One of the panels commemorating the 'Royal Edward' casualties on the walls of the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli (Photo courtesy of Keith Edmonds)

Call to remember soldiers lost on Gallipoli troopship 'Royal Edward' 100 years ago today

Posted on centenarynews.com on 13 August 2015
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David Crampin renews his call for recognition of the British soldiers who lost their lives when the troopship Royal Edward was sunk by a German U-boat on this day in 1915. In a personal article for Centenary News marking the centenary, he says the campaign continues.  

In the article posted on Centenary News on January 21st 2015, attention was drawn to the campaign to recognise the sacrifice of 866 Gallipoli reinforcements who died when HM Troopship Royal Edward was torpedoed on August 13th 1915.

The campaign drew public, press and political support from all over the country and a well-researched case was put to the Honours and Decorations Committee of the UK Government's Cabinet Office on March 12th 2015. 

The claimants were not seeking actual medals themselves but, simply, the endorsement of the eligibility of all those who died for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, if not already earned by or awarded to them.

His Majesty's Troopship 'Royal Edward' (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain)

The Committee has not yet responded but the 100th anniversary of the disaster must not be allowed to pass without recognition of the ultimate sacrifice paid by these men. 

By and large they were patriots who the recruiting sergeants had persuaded to volunteer to help win the war on a new front. 

Up and down the country, at village war memorials, services will be held to remember them. Men like 57-year-old Sam Martin from Cornwall, 20-year-old Teddie Tuttle from Norfolk and the St John Ambulance men from Raunds in Northamptonshire.

As a senior MP, supporting the medal claim commented : “Just as we give full military funerals to the dead of World War One, a hundred years after the event, so we should make a special effort to honour those who have no known grave”.

In the absence of any comment from the Cabinet Office, there is hope that the Honours and Decorations Committee will endorse the claim in time for the centenary. Whatever happens, readers are urged to reflect and spare a thought for the ‘forgotten’ men of the Royal Edward.

'We will remember them.'

The names of those lost on His Majesty's Troopship 'Royal Edward' can be found on the website of the Gallipoli Association.

The 'Royal Edward' was torpedoed by a German U-boat while sailing from the Egyptian port of Alexandria to the island of Lemnos, a staging post for soldiers destined for Gallipoli. David Crampin's article in Centenary News about the men who died can be read here.

© Centenary News & Author

Images courtesy of Keith Edmonds (Helles Memorial); Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain (Royal Edward)

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