Bushey men travel to Turkey to pay respects to Hertfordshire men slain at Gallipoli

Alwyn Jones at grave of Alexander Purssell who was slain at Gallipoli

Alwyn Jones at grave of Alexander Purssell who was slain at Gallipoli

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Two men from Bushey recently travelled to Turkey to honour men from Hertfordshire who died in the First World War.

Alwyn Jones, a member of the team organising the exhibition ‘Bushey during the Great War: A Village Remembers’, has been going to Gallipoli for the last four years.

Along with Alex Kaye, he has made the annual pilgrimage to learn more about events that took place in the Dardenelles and to his respects to men from Hertfordshire who died during the disasterous campaign.

Almost 200,000 allied soldiers from the UK, Australia, New Zealand and India, were killed or wounded in the botched attempt to knock the Ottoman empire out of the conflict.

This year they took with them details and biographies of eight men from Bushey and Oxhey who are buried or commemorated there and have been researched by the Bushey First World War Commemoration Project.

Alwyn and Alex visited Ari Burnu Cemetery, Anzac Cove and placed a British Legion cross on the grave of Trooper Harry Hickman Binyon, an Old Boy of Watford Boys’ Grammar School, who lived in Grover Road, Oxhey.

Watford Observer:

Binyon emigrated to Australia, enlisted with the Australian Light Horse Regiment during the war and was killed on May 30 1915, aged 41.

At Lone Pine Cemetery, Anzac Cove, Alwyn and Alex saw the memorial stone to Lieutenant John Lionel Calvert Booth, a former art student of the Herkomer School in Bushey, who emigrated and joined the ANZAC expeditionary forces. He died at sea, aged 38, on April 28 1915 as a result of wounds received at Gallipoli. 

The Helles Memorial to the Missing at the entrance to the Dardenelles carries memorial tablets to the ships and crew sunk in the Gallipoli Operation. Fleet Paymaster Arthur Reginald George Beal from Oxhey was among those drowned on HMS Goliath, which was torpedoed by a Turkish destroyer.

Alexander Purssell of Capel Road, Oxhey, enlisted in London as a Private with the London Regiment. He was killed at Gallipoli on September 27 1915, aged 20 and was buried at Green Hill Cemetery, Suvla Bay, Gallipoli.

More than 300 biographies of Bushey and Oxhey servicemen have been researched and will be on display in files at the exhibition, ‘A Village Remembers’ from August 4-24 at The Bushey Academy

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