Wednesday 6 April 2022

Sgt. G H Newman was hacked off in Gallipoli - October 1915

 A researcher contacted me last week with this query

"I am currently doing a tidy up for the Sheffield Soldiers on the Gallipoli Campaign . It is taking longer than I thought as quite a few casualties are listed as Mediterranean ,Balkans or died at sea so have to wade through to see where they actually died  . 

Anyway came across an interesting little aside . Sheffield Evening Telegraph 2/10/1915 P4 In a letter from a Sgt G H Ramsden 6th Y & L  he seems to be unhappy about the status of other Sheffield soldiers . " Our battalion comes from Sheffield and Sheffielders have forgotten about them for their pets the Sheffield City Battalion " 

This is the first time I have ever come across any resentment towards them ,have you noticed anything.

I certainly had not and so I checked the article from the Sheffield Evening Telegraph

The print is not very good for this blog and so I have transcribed the article below


Hard Task in Dardanelles Landing. 

The Editor has received the following letter from Sergeant G. H. Ramsden, York and Lancaster Regiment, somewhere in the Mediterranean, asking Sheffielders not forget them : Just line to let you know how proud Sheffielders ought to be of the boys from the old place. We had to make a new landing, and the Yorkshire brigade had a hard task, but did it wonderfully well. Although lost terribly, we managed to drive the Turks back five miles, but it was awful work. Rifle and shrapnel fire killed and wounded many of our brave fellows. We are present holding trench on tlhe front, many of us not having had time for a wash after 10 days of stiff fighting. I don’t know how much longer we shall be here before are relieved, but we are about worn out, not having had a night's sleep since we landed. Our battalion mostly comes from Sheffield, and the boy say that the Sheffielders have forgotten them for their pets — the City Battalion. However, as Sheffielders yet, so don’t forget the boys out here, as we cannot buy any “cigs,” and have to depend what they give us

Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Saturday 02 October 1915

The researcher and myself pondered the class angle which may be part of the bitterness but we think the following may be the main reason for the resentment that the lads in Gallipoli felt towards the City Battalion

I replied

"Attached are my findings - I do not have access to the Folio 3 (WW1 Pension) on Ancestry but have a transcript which is transcribed below.  

I am sure that  he is one and the same as the letter writer and in civilian life he was working class. He does mention in the letter that most of his battalion (6th York & Lancs) were Sheffielders but if you contrast the disaster that they were experiencing in Gallipoli with the military activities (and publicity) of the Sheffield City Battalion in 1915 you can plainly see why they were hacked off a treat."

Although the Sheffield City Battalion was supposedly open to all it had a strong representation of the professional and commercial classes and they spent 1915 in the UK at various training camps rather than at the front line

What Sgt Ramsden and his lads did not know was what awaited the Sheffield City Battalion the following year


George did make it back to the UK but with a disability - he died in 1948 at the age of 69 

WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers

Name: George Harry Ramsden
Rank: Sgt
Record Type: Disability
Birth Date: 1878
Residence Place: Attercliffe Sheffield 
Military Service Region: Yorkshire, North East Military Country: England
Discharge Date: 10 Apr 1919
Service Number: 682340
Corps, Regiment or Unit: Labour LCNC Service Branch: Military (Army)
Title: WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers
Description: PRC Ledgers
Reference Number: 70226, 4/MR/No.27
Next of Kin: Name Relation to Soldier George Harry Ramsden

1911 Census

Name: George Harry Ramsden
Age in 1911: 33
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1878
Relation to Head: Head
Gender: Male
Birth Place: Sheffield, Yorkshire, England Civil Parish: Sheffield
Country: England
Street Address: 24 Howden Rd Sheffield
Marital status: Married
Occupation: Joiners Tool Maker
Registration District Number: 510 Sub-registration District: Attercliffe
ED, institution, or vessel: 16 Piece: 28004
Household Members:
Name Age
George Harry Ramsden33
Gertrude Ramsden 33
Annie E Ramsden 8
Mary Ethel Ramsden 4
George Harry Ramsden 2
Bertha Ramsden 3/12

George's burial record  - he is buried alongside his wife Gertrude who died in 1943

RAMSDEN, George Harry (Joiner Tool Maker, age 69).
     Died at 153 Richmond Road; Buried on March 13, 1948 in Consecrated ground;
     Grave Number 1047, Section ~ of Handsworth Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Orgreave Lane ground.
RAMSDEN, Gertrude (Wife of George H Ramsden, age 63).
     Died at 153 Richmond Road; Buried on April 15, 1943 in Consecrated ground;
     Grave Number 1047, Section ~ of Handsworth Cemetery, Sheffield.
     Parent or Next of Kin if Available: . Remarks: Orgreave Lane ground.

In May 2022 I received further information that re-enforces the notion of the Sheffield City Battalion being "pets", one surprisingly that still exists to this day

""The 6th Battalion Y&L was not in fact a Territorial Army unit but one of hundreds raised on the outbreak of war as Service Battalions.  I am not sure where they were recruited but trained near Grantham,  not in Sheffield.   By WW11 it was a distinguished Territorial Battalion.
I can well understand your comments about the Sheffield City Battalion being the "pets".   I can tell you that that exists to this day.   When the Y&L Monument in Weston Park,  next to Sheffield University,  was cleaned in conjunction with improvements to the Park,  the Council put up a Notice Board all about the Pals totally ignoring the fact that over 8,000 thousand Y&L died in WW1 of which a small number were Sheffield City Battalion.
Your knowledge is certainly correct." 



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