Richard William Whalley TURNER
Rank: Private
Number: 2540
Unit: 1/6th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 1 September 1915
Age: 20
Cemetery: Helles Memorial, Turkey

Until he joined the army, Richard had lived almost all his life at 82 Carmichael Street, Edgeley. His parents, Richard and Rosanna, were living there when the 1901 Census was taken and he was their only child (although the census taker wrongly records his name as Robert). He had been born nearby , in Heaton Norris.

Almost nothing is known of his early life but the local newspaper, reporting his death, said that he had been a "clever boy treble singer". It's not known if Richard continued to sing as he grew to manhood. His service number suggests he joined the army towards the end of 1914, or in early 1915, and was assigned to the 2/6th Battalion of the Regiment. This was the reserve unit which would train troops and then send them to the front to replace casualties. It is not known when Richard was sent to Gallipoli but it will have been after one of the major attacks in June or August.

The Battalion maintained a War Diary and, usually each day, a junior officer would write a very brief account of the day's activities. There is no mention of Richard's death. On 31 August, the Battalion relieved their comrades in the 8th Battalion and took over a section of the front line on the right of a position known as Fusiliers Bluff. The diarist records "This part of the line is extremely close to enemy trenches for about 100 yards. The Turk is mining here and there are countermines in two places". The men of the Battalion appear to be assisting with the mining activities, possibly by carrying away the spoil and the officer is concerned to ensure that the men know that this is important work. He is also concerned that there are inadequate loopholes in the trench system for snipers. The troops at Gallipoli were subjected to consistent artillery shelling from the Turkish army and it most likely that Richard was killed by shrapnel. His was the only death in the Battalion that day.

In the early 1920s, when the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information, Mr & Mrs Turner had moved to 34 Turnbull Street, Longsight.

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