Private, 1549, Thomas Lancelot Gawain Turnbull (22), Died of Wounds

Honourable Artillery Company, 15th April 1915

Thomas Lancelot Gawain Turnbull

Harrow Memorials of the Great War

The following is an extract from the above book, published near the time of the Great War on the pupils of Harrow School who died in World War One.

Private T.L.G. TURNBULL, Honourable Artillery Company, Moretons 06 – 11, Aged – 22, Died – 15th April 1915.

Fourth and youngest son of the late Reginald March Turnbull, Ship-owner, and of Frances Clitheroe Turnbull.

Monitor, 1910.  Cricket XI, 1909-10-11 (Captain, 1911).  Football XI, 1910.  School Racquet Player, 1911.

Trinity College, Cambridge.

Private Turnbull joined the Honourable Artillery Company a few days after war was declared, and went to France in December, 1914.  He was mortally wounded when moving up from the support to the firing trench, near St. Eloi, on the night of the 14th April, 1915.  In crossing a stream by a plank he was hit close to the heart by a bullet which had wounded the man in front of him in the arm.  He was carried to the nearest hospital and died in a very few hours.  He is buried at Dickebusch.

An Officer in the Honourable Artillery Company wrote to his brother:-

“It is with the utmost possible regret that I write to tell you of the death of your brother….Please accept the sincerest sympathy of the Captain and all Officers, N.C.O.’s and men of B Company, who feel they have lost a very gallant comrade.”

A Private in B Company wrote:-

“I am afraid that I cannot express my feelings adequately in words, as poor Tommy was my very best friend out here, and his loss is absolutely irreparable…he was always so cheery and was the life and soul of the Section….When we came down two days later I saw the Royal Army Medical Corps orderly who was with him in hospital, and he was full of admiration for the great pluck he showed.”

Another of the Officers wrote :-

“I have seen a great deal of him, and I can honestly say I have never met a better sportsman in the very best sense of the word.  As you may imagine, conditions out here have, on occasion, been very trying indeed, but he was invariably cheerful and did his job in the most soldierly way – in short, he was a white man.”

Thomas Lancelot Gawain Turnbull at Harrow School.

Further Military and Civilian Research

  • Thomas was born in the latter part of 1892 and baptised on 5 February 1893 at Haringey, All Saints Church, Highgate.
  • 8 and 9 July 1910 – Thomas took part in what was regarded as one of the best cricket matches of the time between Eton and Harrow at a packed Lords Cricket Ground which was a major sporting even of the day. Eton narrowly won the match with many of the players losing their lives later in the Great War.
  • Thomas was a partner in Turnbull, Scott and Company, a shipping company and a member of the Baltic Exchange. The company was dissolved in September 2017.
  • Thomas enlisted into the Honourable Artillery Company at Armoury House, City Road, London. His area of residence was shown as High Barnet.
  • His place of death was shown as being at No.8 Field Ambulance.
  • He was buried at Dickebusch New Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
  • 13 May 1915 – The Estate to Thomas Turnbull was completed with the Executors being Reginald March Kesterson Turnbull and Oswald Graham Noel Turnbull (Ship Owners). His estate was worth £17,780 a considerable amount at the time.
The Grave of Thomas Lancelot Gawain Turnbull ©-(International Wargraves Photography Project)

Family

Thomas Lancelot Gawain Turnbull was born in 1892. The following family information is taken from the 1901 Census.

His family is shown as follows :-

  • Father – Reginald March Turnbull, born c.1848 at Whitby, Yorkshire.
  • Mother – Frances Clitheroe Turnbull.
  • Sister – Beatrice Helen Turnbull, born c.1876 at Islington, London, died 28 May 1953.
  • Brother – Sir Reginald March Kesterson, born 23 November 1878 at St. Pancras, London, died 1943.
  • Brother – Stanley, born c.1881 at St. Pancras, London.
  • Brother – Clifford Punsfer, born c.1886 at London.
  • Brother – Oswald Graham Noel Turnbull. (Mentioned in Thomas’s Will)
  • Cousin – Thomas M. Turnbull, born c.1877 at Hawkercum Stainacre, Yorkshire.

Addresses

  • In the 1901 Census, Thomas is shown as residing with his parents and siblings at Byculla, Broadlands Road, Highgate, London. In 1916 this was opened as Byculla and Crosfield Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital, Highgate. It is now, Broadlands Lodge, Highgate.
  • In the Probate Index of 1915, his address is given as Exchange Buildings, St. Mary Axe, London.

Medals

Thomas Lancelot Gawain Turnbull was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War.

Memorials

Thomas Lancelot Gawain Turnbull is honoured and remembered on the following memorials :-

Links to Additional Information

References

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • Soldiers Who Died in the Great War.
  • Army, Register of Soldiers Effects.
  • Medal Index Card.
  • Medal Roll Honourable Artillery Company – British War and Victory Medals.
  • Medal Roll Honourable Artillery Company – 1914-15 Star.
  • 1901 Census.
  • England and Wales National Probate Calendar – 1915.
  • Church of England Births and Baptisms.
  • England and Wales Civil Registrations of Births.
  • Harrow School Photos 1869 – 1925.

Literature

Thomas Lancelot Gawain Turnbull appears in several books, namely :-

  • Silent Revolutions – Writings on Cricket History by Gideon Page (page 249).
  • Wisden on the Great War – The Lives of Cricket’s Fallen 1914-18 by Andrew Renshaw (page 184).
  • Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the Great War by Craig Armstrong (page 169).

Groups

Contributors:-

  • Vincent Stuart
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