Harry TURNER
Rank: Private
Number: 553
Unit: 2/1st East Lancashire Field Ambulance ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS
Date of Death: 13 August 1915
Age: 17
Cemetery: Helles Memorial, Turkey

Harry was a pre-War Territorial soldier and his age must have been known to the Army. A “blind eye” must have been turned to this when he volunteered for overseas service before his 18th birthday. All that is known of his family life is that his parents were Emma & James of 11 Wingate Road, Heaton Chapel.

Harry’s unit should not be confused with the modern usage of the word “ambulance”. A Field Ambulance in the Great War was usually based only a few hundred yards behind the front line. It dressed wounds and carried out some emergency operations, before passing wounded soldiers further to the rear. The East Lancashire unit was attached to 42 Division (which included the Manchester Regiment Territorial battalions) at Gallipoli.

Harry was on his way to Gallipoli as a replacement for casualties. At the time of his death, he was aboard the troopship HMS “Royal Edward”. The ship had arrived off Alexandria in Egypt on 10 August, setting sail for Mudros on the 13th, taking replacement troops to Gallipoli. The German submarine, UB14, spotted her at about 9 a.m. on 13th when she was about 400 miles north of Alexandria and around 7 miles west of Kandeliusa Island. She fired off one torpedo which struck the Royal Edward in the stern. Within 3 minutes she began to settle by the stern and in another 3 her bows were in the air. Harry’s body was never recovered and identified and it is presumed he drowned. Another local man, Charles Marshall, was also among the dead.

A memorial service was held for Harry at Heaton Moor Congregationalist Church, where the family worshipped, on Sunday 12 September 1915.

   
           
   
     
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