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7th Bn. Gloucestershire Regiment

Service Battalion 1914-19
Awarded 10 battle honours:
Gallipoli 1915-16. Egypt 1916. Mesopotamia 1916-18.
Persia 1918. Suvla. Sari Bair. Scimitar Hill. Tigris 1916. Kut 1917. Baghdad.

Died: 20 officers and 629 men.

13th Division, IIIrd Indian Army Corps

The sign of the 13th Division: A black horseshoe.

39th Infantry Brigade
7th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment
9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
9th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
7th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment
No.39 Machine Gun Company

1914

Formed in Bristol August 1914 as part of 39th Brigade, 13th Division. One of seven Service Battalions raised by the Glosters (i.e. civilian volunteers enlisting for war service).

1915

The 7th Gloucesters sailed from England in June 1915, bound for Gallipoli. Landed in Gallipoli in July 1915. On August 7th 1915, the battle of Chunuk Bair began. At 4.15am on the 8th August the 7th Glosters advanced on Chunuk Bair Ridge.

"Here the 7th Gloucesters suffered appalling losses, but still fought on unflinchingly, even when every single officer had been either killed or wounded, and every company sergeant-major and company quarter-master-sergeant had shared the same fate. From midday to nightfall, while beating off repeated counter-attacks, these gallant Gloucesters were reduced to small groups of men under junior non-coms. or privates."

Sir Ian Hamilton - "..... here is at least one instance where a battalion of the New Army fought right on, from midday to sunset, without any officers."

Of 20 officers, 10 were killed and 10 wounded. The commanding officer, Colonel R.P. Jordan, D.S.O. (won at Paardeberg, South Africa), was shot in the leg and propped himself up in a trench firing a rifle. He fought on until shot in the face, (later awarded the C.M.G.) By the end of the 8th August only 181 unwounded men remained of the 1000 who had gone into action that morning.

DCM - Sergeant W.H. Stokes (London Gaz. 11 March 1916) - "For conspicuous gallantry on the 8th August 1915, at Chunuk Bair. After the Commander and Officer of the machine-gun detachments had been killed, Sjt. Stokes assumed command, and later, when the gun was disabled, he successfully withdrew it, with the ammunition."

DCM - Corporal H. Woodward (London Gaz. 11 March 1916) - "For conspicuous gallantry on the 9th August, at Suvla Bay, when he carried water and ammunition to the firing line under heavy fire, and, although wounded, remained at his work until wounded a second time."

After leaving Gallipoli the Division moved to Egypt and then to Mesopotamia.

1916

DCM - QMS F.J. Purnell (London Gaz. 21 Jan. 1916) - "For consistent good work and devotion to duty."

DCM - Acting Sergeant-Major J.H. Wagner (London Gaz. 21 Jan. 1916) - "For consistent zeal and devotion to duty, often under trying circumstances."

The 7th Bn. had been in 'quarantine' in Basra, but on the night of the 17th April 1916 they rejoined 39th Brigade near Sannaiyat. At 7.10am on the night of the 20th April, the 39th Division launched an attack on the Turkish line near a canal. However, the Turks had flooded the area in front of their line and the attack was bogged down and had to withdraw. Fighting continued over the next few days, but little headway was made. Kut could not be relieved.

1917

1st February 1917 the 7th Bn. were near Hai. The Turks were being cut off in the Dahra bend of the River Tigris. 11th February one company of the 7th Glosters was ordered to attack a Turkish position near a water channel. As they advanced a heavy dust-storm came on and prevented any artillery or machine gun support. The company became lost in the storm and faced heavy fire from the Turkish lines. About 50 yards from the Turkish lines, they were forced to dig in and await the nightfall, when they could withdraw. They had lost 119 casualties.

By the end of February 1917 the Anglo-Indian Forces had crossed the Tigris and were in persuit of the retreating Turkish army. On 25th February the 39th Brigade advanced and took 3 Turkish lines and repulsed a strong counter-attack.

On March 29th the 39th Brigade too part in the attack on the Turkish positions at the village of Duqma, which was taken.

1918

In April 1918, the 13th Division was advancing into Southern Kurdistan. The 7th Glosters were part of Column B2, which moved to Narin Kopri and then onto positions near Umr Maidan on the 27th April. By the 29th April they were 10 miles south of Kulawand. The 7th Glosters were then transferred to Column B1.

By 25th August the 7th Glosters were at Hamadan. On the 31st half the battalion was ordered to move to Bijar. By September 17th the Glosters were on the Bijar line, minus 1 company which was on the Zenjan line.

On the 31st October 1918, the Turks signed an Armsitice and surrendered.

1919

The 7th Battalion was disbanded in 1919.