Gallipoli Again!

Discussion in 'Non U.K. Forces' started by Lone Pine, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Lone Pine

    Lone Pine Her Grandad would be so proud of her

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    I don't know if anyone "down under" can help but having put most of the stuff right about Grandad now. I need a picture, so if anyone is looking at military pics down under could you look and see if you can find William Pritchard 1422 4th Battalion AIF KIA Lone Pine, 6 - 9th August 1915. I really would love to find his picture what with the 100 year memorial coming up. Do you know that next year had my Dad lived he would have been 100 years old! Amazing.
     
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  2. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Hi Lone Pine,
    Try this:
    Kim Phillips, Editor, Spirits of Gallipoli.
    I have her email address but you will find "The Spirits of Gallipoli" on google.
    Lots of info and her contact details are there. She also has a DVD with lots of Gallipoli history.
    She found my Grandad for me and emailed me his photo.
    Good luck, but be aware not all photos are available.
    Archie's Mum
     
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  3. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    p.s. Not too bad for one who may not have the Answers ;)

     
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  4. Blackmogs

    Blackmogs Moderator. General Dogs(cats)body. Staff Member

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    Seems to have got off to a pretty darned good start to me too Ma :)
     
  5. Doug

    Doug Administrator. The Main Man. Staff Member

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    This link may provide some guidance - though you may need to be very lucky.
     
  6. Lone Pine

    Lone Pine Her Grandad would be so proud of her

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    Thanks everyone yes I know Kim, it seems to be quite an "incestuous" area of research seem to know loads of people who know loads of people again that I know, lol. I just posted it up just in case anyone comes across a pic, you never know, have exhausted most avenues looking for this picture. I know it existed, why cause my Dad threw it away (screams!) when he was given Grandads medals and this pic. Got replicas of the medals, and memorial plaque, just need that picture. Also have been to LP to visit him as well, was the first one ever to go from the family, and he laid there nice and quiet until I arrived I made enough noise to wake the devil.

    If you would like I have a story which has been published now all over the place, including a university in Australia if you would like me post it here I will.

    Doug, that is Victoria, Grandad was in 4th Battalion which was raised from NSW mainly Sydney.
     
  7. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Just a thought.
    Have you tried the RSL Club or Soldiers Memorial Club or equivalent where he lived when he enlisted.
    We have found the photo of my husbands uncle who was KIA at Bullecourt in 1916. We found the photo in a tiny country Returned Soldiers club in Central NSW. along with others who served.
     
  8. Lone Pine

    Lone Pine Her Grandad would be so proud of her

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    I do not live in Australia nor am I Australian, I think my story will explain it all.

    When I was growing up I always knew that my paternal Grandfather, had died in the First World War; my Father was completely unapproachable about the subject so it was down to my Mother to tell me that "Your Grandfather was killed at the Battle of the Somme, he joined the Australian Army, and Dad and my Grandmother received a pension from the Australian Government after he was killed. He has no grave as he was blown to pieces". "Oh" I would say, "... perhaps one day we could visit the Somme and see Granddad's memorial plaque". She would shake her head "... no, it is out of the question, your Father would not want to go". As I was growing up, the retort from my Mother, when I misbehaved would be "Well I don’t know where you get your ideas from, certainly not my side of the family; you must get them from your Father's side". I used to wonder who was my Father’s side of the family, so once again questions were asked, and my Mother would reply "oh there was a family row, and your Father never saw his Father's family again" and that was that! She did tell me once that when my Father was small he said that he used to think that perhaps his Father had suffered from 'shell shock' and in error gone back to live in Australia, and one day he would remember them and come back and find them and everything would be all right. My Father was also given his Fathers medals and a photograph, but he threw them in the bin with a retort of “I wanted a Father not medals and a photograph”.

    The years went by, my Father died in 1983; my life continued as lives do, but sometimes I would ask myself, who was my Grandfather? I knew his name, William Pritchard – the same name as my Father but that was it, just a name.

    Then along came the Internet and with it the ability to search the First World War records, so off I started my research. First I tried the Commonwealth War Graves Commission 'Debt of Honour' web site. There were lots of Pritchard’s, but none killed on the Somme. There was one killed at Gallipoli, but the next of kin was wrong, I was looking for my Grandmother Ada Pritchard. Many long nights followed, coffee made by my husband Steve left to go cold, and then I would give up for a few months. When I looked at my Father's family tree, it was just my Father and my Grandmother and his half sisters. His mother (my grandmother) had remarried in the 1930s but there was no father for my father, and then I would start searching again. I would sit down at my computer and say, " ... right Grandad tonight I am going to find you" then nothing.

    The search went on in this way for five years. I emailed the Australian authorities but they said they had no record of the pension. I even started to wonder did this man ever exist, but he had to have existed. Talking to the family, no one knew anything, my three aunts in Australia, knew nothing. However, I never gave up hope of finding him. I tried birth records, but there was the problem of trying to find someone with the name of William Pritchard when you are not quite sure when or where they were born, and there were a great many people with the same name. I also looked for the record of his marriage to my Grandmother, but found nothing. I was actually starting to feel quite down, but always in the back of my head was the War Pension from Australia, so they had to be married.

    Then one night I was sitting there staring at the census records yet again, and I realised that I was looking at things the wrong way round. I should be looking for my Grandmother marrying my Grandfather, and 'bingo' the first search up came the record of their marriage. Overjoyed, I immediately sent away for the marriage certificate and waited - it seemed to take ages to arrive!

    In the meantime one of my aunts in Australia was busy trying to help me, and one morning at 4.00am I could hear the phone ringing. It was my Aunt, she was in tears, Carole she said "... I have found your Grandfather, sorry to ring you so early but I just could not wait any longer". She gave me a website address; I looked at the site but was still not sure - it listed William Pritchard killed Gallipoli next of kin James and Ellen Prichard – not my Grandmother. Then the marriage certificate arrived and I found out that my Great Grandfather was called James and where he lived. If I said it once I must have said it a hundred times that night to my husband "... did you know that my Great Grandfather was called James" - he would just smile and nod.

    I was getting so frustrated I emailed everyone on a web site who had a William Pritchard born in London, hoping that I may not have the fully story, but perhaps they might have any information. Most people responded, but of course it was all negative, so when I had the wedding certificate and knew who my Great Grandfather was, I started emailing everyone again, and that is when I got the reply back saying yes it looks like we are related. I explained to her about my Grandfather but she did not have any information either but she said she would try and help me as I had made her curious, but I needed my Grandfather's birth certificate and got that and yes I had finally found part of my Grandfather’s family, so in the space of 2/3 weeks I knew the names my Great Grandfather and my Great Grandmother, I knew where my Grandparents had married, I knew where they both lived before they were married, and from this relation I found all of the names of my Grandfathers brothers and sister. My Father’s side of the tree was now getting full, but there was still the question of Grandfather's death in the First World War.

    Late that day the family member that I had found emailed with a link to the Australian Service records and said "look at page 10", when I did I found the next of kin 'James Pritchard' crossed out and in red ink 'Ada Pritchard' added. I then went through the documents that she had found on line for me and on page 25, there it was, Widow Ada Pritchard, dependant William Joseph Pritchard (my father). It even told me how much pension they received, which was £1 every other week for my Father and £2 every other week for my Grandmother, so why did she tell my Mother that my Grandfather was killed at the Somme. I just sat looking at the screen it had been there all the time, but of course how was I to know, I must be honest I cried really cried tears of joy, I had done it I had found him, but I knew very little about Gallipoli. But before I go any further I would like to introduce you to my Grandfather.

    He was 5ft 4in tall (not very tall, but one must remember that a lot of people were malnourished in those days), he weighed 10 stone 6lbs, he had a dark complexion, his hair was dark, his eyes were brown and he had tattoos on both forearms and right upper arm as well (oh dear, sorry but tattoos, how could you Granddad!)

    He was born in Brick Lane London in 1890. He was 25 years old when he joined the 4th Battalion, A.I.F (yes this was the Battalion that went on the rampage in Cairo!) and served in 'D' Company. He enlisted at Liverpool Camp, New South Wales on 6 November 1914 and left Sydney on the HMAT Seang Bee for Egypt, as a 2nd Reinforcement, on 11 February 1915. This was the day before my father's 1st birthday. He left Alexandria on 5 April 1915 on T.S.S. Lake Michigan for Gallipoli and landed on the 25th April 1915 at ANZAC Cove at approximately between 11 and 12. He was killed between 6 - 9 August 1915 during the attack on Lone Pine, and is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial. There was a Court of Enquiry at a place called Fleurbaix, France, which confirmed his death in action but when I asked the Australian Government if they had the papers, they said unfortunately they have no other papers on my Grandfather.


    I have no pictures of him at all, no diaries nothing as I said above all I had was a name.


    The Attestation Papers give his occupation as a Farm Labourer, but on the Marriage Certificate to my Grandmother he is what we today would call a French Polisher. In fact according to my relative, all the men in that family work with wood and still do today.


    It is unclear whether my Grandfather travelled to Australia to enlist – certainly I was told this by my Mother " ... he joined the Australian Army because they paid better than the British Army, and if he was killed, then my Grandmother also got a better pension" - and one must remember that £6 a month in 1915/16 was a lot of money in those days. However, he could have gone to Australia in 1914 to seek a new life and employment on the land, but war upset his plans. My feeling is that he intended that my Grandmother and my Father would settle in Australia with him, I suppose the thought of a bright new future in Australia was very appealing. The family row, oh well that was because his father - James Pritchard wanted some of the pension money! It is unclear why my Grandfather put his father, James, down as next of kin on the Attestation Form. Perhaps he did so in case the Australian Army would not take married men from England. But that is something else for me to look up.


    My Grandfather's death in the period 6 – 9 August occurred when the 4th Bn. of the 1st Australian Division were engaged in bitter fighting at Lone Pine. An action in which seven VC were awarded. The attack is well chronicled – C E W Bean devotes no less than 40 pages to it in The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918. He records that the attack began at 5.30pm on 6 August, on a narrow front with the first troops filing into tunnels, which extended some fifty yards beyond the front line. The attacking troops reached the Turkish front line but found it roofed over with heavy logs, which the Australians tried to remove while others went further forward and then worked their way back along the communication trenches. Much of the fighting took place in semi-darkness with attacks and counter-attacks that lasted until 9 August.

    Another author, Alan Moorhead, comments in his book Gallipoli '... it is really not possible to comprehend what happened. All dissolves into a confused impression of a riot, of a vicious street fight in the back alleys of a city, and the metaphor of the stirred-up ant heap persists ...'

    What we do know is that 1st Australian Division lost over 2,000 men during the battle. The 4th Battalion, in which my Grandfather, served went in with 20 officers and 722 other ranks and suffered the loss of 15 officers and 459 other ranks killed wounded or missing (63% of those engaged).


    After years of wondering and searching I now have my answers to my questions, but sometimes, I can’t believe that I found him, I wonder if I have got the right person, but I know that I have. So I have now arrived at Gallipoli, a different journey to my Grandfather, but we both arrived at the same place.


    my Grandmother emigrated to Sydney, Australia in 1973, I wonder, as she walked down those roads/streets, did she think of her first husband, my Grandfather.

    As a footnote: In June 2010 I finally managed to travel to Gallipoli and went to visit my Grandfather at Lone Pine, I was the first one ever to go and see him in 95 years.


    William Pritchard

    4th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement

    Regiment No. 1422

    Killed Gallipoli 6th – 9th August 1915

    Grandad, you have laid forgotten for many years, but not by me.

    Now I have found you and you are forgotten no more


    Your Grandaughter '
    Carole Sach nee Pritchard
     
  9. Doug

    Doug Administrator. The Main Man. Staff Member

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    What a fascinating story Carole.

    Thank you for sharing.
     
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  10. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    A Beautiful story Carole thanks for sharing. let's hope some-when from some-where your G'dads photo appears.
     
  11. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    An amazing story Carole. Good luck with finding the photo.
    anneb
     
  12. Lone Pine

    Lone Pine Her Grandad would be so proud of her

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    Glad you all liked it thanks :)
     
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  13. Peregrine

    Peregrine Well-Known Member

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    I was moved by your story, which I found just now while browsing, being new to the group. And I thought you might be interested to know what the Australia War Memorial is doing this year for the centenary of the start of World War 1. If you have not visited their web site lately I suggest you view http://www.awm.gov.au/1914-1918/
    In particular you should know that your grandfather’s name will be projected onto the front of the Hall of Memory a number of times in the forthcoming year. See http://www.awm.gov.au/1914-1918/roll-honour-name-projections/
    The 8 times that William Pritchard’s name will be displayed are detailed at http://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1651792/
     
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  14. Lone Pine

    Lone Pine Her Grandad would be so proud of her

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    Peregrine, just seen this OMG thank you so much have actually printed it out so that I can keep it. Thank you again much appreciated.
     
  15. Peregrine

    Peregrine Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome
     
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  16. Nightryder

    Nightryder Well-Known Member

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    Lone Pine, The info from the Australian War memorial site does does say he served in the merchant service, which im assuming is the Merchant Navy, FMP have 27 William Pritchards, 18 of which have no birth year or county, they all have photos. I dont have a sub but you might get lucky & find your man.
    Jenn
     
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