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michaeldr

Colonel Coventry

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Further to Bruce's recent thread with the link to the LoC photographic collection;

If you look at the top four photographs on this page

http://memory.loc.gov/phpdata/pageturner.p...&item=13709

They tell an interesting story – the aftermath of the fighting at Qatia – as they seem to show the entrance of Colonel Coventry and other British PoWs into Jerusalem

I have found these references on the web

If anyone can add anything then please do so

from:

The Despatch of General Sir Archibald Murray, Commander-in-Chief, Egyptian Expeditionary Force. Printed in the Fourth Supplement to the London Gazette of 25 September 1916. This Despatch covers operations on both Egyptian fronts from January to May 1916.

General Headquarters,

Egyptian Expeditionary Force,

1st June, 1916.

On the 22nd April the Royal Flying Corps reported to No. 3 Section that new bodies of enemy troops were at Bir el Bayud, 15 miles E.S.E. of Qatia, and Bir el Mageibra, 10 miles S.E. of Qatia. Upon receipt of this information, General Wiggin obtained leave from General Officer Commanding No. 3 Section, to attack the enemy at Mageibra that night, reporting that he intended to use two squadrons of Warwickshire, and the one remaining squadron of Worcestershire Yeomanry. General Wiggin, with Lieut.-Colonel Coventry, commanding the Worcestershire Yeomanry, accompanied the raid to Mageibra. Finding very few enemy, they destroyed the camp and returned to Hamisah about 9 a.m. on the 23rd with six Turkish prisoners. In the meantime the post at Oghratina was attacked at 5.30a.m. This attack was repulsed. No further information was received from the Officer Commanding at Oghratina until 7 a.m., when he reported that he was again heavily attacked on all sides. This attack carried the post, all the garrison of which were either killed, wounded, or captured. No details of the fighting have, therefore, been obtainable. Qatia itself was attacked about 9.30 a.m. Lieutenant-Colonel Coventry was detached with one squadron of Worcestershire Yeomanry from General Wiggin's Force to operate towards Qatia. Unfortunately, this squadron became involved in the unsuccessful resistance of the Qatia garrison, and, with the exception of some 60 men and one officer who were able to disengage themselves, fell with it into the hands of the enemy. I have therefore been able to gather no detailed information of the actual fighting at Qatia.

from:

Worcestershire Yeomanry Cavalry (1794-1994)

Taken from 'A Brief History of the Queen's Own Worcestershire Hussars' by Derek Woodward

The Regiment, which was based both at Qatia and Oghratine, extreme outposts of the Canal defences, were responsible for patrolling the whole of the Qatia water area. The prospect was one of soft, deep, shifting sands except for the palm tree groves which surrounded the wells. The desert made life difficult for both horses and men and meant that navigation had to be by compass in the featureless, ever-changing landscape.

The small isolated garrison at Oghratine had been ordered to protect a well-digging party of fifty unmounted engineers. At dawn on 23rd April 1916, 3,000 Turks, including a machine gun battery of 12 guns, attacked. The defending troops repulsed the first attack but were gradually forced back by the weight of the onslaught. The defender's machine gun had been put out of action early in the engagement after all the gunners had been killed or wounded. The defenders formed a circle which became ever smaller as losses mounted. When the commanding officer Sir John Jaffey died, the enemy rushed in and the small number of survivors made prisoner.

The victorious Turkish troops then moved on to reinforce the attack taking place simultaneously against the small garrison at Qatia. Despite a gallant defence and attempts at relief by returning squadrons of patrolling Gloucestershires and Warwickshires, who had heard the gunfire, Qatia fell to the Turks with the loss of all of the Yeomanry's officers except Major W.H. Wiggin who was wounded yet managed to withdraw with about half the squadron; the survivors were made prisoners. Anzac troops, who occupied both Qatia and Oghradine four days later, testified to the ferocity of the battle and paid tribute to the valour and tenacity of the defenders. In these actions 9 officers and 102 NCOs and men of the Worcestershire Yeomanry were killed and many other wounded.

Is this the same Coventry? see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Coventry

Regards

Michael

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Thanks Terry,

An interesting, though not spectacular career

And I suppose that one can say that in both the military and the cricketing contexts

regards

Michael

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Michael

Steady I suppose the word is. His obituary is here.

post-21-1185986374.png

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Steady; yes but.................

how many other international cricketers and Starters for the Jockey Club

also have a 'record' (24 days spent in gaol, released early because of ill health)

Is there not a book lying around some where called 'English & Turkish Prisons I have Known'? :lol:

many thanks for this Terry

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from the LG - 4814 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 13 MAY, 1916.

Worcester.

The dates of promotion of the undermentioned

Officers are as stated against their

names, and not as notified in the Gazette of

29th Jan. 1916: —

Maj. Hon. C. J. Coventry to be 'temp.

Lt.-Col. 22nd Aug. 1915.

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His Who Was Who entry:-

COVENTRY, Colonel Hon. Charles John, C.B. 1928: 2nd S. of 9th Earl of Coventry; late Commanding Worcestershire and Oxfordshire Yeomanry Brigade R.F.A.; b. 26 Feb. 1867; married 1900 Lily, y.d. of Fritz Hugh Whitehouse, Eastbourne Lodge, Newport, U.S.A.; two s. two d.; served in Bechuanaland Police Force and took part in the Jamieson Raid; Matabeleland Campaign, 1893 (Despatches); West African Frontier Force in Nigeria, 1898-99; European War (Dardenelles), 1915 (Despatches); Egypt and taken prisoner at Katia by the Turks, April 1916.

Address: Earls Croome Court, Worcester. Telephone Upton-on-Severn 28. Club: White's

Died 2 June 1929

Andy

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Not knowing this part of the campaign too well

I was puzzled by the absence of Coventry's name from the Worcestershire Y.C. account

however I now see that although given command of the op, he was in fact RFA

Perhaps this will catch Dick Flory's eye and he can add something

Thanks again Terry and Andy for your contributions

regards

Michael

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I think it is the same man and some of these details confirm it.

http://www.cricinfo.com/england/content/player/10836.html

I've been researching the Worcesters at Qatia for some years and have a fair bit if research if anyone has any specific queries.

Simon

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Simon,

Thanks for that kind offer

I wonder if your research can throw any light on the question of how he came to be in command at this time? see my above

Not knowing this part of the campaign too well

I was puzzled by the absence of Coventry's name from the Worcestershire Y.C. account

however I now see that although given command of the op, he was in fact RFA

regards

Michael

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Hi Michaeldr

I can't find any reference to Col. Coventry being RFA - he took over command of the Regiment when they served as infantry at Suvla Bay.

I made a few notes from'C':

Major Charles Coventry initially in command of 'C' Squadron p.5

Promoted to 2i/c after Major WW Wiggin took over command of Regiment on the death of Sir Henry Grey (17th Dec 1914); 'C' Squadron taken over by Captain WH Wiggin. p.12

Left with other officers at Chatby Camp in command of reserve. p.24

Colonel WW Wiggin to UK Jan 1915 p.204-5

Charles Coventry to command regiment - arrives Suvla Sept 18th 1915

C. The Yeomanry Cavalry of Worcestershire, 1914-1922. Stourbridge [Eng.]: Mark & Moody, 1926.

He also took responsibility for rebuilding the yeomanry in 1919 when he returned to the UK.

Cheers

Simon

Simon,

Thanks for that kind offer

I wonder if your research can throw any light on the question of how he came to be in command at this time? see my above

Not knowing this part of the campaign too well

I was puzzled by the absence of Coventry's name from the Worcestershire Y.C. account

however I now see that although given command of the op, he was in fact RFA

regards

Michael

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Some peerage information suggests the RFA link was honorary? He's also mentioned a little in Elizabeth Longford's book on the Jameson Raid.

http://www.thepeerage.com/p2732.htm#i27311

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Simon,

Many thanks for looking at this question and for putting me straight here

best regards

Michael

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1)I have therefore been able to gather no detailed information of the actual fighting at Qatia.

2)Anzac troops, who occupied both Qatia and Oghradine four days later, testified to the ferocity of the battle and paid tribute to the valour and tenacity of the defenders. In these actions 9 officers and 102 NCOs and men of the Worcestershire Yeomanry were killed and many other wounded.

Please amend your records to show that 'A' Sqn 1st Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Yeomanry held Qatia.

Roll of Honour :

OFFICERS

Killed:

Lieut. and Adjt. Viscount Quenington, M. H.

2nd Lieut. W. A. Smith.

Capt. M. G. Lloyd-Baker.

Lieut. Lord Elcho, H. F.

Prisoners of War :

Lieut. A. W. Strickland.

2nd Lieut. C. C. Herbert.

OTHER RANKS

Killed:

Sergt. Peacy, H. G.

Sergt. Shute, W. S.

Sergt. Walker, W. J.

Corpl. Emerson, W. E.

Lce.-Corpl. Hatch, W. K.

Lce.-Corpl. Jones, E. O.

Pte. Davis, A. E.

Pte. Downham, P. J.

Pte. Green, W.

Pte. Harvey, J.

Pte. Parsons, W. T.

Tmpr. Mills, C.

Pte. Pulham, E. H.

Pte. Simpson, E. H.

Pte. Townsend, D.

Pte. Stanley, L.

Wounded :

Sergt. Lovell, C. H.

Sergt. Harding, W. E.

Sergt. Smart, T. H.

Sergt. Warner, E. E.

Lce.-Corpl. Boulton, W. J.

Pte. Hatch, A.

Pte. Scorgie, O.

Pte. Price, S.

Pte. Rowe, P.

Pte. Cox, B.

Pte. Kendall, W.

Pte. Allen, A. W.

Pte. Holborrow, E. H.

Pte. Groves, E.

Pte. Shane, M.

Wounded and Prisoners of War:

S.Q.M.S. Cross, J.

Sergt. Colborn, H. A.

Corpl. Springfield, T. O.

Sadd.-Corpl. Wicks, W.

Corpl. James, G. T.

Corpl. Brain, J. E. B.

Lce.-Corpl. Walwin, H.

Pte. Plaister, E.

Pte. Mourby, A. J.

Pte. Neale, F.

Prisoners of War :

S.S.M. Hyatt, G.

Sergt. Millard, P. E.

Farr.-Cpl. Woodcock, B.

Lce.-Corpl. Taylor, S. P.

Tmpr. Lewis, F.

Pte. Smith, R. C.

Pte. Evans, J. H.

Pte. Rufell, H.

Pte. Cutts, E. A.

Pte. Dilloway, F.

Pte. Gill, F. W.

Pte. Hodges, C. B.

Pte. Hawkes, H. E.

Pte. Lippett, J.

Pte. Lord, E. D.

Pte. Oliver, O.

Pte. Perkins, F.

Pte. Rich, A. W.

Pte. Smith, H. R.

Pte. Slatter, A. J.

Pte. White, W. H.

Pte. Westcott, J. E.

Pte. Silvey, S. V.

Pte. Mann, W.

Pte. Lewis, J. P.

Pte. Lilbey, G. S

Pte. May, F. E.

Pte. Farmer, W. D.

Pte. Merry, H.

Pte. Tippet, E. J.

Pte. Bowl, F. E.

Pte. Clifford, C. C.

Pte. Farmer, W.

Pte. Greenwood, E.

Pte. Hopkins, F. A.

Pte. Johnstone, C. W.

Pte. Lloyd, L. L. S.

Pte. Nelmes, W. T.

Pte. Pardington, R.

Pte. Preen, E. V.

Pte. Rogers, H. R.

Pte. Smith, A. J.

Pte. Troughton, A. G.

Pte. Kendall, J. H.

Pte. Boswell, A. J.

Pte. Pearcy, E.

Pte. Adcock, J. P.

Pte. Leighton, T. F.

Pte. Marsh, T. H.

Pte. Sargent, W. C.

Pte. Louis, S. C

For a complete eye witness account of this action, please refer to the book:

"THE ROYAL GLOUCESTERSHIRE HUSSARS YEOMANRY 1898 – 1922" By Frank Fox. [Philip Allen & Co.1923]

This information has been supplied on behalf of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, Historical Research Committee.

Enquiries always welcome..

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Gloucestershire - Please see post No. 2 and the link provided there

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