Help with a relative

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Cpt_Darling, Dec 2, 2009.

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  1. At my fathers request I have been searching for records of an uncle of his that was KIA at Gallipoli. I have his service number, and have got his roll of honour from (though it didn't really tell me more than I already knew.)

    He served in the 1/1st Low. Fd. Coy. RE, and this is where I am coming unstuck.I have found mention of 1/2nd Lowland HERE but no mention of the unit I am looking for.

    So basically I need the help of any Gallipoli buffs out there who can place this units whereabouts, especially in and around the 12 Jul 1915.

    Many Thanks
  2. What does his Commonwealth War Graves Certificate say?

    He may have been attached to another unit (1/2nd for example) at the time of his death.
    I have been caught out this way where casualty driven transfers or temporary attachments have put someone in a theatre in which his parent unit never served. There is also the inevitable confusion about exact time and place of death.
    In one case I have what would be accepted as official records of one man whose death is recorded twice in a week - and this was during a lull in full scale operations.
    It is not easy - but keep at it - there must be records somewhere.
  3. The CWGC put him on the Helles memorial, DoD as 12 Jul 15, which matches up.Although Ancestry on the Roll of Honour have Theatre of War as Antwerp?I'm assuming this was an embarkation point for Gallipoli?
  4. Is there a Regimental Museum curator in your district who might assist? He/she will know the channels and contacts even though they are not RE orientated. I found my local curator very useful (having served with him for a short time). A small donation to the funds is usually sufficient reimbursement.
  5. Further to your information re Antwerp.
    This city was in Allied hands for only a short time in 1914. The Germans held it until 1918.
    If your relative had served with RE in that short period he must have been posted to Gallipoli immediately on the withdrawal, perhaps with another (RE) regiment. Such units would often stop off in Egypt for training and reorganisation. However the DofD you give suggests this was very short and would perhaps indicate a need for RE personnel in a hurry.
    Incidentally was he Regular Army?
    Good luck with your research.
  6. Might be able to add a few pieces to the puzzle...

    1/2nd Lowland Field Companies were Territorial Royal Engineer units. They formed part of the 88th Brigade, which went to form the 52nd Lowland Division.

    52 lowland was a TA division from the south of Scotland, and the "other half" of the 51st Highland Division. I am guessing as a member of the Royal Engineers, he may have been attached to provide support for the attacking infantry??

    Found this on the Royal Engineers Museum site...

    "In July 1915 all troops ashore at Helles were formed into VIII Corps under command of the engineer Major General Sir Aylmer Hunter-Weston. The Corps' engineers were:

    29th Division - 1/2nd London, 1/1st West Riding, 2/2nd Lowland Field Companies.
    Royal Naval Division - 1st, 2nd, 3rd Field Companies
    42nd Division - 1st (later 427th), 2nd (later 428th) East Lancashire Field Companies.
    52nd (Lowland) Division - 2/1st, 1/2nd Lowland Field Companies.
    Corps Troops - 13th Base Park Company, 254th Tunnelling Company and a Postal unit.
    On the beaches the engineers continued to construct and repair piers damaged by stormy seas. They also dug shelters to protect those on the beaches. They laid causeways and a decauville (narrow gauge railway) across the beaches. A Steam Tractor was used to haul in timber from sunken barges.

    The 1/1st West Riding Field Company supervised the construction of an artillery road to the front, which ran four miles inland. At the front the engineers constructed redoubts within 80 yds of the Turkish trenches, they also manufactured bombs, built shell proof shelters and laid much of the wire in no-man's land. In June 1915 the 254th Tunnelling Company was tasked with the execution of the 29th Division mining offensive.

    During the offensives against the Turks the engineers who followed close behind the assault troops were engaged in converting capture trenches for British use. They also constructed bridges over trenches to carry guns much in the same way as their counterparts did on the Western Front."

    On the 12th and 13th of July the 52nd division saw action at Achi Baba Nullah (also known as Bloody Valley)

    Over a third of the Lowland Division were killed or wounded in this 2 day battle!

    Hope that adds a few more pieses to the puzzle and maybe gives you a few things to investigate...
  7. Thanks all very much for your help!

    Punch re if he was regular Army.I am not sure, I have his place of enlistment but not the date.I have not as yet been able to find slides of actual records, just rolls of honour from various sites.

    Could his service no. give any clue to whether he was regular or not?
  8. PM on way