Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
Sullivan

Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps

Recommended Posts

swizz

Glen

Have just PMed you!

Swizz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wellsms

Glen,

many thanks indeed for the insight into Thomas Rainbow....... modest is somewhat of an understatement

kind regards

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
droberts

My Father Planted in Ceylon after the last war.

The CPRC had an annual dinner Until the late sixties when most european planters left. In the end it was sufficient to have been in any of the services to attend the dinner.

I believe in the last war they served in the desert.

Dave Roberts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
charlesmessenger

Dominion

This is fascinating! My cousin Charles de Lemos was in the CPRC and I wonder whether you can find his name in your Ceylon registers. He came to Britain in spring 1916, did officer training with the Artists' Rifles and was commissioned into the Worcesters. He served in Salonika, was wounded and captured by the Bulgarians and eventually reprtriated before war's end via Switzerland. He was later awarded the MC, but there is no citation. Family rumour has it that he brought back Bulgaria's peace terms to Britain, but I have not been able to substantiate this. He served with the CPRC after the war, but he was really a tea planter. Incidently, he was born in Hamburg. His father, although of Spanish origin, was a German citizen, but decided to try his luck tea planting in Ceylon in the late 1890s and became a British citiszen.

Charles M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mtaylor

Does anyone have a photo or info on Lt-Col Benzie himself? I presume this is the officer who led part of 119th brigade (40 division) attack on Bourlon Wood in Nov 1917.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Clarissa Pickering

I found my grandfather's WW1 medals and one of them was for the CPRC. I am hoping someone might have some information about him in one of the registers. Pte. Robert Pickering - all I know is that he was wounded in August 1915 in the Dardanelles and was sent home. I have read everybody's comments and find this period fascinating. It would be great to find out some more information.

Thanks in anticipation.

Clarissa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bushfighter
post-20901-1226404450.jpg


Further to Terry's information in Post 6 above, here is an extract from Lucas' "The Empire at War".

Lucas's casualty figures for Ceylon are:

Europeans: 1,573 served in overseas theatres, 285 were killed and 355 wounded.

Ceylonese: 609 served overseas, 35 were killed, 13 drowned (on the Villa de la Ciotat, torpedoed in the Mediterranean on 24 December 1915), and 82 were wounded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yeadon

Fergusons Ceylon Directory 1914 - Ceylon Defence Force Section, (CPRC)

Hi - rather late in picking this up but in browsing web regarding CPRC came across your listing of "F" Company No 1 Section and noticed it included Rfn W R Cheshire. I have been researching and writing a biography of this man who was killed with the Essex on 1st July on the Somme but have become completely stumped In my search to find commemorative memorials to men of the CPRC in Sri Lanka itself. With your interest in Ceylon military history do you know of anywhere in Ceylon/Sri Lanka where such memorial plaques can be seen? Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dominion-of-the-North

Doug:

Just stumbled across your post. There is, indeed, a memorial in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) -- several, in fact. I posted an image of the main one here:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=146066&st=0&p=1495386&hl=+victoria%20+park&fromsearch=1entry1495386

Below are a couple of more images, one showing the name of your chappie, Cheshire.

I should note, 1914 is the only year in which I can find any reference to Cheshire. I don't have a 1912 or 1913 Ceylon Directory, but he's not in the 1911 Directory I have -- hence, it seems most likely he arrived in Ceylon in either 1912 or 1913.

He served in No 4 platoon of the CPRC Overseas Contingent, arriving in Egypt on 17 Nov 1914. He transferred from the CPRC to the OTC in Egypt on 5 April 1915 (there was quite a few CPRC chappies who transferred on the same date). This means he would have participated in the Defence of the Suez fights against the Turks in Jan/Feb 1915 -- but would not have landed at Galipole with the CPRC in April 1915.

His civilian occupation in Ceylon was an "assistant" at the Colombo Stores Company. A bit on this inthe images below as well.

Cheers,

Glen

post-5403-0-64167400-1298913657.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dominion-of-the-North

Here's the panel with his name on it.

post-5403-0-73601100-1298914067.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dominion-of-the-North

Extracts from the 1914 Ferguson's Ceylon Directory.

Good luck with your research.

Cheers,

Glen

post-5403-0-77309600-1298914127.jpg

post-5403-0-32750400-1298914148.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Carmania

Doug, this is from the Ceylon Observer of 28 July 1916:

Today's list of casualties contains the name of Second Lieut. William R Cheshire of the Essex Regiment, killed in recent action. Mr Cheshire arrived in Ceylon five years ago and joined Messers. Walker, Sons and Co., Ltd., as assistant, being later transferred to the Colombo Stores, Ltd. He was a rifleman in "F" Co., No 1 Section of the C.P.R.C in Colombo and went with the Contingent to Egypt in October 1914 and served in the Dardenelles. He was invalided home from Gallipoli and obtained a temporary Infantry commission with 51 other members of the Contingent on April 19th last year and was posted to the 3rd Essex Regiment, to which Mr D H Rose, late Manager, Whiteway, Laidlaw and Co., Ltd., Kandy, who had a commission in the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, had been transferred. They were sent to France in May, with the 54th Division, 51st Brigade. Mr Cheshire was only 28 and popular in the Fort. His many friends will regret to hear of his death in his prime..

Aled

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dominion-of-the-North

Doug, this is from the Ceylon Observer of 28 July 1916:

Aled

Aled: I find it fascinating that you have a copy of the Ceylon Observer for 1916? Is this just a coincidence, or do you have a private stash! I've slowly been working my way through the various issues of the Times of Ceylon for the Great War period, copies of which I've secured on microfilm from the University of Chicago, via inter-library loan.

Doug: I'd be careful with this newspaper report -- at least in so far as it indicates Cheshire landed at Gallipoli. As indicated above, the medal roll states he left the unit on 5 April 1915 for officer training with a couple of dozen other chappies. These quasi-obituaries are notorious for getting such facts wrong. I have one wherein the chappie is described as having won the VC -- when, in fact, he had earned the VD. I have learned that, not surprisingly, distraught family members often confuse such details.

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Carmania

Aled: I find it fascinating that you have a copy of the Ceylon Observer for 1916? Is this just a coincidence, or do you have a private stash! I've slowly been working my way through the various issues of the Times of Ceylon for the Great War period, copies of which I've secured on microfilm from the University of Chicago, via inter-library loan.

I have a private stash :thumbsup:

Aled

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yeadon

Here's the panel with his name on it.

Belatedly, Many thanks for the photos Glen. I was in a taxi in early Feb on the way to see this memorial when it broke down and in all the confusion we didn't get there and then flew home early the following day. So your photos are the only proof that I have that Cheshire is commemorated in Ceylon/Sri Lanka. Would you mind if I used them in my written draft about him and acknowledged the source. Thankyou again - Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yeadon

Aled: I find it fascinating that you have a copy of the Ceylon Observer for 1916? Is this just a coincidence, or do you have a private stash! I've slowly been working my way through the various issues of the Times of Ceylon for the Great War period, copies of which I've secured on microfilm from the University of Chicago, via inter-library loan.

Doug: I'd be careful with this newspaper report -- at least in so far as it indicates Cheshire landed at Gallipoli. As indicated above, the medal roll states he left the unit on 5 April 1915 for officer training with a couple of dozen other chappies. These quasi-obituaries are notorious for getting such facts wrong. I have one wherein the chappie is described as having won the VC -- when, in fact, he had earned the VD. I have learned that, not surprisingly, distraught family members often confuse such details.

Cheers

Aled - many thanks for this information and I note the warning. Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Hello - I have been researching Gallipoli for a few years and I have often come across the Ceylon Planters....They seem to have been used as Officer reinforcements for a number of battalions - certainly in units in the 29th Div and the 11th Div....One example I recently came across:

Lt Henry Freeman Russell (Ceylon Contingent) joined the 4th Bn the Worcestershire Regt on the 3rd August 1915 as reinforcement and was killed in action on 6th Aug (CWGC). He was killed in one of the bloodiest actions at Helles where the 4th Bn Worcesters lost 12 Officers and 752 men killed, wounded or missing in action in one day. There is a thread on the Gallipoli section on this. The CWGC does not mention the connection with the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps.

If you are interested in tracing the other Ceylon Planters I can dig into my research notes.

Regards MG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Carmania

Martin

I hope that this might be of interest from the Ceylon Observer of 27th August 1915:

Another Ceylon Planter, whom we regret to see in the list of wounded at the same time as Capt H A Brett, of the 9th Lincolnshire Regiment, who was reported to have been killed in the Dardanelles - is Mr H F Russell. He was formerly Manager of Mahousa estate, Madulkelle, and lately on Coolbawn, Nawalpitiya. He left with the Ceylon Contingent as Rifleman in No 2 Platoon for Egypt where he was for sometime he attached to the Officer's Training Corps in Cairo before he was given a temporary Commission in the Infantry branch of the Regular Force with other 52 members of the Contingent on April 19th. He was previously a member of the Madulkelle and Dolosbage detachments CPRC. Later he was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Worcesters and has been fighting in the Dardanelles recently. He is now reported missing.

Subsequent issues recorded that he had been killed in action.

Aled

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Chit-Chat:

As far as I understand it, this unit was especially requested by Birdwood and joined him as an (unofficial) bodyguard in the Mediterranean theatre. Because of the unusually high educational standard of the members of rank-and-file, most were put forward for commission. For the life of me, I cannot remember now where it was that I read this, but the only one whom Birdwood did not manage to persuade to accept a commission was the sergeant-cook. Years later, when traveling through the east, Birdwood was the house-guest of this same sergeant-cook, who in peace-time had reverted to his comfortable status as a tea-planter in charge of a large and very successful estate.

Regards

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Martin

I hope that this might be of interest from the Ceylon Observer of 27th August 1915:

Another Ceylon Planter, whom we regret to see in the list of wounded at the same time as Capt H A Brett, of the 9th Lincolnshire Regiment, who was reported to have been killed in the Dardanelles - is Mr H F Russell. He was formerly Manager of Mahousa estate, Madulkelle, and lately on Coolbawn, Nawalpitiya. He left with the Ceylon Contingent as Rifleman in No 2 Platoon for Egypt where he was for sometime he attached to the Officer's Training Corps in Cairo before he was given a temporary Commission in the Infantry branch of the Regular Force with other 52 members of the Contingent on April 19th. He was previously a member of the Madulkelle and Dolosbage detachments CPRC. Later he was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Worcesters and has been fighting in the Dardanelles recently. He is now reported missing.

Subsequent issues recorded that he had been killed in action.

Aled

Aled - many thanks. This is very interesting. It appears that the CPRC men who were commissioned were not commissioned into the CPRC but into other battalions if I am reading this correctly? Does anyone know of a decent history of this unit that covers WWI? I would be interested in reading more. MG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

For the life of me, I cannot remember now where it was that I read this,

Michael

It was on another thread also entitled Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps on this forum some years ago.....here post No.8. MG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

It was on another thread also entitled Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps on this forum some years ago.....here post No.8. MG

Well done Martin. Thanks

[i've actually been going through some books here looking for it :(

Old age is turning out to just as sad as I feared it would be]

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Well done Martin. Thanks

[i've actually been going through some books here looking for it :(

Old age is turning out to just as sad as I feared it would be]

Happy ending - I've ordered the book today [birdwoods Autobiography, Khaki and Gown, Ward Lock and Co, 1941.]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jdonovan

Good evening all,

My grand uncle, James Devane, was in the Ceylon Civil Service at the outbreak of WW1. I have just discovered his medal card where he is listed as serving with, what looks like, "calle coy" Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps, attached 98th Punjabis. His medal card clearly indicatesTofW as "France" 1914 - 1915 and then Ceylon. Through another sources, I know he was back in Columbo in 1915 working as a Special Commissioner. He was invalided out in January 1918. His service in France, I thought the CPRC, went to either Suez or Gallipoli, strikes me as odd and what were the 98th Punjabis?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jdonovan

Good evening all,

My grand uncle, James Devane, was in the Ceylon Civil Service at the outbreak of WW1. I have just discovered his medal card where he is listed as serving with, what looks like, "calle coy" Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps, attached 98th Punjabis. His medal card clearly indicatesTofW as "France" 1914 - 1915 and then Ceylon. Through another sources, I know he was back in Columbo in 1915 working as a Special Commissioner. He was invalided out in January 1918. His service in France, I thought the CPRC, went to either Suez or Gallipoli, strikes me as odd and what were the 98th Punjabis?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...