Billingham, Walter Arthur. Died 21st Oct 1915

Walter Arthur Billingham birth was registered in 1895 at Towcester. His parents were Alfred Billingham (a flour miller) born in (Nether?) Heyford, Northamptonshire and Emma (nee Harrison) Billingham born in Northampton, Northamptonshire.

His parent’s marriage on 01 December 1889 was registered in Northampton, Northamptonshire. Walter was one of six children but only five survived according to the 1911 census. He was the eldest son living at home, 2 Pynus Cottages, Blisworth, aged 15, working as a gardener with his brother Frederick aged 12 and his sister Elsie aged 6 both at school and his sister Lily aged 3. His elder brother, Alfred J, aged 21, is not present but was recorded on the 1901 census when the family were living at 13 Chapel Lane, Blisworth in Northamptonshire.

(The name Pynus Cottages came from a nearby field named “Pyesnest”.)

Walter Arthur enlisted in Rugby in Warwickshire as a Gunner joining the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery.

The local newspaper recorded the following:-“BTH Employee Dies of Wounds

News has been received in Rugby of the death from wounds received in the Dardanelles, on October 27th, of Gunner W Bellingham, R.F.A. who at the time he enlisted was employed in the winding department at the B.T.H. Works.”

Walter Arthur Billingham’s British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Card states that the theatre of war (3) entered, was Egypt and the qualifying date was 14/07/1915. He joined the Royal Field Artillery as Gunner Billingham, and regimental number 10351. He was awarded the British War Medal, Victory Medal and 15 Star. On his death he was recorded as 10351, B Bty., 59th Bde., Royal Field Artillery.

He died at Suvla Bay, of his wounds.

Walter Arthur Billingham is remembered with honour at Hill 10 Cemetery, Suvla.

HILL 10 CEMETRY, SUVLA.

Country:-Turkey (including Gallipoli)

Identified Casualties:-549

Location Information

The Anzac and Suvla cemeteries are first signposted from the left hand junction of the Eceabat- Bigali Road. From this junction, travel into the main Anzac area.

Located South West of Azmak and North of the Salt Lake, the cemetery will be found on the left, 21.5 kms from the junction.

Historical Information

The eight month campaign in Gallipoli was fought by Commonwealth and French forces in an attempt to force Turkey out of the war, to relieve the deadlock of the Western Front in France and Belgium, and to open a supply route to Russia through the Dardanelles and the Black Sea.

The Allies landed on the peninsula on 25-26 April 1915; the 29th Division at Cape Helles in the south and the Australian and New Zealand Corps north of Gaba Tepe on the west coast, an area soon known as Anzac. On 6 August, further troops were put ashore at Suvla, just north of Anzac, and the climax of the campaign came in early August when simultaneous assaults were launched on all three fronts.

The aim of the Suvla force had been to quickly secure the sparsely held high ground surrounding the bay and salt lake, but confused landings and indecision caused fatal delays allowing the Turks to reinforce and only a few of the objectives were taken with difficulty.

Hill 10, a low isolated mound to the north of the salt lake, was taken by the 9th Lancashire Fusiliers and the 11th Manchesters on the early morning of 7 August 1915. The cemetery was made after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from isolated sites and from the 88th Dressing Station, 89th Dressing Station, Kangaroo Beach, ‘B’ Beach, 26th Casualty Clearing Station and Park Lane

There are now 699 servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 150 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials commemorate a number of casualties known or believed to be buried among them.

This summary was prepared for the Rugby Family History Group by Janine Fearn in October 2015. Many thanks are due to, Christine Hancock, for managing the project, and for producing the “Rugby Remembers” blog and also to those members of the group who provided data from the local papers.

Research achieved from using the Ancestry and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web sites.

 

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