Forgotten Names Recalled: The Singapore Cenotaph Project

27/10/15


Cover of a leaflet produced by the Pas de Calais Tourism Board
for the centenary of the Battle of Loos. Portrait of Jack Kipling on bottom right.
Click on image to download.

The 100th anniversary of the Battle of Loos has now passed. It began on 25 September 1915, a day in which the fighting claimed over 8,500 Allied lives alone. Three of our men died on that day and two more on the following day. All of them are commemorated on the the Loos Memorial. None of them has a grave.

You may notice that the first blog for the Singapore Cenotaph Project begins with Jack Kipling, the son of Rudyard Kipling (see http://the-singapore-cenotaph-project.sites3.bonlineapp.com/blog/Blog/beginning-the-search). Although the uncle of the Queen of England was also killed at the Battle of Loos, Fergus Bowes-Lyons, it is Jack Kipling who is the battle's most famous victim.

His portrait in the uniform of a second lieutenant in the Irish Guards has popped up throughout the days of commemoration. More than any other story, that of Jack Kipling demonstrates the absurdity of war, for that photograph was taken when he was 17 years old and he died shortly after having arrived in the trenches in time to 'celebrate' his 18th birthday. What are missing from the photograph are his glasses, for his eyesight was so poor that the British Army rejected him. Instead his father used his influence to get his young son a commission in an Irish regiment.

Despite this focus on the famous and unfortunate, many of the tweets did commemorate the ordinary men who died in that futile battle. Among them were our own. Here is a summary, Lest We Forget (a saying taken from the poem 'Recessional' by none other than Rudyard Kipling).



25 September 1915 Graeme Stuart Murray Anderson aged 22.
Born in Penang in 1895, he was the eldest son of Mrs Rachel Anderson, 15a Barrack Road, Penang. Rachel worked for Pritchard and Co. Graeme and his brother Keith were living with their paternal grandmother in Greenock, Scotland where Graeme enlisted in the 8th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders. He has no known grave. CWGC record. Lives of the First World War record.


Pritchard & Co, Penang, where
Graeme's mother worked
.


25 September 1915 Llewellyn Oswald Kellar aged 29
. Born in Cardiff but was Scottish, the son of Mr Alexander Kellar of Glasgow and Batavia (Jakarta), and Mrs Jeanie Sandeman Fleming Kellar. He was brought up in Holland before joining his father in Batavia. Llewellyn’s father and brothers were well-known engineers in Malaya and the Straits Settlements, and he was also an engineer. He was a sapper in the 91st Field Company, Royal Engineers. He has no known grave. CWGC record. Lives of the First World War record.


Photograph courtesy of Carol Fletcher, Llewellyn's great-niece.




25 September 1915 Edward Hampton Moss aged 37
. Born in Yokohama, Japan, he was the son of Mr Charles Davies Moss, who had been the Chief Clerk and Registrar of HBM Supreme Court for Japan, and Mrs Moss, 109B The Bluff, Yokohama, Japan. Edward attended Cheltenham College and went on to become the manager of the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank in Malacca. He was a captain in the 10th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment. He has no known grave. CWGC record. Lives of the First World War record.



26 September 1915 John Kekewich aged 24. Son of Mr Lewis Pendarves Kekwich and Mrs Lilian Emily Kekewich, Hove, Sussex. Educated at Eton, John and his three brothers were great cricketers. Two of his brothers also died in the war. John worked on the Val d’Or Plantation in Penang. He was a captain in the 8th Battalion East Kent Regiment. He has no known grave. CWGC record. Lives of the First World War record.


Kidbrooke Park, home of John and his three brothers,
two of whom also died in the Great War.




26 September 1915 William Crew Tremearne
aged 30. Son of Mr Shirley Tremearne of Bangalore, India, and Mrs Elizabeth Tremearne née Twist, residing at Tudor House, Blackheath Park, London. Crew worked for the Singapore Tramways as a specialist engineer. He was a second lieutenant in the 8th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders. He has no known grave. CWGC record. Lives of the First World War record.




The Battle of Loos was a failure, of course. It was called off on 28 September 1915 by which time about 50,000 Allied soldiers were dead and 25,000 German. Despite this fiasco two roads in Singapore have names connected with this battle, Haig and French, both generals in charge, from very far back.

It is very easy to find more information on the battle through Google searches. Not so easy to find are the individual stories on the men and the repercussions on their families.
Rosemary Lim