Service to remember Rushden men who died in Gallipoli campaign

The war memorial in Rushden
The war memorial in Rushden

The lives of nine men who died in the Battle of Gallipoli will be remembered 100 years on from the start of the conflict.

Members of Rushden’s Royal British Legion are holding a short commemorative service at the town’s War Memorial on Saturday, April 25, at 10.45am to mark the start of the battle and remember the fallen.

And they want to hear from relatives of men from the town who died during the campaign in Gallipoli, Turkey, in 1915/16, also known as the Battle of Gallipoli or the Dardanelles Campaign, which was an unsuccessful attempt by the allied powers to control the sea route from Europe to Russia during the First World War.

The campaign began with a failed naval attack by British and French ships on the Dardanelles Straits in February and March 1915 and continued with a major land invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula on April 25, 1915, involving British and French troops as well as divisions of the Australian and New Zealand army corps.

Lack of sufficient intelligence and knowledge of the terrain, along with a fierce Turkish resistance, hampered the success of the invasion.

By mid-October 1915, allied forces had suffered heavy casualties and had made little headway from their initial landing sites.

Evacuation began in December 1915 and was completed early the following January.

The commemorative service is to remember the nine military personnel from Rushden who died at the Battle of Gallipoli.

Each of their names is inscribed on the town’s War Memorial.

The Legion would like to hear from any relatives of the nine Rushden men who lost their lives so they can join them at the service to remember the men who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Any relatives who wish to take part are asked to contact the Legion’s branch secretary Alan Clark on 01933 359361 or send an email to rblrushden@gmail.com.

People can also call Jake Baker on 07525 441267 or send an email to jake.lynne@virgin.net for further information about the event.

The commemorative service is open to members of the public.

The nine military men from Rushden who died at the battle

Private Frank Thurlow

Private William Dennis Denton

Private Lewis (William) Craxton

Private George Wigglesworth

Lance Corporal Ernest Hill

Private Cyril Cook

Private Leonard William Helsdown

Private Frank (William) Frisby

Lance Corporal Arthur Underwood