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Remembered Today:

Lt-Cmdr. Frederick Septimus (Cleg) Kelly DSC, RNVR


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Lt-Cmdr. Frederick Septimus (Cleg) Kelly DSC, RNVR     [KiA 13th November 1916]

During last week's Hidden Gallipoli Tour (by the Gallipoli Association & Battle Honours) we were lucky enough to have a day on the island of Tenedos (now Bozcaada). Our lunch break that day was very well organised and took place at what in 1916 was the site of the Paraskevi Camp.

From 'Kelly's War – the Great War Diary of Frederick Kelly 1914-1916' edited by (the late) Jon Cooksey & Graham McKechnie, published by Blink Publishing (Bonnier Publishing Group), 2015; ISBN 13579108642

page 190 – entry for Sunday, 6th February 1916 – Hood Battalion

“Our camp promises to be very comfortable. There are enough wooden huts left by the French to accommodate two companies and the officers and their messes will be housed in some small buildings that are grouped round a marble fountain which supplies us with all our drinking water.  There is even a small underground chapel with two pillars which, if one scraped off the whitewash, might turn out to be the remains of an earlier building.”

1 “some small buildings” - one of these is currently used as a Greek chapel; the identity having kindly been confirmed for me by our GWF Pal 'b3rn', using period French photographs. 


image.jpeg.7bc25c014783aa85c17e0c0ddc87503b.jpeg   plaque above the door

image.jpeg.cd00508576cd099dbf3bd0121e460fcf.jpeg   interior of the current Greek chapel


2 “a marble fountain”  


image.jpeg.ef15fc9f96111b7b201984ccdc35cecd.jpeg   plaque above the fountain


3 "a small underground chapel"


image.jpeg.3220d2263a74621d9fd85dd107473401.jpeg   interior of underground chapel

image.jpeg.321f5661e0cc121b00a7b61cc3d5669e.jpeg interior of underground chapel


Kelly's diary makes several references to his playing a piano while on Tenedos, and our guide, the Gallipoli Association's historian Stephen Chambers [this forum's member 'Krithia'], brought  along recordings of Kelly's work which he played for us during our lunch break; 
a wonderful idea and a very moving experience.

Edited by michaeldr
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That's great work Michael.  Our Australian Broadcasting Commission plays his works semi-regularly and he is always referred to as an "Australian composer".  Born in Australia, he left in his teens for London and competed in the 1908 London Olympics.

I'm now listening to the St Mary's Cathedral Sydney broadcast of his Elegy in memorial Rupert Brooke.  He was killed charging a machine gun post in the closing stages of the Battle of the Somme.

Brave man!

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Many thanks for that link to an arrangement which I had not heard before

There is also an ABC recording of the original string orchestra version which can be heard here https://www.abc.net.au/listen/classic/read-and-watch/classic-australia/frederick-septimus-kelly-elegy/10457792      Quite remarkable to think that this was composed while serving on the battlefield and in hospital in Egypt while wounded

This is from the Cooksey & McKechnie book, and shows the 1908 Olympic Gold Medal and the names of the winning boat's crew


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Posted (edited)

By the way … … … 

of interest to any Gallipolian, another member of that Olympic Gold Medal winning crew,
Albert Charles Gladstone, was, like Cleg Kelly, also on the peninsula, where he was amongst the very last to leave Anzac at the evacuation

From the history of The 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (F.F.) page 317
“At 1.15 on the morning of the 20th, Lieutenant Gladstone took the first party from the trenches to the beach. Captain Harrington followed fifteen minutes later with most of the remainder. Finally, at 1.40 the last sections fell in ready to take their departure. The trenches were filled with barbed wire and a few valedictory rounds sped in the direction of the enemy lines. With boots blanket-wrapped to deaden any sound which might reveal their departure the rear party faded from contact with the Turks.
Embarkation was completed without a hitch at a pier near the Asmak Dere, whence the passage to Mudros was made by lighter. There 'C' Company joined the remainder of the Battalion on the Knight Templar, and sailed for Alexandria, which was reached on Christmas Eve.”

Gladstone also served in Mesopotamia and was mentioned in dispatches. He was promoted to captain in the 2nd/5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force), in the Indian Army Reserve, and was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1919.

Edited by michaeldr
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15 hours ago, WhiteStarLine said:

... he is always referred to as an "Australian composer".  Born in Australia, he left in his teens for London and competed in the 1908 London Olympics.

Next time you're in Sydney, you can see the home in which he was born, one of the few period buildings in the city not pulled down for office blocks and retail.

47 Phillip Street, Sydney: https://maps.app.goo.gl/wwNpCeBvanLy8WzT7

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Isn't that a nice place - thanks for sharing it.

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