Friday, 25 April 2008

Gallipoli: Remembering Lives Lost

Today, April 25, is ANZAC Day when we remember the fallen at Gallipoli during the First World War. Two BSA students were killed during the campaign (see "BSA Deaths in the First World War"): Lieutenant George Leonard Cheesman, Hampshire Regiment, fell on 10 August 1915 during the surprise attack on Chunuk Bairun, and Captain William Loring, 2nd Scottish Horse, died of his wounds on the hospital ship Devanha on 24 October 1915. Loring's brother, Captain Ernest Loring RN, also served aboard ship at Gallipoli; two further brothers, Lt.-Col. Walter Latham Loring, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and Major Charles Buxton Loring, 37th Lancers (Baluch Horse) had been killed on the Western Front in October and December 1914.

At least two other former BSA students took part in an intelligence role (see "BSA Students and the First World War: Harry Pirie-Gordon"). Lt. Commander David Hogarth RNVR, working for the Arab Bureau in Cairo, was at Gallipoli in August 1915 interrogating Turkish prisoners of war. Lt. Harry Pirie-Gordon RNVR (Magdalen College, Oxford, like Hogarth) arrived at Gallipoli at the start of the landings but was evacuated on health grounds ('ptomaine poisoning') in May. He returned in the autumn and worked with Captain Ian Smith of the Royal Engineers (his former colleague from 1911-12 when they surveyed the area round the port of Alexandretta) on interrogation. Among the prisoners was Sharif Muhammad al Faruqi, an officer of the Ottoman army, who was interviewed in October 1915. Faruqi was recruited for the Arab Bureau operating as ‘G’, and serving as a go-between for Cairo and the Sharif of Mecca.

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