Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Lt Col Reginald Turner DSO 6th Northants.


kbryt
 Share

Recommended Posts

New civvy poster patience asked please

I have tried all the usual options but keep coming up against blanks or dead ends.

As an off shoot of another project I need to compile a short dossier on Lt Col Reginald Turner 1870-1953.

A hard man this, served in S Africa, SA Light Horse, where he won DSO, 1914-19 he was a Capt in special reserve 3rd Dragoon guards; then Major royal Fusileirs; in 1917 he was Lt Col commanding 6th Batt Northants regt, wounded 1918, bar to DSO, mentioned several times in despatches.

One source claims he had 6 bars to his DSO, is this likely?

He ended his life hacked to bits in his bed bythe Mau Mau, aged 80! while commandant of a detention centre, somewhere along the line he had lost 10 years in order to re-enlist.

A proffessional soldier all his life.

Any chance of any war diaries, DSO citations etc to fill in some background please?

I have uncovered a possible link to one 2nd Lt walter Tull, Mddx regt killed in action 1918,there is a hint that it may have been same action in which Turner was wounded.

Tull was the first black officer to be killed on the somme, google for more; fromthe efforts made by his men to recover his body, [ now no known grave,] he was very much respected by his men

might be a candidate for the memorial day slot on 25 March?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Citation for the Bar to his DSO, London Gazette #31480, dated 30th July 1919.

Capt. (T./Lt.-Col.) Reginald Turner, D.S.O.,

D. Gds. Spec. Res., attd. 6th Bn. Northn. R.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Ronssoy on September 18th, 1918. He got his battalion on the jumping-off line under very difficult conditions and finally led them on under very heavy machine-gun fire, capturing several machine guns and killing the gunners. He personally conducted a great deal of the work of his battalion, and his courage and initiative were most marked.

(D.S.O. gazetted 29th November, 1900.)

Link to Gazette is Here

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Citation for the Bar to his DSO, London Gazette #31480, dated 30th July 1919.

Capt. (T./Lt.-Col.) Reginald Turner, D.S.O.,

D. Gds. Spec. Res., attd. 6th Bn. Northn. R.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Ronssoy on September 18th, 1918. He got his battalion on the jumping-off line under very difficult conditions and finally led them on under very heavy machine-gun fire, capturing several machine guns and killing the gunners. He personally conducted a great deal of the work of his battalion, and his courage and initiative were most marked.

(D.S.O. gazetted 29th November, 1900.)

Link to Gazette is Here

Steve

thanks for that, do you have details for his first DSO,? won I have just heard for saving his companies horses from drowning in a swollen river in S africa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

His 6 bars were to the Queen's South Africa Medal, not the DSO....

More in a bit.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 bar DSO - youd want a VC after all that!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

debretts 1924

post-3871-1204299669.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lieutenant Colonel Reginald Turner, D.S.O. (& bar)

post-6536-1204299365.jpg

C.O. of 6th Northamptons from 1st March 1917 to 5th April 1918 (wounded) and from September 1918 to December 1918 (Appointed O.C. 54th Brigade)

- Commissioned as Second-Lieutenant in South African Light Horse, and later promoted Lieutenant.

- Served in the South African War from 1899-1901.

- Awarded the DSO in 1900 and mentioned in despatches three times.

- Awarded Queen's South Africa medal with six bars.

- Commisioned in British Army to 2nd (Volunteer) Battalion of Sherwood Foresters as Lieutenant on 6th October 1906.

- Promoted to Captain on 4th February 1907.

- Became an officer of the 6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters on creation of the Territorial Force in 1908.

- Resigned his commission on 14th February 1910.

- Returned to duty as Captain of 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards, Special Reserve in August 1914.

- Transferred to 17th (Empire) Battalion Royal Fusiliers upon it's formation.

- Appointed as temporary Major on 9th September 1914, and appointed as Second-in-Command of 17th Royal Fusiliers.

- Embarked to France with the 17th Royal Fusiliers.

- Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel on 1st March 1917 to command 6th Northamptonshire Regiment.

- Wounded in action in the thigh at Hangard Wood on 5th April 1918.

- Treated at Darell Hospital, London.

- Awarded Bar to D.S.O at Ronssoy on 18th September 1918 for leading his battalion against machine-gun posts.

- Deputised as O.C. 54th Brigade in October 1918, and for 55th Brigade from 18th November 1918.

- Resigned his commission as a Captain, 11th March 1920, and is granted the rank of Lt. Col.

- Mentioned in despatches - 21-12-1917 with 6th Northamptons. Others unknown.

- Also in Second World War: Capt. from 1939, POW.

Believed to be present at the following battles whilst with 18th Division: Crossilles (20-3-1917), Cherisy (3-5-1917), Ypres (10-8-1917+), Jussy (21 to 23-3-1918), Hangard (4 to 5-4-1918 - wounded), Ronssoy (18 to 22-9-1918), Preux (4-11-1918 - 55th Infantry Brigade)

- Born at Buxton, Derbyshire in 1870.

- Son of Frederic Turner, surgeon, and Mrs Sarah Turner.

- Educated at St John's College, Cambridge.

- Died on 9th October 1953.

From the Glorious Sixth regarding the appointment of Lt. Col. Turner:

"March 1st, 1917 was a rather special day in the history of the Sixth, for on that Major (later Lieutenant Colonel) R. Turner, D.S.O. assumed command of the Battalion. One of the first of many things he did for the Sixth was to smarten up the Band. In this respect, the following letter from 28285, Private W. C. Rabbitt, who was Base Drummer in the Band during the years 1916-17 and 18, may be of interest.

He writes: "I joined the Battalion at Christmas 1916, at Martinsart, on the Somme and was given the job of Big Drummer. Our first job was to meet the Battalion out of the line, and play them into Martinsart. We met at Crucifix Corner at Aveluy and I straightway got into trouble for beating the drum at too fast a pace. It was Colonel Charrington who was in charge at that time. We'd just lost Colonel Ripley, our greatest man. After Charrington, we had Reginald Turner, a really grand chap.

He had a splendid white horse named Rufus, who was a great favourite with the men. He decided to keep the drums out of action, apart from stretcher bearing, or runners, and he fixed us up with new Flutes, Dress Cords, a Cheetah Skin for myself, Aprons for the Drummers, and a smart Parade Cane for the Sergeant Drummer. There were also new Flute Cases and Flutes, Cymbals and Bugles. Believe me, we were the pride of the 18th Division. There was plenty of 'Bull' attached to it all too, what with polished Bayonet Scabbards, lots of Blanco, and even white Water Bottle Strings, nevertheless, we looked and were, a very smart crowd.

From the above, it must be obvious to the reader, that in their new Commanding Officer, the Sixth had found a man that believed in getting things done. On the 2nd of March the Battalion moved to dug-outs and tents in Thiepval Wood, and next day the 3rd participated in Company parades, culminating in an inspection by the new Commanding Officer. On the 4th, 5th and 6th a task force of some 250 men was provided daily from the Sixth for work on the Grandcourt-Miraumont Road, the remainder of the Battalion taking part in Parades, Drill, etc."

From May 1917:

At 1.30 a.m. on the 5th the Battalion arrived in Bivouacs at Neuville Vitasse, and after resting spent the day in clearing dug-outs, cleaning equipment, etc. On the 6th there was a reorganisation of Companies, and at 9.0 a.m. we took over strong points from the 8th Norfolks. On this day also, Colonel Turner went to Rest Camp in Warloy with an inflamed knee. ....... Colonel Turner, having recovered from his knee infection, returned from Warloy to rejoin the Battalion on the 16th.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some sources (my original source file was lost my PC crash by the look of things!)

Hospital treatment : Letter sent by Lt. Col. Turner regarding the dismissal of one of his junior officers.

London Gazette:

LG 22-3-1907

2nd Volunteer Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment);

Lieutenant R. Turner, D.S.O., to be Captain.

Dated 4th February, 1907.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...0Turner%20D.S.O.

LG 1-4-1910

6th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment'); Captain Reginald Turner, D.S.O., resigns his commission. Dated 14th February, 1910.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...0Turner%20D.S.O.

LG 24-9-1914

CAVALRY.

3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards, Reginald Turner, D.S.O., late Captain, 2nd Volunteer Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment), to be Captain.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...0Turner%20D.S.O.

also

The undermentioned are granted the temporary rank of Major:

Dated 25th September, 1914.

Reginald Turner, D.S.O., late Captain, 6th Battalion, The' Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment).

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...=Turner%20D.S.O.

LG 10-4-1917

North'n R.

Temp. Maj. R. Turner, D.S.O. (Capt. D.G. (Spec. Res.)), from R. Fus., to comd. a Bn., and to be temp. Lt.-Col. 1 Mar. 1917.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...0Turner%20D.S.O.

Bar to DSO

LG 15-2-1919

AWARDED A BAR TO THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER.

Capt. (T./Lt.-Col.) Reginald Turner, D.S.O., D. Gds.. Spec. "Res., attd. 6th Bn., North'n R.

(D.S.O. gazetted 29th November, 1900.)

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...0Turner%20D.S.O.

and LG 30-7-1919

Capt. (T./Lt.-Col.) Reginald Turner, D.S.O., D. Gds. Spec. Res., attd. 6th Bn. Northn. R.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Ronssoy on September 18th, 1918. He got his battalion on the jumping-off line under very difficult conditions and finally led them on under very heavy machine-gun fire, capturing several machine guns and killing the gunners. He personally conducted a great deal of the work of his battalion, and his courage and initiative were most marked.

(D.S.O. gazetted 29th November, 1900.)

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...0Turner%20D.S.O.

LG 13-2-1920

North'n R.

Capt. R. Turner, D.S.O. (D.-Gds., Spec. Res.), relinquishes the temp, rank of Lt.-Col. on. ceasing to comd. a Bn. 10 June 1919.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...0Turner%20D.S.O.

LG 10-3-1920

SUPPLEMENTARY TO REGULAR UNITS OR CORPS.

CAVALRY.

3rd D. Gds. - Capt. R, Turner, D.S.O., resigns his commn., 11th Mar. 1920, and is granted the rank of Lt.-.Col.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...0Turner%20D.S.O.

WW2:

LG 9-2-1945

GENERAL LIST.

A.C.F. Section.

Lt. Col. Reginald TURNER, D.S.O. (218671), to be 2nd Lt., 17th July 1940.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...0Turner%20D.S.O.

LG 9-3-1945

A.C.F. Section.

The date of appt. of 2nd Lt. Reginald TURNER,D.S.O. (218671) to be 8th July, 1940, and not as notified in Gazette (Supplement) dated 9th Feb. 1945.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...0Turner%20D.S.O.

LG 12-11-1946

A.C.F. Section.

War Subs. Lt. R. TURNER, D.S.O. (218671) relinquishes his commn. 13th June 1946, and is regranted the rank of Lt.-Col.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...0Turner%20D.S.O.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was starting to think I'd imagined the Empire battalion reference!

LG 27-11-1914

The Empire Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), The following is substituted for previous notifications in the Gazette affecting the undermentioned Officers:

To be temporary Majors

Dated 9th September, 1914.

Cecil Ainslie Walker-Leigh.

Reginald Turner, D.S.O.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/ViewPDF.a...ire%20Battalion

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A further pic of Lt Col Turner:

post-6536-1204333126.jpg

I still haven't found the source for the POW comment (I think it may be Who's Who, which I no longer have immediate access to).

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Steve thats really great.

My computer really does not like the gazette site from any approach, throws a hissy fit every time I try to get into it, so this info is great stuff.

Like I said this guy was a hard nut; you see he resigns commisions a lot; in between stints in the army he had a spell inthe Klondyke, another pearl diving and something described as a roustabout in OZ; He was reputed to have got through at least two fortunes, mostly lost it all on the gee gees

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was an incident, shortly before he was wounded at Hangard Wood, where he saw allegedly saw a Second Lieutenant of his regiment attempting to withdraw his platoon, and chased him back into action "using raised stick and curses".

The info on the latter part of the 6th battalions war is a little thin, but I've always had the impression that Turner was a lot more vocal and less forgiving than his predecessor, Lieutenant Colonel Ripley.

I would be interested in any personal/professional information you could supply on him, if you are able.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well Steve, I was worried that I had missed an Officer of the 6th; but having looked through the Regimental Annuals I finally found a reference to Captain R Turner DSO, who resigned his Commission in 1910 (as you have said), but no indication of his Company <_<

Interestingly he is missing from a picture of the 6th Battn Officers taken in Scarborough in 1909

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Found the hardcopy of the reference to Who was who, 1897-2005:

Turner, Lt-Col; Reginald (b. 1870 - d. 9 October 1953)

DSO 1900;

son of F. Turner, surgeon. Education: St John's College, Cambridge. Work: Served S. Africa, Lt. South African Light Horse, 1899-1901 (despatches three times, medal {i.e. QSA}, six bars, DSO); European War, 1914-1919, Capt. Special Reserve 3rd Dragoon Guards, Major Royal Fusiliers, Lt-Col 1917, Comd 6th Bn Northamptonshire Regt (wounded, despatches, bar to DSO); in war of 1939-1945: Capt. from 1939, POW. Clubs: Carlton, Boodle's.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, e-mail away. You can e-mail me through my Forum Profile.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again??!!

Try now.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...