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On Cecil Grimshaw, World War I Casualty at Gallipoli

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Cecil Thomas Wrigley Grimshaw served in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers during the Boer War, during which time he kept a very interesting diary. This diary recounts his experiences as a prisoner of war in Pretoria at the same time as Winston Churchill. Later, Cecil fought in World War I, again with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, in the Gallipoli campaign. This campaign, fought on the Turkish peninsula on the north side of the Dardanelles (Gallipoli peninsula), was generally considered to be unsuccessful. Cecil Grimshaw was killed in action there on April 26, 1915. A companion webpage provides a considerable amount of information on Cecil Grimshaw and his distinguished military career.

Hilary Tulloch has in her possession copies of a number of newspaper articles on several topics related to Cecil Grimshaw. These are shown below, starting with a diary of the Pretoria Prison experience prepared by Captain Lonsdale. The second article is a newspaper report by Winston Churchill. The third entry is a series of articles transcribed by Hilary.

Webpage Credits

First Article, Captain Lonsdale’s Diary of Pretoria Prison Experience

Second article, a newspaper piece by Winston Churchill

Third set of articles and notes on Cecil Grimshaw as provided by Hilary

Webpage Credits

Thanks go to Hilary Tulloch for providing the information on this webpage.

First Article, Captain Lonsdale’s Diary of Pretoria Prison Experience


Newspaper cutting, unknown publication except for the letters THE STA at the top of the page, undated.


Copied by H.R. Tulloch from a newspaper cutting in her great grandmother’s (Sarah Elizabeth Grimshaw) album:

 

 


IN PRETORIA PRISON

THE DIARY OF AN OFFICER.

EVE OF DELIVERANCE.


SIGNALLING THE WAR NEWS.


(FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.)


PRETORIA, JUNE 8.


I cannot better preface an account of the deliverance of the British prisoners in Pretoria than by this, the last entry in the diary of Captain Lonsdale, 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers, captured at Dundee:-

“Tuesday, June 5. – Last night we were suddenly called up by the Commandant. It was some time after midnight. He woke us all and told us that we must dress and pack up our things; that we had to move, and had a four-mile march before we could get the train. For a while we did not know what to do. We were absolutely paralysed with dismay. All yesterday we watched our force shelling the forts, and now, when release was so near, we were to be taken away and hidden in some place in the Zoutspanberg as hostages. It was more than we could bear, and we decided that, come what might, we would not go. It seemed rather hopeless, but we determined to try what bluff would do, and, thank goodness, it came off. We sent for the Commandant, and when he came into the building we made him prisoner, and told him that we were not going to move. After he had been in some time the Assistant Commandant apparently got uneasy, for he came to see what had become of the Commandant. When he came into the building we made him a prisoner also. We then told the Commandant to inform the escort of Burghers, who had arrived for us, that he could not move us, as we refused to go. This he did, and they went away swearing at him, calling him a fool, and declaring that they would bring a Maxim. We did not know what to expect, and the time went very slowly. We momentarily expected a large force of Burghers to arrive. I cannot answer for most of the fellows, but I know that neither G. nor I slept a wink for the rest of the night. As soon as day broke we went outside and anxiously looked for signs of our troops. We expected to see them on the hills opposite, which they had shelled yesterday, but there was no sign of them, and we were filled with despair, for we knew that if they did not enter Pretoria immediately we would be compelled to move in the night. However, at half-past eight a.m. we saw them. Even then we did not like to make certain, for we feared disappointment, and we had been disappointed before.

“At about nine o’clock two men, who turned out to be the Duke of Marlborough and young Churchill, galloped up to us. Then we cheered and shouted ourselves hoarse. We rushed out of the enclosure, and Grimshaw, of the Dublin Fusiliers, climbed up the flag-staff with the Union Jack in his mouth and fastened it to the top. This Union Jack had been kept by us all the months of our imprisonment, having been manufactured out of a Transvaal flag, which had been cut up for the purpose. We then all went down to the town to see the troops enter. I went on to the railway station and there saw Lord Roberts. I also saw General Brabazon. He came up to me and asked about our imprisonment and capture. At … we had all assembled in the big square to see the Union Jack raised, and Lord Roberts review the troops. It was a grand sight, almost, though not quite, worth waiting for all these dreadful eight months of imprisonment. The men all looked very fit, especially the C.I.V.’s. The horses and ponies, too, looked fit and servicable.”

The Model School in which the officers were at first confined is a new building in the centre of the town – commodious, well ventilated, and lighted with electricity. It is now a comfortable hospital, and to the campaigner seems a very luxurious abode. There are class-rooms for dormitories, and for that privacy which is desirable when you are tunnelling your way to liberty. The gymnasium is convenient for exercise, and the scaling-ladder against the wall inviting to anyone with a genius for making trap-doors in wooden roofs and concealing himself until he could drop into the street and be lost in the crowd.From here Haldane, Le Mesurier, Churchill, and Brockie escaped, all except Churchill hiding for nearly three weeks under the floor, unable to stand or to sit upright, fed by two of their comrades who were in the secret, and never daring to leave their refuge for a moment, until the order came to remove the prisoners to other quarters.

Life in the Model School must have been tedious, and prisoners looking back on those weary days must feel grateful for a few irritations and grievances. When the harmonium was taken away on suspicion of treason and of playing “God save the Queen,” when the favourite terrier pup was ruthlessly banished because the gaoler Opperman declared that he saw it acting the part of postman, and carrying notes on its tail (I wonder whether they came from the bright-eyed maiden who had caught the fancy of some languishing prisoner, and became the heroine of a little romance, entitled “Love laughs at locksmiths”), when the dumb-bells were confiscated lest they might serve as bludgeons – on these and many other occasions there must have been refreshing outbursts of eloquence and indignation as wholesome and stimulating as the skipping which was the fashionable exercise. There were more serious grievances. Officers were not allowed to visit their men when sick, or to attend their funerals. Their correspondence was delayed, they were not permitted to see newspapers, and they were fed on fictions of disaster to their country’s arms. Now and again a Standard and Diggers’ News was smuggled in, and a few choice cuttings were made from the advertisements. Here are some:-

“First-class shot and rider, willing to go to the front as substitute. Been through American War. What offers? – Apply J.L.W.”

“Notice. – Captain Patrick D. O’Reilly, commanding Irish scouts, has vacancies for a few good men. Exceptional advantages attached to this corps. Horses and equipment. Ready to start Thursday next. Apply sharp to A. Martens, Grand Hotel, between 10.0-12.0 and 2.0-4.0.” Patrick O’Reilly is no longer enjoying the “exceptional advantages” – whatever they may have been – of the Irish scouts. He is in gaol in Johannesburg.

“Substitute. – American Cuban warrior (I could pick that man out of the melodramatic group; he wears the high cocked hat of a Papal Guard) wants to go to the front as substitute. State terms. Apply G.L.”

“Two young Germans want to go as substitutes. – Write to H.Y.”

“Substitutes. – Two German soldiers willing to go to the front as substitutes. What offers? – Apply G.T.F.”

One morning there came to the railings of the prison a man and a dog. They appeared to take no notice of anybody, but to be engaged in very earnest talk – dog and man. “Would you like a swim?” asked the master, and the dog, with a wag of his tail, answered “Yes.” “Ladysmith is all right,” continued the man, and the tail wagged assent. “We will come again,” said the master, and the dog agreed. For a time the prisoners thought him mad, this man with the dog, who talked in his beard, and mixed his dog talk with such names as “Ladysmith,” “Mafeking,” “Cronje,” “Roberts.” Then the truth dawned on them, and the “Dog Man” became a hero, whose coming was watched with longing, and whose mutterings in his beard were “as cool waters to the thirsty soul,” or as “good news from a far country.” One day the “Dog Man” was missing, and there was lamentation until, looking towards the house opposite, the prisoners saw him standing well back in the passage, at the entrance to which two girls kept watch. The “Dog Man” was waving his hat in eccentric fashion, and the waving was found to be legible to those who understand signalling. Next morning a tiny flag was substituted for the hat, and communication between the officers and the Director of Telegraphs was established by flag signal. On March 13, these happy relations were rudely interrupted. Mr. Paterson, the “Dog Man” and Director of Telegraphs, and Mr. Cullingworth, owner of the house used as a signalling station – both British subjects – were ordered to the front. Three days later the prisoners were removed to the “Birdcage” – a shed of corrugated iron, with a mud floor, on the outskirts of the town. The shed stands in the middle of a bare compound, encompassed with dark hills and kopjes, and surrounded with a triple fence of barbed wire, forming an irregular and bristling network, through which it would be impossible for a rhinoceros to force a way.

I paid a visit to the prison this morning. It resembles an enormous warehouse, stocked with small iron beds, like a school dormitory. The walls are of corrugated iron, and the floor of dark red earth. Along each side stretches a row of black iron beds, and along the middle a double row. Broad strips of oil-cloth mark the corridors and passages, which, like the parallels of latitude and longitude, are imaginary lines drawn on the red earth. Over each bed hang two small shelves of plain deal, with two hooks. Here and there some sybarite has nailed together a rough table, and the spread of aestheticism is manifest in the screens that shut in some of the cubicles. The alcove of the Rev. Adrian Hofmeyer – detained in prison for nearly eight months in violation of all civil rights, and because of his ardent loyalty – is the most ornate. Pieces of cheap window blind, covered with photographs and prints from the illustrated papers, are the hangings, with a strip of scarlet cloth, to which are pinned a Japanese fan, a coloured text, and a couple of engravings for relief. Tobacco, biscuit, and chocolate tins, books, cigarette and cigar boxes, playing cards and tin soldiers – reminiscent of Kriegspiel – were scattered about in a manner suggestive of abundance rather than imprisonment. But life in this narrow warehouse, and within the wire of the Birdcage, must have been very trying – life with the oppressive consciousness of restraint, in the uninterrupted presence of 120 fellow-sufferers, breathing the same air, thinking the same thoughts, unable to be alone for a moment. Little wonder that men grew pale, and ill, and irritable. There were few distractions beyond the pursuit of snakes, devising means of keeping out the cold at night, and deciding whether jam or sugar should be sacrificed when sugar rose to two shillings and threepence per pound.

Among those who ministered to the prisoners was the Rev. J.R. Godfrey, a clergyman of the Church of England, whose fame will be kept alive by the following letter:-

“St. Albans, Pretoria, S.A.R., Dec. 15, 1899.

“Box.815. – The British Officers being Prisoners of War, State Model School, Pretoria.

“Gentlemen, – By the kind courtesy of the Government I have been permitted to hold services for you in connection with the Church of England, which services I have felt it a privilege on my part to conduct. After what has recently occurred – viz., the escape of Mr. Churchill from confinement – I exceedingly regret that, in consideration of my duty to the Government, I must discontinue such regular ministrations, as Idesire to maintain the honour due to my position. Of course, I shall always be glad to minister to you in any emergency with the special permission of the authorities, who will, with their usual kindness, duly inform me.

“With my best wishes, I am, Gentlemen,

Yours sincerely,

“J.R. GODFREY.”

This man, so sensitive of “the honour due to his position” that he cannot administer to the spiritual comfort of his countrymen whom the fortune of war has placed in the enemy’s power, is the hero of another entry in Captain Lonsdale’s interesting diary:-

“Sunday, March 25. A parson turned up this afternoon, and offered to conduct service for us, but we had our usual service in the morning. He told us that Mr. Godfrey – the parson who behaved so disgracefully to us – had asked him to take service for him in the town. At the same time, he told him he must not read the prayer for the Queen, so he at once refused to hold the service.”

But others there were with a more exalted idea of duty. One of these was a Congregational minister, concerning whom I find in Captain Lonsdale’s diary this interesting record:-

“Sunday, May 20. A Congregational parson turned up and held service for us. He preached a most extraordinary sermon. I do not believe that any sermon has ever been listened to with more fixed attention. His text was: “As cool waters to the thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” His whole discourse was a kind of cryptogram, for there was the usual Boer sentry present, listening. In the most wonderfully clever manner he worked into his sermon all sorts of news – that our men at Waterval had been given clothes, that there was to be no American intervention, that everything was going right, and that we might expect to be free very soon. He finished his discourse by saying:- “My last words to you are that all obstacles are removed from your home-going.” “If,” adds Captain Lonsdale, “the sentry understood one-half of what the minister said, I expect he will find himself in gaol shortly.” That night, I am sure, the prisoners sang with voice and heart their favourite hymn – the hymn which they knew was echoing through many a fretted roof and whitewashed aisle at home:-

“Holy Father, in thy mercy,

Hear our anxious prayer,

Keep our loved ones, now far distant,

‘Neath Thy care.

“Holy Spirit, let Thy teaching

Sanctify their life.

Send Thy grace that they may conquer

In the strife.”

But there were others whose sense of honour did not prevent them from carrying comfort to their countrymen. The “Dog-Man” had gone (I am glad to record his safe return), and news from without was rare and untrustworthy. One day there appeared on the kopje behind the gaol two ladies. They looked innocent creatures taking the air, and seemed to be troubled with colds in their heads, for their white pocket handkerchiefs were in continuous use. Could it be possible? Yes, there was no doubt about it. These were the inmates of the house whence Mr. Paterson had signalled his news, and here they were signalling too – not blowing their noses. Dot and dash, dot and dash, flashed the white bits of cambric, and the message was read, “Mafeking relieved. Giving the Boers fits at Kroonstad.” Daily the colds grew worse, until, alas! these heroines, whose names should go down to posterity in the romance of war, were forbidden to take the air on the kopjes. Brave Misses Cullingworth!

Captain Lonsdale shall finish the story.

“April 26th. – To-morrow will end the twenty-seventh week of our imprisonment. It is most terribly trying and heart-breaking, being shut up like this, hearing nothing but rumours which are generally of disaster to our arms. Although one struggles hard against it, a hopeless feeling of despair creeps upon one, and it would be almost a welcome relief to be marched out and shot. In fact, if it was not that many of us have wives and relatives, and if it was possible for such a thing to be put to the vote, I venture to think that the majority would be for the shooting. We are suffering in health. There is nothing to do all the long day, and it is difficult to sleep at night.”

A more hopeful note is struck on May 30 – “Derby-day (it is amusing to note the Saints’ days in most diaries). Yesterday evening, in the middle of dinner, the American Consul and Leigh Woods, the banker, with the Commandant, came into the room. They gave out that a force of ours had broken through the Boers and was within a few miles from Pretoria. Our excitement was fearful. We cheered and cheered again. We cheered the American Consul, we cheered Leigh Woods, and some of the more excitable even cheered the Commandant. I afterwards got hold of Leigh Woods, who told me that our troops would certainly enter Pretoria this morning, that Krüger had made a speech in the market-place that afternoon, saying that he would shed the last drop of his blood before leaving Pretoria. (He left the same evening.) Some ten officers went out at once to Waterval to keep our men quiet. It was rather a burlesque that the prisoners should have to take care of their guards. While I write we can hear the guns firing quite distinctly. They began very early this morning. Before the American Consul left last night we sang ‘God Save the Queen.’ I saw tears in many men’s eyes, and felt pretty choky myself. The guns stopped firing about mid-day, and after that we heard all sorts of rumours. A newspaper Correspondent came in this afternoon. He was taken prisoner near Johannesburg. He says that the Boers are fleeing in every direction, and that Lord Roberts will enter Pretoria to-morrow morning.

“May 31. – This morning we all got up with the idea that this was our last day of captivity, and of seeing Lord Roberts enter the town. Immediately after breakfast everyone went outside our shed to watch for the first sign of our troops. Presently, we thought we saw them. But as the force came nearer, we discovered that they were Burghers – thousands of them fleeing. They passed through the town. We could see them galloping down the streets. I saw one or two big guns, Creusots, I think. One commando went off and came towards the knoll we are on. They came right up to our barbed wire fence, through which most of us were looking. I concluded that they were going to commence shooting, but they did not. They were pretty quiet. One of them called out, ‘Your friends are quite close,’ and then they moved off and disappeared. There was tremendous commotion in town all day. A lot of looting went on, so we are told. The Irish-American scoundrels are threatening to hold up the bank to-night. The day wore on, and there was no sign of our troops. Our disappointment was very bitter.

“June 1st, Oaks-day. – Four men were killed for looting. We have had another despairing day. There has been no sign of our troops, and we have heard no firing. All day long rumours have been floating round. First we heard that we had had a serious reverse, that French had pressed on too far unsupported, had got a bad beating, had himself been killed, that his body had been brought into town, that Methuen had been captured near Johannesburg, that the Boers had retaken Kroonstadt. I think the rumour of French having a reverse is very likely to be true, but the rest must be local colour. There is great disgust among the Boers at Krüger’s
pusillanimity. He withdrew all the money from the bank and took all the bar gold valued at two million sterling – and then paid the State officials with cheques that were, of course, worthless. He has not paid the foreign mercenaries and the Irish-American Corps for months, and they are fairly mad with him. They have gone after him to Middelburg. I expect the old beast will have an exciting time with them, if they catch him, for they are a cut-throat crew. But I suppose he will pay them on the spot, or else soothe them in his usual Gladstonian manner.

“June 2. – We are being much better treated the nearer our troops get. Leigh Woods told me that it was absolutely marvellous the way Botha has rallied the Boers and put heart in them. He says that Botha collected 15,000 men, that they have all their big guns with them and plenty of ammunition, and that they are going to make a stand and have a big fight about six miles from here.

“Monday, June 4. – A few minutes before nine this morning we heard guns, but evidently at some distance. In about half an hour we heard musketry, and then a pom-pom opened fire, but did not continue for long. I think it was about ten o’clock that we saw a shell burst on the hills opposite, and from that time onward for the rest of the day up till six o’clock in the evening shells were bursting continuously all along the opposite hills. Our guns made very accurate shooting into the forts. Unfortunately, there were no Boers in them, except in the one directly opposite to us, and I think they were only spectators, for there was no firing from it, and the little crowd of men in the fort left it hurriedly when the first shell struck it. These were evidently lyddite shells. They threw up tremendous clouds of dust when bursting. There was an earthwork, evidently freshly erected, just to the right of this fort, which was full of Boers. After several shells had burst in and over it they left and came down the hill. The guns now began to fire in what seemed to us a very erratic manner, the shells bursting all over the place. A great number of lyddite shells appeared to only just clear the town and burst in the suburbs near the Delagoa Railway line. The hottest firing took place on the hills to our right front. In the evening some hundreds of Boers left the hills there very hurriedly, followed by our shells, which burst on the slopes of the hill behind them. Somewhere about three o’clock we saw our balloon appear over the top of the hill. It stayed up about half an hour, and then was pulled down, but appeared again later. The lyddite shells made a great noise. We could hear them singing through the air. They must have terrified the people in the town, for they went directly over it, very often setting the grass on fire where they fell. In fact, the hill opposite is still burning brightly – it is now nine p.m. I quite expected some shells to come over towards us, and I daresay they will to-morrow, if the firing goes on, though I think all the Boers have cleared from round Pretoria. It would not be amusing to be shelled by our own people, though it would not be the first time during this war. I saw a train leave the town and go towards Delagoa Bay during the heavy firing. I was afterwards told that this train carried men whom, by a gross breach of faith, the Boers removed from Waterval to Watervalover. The Volkstem is full of British reverses, and reports that 1100 prisoners have been taken. It says also that the situation is very satisfactory.”

Before leaving this abode of many sorrows and hopes I was permitted to take a souvenir. On the notice board, was pinned a scrap of paper with this pencilled inscription:- “The mess will be closed after the breakfast to-day. – H. Hobbs, Mess Pres. C. 8-6-1900.” This is my souvenir.

Second article, a newspaper piece by Winston Churchill

 

Newspaper cutting from Morning Post, dated July 17th, 1900, pp.7-8,

 

taken from album of Sarah Elizabeth Grimshaw,

copied by H.R. Tulloch, 31 May 2003:



 

 

W A R L E T T E R

FROM

 

WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL,

 

OUR WAR CORRESPONDENT.*

 

THE CAPTURE OF PRETORIA.

 

PRETORIA, JUNE 8.

The Commander-in-Chief had good reasons for wishing to push on at once to the enemy’s capital, without waiting at Johannesburg. But the fatigue of the troops and the necessities of supply imposed a two days’ halt. On the 3rd of June the advance was resumed. The Army marched in three columns. The left which, thrown forward in echelon, consisted of the Cavalry Division under French; the centre was formed by Ian Hamilton’s force; and the right or main column nearest the railway comprised the Seventh and Eleventh Divisions (less one Brigade left to hold Johannesburg), Gordon’s Cavalry Brigade, and the corps troops under the personal command of the field marshal.

Hamilton’s Turning Movement.

The long forward stride of the 3rd was, except for a small action against French, unchecked or unopposed by the Boers, and all the information which the Intelligence Department could collect seemed to promise a bloodless entry into the capital. So strong was the evidence that at dawn on the 4th of June Hamilton’s column was diverted from its prescribed line of march on Elandsfontein and drawn in towards the main Army, with orders to bivouac on Pretoria green, west of the town. French, whom the change of orders did not reach, pursued his wide turning movement.

At ten o’clock it was reported that Colonel Henry, with the corps of Mounted Infantry in advance of the main column, was actually in the suburbs of Pretoria without opposition. The force continued to converge, and Ian Hamilton had almost joined Lord Robert’s force when the booming of guns warned us that our anticipations were too sanguine. The Army had just crossed a difficult spruit, and Colonel Henry with the Mounted Infantry had obtained a lodgment on the heights beyond. But here they were sharply checked. The Boers, apparently in some force, were holding a wooded ridge and several high hills along the general line of the southern Pretoria forts.

Determined to hold what he had obtained, Lord Roberts thrust his artillery well forward and ordered Ian Hamilton to support Colonel Henry immediately with all mounted troops. This was speedily done. The horsemen galloped forward, and scrambling up the steep hillsides reinforced the thin firing line along the ridge. The artillery of the Seventh Division came into action in front of the British centre. The Boers replied with a brisk rifle fire, which reached all three batteries, and drew from them a very vigorous cannonade.

Meanwhile the Infantry deployment was proceeding. The 14th Brigade extended for attack. Half an hour later Pole-Carew’s batteries prolonged the line of guns to the right, and about half-past two the corps and heavy artillery opened in further prolongation. By three o’clock fifty guns were in action in front of the main Army, and both the Seventh and Eleventh Divisions had assumed preparatory formations. The balloon ascended and remained hanging in the air for an hour – a storm signal.

During this time Hamilton was pushing swiftly forward, and Smith-Dorrien’s 19th Infantry Brigade occupied the line of heights, and thus set free the mounted troops for a turning movement. The 21st Brigade supported. The heights were so steep in front of Hamilton that his artillery could not come into action, and only one gun and one “pom-pom” could, by great exertion, be dragged and manhandled into position. The fire of these pieces, however, caught the Boers holding the wooded ridge in enfilade, and was by no means ineffective.

So as soon as Hamilton had collected the mounted troops he sent them to reinforce Broadwood, whom he directed to move round the enemy’s right flank. The ground favoured the movement, and by half-past four the Cavalry were seen debouching into the plain beyond the Boer position, enveloping their flank and compromising their retreat.

Boer Position Occupied.

Colonel de Lisle’s corps of Mounted Infantry, composed mainly of Australians, made a much shorter circuit, and reaching the level ground before the Cavalry espied a Boer Maxim retreating towards the town. To this they immediately gave chase, and the strong Waler horses were urged to their utmost speed. The appearance of this clattering swarm of horsemen must have been formidable to those below. But we who watched from the heights saw what looked like a charge of infuriated mice, streaming across the brown veldt; so great are the distances in modern war.

Towards four o’clock the cannonade all along the front had died away, and only the heavy artillery on the right of Pole-Carew’s Division continued to fire, shelling the forts, whose profile showed plainly on the skyline and even hurling their projectiles right over the hills into Pretoria [there is a missing section of unknown length at this point] crossing a little brook, we saw before us a long tin building surrounded by a dense wire entanglement. Seeing this, and knowing its meaning too well, I raised my hat and cheered. The cry was instantly answered from within. What followed resembled the end of an Adelphi melodrama. The Duke of Marlborough called on the commandant to surrender forthwith. The prisoners rushed out of the house into the yard, some in uniform, some in flannels, hatless or coatless, but all violently excited.

The sentries threw down their rifles. The gates were flung open, and while the rest of the guards – they numbered fifty-two in all – stood uncertain what to do, the long penned-up officers surrounded them and seized their weapons. Someone – Grimshaw of the Dublin Fusiliers – produced a Union Jack (made during imprisonment out of a Vierkleur). The Transvaal emblem was torn down, and amid wild cheers, the first British flag was hoisted over Pretoria. Time 8.47, June 5.

The commandant then made formal surrender to the Duke of Marlborough of a hundred and twenty-nine officers and thirty-nine soldiers whom he had in his custody as prisoners of war, and surrendered, besides himself, four corporals and forty-eight Dutchmen. These latter were at once confined within the wire cage, and guarded by their late prisoners, but since they had treated the captives well they have now been permitted to take the oath of neutrality and return to their homes. The anxieties which the prisoners had suffered during the last few hours of their confinement were terrible, nor did I wonder when I heard the account why their faces were so white and their manner so excited. But the reader shall learn the tale from one of their number, nor will I anticipate.

Lord Roberts Enters the Town.

At two o’clock Lord Roberts, the staff, and the foreign attachés entered the town, and proceeded to the central square, wherein the Town Hall, the Parliament House, and other public buildings are situated. The British flag was hoisted over the Parliament House, amid some cheers. The victorious army then began to parade past it, Pole-Carew’s Division, with the Guards leading, coming from the south, and Ian Hamilton’s force from the west. For three hours the broad river of steel and khaki flowed unceasingly, and the townsfolk gazed in awe and wonder at those majestic soldiers, whose discipline neither perils nor hardships had disturbed, whose relentless march no obstacles could prevent.

With such pomp and the rolling of drums the new order of things was ushered in. The former Government had ended without dignity. One thought to find the President – stolid old Dutchman – seated on his stoep reading his Bible and smoking a sullen pipe. But he chose a different course. On the Friday preceding the British occupation he left the capital and withdrew to Lydenburg, taking with him a million pounds in gold, and leaving behind him a crowd of officials clamouring for pay, and far from satisfied with the worthless cheques they had received, and Mrs. Kruger, concerning whose health the British people need not further concern themselves.

The Wild Boers of the North.

It were premature and foolish to imagine that because the Republics have vanished the war is at, or even near, its end. Indeed, with our communications cut behind us we are unpleasantly reminded of its continuance. But it has certainly entered on a different phase. British soil is freed from the invader. Both hostile capitals are in our hands. We hold the greater part of his railroads and telegraphs, and have secured his arsenals, his factories, most of his stores, and the gold mines whence he drew his strength. There still remain fighting fiercely, and still a dangerous foe, the wild Boers of the north, the patriots and the hired scum of Europe, and with these we must presently deal according to their deserts, always remembering that unless we make it easy for them to give in the war will continue indefinitely.

I cannot end this letter without recalling for one moment the grave risks Lord Roberts bravely faced in order to strike the decisive blow and seize Pretoria. When he decided to advance from Vereeniging without waiting for more supplies, and so profit by the enemy’s disorder, he played for a great stake. He won, and it is very easy now to forget the adverse chances. But the facts stand out in glaring outline: that if the Boers had defended Pretoria with their forts and guns they could have checked us for several weeks; and if, while we were trying to push our investment, the line had been cut behind us, as it has since been cut, nothing would have remained but starvation or an immediate retreat on Johannesburg, perhaps on the Vaal. Even now our position is not thoroughly secure, and the difficulties of subjugating a vast country, though sparsely populated, are such that the troops in South Africa are scarcely sufficient. But the question of supplies is for the present solved. The stores of Johannesburg, and still more of Pretoria, will feed the Army for something over a fortnight, and in the meanwhile we can reopen our communications, and perhaps do much more. But what a lucky nation we are to have found, at a time of sore need and trouble, a general great enough to take all risks and overcome all dangers.

 

Third set of articles and notes on Cecil Grimshaw as provided by Hilary

 

Taken from a handwritten notebook, written above the entry:

‘Published on Board S.S. Ausonia

March 17th. 1915’

‘
Complimentary orders are forbidden by the Kings Regulations & therefore the commanding officer is unable to make any reference to the fact that owing to his promotion to Field rank Major Grimshaw DSO has had to give up his appointment as adjutant of the Btn.

There is however no objection to Coy officers telling the NCO’s, & men of their Coys that the CO has the very highest appreciation of the services rendered to the Btn by Major Grimshaw.

Major Grimshaw has worked with untiring energy during the full time & more, that his term of office lasted. No officer has had the interests of the Btn more at heart & it is greatly his work that the Battalion has earned such a good name in peace time & that it is so well prepared for service.’

written below the entry

‘Complimentary Memo By Lt: Col: Rooth

1st. R.D.F.’

 


Morning Post, May 4th [1915]:

THE MEDITERRANEAN FORCE.

The following casualties in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force are reported under date April 29: KILLED.

…

Grimshaw, Maj. C.W.T., D.S.O., Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

…

[The list includes 7 other officers from the RDF including Lieut. Col. R.A. Rooth, and a further 8 RDF officers Wounded.]

 

 

 

Unnamed, undated [1915] newspaper cutting:

Lieut.-Col. Richard Alexander Rooth, 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers (killed in action), was born on March 22, 1866, and joined his regiment in August, 1885. He was promoted captain in June, 1894, obtained his majority just twelve years later, and had held his late rank since last June. For the five years ending March, 1902, he had been adjutant of Indian Volunteers.

 

 


The Morning Post. May 4. 1915.:

DUBLIN OFFICERS.

Maj. Cecil Thomas Wigley [sic] Grimshaw, Royal Dublin Fusiliers (killed in action), was born on October 22, 1875, and appointed from the Militia as second lieutenant Royal Dublin Fusiliers in May, 1897, lieutenant in December, 1898, captain in July, 1904, and adjutant in December, 1911. During the South African War he was employed with the mounted infantry, and was present at the action at Talana and at the operations east of Pretoria, in the Orange River Colony, and in the Transvaal. He was twice mentioned in despatches, and was rewarded with the Queen’s medal with three clasps, the King’s medal with two clasps, and the Distinguished Service Order. In 1903 he was engaged in the operations in the interior,
near Aden.

Also from Violet (Alderson) Grimshaw’s collection of cuttings, notices of death of

Lieut.-Col Richard Alexander Rooth

Lieut.-Col Herbert Carington Smith

Bt. Maj. Thomas Hugh Colville Frankland

Captain William Frederic Higginson

 

 


The Times, 4 May 1915:

Major Cecil Thomas Wrigley Grimshaw, D.S.O., who was killed on April 25 at the Dardanelles, was born in October, 1875, the sixth son of the late Mr. T.W. Grimshaw, C.B., Registrar-General for Ireland, and Mrs. Grimshaw, of The Lodge, Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he took the B.A. degree, he received his commission in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in 1897. He served throughout the South African War from 1899 to 1902, was three times mentioned in dispatches, and received the King’s and Queen’s medals and the D.S.O. Major Grimshaw also served in the Aden Hinterland operations in 1903. He was adjutant of his battalion, and was promoted major last year. He leaves a widow and two children.

Daily Telegraph, 5 May 1915:

Major C. W. T. Grimshaw, D.S.O.

Major Cecil Wrigley Thomas Grimshaw, D.S.O., whose death in action in the Dardanelles is officially reported, was gazetted to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers from the Militia in 1897. He was the son of the late Mr. Thomas Wrigley Grimshaw, C.B., formerly Registrar-General for Ireland, and was born in 1875. Captain Grimshaw won his decoration in the South African War. He was twice mentioned in despatches in that campaign, and was awarded the two medals with five clasps.


Court Journal, May 7, 1915:

Major C. W. T. Grimshaw, D.S.O.

Major Cecil Wrigley Thomas Grimshaw, D.S.O., who was killed on April 25th at the Dardanelles, was born in October, 1875, the sixth son of the late Mr. T. W. Grimshaw, C.B., Registrar-General for Ireland, and Mrs. Grimshaw, of The Lodge, Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire. Educated at Eastman’s Royal Naval Academy and Trinity College, Dublin, where he took the B.A. degree, he received his commission in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in 1897. He served with distinction throughout the South African War from 1899 to 1902, was three times mentioned in dispatches, and received the King’s and Queen’s Medals and the D.S.O. Major Grimshaw also served in the Aden Hinterland operations in 1903. He was adjutant of his battalion, and was promoted major last year. He married, in 1906, Miss Agnes Alderson, daughter of Mr. George B. Alderson, of Alexandria, and leaves two sons.


Madras Times, undated:

The casualty lists to-day are again heavy, and include many officers of the Dublins, whose first battalion was here but a short while ago. Among those reported killed is Capt. Grimshaw, as gallant a fellow and as good a sportsman as one could wish to meet. So keen was Capt. Grimshaw on getting to the front that when it seemed that the Dublins were to stay in India, he endeavoured, it is said, to get a transfer to a regiment which was under orders to proceed.


The Civil & Military Gazette, Wednesday, June 23, 1915:


WITH THE GALLIPOLI FORCE.

WOUNDED MEN’S STORIES.

Further details of the heavy fighting by which the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force secured its landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula are given by Reuter’s Cairo correspondent in a message dated May 7.

The tales recounted here by wounded men, he writes, show the battle of Sedd-ul-Bahr to have been a terrible affair. Our finest troops were sent to perform the difficult task of effecting a landing, and that they managed to do this in the face of the appalling fire which they encountered and other great difficulties speaks volumes for the tenacity and bravery of the men.

It was early on Sunday morning, April 25, that the transport Clyde, with one company of Dublin Fusiliers, the Munster Fusiliers, and some Hants, was run ashore near the beach at Sedd-ul-Bahr. Meanwhile, other companies of the Dublins at a point a little further away, and also Lancashire Fusiliers, were brought along in boats and towed or towed to shore by naval men. When the Clyde approached the land she was subjected to a terrific fire, but she replied effectively with machine guns. Gangways had been thrown out on each side of the ship, but the moment the Clyde grounded, shrapnel destroyed one of the gangways, leaving only one for the men to leave the ship by. The men had to run down the gangway as fast as possible and take refuge in a barge, until such time as the fire permitted their racing across a couple of planks to another barge, then to small boats, and so to the beach. Machine-guns swept round continuously, and directly a man attempted to emerge on to the ganway [sic] he was picked off.

TURKS WELL ENTRENCHED.

Shrapnel was falling all round. A shell struck the stern of the boat and killed some Royal Engineers. But some of the Munsters made a rush for it, and also some Dublins, and a few succeeded in gaining the beach; the rest of the party were shot, some on the gangway, some on the barges, and some in the smaller boats near the shore. Fire was kept up all through Sunday night with the same terrific force, the Turks being well entrenched, protected by three lines of barbed wire, about 100 yards away, but by about five in the morning all the troops had left the Clyde.

A Munster man in hospital here with a bad shrapnel wound in his arm bitterly deplored the fact that he had been wounded without so much as seeing a sign of a Turk, and he added: “It’s meself that thought I was going to be in a foine scrap.” None of the men mind being wounded in the least, but it is the thought that they were knocked out without ever having had a chance of getting to close quarters with the Turks that annoys and troubles them.

From the beach, about fifteen yards distant from where the men landed, rose a mound, and it was on the top of this mound which was protected by three lines of barbed wire entanglements, that the Turks were strongly entrenched and armed with machine-guns. The British while landing had, in addition, been subjected to extremely heavy machine gun and shrapnel fire from a fort to the right and a hill to the left.

ATTACK ON A FORT.

It was found impossible to rush the Turks on the mound, as the barbed wire was practically intact, the bombardments by the fleets having presumably affected little damage here. An opening, however, was found to the right, and the Turks, seeing the absolute determination of the British troops to get through, retire to safer ground. Then the command was given to take the fort. The heavy guns of the fort had, of course, been silenced by the fleet, but it was holding about 200 of the enemy with machine guns. Major Grimshaw, of the Dublins, was now making himself very conspicuous, moving about courageously in the open and rallying his men together. The Dublins, with the Munsters on their left and the Hants on their right, assaulted the fort.

Lieutenant Bastard, of the Dublins, now did a very brave thing. Leaving the men, who had momentarily taken cover from the machine-gun fire, he ran fearlessly to an openin [sic] in the fort and repeatedly fired his revolver and it is thought he must have killed or wounded some of the gunners, as the fire from the fort became reduced. He escaped miraculously. Soon after the British rushed the fort and cleared out the enemy. It was in passing a loophole in the fort that Lieutenant Bastard was wounded, receiving a bullet through the cheek. Before taking the fort the British had to retire for a time owing to British warships shelling the fort.

The Hants were fighting very bravely, but there was little to choose between the fighting qualities of any of them. The troops then searched a neighbouring village. They met with no opposition here, but snipers were busy from well-concealed spots. Some of the snipers were discovered in holes with several weeks’ provisions at their disposal. After this came the attack on the hill from where the troops had been subjected to such heavy firing. A wounded Worcester soldier said it was fine to see the dash of the Irishmen taking that hill.

GALLANT BRITISH OFFICERS.

One of the soldiers who participated in the attack said that Major Grimshaw continually rallied his men, exposing himself throughout. He also said that there was a colonel with a cane in his hand, going amongst the troops encouraging them, and that it was he who led the men in their bayonet fight up the hill. The British completely routed the Turks and established themselves on the hill, but the brave colonel and the gallant Major Grimshaw, who had done so much to ensure the success of the attack, were found dead on the field of battle. Cairo mourns the losses of the 1st Battalion of the Dublins, as the regiment was well known here, having garrisoned the town five years ago.

Thus the position on the Monday night at Sedd ul-Bahr. Considerable headway seems to have been made the next two or three days, after more troops and artillery had been landed, but there are no details as to this. The colonel of the Dublins was killed in the boat before he had a chance of landing.

The soldiers went through a terrible ordeal. Some officers who had been in the retreat from Mons said that Sedd-ul-Bahr far surpassed it. It was terrible, they say, to see our fellows falling in their efforts to get ashore. Men were hit one after the other as they endeavoured to run down the gangway, and one heard successive splashes as their bodies fell into the water. If they were not already dead they were soon drowned, as there was no possible chance of attempting to rescue a man. They all concur that the landing was a great triumph for the British soldier, and will go down to history as a wonderful military achievement.

HEROIC AUSTRALIANS.

The Australians got ashore at a point between Gaba Tepe and the Fisherman’s Hut. The Turks were not so well prepared to meet the Colonials there as at Gaba Tepe. Besides, the troops had not the same difficulties to encounter in the way of obstructions as the British had at Sedd-ul-Bahr. The Turks, of course, soon rushed their troops from Gaba Tepe, and by the time the Australians and New Zealanders had obtained a footing they were opposed by about three divisions.

The Australians must have fought magnificently to make the headway they did, and many stories of heroic deeds are told. One Australian, who is renowned for his height and strength, jumped into a Turkish trench and bayonetted five men in quick succession, hurling each man out of the trench on the end of the bayonet. He did it as easily and coolly as if he had been tossing hay, and, it is said, it occasioned him no more fatigue than if he actually had been engaged in the latter occupation. Another man had all his teeth and part of his mouth carried away by shrapnel, but he went dauntlessly on until his arm was severed from his body by some more shrapnel. Tales like this are manifold.

It is confirmed that the New Zealanders came along to relieve the Australians at a critical moment, and their co-operation resulted in the British position being maintained. German officers are moving about freely in the uniform of Australian and New Zealand commanders, and one succeeded in preventing a company of New Zealanders from firing during the greater part of one night. He spoke perfect English and when questioned as to who it was digging in just near, replied, “They are the French, who have just come up to reinforce us. Keep quiet; don’t fire.” His identity was discovered later, and he was taken down to the beach and shot. The German snipers are likewise dressed in the uniforms of our soldiers. [sic]

VICTORY CERTAIN.

All officers speak in the most optimistic way about the success of the expedition. Victory, they say, is absolutely certain. The landing operation was the difficult work. Now that we can land our troops easily, our army will march steadily ahead with the co operation of the Fleet.

The Australian Light Horse and Canterbury Mounted Rifles have volunteered [sic] to go to the Dardanelles as infantry.

About 5,000 wounded have now been brought into Egypt. It is remarkable the manner in which the cases have been dealt with, and accommodation prepared for their reception. It reflects the highest credit on the authorities.
There are about 3,500 in Alexandria and 1,500 in Cairo. One meets wounded men everywhere, but they all bear such a cheerful spirit that the sadness which was inclined to take possession of the town, has long been dissipated.

A certain number of Turkish prisoners have been brought in from the Dardanelles. They have been interned at Toura with the other Turkish prisoners from the Canal.

Unattributed, undated newspaper cutting:

 

TRIUMPH FOR THE BRITISH SOLDIER.

 

THE LANDING AT THE DARDANELLES.

MAGNIFICENT QUALITIES OF THE TROOPS.

 

CAIRO, May 7.

 

Tales recounted here by wounded men, show that the battle of Sedd-el-Bahr to have been a terrible affair. Our finest troops were sent to perform the difficult task of effecting a landing, and that they managed to do this in the face of the appalling fire which they encountered, and other great difficulties, speaks volumes for the tenacity and bravery of the men.

It was early on Sunday morning, April 25th, that the transport Clyde, with one company of Dublin Fusiliers, Munster Fusiliers, and some Hants, was run ashore near the beach at Sedd-el-Bahr. Meanwhile, other companies of Dublins, at a point a little further away, and also the Lancashire Fusiliers, were brought along on a boat and towed or towed to the shore by naval men. When the Clyde approached the land she was subjected to a terrific fire, but she replied effectively with machine guns. Gangways were thrown out on each side of the ship, but the moment the Clyde grounded shrapnel destroyed one of the gangways, leaving only one for the men to leave the ship by. The men had to run down the gangway as fast as possible, and take refuge in a barge until such time as the fire permitted their racing across a couple of planks to another barge, then to small boats, and so to the beach. The machine guns swept round continuously, and directly a man attempted to emerge on to the gangway he was picked off. Shrapnel was falling all round. Shell struck the stern boat, and killed some Royal Engineers. But some of the Munsters made a rush for it, and also some Dublins, and a few succeeded in getting to the beach. The rest of the party were shot, some on the gangway, some on the barges, and some in the smaller boats near the shore. The fire was kept up all through Sunday night with the same terrible force, the Turks being well entrenched, protected by three lines of barbed wire about 100 yards away. But by about five in the morning all the troops had left the Clyde.

AN APPALLING SIGHT.

A Dublin man, describing his landing, said it was only at one o’clock on Monday morning that he was able to get off the boat. He slid down the gangway into the barge, stayed there for a short time, and then rushed for the other barge, and eventually reached the beach after wading shoulder-high in the water. He found the barges full of dead and wounded. He said it was an appalling and sickening sight when morning dawned, but he added that no man hesitated to do his duty. They realised that they had to sacrifice their lives, and they did so willingly.

W Company of the Dublins appear to have suffered least, but X, Y. and Z were literally wiped out. A Munster man in hospital here, with a bad shrapnel wound in his arm, bitterly deplored the fact that he had been wounded without so much as seeing a sign of a Turk, and he added:- “It’s meself that thought I was going to be in a foine scrap.” None of the men mind being wounded in the least, but it is the thought that they were knocked out without ever having had a chance of getting at close quarters with the Turks that annoys and troubles them.

DIFFICULTIES OF LANDING.

From the beach, about fifteen yards distant from where the men landed, rose a mound, and it was on the top of this mound, which was protected by three lines of barbed wire entanglements, that the Turks were strongly entrenched and armed with machine guns. The British while landing had in addition been subjected to an extremely heavy machine gun and shrapnel fire from the fort to the right and the hill to the left. It was found impossible to rush the Turks on the mound, as the barbed wire was practically intact, the bombardments by the Fleet having presumably effected little damage here. An opening, however, was found to the right, and the Turks, seeing the absolute determination of the British troops to get through, retired to safer ground. Then the command was given to take the fort. The heavy guns of the fort had, of course, been silenced by the fleet, but it was holding about 200 enemy with machine guns. Major Grimshaw, of the Dublins, was now making himself very conspicuous, moving about courageously in the open and rallying his men together.

ASSAULT ON THE FORT.

The Dublins, with the Munsters on their left and the Hants on their right, assaulted the fort. Lieutenant Bastard, of the Dublins, now did a very brave thing. Leaving the men, who had momentarily taken cover from the machine gun fire, he ran fearlessly to the opening in the fort, and repeatedly fired his revolver, and it is thought that he must have killed or wounded some of the gunners, as the fire from the fort became reduced. He escaped miraculously. Soon after the British rushed the fort and cleared out the enemy. It was in passing a loophole in the fort that Lieutenant Bastard was wounded, receiving a bullet through the cheek. Before taking the fort the British had to retire for a time owing to British warships shelling the fort.

The Hants were fighting very bravely, but there was little to choose between the fighting qualities of any of the men. The troops then searched a neighbouring village. They met with no opposition here, but snipers were busy from well-concealed spots. Some of the snipers were discovered in holes with several weeks’ provisions at their disposal. After this came the attack on the hill from where the troops had been subjected to such heavy firing. Wounded Worcester soldiers said it was fine to see the dash of the Irishmen taking that hill.

One of the soldiers who participated in the attack said that Major Grimshaw continually rallied his men, exposing himself throughout. He also said that there was a Colonel, with a cane in his hand, going amongst the troops encouraging them, and it was he who led the men in their bayonet fight up the hill. The British completely routed the Turks and established themselves on the hill, but the brave Colonel and the gallant Major Grimshaw, who had done so much to ensure the success of the attack, were found dead on the field of battle.

Cairo mourns the losses of the 1st Battalion of the Dublins, as the regiment was well known here, having garrisoned the town five years ago.

WORSE THAN MONS.

Thus was the position at Sedd-el-Bahr. Considerable headway seems to have been made the next two or three days after more troops and artillery had been landed, but there are no details as to this. The Colonel of the Dublins was killed in the boat before he had a chance of landing. Some officers who had been in the retreat from Mons said that Sedd-el-Bahr far surpassed it. It was terrible, they say, to see our fellows falling in their efforts to get ashore. The men were hit one after the other as they endeavoured to run down the gangway, and one heard successive splashes as their bodies fell into the water. If they were not already dead, they were soon drowned, as there was no possible chance of attempting to rescue the men. The soldiers all concur that the landing was a great triumph for the British soldier, and will go down to history as a wonderful military achievement.

LANDING OF THE AUSTRALIANS.

As the Australians got ashore at a point between Gaba Tepe and a fisherman’s hut, the Turks were not so well prepared to meet the Colonials there as at Gaba Tepe. Besides, the troops had not the same difficulties to encounter in the way of obstructions as the British had at Sedd-el-Bahr. The Turks, of course, soon rushed their troops from Gaba Tepe, and by the time the Australians and New Zealanders had obtained a footing they were opposed by about three divisions. The Australians must have fought magnificently to make the headway they did, and many stories of heroic deeds are told. One Australian, who is renowned for his height and strength, jumped into a Turkish trench and bayoneted five men in quick succession, hurling each man out of the trench on the end of the bayonet. He did it as easily and coolly as if he had been tossing hay, and, it is said, it occasioned him no more fatigue than if he actually had been engaged in the latter occupation. Another man had all his teeth and part of his mouth carried away by shrapnel, but he went dauntlessly on until his arm was severed from his body by some more shrapnel. Tales like this are manifold. It is confirmed that the New Zealanders came along to relieve the Australians at a critical moment, and their co-operation resulted in the British position being maintained.

GERMAN OFFICERS IN BRITISH UNIFORMS.

German officers are moving about freely in the uniform of Australian and New Zealand Commanders, and one succeeded in preventing a company of New Zealanders from firing during the greater part of one night. He spoke perfect English and when questioned as to who it was digging in just near, replied, “They are French, who have just come up to reinforce us. Keep quiet. Don’t fire.” His identity was discovered later, and he was taken down to the beach and shot.

German snipers are likewise dressed in the uniforms of our soldiers. All officers speak in the most optimistic way about the success of the expedition. Victory, they say, is absolutely certain. The landing operation was the difficult work. Now that we can land our troops easily, our army will march steadily ahead with the co operation of the Fleet. The Australian Light Horse and Canterbury Mounted Rifles have volunteered to go to the Dardanelles as infantry.

WOUNDED IN EGYPT.

About 5,000 wounded have now been brought into Egypt. It is remarkable the manner in which the cases have been dealt with and accommodation prepared for their reception. It reflects the highest credit on the authorities. There are about 3500 in Alexandria and 1500 in Cairo. One meets wounded men everywhere, but they all bear such a cheerful spirit that the sadness which was inclined to take possession of the town has long been dissipated.

A certain number of Turkish prisoners have been brought in from the Dardanelles. They have been interned at Touro with the other Turkish prisoners from the Canal. – Press Association.

 

 


The Daily Telegraph, May 25th, 1915:

 

THE CONFLICT

 

IN

 

GALLIPOLI.

 

LANDING OPERATIONS.

 

SPLENDID QUALITIES

OF THE

COLONIAL TROOPS.

AN AUSTRALIAN GOLIATH.

 

CAIRO, May 7.

 

The tales recounted here by wounded men show the battle of Sedd-ul-Bahr to have been a terrible affair. Our finest troops were sent to perform the difficult task of effecting a landing, and that they managed to do this in the face of the appalling fire which they encountered and other great difficulties speaks volumes for the tenacity and bravery of the men.

It was early on Sunday morning, April 25, that the transport Clyde, with one company of Dublin Fusiliers, the Munster Fusiliers, and some Hants, was run ashore near the beach at Sedd-ul-Bahr. Meanwhile, other companies of the Dublins at a point a little further away, and also Lancashire Fusiliers, were brought along in boats and towed or rowed to shore by naval men. When the Clyde approached the land she was subjected to a terrific fire, but she replied effectively with machine guns. Gangways had been thrown out on each side of the ship, but the moment the Clyde grounded, shrapnel destroyed one of the gangways, leaving only one for the men to leave the ship by. The men had to run down the gangway as fast as possible and take refuge in a barge, until such time as the fire permitted their racing across a couple of planks to another barge, then to small boats, and so to the beach. Machine-guns swept round continuously, and directly a man attempted to emerge on to the gangway he was picked off.

TURKS WELL ENTRENCHED.

Shrapnel was falling all round. A shell struck the stern of the boat and killed some Royal Engineers. But some of the Munsters made a rush for it, and also some Dublins, and a few succeeded in gaining the beach; the rest of the party were shot, some on the gangway, some on the barges, and some in the smaller boats near the shore. Fire was kept up all through Sunday night with the same terrific force, the Turks being well entrenched, protected by three lines of barbed wire, about 100 yards away, but by about five in the morning all the troops had left the Clyde.

A Dublin man, describing his landing, said it was only at one o’clock on Monday morning that he was able to get off the boat. He slid down the gangway into the barge, stayed there for a short time, and then rushed for the other barge, and eventually reached the beach after wading shoulder-high in the water. He found the barges full of dead and wounded. He said it was an appalling and sickening sight when morning dawned, but he added that no man hesitated to do his duty. They realised that they had to sacrifice their lives, and they did so willingly.

W Company of the Dublins appear to have suffered least, but X, Y. and Z were literally wiped out.

A Munster man in hospital here with a bad shrapnel wound in his arm bitterly deplored the fact that he had been wounded without so much as seeing a sign of a Turk, and he added: “It’s meself that thought I was going to be in a foine scrap.” None of the men mind being wounded in the least, but it is the thought that they were knocked out without ever having had a chance of getting to close quarters with the Turks that annoys and troubles them.

From the beach, about fifteen yards distant from where the men landed, rose a mound, and it was on the top of this mound which was protected by three lines of barbed wire entanglements, that the Turks were strongly entrenched and armed with machine-guns. The British while landing had, in addition, been subjected to extremely heavy machine gun and shrapnel fire from a fort to the right and a hill to the left.

ATTACK ON A FORT.

It was found impossible to rush the Turks on the mound, as the barbed wire was practically intact, the bombardments by the fleets having presumably affected little damage here. An opening, however, was found to the right, and the Turks, seeing the absolute determination of the British troops to get through, retire to safer ground. Then the command was given to take the fort. The heavy guns of the fort had, of course, been silenced by the fleet, but it was holding about 200 of the enemy with machine guns. Major Grimshaw, of the Dublins, was now making himself very conspicuous, moving about courageously in the open and rallying his men together. The Dublins, with the Munsters on their left and the Hants on their right, assaulted the fort.

Lieutenant Bastard, of the Dublins, now did a very brave thing. Leaving the men, who had momentarily taken cover from the machine-gun fire, he ran fearlessly to an opening in the fort and repeatedly fired his revolver and it is thought he must have killed or wounded some of the gunners, as the fire from the fort became reduced. He escaped miraculously. Soon after the British rushed the fort and cleared out the enemy. It was in passing a loophole in the fort that Lieutenant Bastard was wounded, receiving a bullet through the cheek. Before taking the fort the British had to retire for a time owing to British warships shelling the fort.

The Hants were fighting very bravely, but there was little to choose between the fighting qualities of any of them. The troops then searched a neighbouring village. They met with no opposition here, but snipers were busy from well-concealed spots. Some of the snipers were discovered in holes with several weeks’ provisions at their disposal. After this came the attack on the hill from where the troops had been subjected to such heavy firing. A wounded Worcester soldier said it was fine to see the dash of the Irishmen taking that hill.

GALLANT BRITISH OFFICERS.

One of the soldiers who participated in the attack said that Major Grimshaw continually rallied his men, exposing himself throughout. He also said that there was a colonel with a cane in his hand, going amongst the troops encouraging them, and that it was he who led the men in their bayonet fight up the hill. The British completely routed the Turks and established themselves on the hill, but the brave colonel and the gallant Major Grimshaw, who had done so much to ensure the success of the attack, were found dead on the field of battle. Cairo mourns the losses of the 1st Battalion of the Dublins, as the regiment was well known here, having garrisoned the town five years ago.

Thus the position on the Monday night at Sedd ul-Bahr. Considerable headway seems to have been made the next two or three days, after more troops and artillery had been landed, but there are no details as to this. The colonel of the Dublins was killed in the boat before he had a chance of landing.

The soldiers went through a terrible ordeal. Some officers who had been in the retreat from Mons said that Sedd-ul-Bahr far surpassed it. It was terrible, they say, to see our fellows falling in their efforts to get ashore. Men were hit one after the other as they endeavoured to run down the gangway, and one heard successive splashes as their bodies fell into the water. If they were not already dead they were soon drowned, as there was no possible chance of attempting to rescue a man. They all concur that the landing was a great triumph for the British soldier, and will go down to history as a wonderful military achievement.

HEROIC AUSTRALIANS.

The Australians got ashore at a point between Gaba Tepe and the Fisherman’s Hut. The Turks were not so well prepared to meet the Colonials there as at Gaba Tepe. Besides, the troops had not the same difficulties to encounter in the way of obstructions as the British had at Sedd-ul-Bahr. The Turks, of course, soon rushed their troops from Gaba Tepe, and by the time the Australians and New Zealanders had obtained a footing they were opposed by about three divisions.

The Australians must have fought magnificently to make the headway they did, and many stories of heroic deeds are told. One [the cutting ends at this point]

 

 


The Belfast Newsletter, May 25th, 1915:

 

AT THE DARDANELLES.


BATTLE OF SEDDEL BAHR.

 

Gallantry of Irish Troops.

 

AN AUSTRALIAN GOLIATH.

 

PRESS ASSOCIATION WAR SPECIAL.

 

Cairo, 7th May.

Tales recounted here by wounded men show the battles of Seddel Bahr to have been terrible affairs. Our finest troops were sent to perform the difficult task of effecting a landing, and that they managed to do this in the face of the appalling fire which they encountered and other great difficulties speaks volumes for the tenacity and bravery of the men.

It was early on Sunday morning, 25th April, that the transport Clyde, with one company of Dublin Fusiliers, the Munster Fusiliers, and some Hants, was run ashore near the beach at Seddel Bahr. Meanwhile, other companies of the Dublins at a point a little further away, and also the Lancashire Fusiliers, were brought along in boats and towed or rowed to shore by naval men. When the Clyde approached the land she was subjected to a terrific fire, but she replied effectively with machine guns. Gangways had been thrown out on each side of the ship, but the moment the Clyde grounded, shrapnel destroyed one of the gangways, leaving only one for the men to leave the ship by.

The men had to run down the gangway as fast as possible and take refuge in a barge, until such time as the fire permitted their racing across a couple of planks to another barge, then to small boats, and so to the beach.
Machine guns swept round continuously, and immediately, a man attempting to emerge on to the gangway he was picked off. Shrapnel was falling all round. A shell struck the stern of the boat and killed some Royal Engineers. But some of the Munsters made a rush for it, and also some Dublins, and a few succeeded in gaining the beach. The rest of the party were shot, some on the gangway, some on the barges, and some in the smaller boats near the shore. The fire was kept up all through Sunday night with the same terrific force, the Turks being well entrenched, protected by three lines of barbed wire, about 100 yards away. But by about five in the morning all the troops had left the Clyde.

A Dublin man, describing his landing, said it was only at one o’clock on Monday morning that he was able to get off the boat. He slid down the gangway into the barge, stayed there for a short time, and then rushed for the other barge, and eventually reached the beach after wading shoulder-high in the water. He found barges full of dead and wounded. He said it was an appalling and sickening sight when morning dawned, but he added that no man hesitated to do his duty. They realised that they had to sacrifice their lives, and they did so willingly. W Company of the Dublins appear to have suffered least, but X, Y, and Z were literally wiped out.

A Munster man in hospital here with a bad shrapnel wound in his arm bitterly deplored the fact that he had been wounded without so much as seeing a sign of a Turk, and he added: “It’s meself that thought I was going to be in a foine scrap.” None of the men mind being wounded in the least, but it is the thought that they were knocked out without ever having had a chance of getting to close quarters with the Turks that annoys and troubles them.

From the beach, about fifteen yards distant from where the men landed, rose a mound, and it was on the top of this mound which was protected by three lines of barbed wire entanglements, that the Turks were strongly entrenched and armed with machine-guns.

The British while landing had, in addition, been subjected to extremely heavy machine gun and shrapnel fire from a fort to the right and a hill to the left. It was found impossible to rush the Turks on the mound, as the barbed wire was practically intact, the bombardments by the fleets having presumably affected little damage here.

An opening, however, was found to the right, and the Turks, seeing the absolute determination of the British troops to get through, retire to safer ground. Then the command was given to take the fort. The heavy guns of the fort had, of course, been silenced by the fleet, but it was holding about 200 of the enemy with machine guns.

Major Grimshaw, of the Dublins, was now making himself very conspicuous, moving about courageously in the open and rallying his men together. The Dublins, with the Munsters on their left and the Hants on their right, assaulted the fort.

Lieutenant Bastard, of the Dublins, now did a very brave thing. Leaving the men, who had momentarily taken cover from the machine-gun fire, he ran fearlessly to the opening in the fort and repeatedly fired his revolver and it is thought he must have killed or wounded some of the gunners, as the fire from the fort became reduced. He escaped miraculously.

Soon after the British rushed the fort and cleared out the enemy. It was in passing a loophole in the fort that Lieutenant Bastard was wounded, receiving a bullet through the cheek. Before taking the fort the British had to retire for a time owing to British warships shelling the fort. The Hants were fighting very bravely, but there was little to choose between the fighting qualities of any of the men. The troops then searched a neighbouring village. They met with no opposition here, but snipers were
busy from well-concealed spots. Some of the snipers were discovered in holes with several weeks’ provisions at their disposal.

After this came the attack on the hill from where the troops had been subjected to such heavy firing. A wounded Worcester soldier said it was fine to see the dash of the Irishmen taking that hill. One of the soldiers who participated in the attack said that Major Grimshaw continually rallied his men, exposing himself throughout. He also said that there was a colonel with a cane in his hand, going amongst the troops encouraging them, and that it was he who led the men in their bayonet fight up the hill. The British completely routed the Turks and established themselves on the hill, but the brave colonel and the gallant Major Grimshaw, who had done so much to ensure the success of the attack, were found dead on the field of battle. Cairo mourns the losses of the 1st Battalion of the Dublins, as the regiment was well known here, having garrisoned the town five years ago.

Thus was the position on Monday night at Seddel Bahr. Considerable headway seems to have been made the next two or three days, after more troops and artillery had been landed, but there are no details as to this. The colonel of the Dublins was killed in the boat before he had a chance of landing.

The soldiers went through a terrible ordeal. Some officers who had been in the retreat from Mons said that Seddel Bahr far surpassed it. It was terrible, they say, to see our fellows falling in their efforts to get ashore. Men were hit one after the other as they endeavoured to run down the gangway, and one heard successive splashes as their bodies fell into the water. If they were not already dead they were soon drowned, as there was no possible chance of attempting to rescue a man. They all concur that the landing was a great triumph for the British soldier, and will go down to history as a wonderful military achievement.

As the Australians got ashore at a point between Gaba Tepe and Fisherman’s Hut, the Turks were not so well prepared to meet the Colonials there as at Gaba Tepe. Besides, the troops had not the same difficulties to encounter in the way of obstructions as the British had at Seddel Bahr. The Turks, of course, soon rushed their troops from Gaba Tepe, and by the time the Australians and New Zealanders had obtained a footing they were opposed by about three divisions. The Australians must have fought magnificently to make the headway they did, and many stories of heroic deeds are told.

One Australian, who is renowned for his height and great strength, jumped into a Turkish trench and bayonetted five men in quick succession, hurling each man out of the trench on the end of the bayonet. He did it as easily and coolly as if he had been tossing hay, and, it is said, it occasioned him no more fatigue than if he actually had been engaged in the latter occupation.

It is confirmed that the New Zealanders came along to relieve the Australians at a critical moment, and their co-operation resulted in the British position being maintained.

German officers are moving about freely in the uniform of Australian and New Zealand commanders, and one succeeded in preventing a company of New Zealanders from firing during the greater part of one night. He spoke perfect English and when questioned as to who it was digging in just near, replied, “They are French, who have just come up to reinforce us. Keep quiet; don’t fire.” His identity was discovered later, and he was taken down to the beach and shot. German snipers are likewise dressed in the uniforms of our soldiers.

 

 


The Scotsman, undated:

 

GANGWAY OF DEATH.

 

SURVIVORS’ TALES OF GREAT LANDING.


FEAT OF AN AUSTRALIAN GOLIATH.

 

 


[According to a message from Athens fresh troops have been landed with perfect success by the Allies at the Dardanelles, where a violent battle was raging during the week-end. In the following dispatch soldiers wounded in the first landing tell vivid stories of their terrible experiences, and lift the veil of obscurity which has hitherto hidden the gallant officers and men who fought with such superb courage on the beach at Seddul Bahr.]

Cairo, May 7.

The tales recounted here by wounded men show the battle of Seddul Bahr to have been a terrible affair. It was early on Sunday morning, April 25, that the transport Clyde, with one company of Dublin Fusiliers, the Munster Fusiliers, and some Hants, was run ashore near the beach. Gangways had been thrown out on each side of the ship, but the moment the Clyde grounded, shrapnel destroyed one of the gangways, leaving only one for the men to leave the ship by.

The men had to run down the gangway as fast as possible and take refuge in a barge, until such time as the fire permitted their racing across a couple of planks to another barge, then to small boats, and so to the beach. Machine guns swept round continuously, and directly a man attempted to emerge on to the gangway he was picked off.

Shrapnel was falling all round. A shell struck the stern of the boat and killed some Royal Engineers. But some of the Munsters made a rush for it, and also some Dublins, and a few succeeded in gaining the beach. The rest of the party were shot – some on the gangway, some on the barges, and some in the smaller boats near the shore. Fire was kept up all through Sunday night with the same terrific force, the Turks being well entrenched, protected by three lines of barbed wire, about 100 yards away, but by about five in the morning all the troops had left the Clyde.

AN APPALLING SIGHT.

A Dublin man, describing his landing, said he found the barges full of dead and wounded. It was an appalling and sickening sight when morning dawned, but no man hesitated to do his duty; they realised they had to sacrifice their lives, and they did so willingly.

“W” Company of the Dublins appear to have suffered least, but “X,” “Y,” and “Z” were literally wiped out.

Some officers who had been in the retreat from Mons said that Seddul-Bahr far surpassed that experience. It was terrible to see our fellows falling in their efforts to get ashore. Men were hit, one after the other, as they endeavoured to run down the gangway, and one heard successive splashes as their bodies fell into the water. If they were not already dead they were soon drowned, as there was no possible chance of attempting to rescue a man. They all concur that the landing was a great triumph for the British soldier.

Heavy machine gun and shrapnel fire from a fort to the right was rained on our troops while they were landing, and the command was given to take this position. The heavy guns of the fort had, of course, been silenced by the fleet, but the work was holding about 200 of the enemy with machine guns. Major Grimshaw, of the Dublins, was now making himself very conspicuous, moving about courageously in the open and rallying his men together.

The Dublins, with the Munsters on their left and the Hants on their right, assaulted the fort.

LIEUTENANT’S FINE DASH.

Lieutenant Bastard, of the Dublins, now did a very brave thing. Leaving the men, who had momentarily taken cover from the machine-gun fire, he ran fearlessly to the opening in the fort and repeatedly fired his revolver, and it is thought he must have killed or wounded some of the gunners, as the fire from the fort became reduced. He escaped miraculously. Soon after the British rushed the fort and cleared out the enemy.

It was in passing a loophole in the fort that Lieutenant Bastard was wounded, receiving a bullet through the cheek.

The troops then searched a neighbouring village, but met with no opposition here. After this came the attack on the hill on the left, from which the troops had also been subjected to heavy firing. A wounded Worcester soldier said it was fine to see the dash of the Irishmen taking that hill.

One of the soldiers who took part in the attack said Major Grimshaw continually rallied his men, exposing himself throughout. He also said that there was a Colonel, with a cane in his hand, going amongst the troops encouraging them, and that it was he who led the men in their bayonet dash up the hill.

The British completely routed the Turks and established themselves on the hill, but the brave Colonel and the gallant Major Grimshaw, who had done so much to ensure the success of the attack, were found dead on the field of battle.

The Colonel of the Dublins was killed in the boat before he had a chance of landing.

Many stories of heroic deed by the Australian troops are told. One Australian, who is renowned for his height and great strength, jumped into a Turkish trench and bayoneted five men in quick succession, hurling each man out of the trench on the end of the bayonet. He did it as easily and coolly as if he had been tossing hay, and, it is said, it occasioned him no more fatigue than if he actually had been engaged in the latter occupation.

About 5,000 wounded have now been brought into Egypt. There are about 3,500 in Alexandria and 1,500 in Cairo. One meets wounded men everywhere, but they all bear such a cheerful spirit that the sadness which was inclined to take possession of the town has long been dissipated. – Reuter Special.

 


Torquay Times, Friday 28th [May] 1915:

 

A TERRIBLE ORDEAL.

 

How the 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers were Cut Up.

Gallant Col. Rooth and Major Grimshaw.

 

Tales recounted by wounded men at Cairo, show that the battle of Sedd-el-Bahr at which the 1st Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, who became so popular during their short stay in Torquay, suffered so severely was a terrible affair. Our finest troops were sent to perform the difficult task of effecting a landing, and that they managed to do this in the face of the appalling fire which they encountered, and other great difficulties, speaks volumes for the tenacity and bravery of the men.

It was early on Sunday morning, April 25, that the transport Clyde, with the company of Dublin Fusiliers, Munster Fusiliers, and some Hants, was run ashore near the beach at Sedd-el-Bahr. Meanwhile, other companies of Dublins, at a point a little further away, and also the Lancashire Fusiliers, were brought along in boats and towed or rowed to the shore by naval men. When the Clyde approached the land she was subjected to terrific fire, but she replied effectively with machine guns. Gangways had been thrown out, one on each side of the ship, but the moment the Clyde grounded shrapnel destroyed one of the gangways, leaving only one for the men to leave the ship by. The men had to run down the gangway as fast as possible, and take refuge in a barge until such time as the fire permitted their racing across a couple of planks to another barge, then to small boats, and so to the beach. Machine guns swept round continuously, and directly a man attempted to emerge on to the gangway he was picked off. Shrapnel was falling all round.

A shell struck the stern of the boat and killed some Royal Engineers. But some of the Munsters made a rush for it, and also some Dublins, and a few succeeded in gaining the beach. The rest of the party were shot – some on the gangway, some on the barges, and some in the smaller boats near the short [sic]. The fire was kept up all through Sunday night with the same terrible force. The Turks being well entrenched, protected by three lines of barbed wire, were about 100 yards away, but by about five in the morning all the troops had left the Clyde.

A Dublin man, describing his landing, said it was only at one o’clock on Monday morning that he was able to get off the boat. He slid down the gangway into the barge, stayed there for a short time, and then rushed for the other barge, and eventually reached the beach after wading shoulder-high in the water. He found barges full of dead and wounded. He said it was an appalling and sickening sight when morning dawned, but he added that no man hesitated to do his duty; they realised that they had to sacrifice their lives, and they did so willingly.

WHAT ANNOYED THEM

W Company of the Dublin’s appear to have suffered least, but X, Y. and Z were literally wiped out. A Munster man in hospital here, with a bad shrapnel wound in his arm, bitterly deplored the fact that he had been wounded without so much as seeing a sign of a Turk, and he added:- “It’s meself that thought I was going to be in a foine scrap.” None of the men mind being wounded in the least, but it is the thought that they were knocked out without ever having had the chance of getting at close quarters with the Turks that annoys and troubles them.

From the beach, about fifteen yards distant from where the men landed, rose a mound, and it was on the top of this mound, which was protected by three lines of barbed wire entanglements, that the Turks were strongly entrenched and armed with machine guns. The British while landing had in addition been subjected to an extremely heavy machine gun and shrapnel fire from the fort to the right and the hill to the left. It was found impossible to rush the Turks on the mound, as the barbed wire was practically intact, the bombardments by the fleet having presumably effected little damage here. An opening, however, was found to the right, and the Turks, seeing the absolute determination of the British troops to get through, retired to safer ground. Then the command was given to take the fort. The heavy guns of the fort had, of course, been silenced by the fleet, but it was holding about 200 enemy with machine guns.

GALLANTRY OF OFFICERS.

Major Grimshaw, of the Dublins (who was with the battalion in Torquay), was now making himself very conspicuous, moving about courageously in the open and rallying his men together. The Dublins, with the Munsters on their left and the Hants on their right, assaulted the fort. Lieutenant Bastard, of the Dublins, now did a very brave thing. Leaving the men, who had momentarily taken cover from the machine gun fire, he ran fearlessly to an opening in the fort, and repeatedly fired his revolver, and it is thought that he must have killed or wounded some of the gunners, as the fire from the fort became reduced. He escaped miraculously. Soon after the British rushed the fort and cleared out the enemy. It was in passing a loophole in the fort that Lieut. Bastard was
wounded, receiving a bullet through the cheek.

Before taking the fort the British had to retire for a time owing to British warships shelling the fort. The Hants were fighting very bravely, but there was little to choose between the fighting qualities of any of the men.

The troops then searched the neighbouring village. They met with no opposition here, but snipers were busy from well-concealed spots. Some of the snipers were discovered in holes, with several weeks’ provisions at their disposal. After this came the attack on the hill from where the troops had been subjected to such heavy firing. A wounded Worcester soldier said it was fine to see the dash of the Irishmen taking this hill. One of the soldiers who participated in the attack said that Major Grimshaw continually rallied his men, exposing himself throughout. He also said that there was a colonel (Col Rooth, the commanding officer), with a cane in his hand, going amongst the troops encouraging them, and it was he who led the men in their bayonet fight up the hill. The British completely routed the Turks and established themselves on the hill, but the brave colonel and the gallant Major Grimshaw, who had done so much to ensure the success of the attack, were found dead on the field of battle.

Cairo mourns the losses of the 1st Battalion of the Dublins, (so does Torquay), as the regiment was well known here, having garrisoned the town five years ago.

SURPASSED MONS.

The soldiers went through a terrible ordeal. Some of the officers who had been in the retreat from Mons said that Sedd-el-Bahr far surpassed it. It was terrible, they say, to see our fellows falling in their efforts to get ashore. Men were hit one after the other as they endeavoured to run down the gangway, and one heard successive splashes of their bodies falling into the water. If they were not already dead, they were soon drowned, as there was no possible chance of attempting rescue. They all concur that the landing was a great triumph for the British soldiers, and will go down to history as a wonderful military achievement.

 

 

Undated newspaper:

The casualty lists of the past few days have been sad reading for us all. The Dublin Fusiliers have been amongst the regiments that have suffered heavily. I was grieved to read in the papers yesterday of the death of Major Grimshaw, D.S.O., of this regiment, who gave up his life somewhere in the Dardanelles. When I knew Major Grimshaw first he was a light-hearted undergraduate in Trinity College, and like many of his contemporaries at least as keenly interested in the College Park as in the College curriculum. Two of his contemporaries that I particularly remember were Mr. E. L. Eves, who has since left the Dublin Stock Exchange to join Kitchener’s Army, and Mr. Stannus Irvine, one of the Fermanagh Irvines, who subsequently made his home in Rhodesia.

 

 


The Irish Times, undated:

 

 


THE DUBLINS AT THE DARDANELLES.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE IRISH TIMES.

Sir, – An officer with the Expeditionary Force in the Dardanelles, in no way connected with the regiment, writes:- “The story of the Dublins in the Dardanelles will never die.” – Yours, etc., E. Shaw.

Terenure, Dublin, May 27th, 1915.

Daily Chronicle, June 21st, [1915]:

 

A STOCIAL HERO.

 

FOUGHT FOR TWO DAYS ALTHOUGH WOUNDED.

CAIRO, June 8 (recd. yesterday).

Wounded men brought here give further details concerning Major Grimshaw, who did such magnificent work at Sedd ul Bahr (Gallipoli). He was shot in the thigh before landing, and in spite of the wound and the pain he must have suffered gallantly fought for two days until he met his death on the hill near Sedd ul Bahr.

Words cannot express the influence that Major Grimshaw exercised over the men during those two days of terrible fighting.

The Turkish losses in the peninsula up to May 22 were estimated by the military authorities then at 55,000, and this was considered to be a modest figure. Taking … [cutting ends at this point]

 



Belfast Newsletter, June 21st, 1915:

 

THE DUBLINS AND MUNSTERS

Gallant Attacks.


IRISH LAW STUDENT’S LETTER.

Thrilling Experiences.

An Irish chaplin, whose brother is fighting with the Dublin Fusiliers in Gallipoli, gave to a Central News representative yesterday a stirring story extracted from a letter which he recently received. The writer before enlisting was a student at the Irish Bar. “The Lord knows we have been through the mill,” he wrote, “since you last heard from me. This is the first rest I have had after a fortnight’s continuous fighting. My baptism of fire was a terrible experience, but in a few days I had lost all sense of fear and sensation. Now I have quite settled down to my new role, and a warmer job you cannot imagine. You may perhaps read a little about our landing, and how we tackled the Turks under enormous disadvantages. The beggars were magnificently entrenched, and the wire entanglements looked absolutely invulnerable. They occupied an ideal position on the cliffs above us about three hundred yards away. It fell to the lot of the Munsters and the Dublins to force a landing, for there were several regiments arriving by an old steamer. The old Dublins let the lid off hell in grand fashion. We cut the entanglements in one mad rush, took the forts and a village and then cleared the Turks out of their trenches. It was a glorious sight when we made one of those cold steel charges for which the Blue Caps are famous until we had finished off as many Turks as we reasonably could. What an ordeal, too, getting off the old steamer. You had to be very nippy, along the gangway and then into a barge, all the time under a fierce pom-pom fire. If you had the misfortune to get hit on the gangway nothing could save you from a watery grave. Heaven only knows how some of us got through. I seem to have forgotten everything, but have just a recollection of making a Tipperary dash which brought me to the shore. The Turks set about us during the night, and spilt some blood. One by one the old Dubs and Munsters dropped out, but we never turned a hair. Assistance soon came, and another regiment arrived, all the lads singing “Here we are again.” In such moments it may seem to you impossible that men could sing a ditty, but the British are made of the true stuff and they do let it rip at the right moment. The engagement was continued throughout the night with the assistance of the big naval guns. In the morning we set about the Turks again in the wildest manner; neither shot nor shell spared them, and finally we gave them a dose of the bayonet. At the sight of an Englishman’s steel they fly like the very devil, if you don’t mind my saying so. This gave us a really favourable position, and for ten hours we had a spell of rest. We gave them a rare taste of the Dubs in our last battle. I ought to tell you that the spectacles we saw on land and water would move a heart of flint. I wish I could paint the scene for you on canvas. It would win another army for Kitchener. It seemed to me that the Turks were in swarms, but we made up our minds to go after them, and we let them know for what. We pitched them back about five miles and then came the moment to avenge the poor lads who had fallen. We waited until they were within fifty yards of our trenches again, and then by all the saints in the calendar we poured shot and shell on them, finishing the job with the bayonet. No words can describe what we left behind. The shore and the side of the cliffs were dotted with the corpses of the enemy and our own men. I lost every pal I know – not one was left – but you should have heard us singing “Bravo the Dublin Fusiliers” with a new verse. You’d have joined in yourself, and have had an easy conscience for the remainder of your days.”

 

 

 

Undated newspaper cutting:

 

‘WELL DONE, BLUE CAPS!’

 

Commanding Officer’s Praise of Dublin Fusiliers’ “Deeds That Will Live in History.”

“Well done, Blue Caps!”

Such were the words used by Major-General Aylmer Hunter-Weston, commanding the 29th Division, in addressing the 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers (Blue Caps), on their relief from the firing line after fifteen days’ continuous fighting in the Gallipoli Peninsula.

A Chatham man, Private A. King, of the battalion in question, has forwarded a report of the general’s speech, of which the following are extracts:-

“Well done, Blue Caps! You have achieved the impossible. You have done a thing which will live in history.

“When I first visited this place, with other people of importance, we all thought a landing would never be made. But you did it, and, therefore, the impossibilities were overcome.

“And it was done by men of real and true British fighting blood.

“You are, indeed, deserving of the highest praise I am proud to be in command of such a distinguished regiment.

“Well done, the Dubs! Your deeds will live in history!”

 

 

 

Undated newspaper cutting:

 

‘WELL DONE, BLUE CAPS!’

 

PRAISE FOR DUBLIN FUSILIERS.

A Chatham man, Private A. King, of the 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers (“Blue Caps”), has forwarded the following report of a speech made to the battalion by Major-General Aylmer Hunter-Weston, C.B., D.S.O., commanding the 29th Division, on their relief from the firing-line, after fifteen days’ continuous fighting, in the Gallipoli Peninsula:

“Well done, Blue Caps! I now take the first opportunity of thanking you for the good work you have done. You have achieved the impossible. You have done a thing which will live in history. When I first visited this place, with other people of importance, we all thought a landing would never be made, but you did it, and therefore the impossibilities were overcome, and it was done by men of real and true British fighting blood.

“You captured the fort and village on the right that simply swarmed with Turks with machine-guns, also the hill on the left where the pom-poms were; also the amphitheatre in front, which was dug line for line with trenches, and from which there came terrific rifle and machine-gun fire.

“You are, indeed, deserving of the highest praise. I am proud to be in command of such a distinguished regiment, and I only hope, when you return to the firing-line after this rest (which you have well earned) that you will make even a greater name for yourselves. Well done, the Dubs! Your deeds will live in history for time immortal. Farewell!”

Letter to Ernest Grimshaw, brother of Cecil Grimshaw from W. L Crosthwait. The letter was among Violet (Alderson) Grimshaw’s papers:

United Service Club

Calcutta

18 July 1915.

Dear Ernie,

I hear from your mother that you have joined the Naval Reserve & are somewhere up in Scotland. Do write and tell me what you are doing. I’ve very little news – beyond the short telegrams wired out.

I was so sorry to hear of poor Cecil being killed. I saw a splendid account of his doing in Gallipoli which I sent to your mother in case, by any chance, she had not seen it. If he had lived I expect he would have got a V.C. I know nothing of Rowley or Ewie, except that the latter is, or was, in Egypt. I hope they have both completely recovered from their wounds.

I fear that set back to Russia will have the effect of prolonging the war to an inordinate extent.

Things are going fairly well out here, considering all things. I’m most awfully busy with military …s of all kinds. Nearly all our officers have gone only the 14 seniors out of 55 are left to carry on.

Write & let me know what you are doing

Yours sin

W. L. Crosthwait



Evening Standard, Dec 13.



Major Grimshaw of the Dublins

 

.

As for the Dublin Fusiliers, the third Irish regiment which made our withdrawal a success, their landing at Sedd-ul-Bahr, on the Gallipoli Peninsula, last April, was rendered memorable by the heroic death of Major Grimshaw, as he moved about in the open regardless of the enemy’s fire. The Dublins formed part of the famous 29th Division, which has earned immortal fame for itself, and has been christened “the Old Guard.”

Unnamed, undated [1915] newspaper cutting:

GRIMSHAW.- Oct. 13th, at Hawera, Dunsfold, Surrey, the wife of the late Major C.T.W. Grimshaw, D.S.O., 1st Batt. Royal Dublin Fusiliers, killed in action at the Dardanelles April 25th, of a son.

Unnamed, undated newspaper cutting:

 

GALLIPOLI GLORY.

 

SIR IAN HAMILTON ON THE GALLANT 29th DIVISION.

 

TRAGIC ORDEAL.

 

UNDYING STORY OF THE LANDING AT CAPE HELLES.

From Our Special Correspondent.

ELTHAM, Wednesday.

General Sir Ian Hamilton to-day paid a magnificent tribute to the gallantry of the 29th Division, which played such a conspicuous part in the Gallipoli campaign, when he unveiled a memorial in Holy Trinity Church, Eltham, to the men of the division who fell in 1915-16.

The memorial, which was dedicated by Bishop Montgomery, consisted of an exquisitely carved oak reredos and side panelling, together with a figure of St. George. A full list of the units which constituted the division of Gallipoli days was carved on the panel, together with an inscription.


Ever-Honoured Memory.

The inscription read as follows:-

Remember ye those of the 29th Division who fought and those who fell in Gallipoli in the service of their King and country, to whose ever-honoured memory the reredos and panel on the east wall of this chapel have been set up, and a commemorative service instituted to perpetuate the 25th of April, 1915.

Sir Ian Hamilton, after the unveiling ceremony, delivered an address from the chancel steps. He said that in open boats, across the open sea, by broad daylight – for there was no other way – the 29th Division was ferried by their comrades of the Royal Navy, faced by wire trenches strongly held and by artillery and machine-guns.

They knew very well what was before them. It was noted at the time that the men took their places in the boats more quickly and with less flurry than they had shown at any of their previous practices. Thus, steadily, coolly, the forlorn hope of the Allies’ landing force entered the fire zone.


Achieved the Impossible.

Of all the examples given us by this war, that and the death of many of these men, seated quietly in their boats, quite helplessly, had always seemed to him the most tragic and the most inspiring. No one who did not know these men could have asked them to face such an ordeal.

The enemy had sworn that the thing was impossible, and his boast found an echo in the fears of our friends, but neither Marshal von Hindenburg nor Enver Pasha, nor our good friends at home, had heard the cheers of the Twenty-ninth Division as they cleared out of Mudros Harbour. They did not reckon with the gallant fellows whom General Hunter asserted it was an honour to command.

The Twenty-ninth Division fought day and night for a fortnight – night after night, day after day. During that time they attacked, gaining a little ground, and losing many men. While they fought they still found time to admire the fighting of others.


Worth Ten Years of Tennis.

Characteristically, a young wounded subaltern of the Twenty-ninth, when sympathised with, replied, “It was a fine show. It was well worth my wounds, and it was worth ten years of lawn tennis playing and money-making to see the great bayonet charge of the Australians and New Zealand Brigade.”

As to their friends the sailors, so long as any descendants of the 29th existed upon this earth, never would the Queen Elizabeth and the Implacable be forgotten. It was a fortunate event indeed that to-day the then commanders of these two fine ships were present taking part in the service.

The 29th Division was more than a memory. It lived on, it marched on, and it was fighting to-day in France. Kindred blood to that which reddened the waters of the Helles flowed to-day in the veins of their successors in France.


Division Twice Renewed.

During the Gallipoli campaign the personnel of the Twenty-ninth Division was twice renewed, but as each individual passed away he bequeathed his invincible spirit to the man who took his place.

Three hundred per cent. and more of the Twenty-ninth Division went under during the Gallipoli campaign. Although there were these changes, they remained the Twenty-ninth Division to the end of the chapter. Fortunately indeed was the Commander-in-Chief who had such troops under his orders.

In conclusion, Sir Ian Hamilton thanked the Vicar of Holy Trinity, the Rev. Henry A. Hale – who was the chaplain to the division on the landing in Gallipoli – for the efforts he had made to raise a memorial to the glorious deeds of the last division of our old voluntary service.

Agnes Violet (Alderson) Grimshaw included this undated, Daily Express newspaper cutting in her collection of cuttings about her husband and family. The essay was one of three runners up in a competition entitled ‘Why?’: £10:10s. Prize Essay.

 

“WHY?”

 

By W. Gerald Young, 357, Caledonian Road, London, N.7.

I am a ‘bus conductor, so that, besides ringing the bell before you get on, and, having punched your ticket, helping you to fall off with the least possible inconvenience to the London General Omnibus Company, I must be able to answer your questions and to direct you anywhere between Timbuctoo and Tooting, or Belgravia and Bow.

But where and to whom shall I direct you in your quest for the solution of the riddle of life?

To the scientists and philosophers, with their advanced ideas and theories on which they cannot agree even between themselves?

No, if you seek the real answer you must journey elsewhere, to a place where little recruits are being trained to soldier their way through this battle of life.

Come with me to the infants’ class in an elementary school, select and interrogate the smallest child, and from him you will discover that the problem of existence is not difficult to understand.

“Who made you?” you ask.

“God made me,” he replies, with the aid of his catechism.

“Why did God make you?”

“God made me to know Him, love Him, and serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in the next.”

There you life’s mystery, unravelled in simple language. Live up to its doctrine, and you will learn the secret of happiness.

I am a young man to whom Fate has been cruel rather than kind, for I have already experienced more than my fair share of sorrows.

As a youngster, my little heart was mercilessly torn asunder by the death of an idolised mother; as a youth, most of my ambitions were shattered in consequence of the great war.

After twelve years of real married happiness, a devoted wife and a wonderful pal is in imminent danger of losing her reason, and if she, too, must be relentlessly torn away from me, life’s journey will be weary.

Yet, around me, I see men on whom Fortune has smiled.

They are not all of them good men. Some are false and worthless. They seem to prosper because of their very degradation. In life’s lottery the Great Ordainer has settled on them the prizes.

But I am not the only one with weary nights and anxious days.

There are other men, too, with aching hearts and heavy loads, who have asked themselves “Is life worth while?”

Some have been urged to “carry on,” spurred forward by indomitable spirits of courage and tenacity. Others, with weary brains no longer able to endure the strain, have invited death to release them.

Do not brand them as cowards because they were ignorant of the answer to this great riddle of life. It would have been all so different if the little child, with his catechism, had told them and they had believed.

They would have learned of the greatness and goodness of their Maker, and of His reasons for giving them life. Then would they have served Him faithfully in this world of trial, toiling confidently and with unbounded hope, because of His promise of happiness in the world to come.

With weary minds and sore hearts they would have prayed for help, and they would not have asked in vain.

Fresh courage and renewed vigour would be given to them to continue their mission in life; before them the future would always be bright.

When, subsequently, they were called upon to render an account of their stewardship, they would have gone forth with light hearts because they had been good and faithful servants.

That is the meaning of life to me.

The finite mind of a human being can never understand the infinite reasoning of his Maker, and it is not for me to learn His reason for afflicting me with suffering.

Did He not suffer, too, in order to open the gates of happiness for me?

Whatever your creed, whatever your profession, face this question as I, a ‘bus conductor have tried to face it, and you will find true happiness.

 

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