Forgotten Names Recalled: The Singapore Cenotaph Project

25/04/15
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Today is ANZACs day. Commemorated in Singapore at Kranji War Cemetery by the Australian and New Zealand communities. It is the 100th anniversary of the first landings on the Gallipoli Peninsular by British, Commonwealth and Irish troops.

Yesterday, at Helles, a commemoration ceremony was attended by two members of the British Royal family, Prince Charles and Prince Harry, and by the Irish president, Michael Higgins, Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the prime ministers of Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan plus representatives of the governments of other Commonwealth countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Canada.

Today they also attended the Australian and New Zealand commemorations in Turkey. While I write this, the commemoration at the London cenotaph is being shown on television.
Today's Google emblem in Australia and New Zealand

A Singapore Eurasian, Bertie Dennison, was a private with the Australian 4th Infantry Battalion. His unit landed 100 years ago today at Suvla Bay. Bertie was killed in action in August 1915. He was in his early 20s.




Two months earlier, on 28 June 1915, Singapore-born Smollet David MacGregor Clerk, a third-generation Scot in the Straits Settlements, was killed in action. His body was never recovered. He was a private with the Royal Scots, aged 20.




On 11 July 1915 Captain Philip Simons Picot was killed when he went back to look for wounded men. He was 26 years old. Philip was born in England but his mother was Singapore-born. He worked in Penang.


Captain Michael James Aloysius Foley was a Singapore-born Eurasian from Penang. He was a Queen's Scholar, one of the two top students in the Straits Settlements in 1899, and received a scholarship to study law at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He died on 10 August 1915.



Geoffrey Garnett Horsfall had been working in Singapore when he married third-generation Singapore-born Minnie Lloyd. The family later moved to Perth, Western Australia. When war broke out, rather than wait for a commission, Geoffrey joined the Australian 10th Light Horse Regiment. They retrained in Egypt as infantry and went to Gallipoli where Geoffrey, then a sergeant, was killed in action on 29 August 1915 aged 31.




Two of our men, who later died on the Western Front, were wounded at Gallipoli.




Henry Pemberton Dudley was a private with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, who suffered enormous casualties at Gallipoli. When he was recuperating in Cork, he applied for a commission with the Leinster Regiment, and was killed in action on 3 September 1916 aged 36. In Singapore he had worked for the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank.



William Howard Newton was fourth generation Singapore-born. Newton Road in Singapore was named after his father. He was a private with the Royal Gloucester Hussars, a horse regiment, when he went to Egypt to retrain as infantry before going to Gallipoli. William was wounded and, suffering from dysentery, was invalided back to England in October 1915. He was later commissioned into the Royal Army Ordinance Corps and was a captain when he died of influenza on 22 February 1919.

Other men from the Straits Settlements served in Gallipoli and survived.
Rosemary Lim