Alec Whitworth BRYDON
Rank: Lieutenant
Unit: 2/4th Battalion Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment
Date of Death: 31 August 1915
Age: 31
Cemetery: Green Hill Cemetery, Turkey

Lt Brydon was the younger son of James & Anne of Bramhall Park, Cheadle Hulme. He was born in 1884 into an already successful middle class family. James Brydon was a merchant dealing in cotton yarn and his income was sufficient to allow for the employment of live-in servants and for Alec and older brother, Frank, to be educated at Rossall School - a boarding school at Fleetwood.

In later life, Alec became director of Rhodes, Brydon & Co, Engineers, of Gorsey Bank, Stockport.

He had enlisted in September 1914 into the Public Schools Corps. It appears he quickly gained a commission in the 2/6th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment. In July 1915, he was with the Cheshires in Egypt and then transferred to the Surrey's, becoming Brigade machine gun officer. The Surreys left for Gallipoli shortly afterwards, landing on 9 August. On 21 August, Alec would have led his soldiers in an attack on Hill 70 (otherwise known as Scimitar Hill). This was the final offensive of the Gallipoli campaign and was designed to break the Turkish line, allowing the troops at Suvla Bay to link up with the units at Anzac Cove some 5 kilometres away. The attack was carried out in dense fog and initially seemed to have been a success, but would fail due to heavy Turkish fire from surrounding high points. Many casualties were caused by British shrapnel fire causing the dry vegetation to catch fire.

During the last days of August, the battalion continued to hold front line trenches north west of Scimitar Hill. The men were subjected to constant shelling and sniping, suffering many casualties. On the evening of 31 August, they were relieved and went back into reserve. During that day, Alec and one other soldier were killed.

Alec was probably originally buried in the cemetery at Scimitar Hill. All of the casualties buried here were moved to Green Hill Cemetery, which was created after the Armistice. There are nearly 3000 buried here, almost all of them unmarked graves. Alec is known to be buried amongst them and he is commemorated on a special memorial, to that effect.

(Original research by John Hartley for the Cheadle & Gatley War Memorials website)

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