Tag Archives: Gallipoli

Alexander Kenelm Clark-Kennedy

Alexander was born on the 18th December 1883 to Captain Alexander William Maxwell Clark­ Kennedy, of Knockgray, Galloway, and Hon. Lettice Lucy Hewitt, third daughter of James, 4th Viscount Lifford.

His two elder brothers William Hew and Leopold James Clark-Kennedy had both already been at the school, by the time Alexander arrived in September 1898. Whilst at the school, he represented Ashburnham at Football. According to The Elizabethan, he was the best of “a poor lot” in the Ashburnham Football team in November 1893. He left in July 1902, the same year his younger brother Archibald Douglas Hewitt arrived at the school, and went on to Trinity College, Cambridge obtaining his BA in 1905.

He became one of H.M. Inspectors of Factories on the 31st of July 1906, but enlisted as 2nd Lieutenant with the Galloway Rifles (later known as the 5th Battalion of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers) the following October. He was promoted to Lieutenant in August 1907.

Alexander acted as secretary to the Employment of Children Act 1909. By January 1912, he was 1st division clerk in the Home Office, but was reappointed an Inspector of Factories 13th August 1912. He also undertook the role of honorary secretary of the Elizabethan club for a year.

Following the outbreak of war, Alexander re-joined the Scottish Borderers with the rank of Captain. He set out with them for Gallipoli in May 1915, but had to be invalided home in October. He was well enough to join his battalion in Egypt in April 1916.

He was killed in action near Gaza, Palestine, on 19th April 1917, and is memorialised on the Carsphairn war memorial, which was unveiled in 1923 by his elder brother William.

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Stephen Arthur Herbert Codd

19160909_Codd,SAHStephen Codd was the only son of Arthur and Florence Codd of West Hampstead. He was born on the 24th October 1891, and was admitted to Homeboarders House as a non-resident King’s Scholar in 1905.

He was a keen public speaker, regularly participating in the Debating Society. On 17 February 1910, Stephen argued in favour of Vivisection: he “fluently demonstrated what benefits had been conferred upon mankind by vivisection, and indulged in some rather gruesome detail.”

In his final year at school, he won first place in the Orations — a public speaking competition — and was commended for his “sweeter voice” and was “word perfect” in the final performance of a passage from Isaiah predicting the fall of Babylon.

Stephen left the school in July 1910, and entered the office of the High Commissioner for South Africa, Herbert, 1st Viscount Gladstone. However, after three years, Stephen decided to take holy orders, and went to King’s College London, where he gained the Wordsworth Latin Prize in the Intermediate B.D. Exam, in 1914.

In September 1914, he enlisted in the Universities and Public Schools Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and was made 2nd Lieutenant, 11th (Service) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regt in the December of that year. He was attached to the 7th Battalion and went out to Gallipoli on 24th September 1915. That November, Gallipoli was hit by a great blizzard; Stephen suffered from frostbite and was invalided home.

After his convalescence, he went out to the western front on 24th August 1916, where he took part in the attack at High Wood. The plan was to use tanks later on in the month, and Stephen’s regiment was preparing the way by attempting to penetrate into the German trenches. Stephen was the only officer of his battalion to succeed in doing so, but he was never seen again.

In June 1917, the King’s College Review quoted a letter that Stephen’s Colonel wrote: “The regiment attacked on the 9th and your son gallantly led his men into the enemy’s lines but were driven out by superior numbers. Your son was last seen at the head of his men… he was a brave splendid officer and at once made himself popular with his brother officers and men.”

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Frank Besson

Frank Besson attended Westminster Schoolfrom May 1910 to Christmas 1914 in Rigaud’s House. He was successful at school, taking part in cricket, football, gymnastics – where he made up ‘in strength and energy for what he lacks in style’,and athletics, excelling particularly in the latter. His performances, particularly as a short-distance runner, helped Rigaud’s to win Athletic Sports two years running.

His obituary in The Elizabethan noted that ‘he possessed boundless energy and the divine gift of enthusiasm. His tastes were all for mechanical science and adventure, and before the war he had already designed to join the Air Service.’

Indeed just before leaving the school, on 12th December 1914, Frank addressed the school’s Scientific Society on ‘Theories of Aviation’. A review of his talk noted that ‘he explained the various laws which govern the science of Flight, illustrating his points with experiments on the bench. He thus demonstrated very clearly a thing which many of his hearers perhaps did not know before, namely, why and how a heavier than-air body like an aeroplane will support itself in a less dense medium.’

After training as a pilot Frank served at Dunkirk in August 1915 before going out to the Dardanelles. Hedrowned off the Gallipoli Peninsula whilst on reconnaissancepatrol when his aircraft was brought down into the sea by the enemy. His death was not confirmed until April, when his observer, who had been captured by the enemy forces, was able to get word back to his family.

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A Wight seaplane used in the Gallipoli Campaign, 1915
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Charles Nigel Gordon Walker

Charles Walker was born in Gravesend, Kent and arrived up Rigaud’s in 1905 at the age of 16. He was a half-boarder, and managed to earn himself a tanning in Play 1907 for “ragging [fighting] in the changing room”.

He opted to focus his studies on maths and science, as opposed to the Classics, but it is unknown where he went after leaving the school at Easter 1908.

Charles was 25 when he was made a temporary Lieutenant of the newly formed 10th Service Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment on the 21st of November 1914. He was made an adjutant and attached to the 8th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, which then became part of the 127th Brigade, 42nd East Lancashire Division the following May.

On the 6th of May 1915, Charles was one of the 14,224 who landed at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, where he would have seen action in the attempts to capture the heights around the village of Krithia.

The Battle of Krithia Vinyard, which took place over 6th to the 13th of August 1915. This was an attempt not only to capture ground, but also to divert attention away from Suvla Bay, where a large British landing was to be attempted.

Charles was killed in action on the second day of this battle.

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6th Battalion, Manchester Regiment advancing over open terrain during the Third Battle of Krithia, Gallipoli from the Imperial War Museum’s Collection

 

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Edward John Longton

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Edward Longton began atWestminster in Grant’sHouse on 29th April 1909 and left in July 1914. He played for the School’s Cricket XI in his final year at school and features heavily in cricket match reports in The Elizabethan. It was noted that ‘Longton was not given sufficient opportunities of showing his ability as a bowler, but he proved a useful bat.’ He was a schoolboy member of Surrey County Cricket Club between 1911-14.

By December of 1914 he had joined the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Essex Regiment and was swiftly transferred to the 1st Battalion who sailed from Avonmouth for Gallipoli on 21st March. They landed on Cape Helles on 25th April 1915. He took part in his Regiment’s action at the Third Battle of Krithia. He was initially declared as missing, but confirmed as killed in action on 6th June 1915.

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Guy Proudfoot Cooke

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Thought to be an image of Guy Proudfoot Cooke from a collection of photographs belonging to Thomas Otto Hartshorn, Able Bodied Seaman

Guy Proudfoot Cooke was at Westminster School for a relatively short period of time having joined Ashburnham House in 1909 from Uppingham School. His father was a solicitor and at the age of 16 he left the school to enter his father’s office. He was articled to him in March, 1913 and in the same month signed up as aRoyal Naval Volunteer Reserve.

On the outbreak of war he was called up and as a leading seaman took part in the operations at Antwerp in October, 1914. He was promoted to the rank of Sub-Lieutenant in the Nelson Battalion that winter and in the following year went out as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force to attack the Gallipoli Peninsula.

The forces landed on 25th April but struggled to get a hold on the peninsula. What happened next is recorded inThe Despatch of General Sir Ian Hamilton, Commander in Chief of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force:

 

‘On the night of May 2nd a bold effort was made to seize a commanding knoll [known as Baby 700] in front of the centre of the line. The enemy’s enfilading machine guns were too scientifically posted, and 800 men were lost without advantage beyond the infliction of a corresponding loss to the enemy.’

Guy Proudfoot wasreported missing the following morning but it seems clear that he was killed in action in this battle. His body was never recovered. His 1914 Star,a campaign medal for service in France or Belgium between 5 August and 22 November 1914, was issued to his father in June 1919.

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Sidney Herbert Foster Muriel

19150430_Muriel,SHFSidney Herbert FosterMurielwas the only son of the Rev. William Carter Muriel, Vicar of Fulham, and was at the School from 1891 to 1894. He was in Homeboarders house and a good fullback on the house’s football team, receiving half pinks. He went through Sandhurst, and obtained his first commission early in 1898 in the 1st Border Regiment. He served in the South African War, was wounded at Ladysmith, and mentioned in dispatches, and obtained the Queen’s Medal with four clasps and the King’s Medal with two clasps. He served as Adjutant of his Battalion, and obtained his Company in 1909.

His Battalion sailed from Avonmouth on 17th March 1915 and landed at Cape Helles between 25th and 27th April 1915. They found themselves indangerous conditions, beneath high, well-fortified cliffs. The maintained a foothold on the peninsular at the cost of significant loss of life.

Muriel waskilled in action at Sedd-el-Bahr, a small village with an Ottoman castle on a promontory on the Gallipoli peninsular. He is the only Westminster pupil to have been buried there; the other 5 pupils who died in the campaign are commemorated on the Helles Pont Memorial.

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