari. Venice: Università di Venezia. XXXV (1–2): 265–275.
  • Perinot, Claudio (2008). "Further Notes on the Friendship of Jean Verdenal and T.S. Eliot". ANQ. 21 (3): 44–51. doi:10.3200/anqq.21.3.44-51. S2CID 162334249.
  • Perinot, Claudio (2011). "Jean Verdenal: An Extraordinary Young Man: T.S. Eliot's mort aux Dardanelles". South Atlantic Review. 76 (3): 33–50.

Thanks once again.


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