Tonight two Royal Navy Division casualties; I purchased a while back two WW1 Memorial plaques; both had apparently been bought from the families. I got to researching the men, and found they had both been in the Durham Light Infantry prior to transferring to the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and then into the RN. Division. The RN div’ is forgotten largely by the British public and with the centenary of the Great War coming up perhaps it is time it is noted more widely.
The first one is to:
KX/243 Able Seaman Richard Winship RNVR – Royal Naval Division (Hood Battalion).
He died on the 26th of August 1915 aged 25 at Gallipoli, Turkey. He was the son of Robert Winship, of 44, Lord St., Middlesbrough; and husband of Ellen Smirk (formerly Winship), of 6, Oakland Gardens, Harrogate Hill, Darlington. He had enlisted in the Durham Light Infantry on the 2nd September 1914 and then transferred to the RNVR 9th Sept. 1914 ; Hood Bn. C/236 (not at Antwerp) 9/9/14-6/5/15 Shrapnel right chest, evacuated to hospital at Malta, rejoined Hood Bn. 27/6/15-26/8/15 DD. So he was wounded in action and then returned and was killed upon his return.
The second is to:
KP/857 Able Seaman Edwin Percy Shiel RNVR – Royal Naval Division (Anson Battalion).
He died on the 4th of June 1915 aged 27 at Gallipoli, Turkey. He was the son of Robert and Emma Shiel. He is listed officially as: Missing, presumed killed in action. He was born in Gateshead, Durham on the 31/1/1887. He was a Miner, and had formerly served 6 years with 4th Bn. Durham Light Infantry.
For both families it must have been awful to receive news of the death of their son, for one family they would never know for sure if he had been killed, or something else, and for the other they had the joy of him recovering from chest wounds only for him to return to action and be listed as killed shortly after.