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The Fisher Brothers - Helles Memorial


Hedley Malloch
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A casual browse through the CWGC register for the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, yielded the following entry. "John Fisher, Private 12528, 6th Bn., The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment who died on Tuesday 10 August 1915. Age 28. Son of John and Mary Fisher, 280 Deane Church Lane, Bolton. His brothers Albert and Matthew also fell."

The Helles Memorial Register also contains entries for one Albert Fisher, Private 17425 also of 6th Bn., The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment who died on Monday 9 August 1915; and Matthew Fisher, Private 12517 of 6th Bn., The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment who also died on Monday 10 August 1915. No additional information is given about Albert and Matthew.

The obvious question: are John, Albert and Matthew three brothers killed in the space of two days? There is one other Matthew in the CWGC database, but there are quite a few Alberts, so it is impossible to be sure. However the 6th Bn., The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment makes the link likely, especially given the proximity of John and Albert's service numbers. Does 'Soldiers died …" shed any light?

If they are brothers, then are they unique in that all three are commemorated together? I know of several pairs of brothers buried or commemorated together, but I don't know of a case of three. Having said that, some will now tell me that there are quite a few … . I know that there are four or five from one family on the Menin Gate, but I think they came from different generations.

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Sadly not unique Hedley; I know of a couple.

One such is the three Pannell brothers from Worthing, Sussex, who were all members of the South Downs battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiment, killed at Richebourg on 30th June 1916 and all commemorated on the Loos Memorial.

A fourth brother was taken prisoner the same day, survived but spent two years in a POW camp.

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Hedley,

If Bolton published a record of its fallen during the Grear War it might be able to shed some light on your question.

I've been very lucky with contacting either local libraries/museums for info contained in such publications with regard to my great-great-uncle.

Maybe all three brothers appear of the local war memorial.

Just an idea.

Jim

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Thanks for the tip, Jim. It is a bit more difficult to check these things if you don't live in the UK.

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Sadly not unique Hedley; I know of a couple.

One such is the three Pannell brothers from Worthing, Sussex, who were all members of the South Downs battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiment, killed at Richebourg on 30th June 1916 and all commemorated on the Loos Memorial.

Another example of three brothers commemorated on the Loos Memorial to the Missing are the Flannagan brothers from Longton. They were all killed while serving with the 1/5th North Staffords during the battalion's assault on the Hohenzollern Redoubt on 13th October 1915.

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Hedley,

You are absolutely correct, being abroad (I now reside in the USA) does present some difficulties.

I wonder if any of the contributors to the forum might be able to help.

All the best.

Jim

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There is an interesting history surrounding my Great Grandfather and his brothers.

My G/Grandfather, Frank Wiltshire, served with the 2/Wiltshire Regt 1897 - 1908 including time in India with the 1/Wilts. His brothers were as follows:

Thomas Wiltshire 1/Wilts, joined pre 1900 POW September 1914 - Dec 1918

William Wiltshire 1/Wilts joined 1906, POW September 1914 - Dec 1918

Herbert Wiltshire 2/Wilts joined 1907, kia 8/7/16, Bernafay Wood, Somme

George Wiltshire R.A. gassed and expected to die but lived until 1951

Fred Wiltshire, called up late 1918 but did not go overseas

Have been researching them but unfortunately do not have their medals.

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I have a vague recollection that there was a woman at the Vimy Memorial Dedication who had a huge number of sons and five or six were killed. Any takers?

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She was Canadian; her family name was "Wood" or "Woods". There are photographs of her, I have seen, at the dedication of the Vimy Memorial in 1936 wearing her son’s medals and Memorial Crosses. Not sure how many sons she lost but it was five or six I think.

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I am sorry this is not a reply to the original query made by Hedly Malloch regarding the Fisher brothers, but, this is a reply for Paul Guthrie regarding the lady who lost five sons during WW1.

Her name was Charlotte Susan Wood, who was born in Chatham, Kent, in 1861. She married Frederick Louis Wood, in 1888, a family friend and former soldier whose wife died during the birth of their sixth son. Charlotte became an instant step-mother to six boys under the age of eight. Then over the next few years Charlotte had six children of her own. Thus by the time she was forty she was a mother to eleven boys and one girl. The eldest boy, Richard, died of Typhoid serving in the British Army during the Boer War.

In 1905 the Wood family applied for a British Government Dominion Land Grant and were assigned 160 acres of Land near the town of Gunn, Alberta, Canada. However the eldest children were established in Kent and decided to stay. Only Charlotte and Frederick and the four youngest boys emigrated.

During the Great War all eleven of the Wood's sons enlisted into the services: even the two youngest joined up. Percy was 16 and Charles was 14 when they enlisted in 1915.

During the war five of the sons were killed and two were seriously wounded.

Louis was in the Royal Navy and went down on HMS Hogue in 1914. Fred was killed on the Somme with the Royal West Kents. Harry aged 18 was killed in Gallipoli. Percy at Vimy Ridge and Joseph at Passchendaele.

After the war Charlotte channelled her energies serving voluntary organisations serving disabled Canadian veterans. She made a pilgimage back to the Western Front in 1928 and in 1936 she was presented to the Prince of Wales at the unveiling of the Canadian War memorial at Vimy Ridge when 8,000 Canadian veterans and next of kin had also made the pilgimage.

Another family that lost five sons was the Souls of Great Rissington, near Bourton on the Water in the Cotswolds....but thats another story.

regards

Terry

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Hello Hedley

Not exactly a reply to your original question but I do know a case of three brothers killed, two together, and all officers in the same battalion.

Brothers Lt-Col. Thomas Walker Nott, DSO, and Capt. Louis Cameron Knott were both killed when a delayed action mine blew up the battalion headquarters of the 1/6 Gloucesters on 18/4/17 at Villiers Faucon. They are buried in that village I believe. Their brother, Lt Henry Paton Nott, of the 1/6 Gloucesters was killed in action on 27/4/16 and is buried at Hebuterne.

Phil

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The Taylor family of Leatherhead lost five sons out of 7 during the Great War. They have an interesting geographical spread with one each on the Menin Gate and Thiepval memorials . A further 2 are have graves in the Somme and Ypres areas. The fifth is buried in Leatherhead churchyard with a CWGC gravestone. Unfortunately , this son has not been allowed to join his brothers on the Leatherhead War Memorial.

A sixth lost a leg and earned a precarious living in the 20's and 30's as a caddy at Leatherhead Golf Club.

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Myself, Gordon Rae and Chris Baker were manning the WFA table at the Stratford upon Avon at War exhibition held at the Town Hall recently. A guy and his mother turned up and found the Great War ephemera interesting. He told us that his grandfather was on of six brothers who served in the war. Later in the day he returned with the actual letter sent to his great-grandparents sent from the Privy Purse Office at Buckingham Palace. I thought this would be a good opportunity for other forum members to see what was written:-

12th November 1915

Sir,

I have the honour to inform you that The King has heard with much interest that you have at the present moment six sons serving in the Army.

I am commanded to express to you the King's congratulations and to assure you that His Majesty much appreciates the spirit of patriotism which prompted this example, in one family, of loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign and Empire.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your obedient servent

(signature unreadable) Keeper of the Privy Purse

The letter was addressed to Mr Ryman of Clopton Road, Stratford upon Avon. Two of the six sons were killed.

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Paul, Jim, David, ttDo, Phil? Terry and Ian; Many thanks for your contributions to an excellent thread

Hedley

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I'm currently researching a few members of this family. I think the parents of these brothers would come to curse the name Gallipoli.

1004-Pte Arthur Grenville Curlewis - 12th Bn AIF Age 23 - DofW 15/08/15

6-Cpl Selwyn Lord Curlewis - 16th Bn AIF Age 28 - KIA 02/05/15

Capt Gordon Levason Curlewis - 16th Bn AIF Age 30 - KIA 09/05/15

A fourth brother, Lt George Campbell Curlewis also served with the 16th Bn on Gallipoli where he was wounded three times before being invalided back to Australia.

Plus a first cousin, Lt Kenneth Curlewis of the 14th Bn AIF was also KIA at Gallipoli on the 08/08/15.

Regards

Andrew

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just found another example in a book I was reading.

Of the 3 Seabrook brothers of the 17th Bn AIF, all three were hit by the same shell. Two were killed outright while the other died a short time after.

Two are commemmorated on the Menin Gate while the third is buried in Lijssenthoek.

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  • 16 years later...

Matthew Fisher was my great-grandfather and yes, he and two of his brothers died over several days of fighting at Gallipoli. Another brother, Harry, was injured by shrapnel to the ankle. I only recently learned this history. It is incredible and moving and has thrown my family history into a whole different light.

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On 05/12/2018 at 05:08, MMCC said:

Matthew Fisher was my great-grandfather and yes, he and two of his brothers died over several days of fighting at Gallipoli. Another brother, Harry, was injured by shrapnel to the ankle. I only recently learned this history. It is incredible and moving and has thrown my family history into a whole different light.

Welcome to the forum

The Fisher brothers were pictured in the 1915 Bolton papers. There was even a picture of the parents in the 1920s who lived on Deane Church Lane on one of their anniversaries. I did post some details on a thread about the 6th Loyal North Lancashires in Gallipoli and also a on thread called Two Brothers who Died on the Same Day. A trip to Bolton library would be rewarding. Are you from the area, if not I can get them. 

Brian

 

Edited by brianmorris547
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Report on the Fisher brothers from the Bolton Journal and Guardian 03/09/1915. The printer at the History Centre is still not working properly so I took these with my phone.

Brian

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Mary

Thanks for your reply to my pm. This is the picture from the Bolton Journal and Guardian 30/08/1929 about the parents on their 50th wedding anniversary. The report mentions that the sons were killed in Salonika but it was during the Turkish counter attack on Chunuk Bair in Suvla Bay, Gallipoli on 09 and 10/08/1915. The War Diary of 6 LNL is available on Ancestry and can also be obtained from The National Archives.  Any book on the Gallipoli campaign will tell you more e.g. Gallipoli by Robert Rhodes James : chapter 11, "The Fight for Sari Bair".

Cheers

Brian

p s Have you ever seen a picture of your great, great grandparents before.

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  • 7 months later...

Hi all.

 

I’m the very proud great grandson of Matthew Fisher, and great great nephew of Albert and John Fisher.

 

Harry, the surviving brother ( my great great uncle )paid for a family grave, located at St Mary’s Church, Deane to ensure the Fisher Brothers were never forgotten.

 

Kind Regards 

 

Simon.

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Simon

I was christened at Deane Church and my grandparents are buried there. I will have a look for it next time I go.

Brian

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