Arthur James HOWARD
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Number:
Unit: 2nd Battalion HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 28 April 1915
Age: 29
Cemetery: Helles Memorial, Turkey

Arthur's date of death as recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is 30 April, but his unit's War Diary written at the time confirms it was actually two days before. Details are below.

Arthur was born in the village of Walsoken, on the border of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. His father, also called Arthur, originated from nearby Wisbech. In 1901, when the national census was taken, the family was living at 56 Georges Road, Stockport. The two Arthurs worked for a railway company, the older man as a porter and his son as a messenger. Mary Howard was 37.

Arthur was the oldest child of the family. He had a younger brother, Walter (14) who had also been born in Walsoken, but their other siblings had all been born in Stockport, suggesting the family  had moved to the area around 1890. The other children were Gertrude (10), Hannah (8) , Eliza (7) and Albert (1).

Arthur is thought to have joined the Manchester Regiment as a private, shortly after war was declared in August 1914. He was quickly selected to become an officer and was commissioned into the 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment in early 1915. The Battalion was part of the regular army and arrived back in England from India on 13 February. Although he only held a wartime commission, he will have been assigned to the Battalion to bring it up to strength.

The Battalion embarked from Avonmouth on 20/21 March, arriving at Alexandria in Egypt on 2 April. They spent a few days there before embarking again to go into action at Gallipoli. "Y" and "Z" Companies boarded the "River Clyde" which was to be run ashore as a means of ensuring the troops could quickly get ashore. The plan immediately went wrong, at dawn on the 25th, as the Turkish Army was in heavily defended positions overlooking the landing area. Many of the soldiers were shot as they tried to wade through the shoulder high water. The wounded simply drowned. "W" and "X" companies had a much easier time landing a little way along the coast.

On the 26th and 27th, Commonwealth troops had secured a beachhead and made a general move forward. The Hampshires captured the village of Sedd el Bahr and a position recorded as Hill 138. They then moved forward to positions astride the road to Krithia. The advance continued on the 28th but, as the Battalion War Diary entry for the day records "About 4pm, the French troops on our right were counterattacked and retired. Result whole line was obliged to withdraw to last night's line. Major Deane, Lieutenants Pakenham, Howard killed....." A total of 53 men had been killed, 246 wounded and 46 missing (most of these would also be dead). As with many of the fatal casualties at Gallipoli, it was simply do dangerous to recover the bodies, particularly when a retreat had taken place, and Arthur has no known grave.

   
           
   
     
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