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Hawick Memorial Plaque at Helles, Gallipoli

 
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DerekR
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Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 3:56 pm    Post subject: Hawick Memorial Plaque at Helles, Gallipoli Reply with quote



In 1926, a countrywide pilgrimage was organised to the far off Gallipoli peninsula. The length of the journey meant that only those who had the necessary finances could make the trip and the only locals who subscribed were Mr Alexander Innes of Lindisfarne, Mr & Mrs Patrick of Cragside, and from Manchester, Mrs Annie Smith, the widow of John Smith who was accompanied by her only surviving son, James. Through the pages of the local press, the pilgrims offered to visit the graves of the fallen, (or more likely, their names on a memorial) for other families who could not afford the trip. The Town Council, on behalf of the people of the town, sent out with them a heather wreath and a marble shield inscribed with the words:

‘From the town of Hawick, Scotland.
In grateful memory of the officers and men belonging
to that town who fell in Gallipoli in the Great War, 1915’


The shield was placed at the base of the Helles Memorial to the Missing at Gallipoli which carries the names of over 100 local men who died there and have no known grave.

Margaret Patrick lost a son, John, at Gallipoli and his body, like so many others, was never identified. After a walk over the area which had claimed the lives of so many of the 1/4th K.O.S.B. on the 12th July, 1915, she wrote:
‘And so in the afternoon, we bade our dear ones a sad farewell, feeling perfectly satisfied and comfortable that we had followed our heroes as far as humanely speaking, it was possible, and had been as near to them as ever we can hope to be till we meet them again, never more to be parted from them’.

James D.Smith also walked the same field where his brother William had fallen. James was from a family well versed in literary comment and he felt duty bound to describe the events of the pilgrimage for the benefit of all the bereaved who remained in Hawick. His article appeared in the Hawick Express of the 24th September, 1926. The death of William Smith in 1915 characterised the calibre of the men of the district who were lost in the Great War. W.Sorley Brown mentioned William in ‘My War Diary’ which he published after the war:
‘One very smart youth of about twenty-one years of age, William Smith by name, a native of Hawick, but who for many years lived in Manchester, preferred to come back and join the K.O.S.B. rather than enlist in one of the many Manchester battalions.......We talked about Steve Bloomer, “Bobby” Walker, the works of the late Andrew Lang, in which he was specially interested, the beauties of the Border county, and many other subjects, but the war topic was left untouched.’
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Last edited by DerekR on Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:05 pm; edited 2 times in total
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DerekR
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Nearly forty years later, in 1965, Hawick Callants’ Club began a Gallipoli Appeal Fund, the aim of which was to raise money in order to send local veterans back to the peninsula for the 50th anniversary of the escapade there. Enough money was raised to send six men and these were chosen by ballot from a group who had expressed an interest in going. At the Helles Memorial, they found the marble shield which had been sent out from Hawick in 1926, sitting below the names of the K.O.S.B.’s missing, the familiar names of their friends who were destined never to grow old.

On the return of the veterans to Hawick after their emotional pilgrimage, they were piped off the train at Hawick station. On the 50th anniversary of the 12th July, 1915, 50 old comrades gathered at Trinity Church for a Memorial Service to honour their dead. After the service, 2 Cypress trees which had been grown from seed gathered at Gallipoli, were planted on either side of the Hawick War Memorial by Provost James Henderson and Ernest Tait of the Callants’ Club.
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Last edited by DerekR on Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Adam Brown
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Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Derek

Is this a new memorial do you know? It looks in very good condition.

Regards

Adam
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DerekR
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam,
I doubt that this is the original 1926 plaque as I had heard that a visitor to Gallipoli in the 1980's found the original plaque in pieces, propped up at the base of the Helles Memorial to the Missing.
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DerekR
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Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vast majority of Hawick dead come from the 1/4th Bn.KOSB who perished in an attack against Achi Baba on the infamous 12th July, 1915.

It is difficult to say with absolute accuracy, the true casualty figures for the Hawick district from the action of the 12th July. At the time, the ‘Hawick Express’ listed the names of sixty Hawick men who fell on that date and for a while, this number seems to have become a fair representation of the town’s loss. Having studied information sources which the townsfolk at the Great War period did not have available to them, the most realistic casualty figures for the area puts the number of dead due to the fighting of the l2th July as approximately eighty-six men. These losses break down as follows:
Hawick 75, Ashkirk 1, Bedrule 1, Bonchester 3, Cavers 1, Liddesdale 2, Stobs 1 and Southdean 2 men respectively.
Lance-Corporal J.Thomson of Bonchester poignantly wrote:
‘I am the only one left now out of the Rulewater and Southdean district, the rest being killed, wounded or missing. The l2th July will long be remembered by me.’
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DerekR
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Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 12th July, 1915, is still annually commemorated in Hawick, with a laying of a wreath at both the "Horse" and Hawick War Memorial.


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michaeldr



Joined: 25 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is another memorial plaque situated on the wall of the building behind the camera in Derek's above photograph. It states that it was

"Erected in recognition of the members of the Hawick Gallipoli Comrades Association who met here annually on 12th July to remember those who fell on that date in 1915.
12 July 1988"

Gavin Richardson writing in 'The Gallipolian' No.75, Autumn 1994 informs that the ceremony, held at 7.00 pm on the 12th July, dates from 1916.

On a personal note Derek, did you take that photograph yourself?
My reason for asking is that, even from the back, I recognize the three visitors on the right;
they were from r to l, yours truly, my son Adam and (standing forward with his elbow raised - probably taking a photograph himself) my father.
We three were very proud to march with you that year at the War Memorial, to enjoy the hospitality at the Club afterwards and to see Gavin Richardson's marvelous slide show.

A Happy New Year to One and All
Michael
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DerekR
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,
It is a small world as yes, I did indeed take the photograph.
The chap next to your son is Fred Ewart - his father was a 1/4th KOSB Territorial pre-Great War and was then transferred to the HLI in 1917.

Below is a picture from the wreath laying later the same night at the War Memorial - Fred Ewart is seen walking away from it.
Also a picture of the Gallipoli Association plaque and one of the last pictures of the remnants of that gallant band, the 1/4th veterans.




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michaeldr



Joined: 25 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks Derek,
It's nice to see the other photographs too and especially the veterans
[how appropriate that we see them immediately above the very apt words of your signature-line]

I think that earlier photograph of yours must have been 1995 - A night to remember as they say

Thanks again
Michael
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DerekR
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This picture courtesy of Bob Pike gives a clear view of the position of the Hawick plaque in relation to the Helles Memorial to the Missing:


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DelBoy



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Location: The County of Angus

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DerekR wrote:


Nearly forty years later, in 1965, Hawick Callants’ Club began a Gallipoli Appeal Fund, the aim of which was to raise money in order to send local veterans back to the peninsula for the 50th anniversary of the escapade there. Enough money was raised to send six men and these were chosen by ballot from a group who had expressed an interest in going. At the Helles Memorial, they found the marble shield which had been sent out from Hawick in 1926, sitting below the names of the K.O.S.B.’s missing, the familiar names of their friends who were destined never to grow old.

On the return of the veterans to Hawick after their emotional pilgrimage, they were piped off the train at Hawick station. On the 50th anniversary of the 12th July, 1915, 50 old comrades gathered at Trinity Church for a Memorial Service to honour their dead. After the service, 2 Cypress trees which had been grown from seed gathered at Gallipoli, were planted on either side of the Hawick War Memorial by Provost James Henderson and Ernest Tait of the Callants’ Club.


The worlds an even smaller place!

I was reading the account of the veterans 1965 trip at http://www.hawickcallantsclub.co.uk/Gallipoli/intro.htm it so happens that the son of one of those six who went on the trip (Robert Deans) occasionally comes in the pub i work in.

He told me his father was in the 1/4 K.O.S.B. and never went abroad again after the war til the 1965 trip.
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