Contributed by: Judith, on 2008-11-02
|Year of Birth||1874|
|Year of Death||1915|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Macclesfield, Cheshire|
Henry Backhouse, was my grandfather's half-brother. He had already served in the Boer War in the Cheshire Yeomanry, having enlisted as a trooper after resigning his territorial commission, in order to serve. At the start of the First World War, having served in the territorials for many years, he re-joined the Cheshires, at first as Major, but was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, becoming the commanding officer of the 1st-7th Battalion. He served at Suvla Bay where he was said to have shown "imperturbable coolness". He was hospitalised in Malta, not for wounds, but because he was suffering from sciatica and rheumatism. Upon recovery, he boarded the HMS Persia and sailed to rejoin his regiment. But the Persia was torpedoed, by U38, south of Crete on 30th December, 1915, with the loss of 334 of its passengers, many of whom were civilians. The Captain of the U boat wrote in his diary that he regarded the ship as a troop transport. Amongst the drowned was Henry Backhouse. He is commemorated on the Chatby Memorial in Alexandria, Egypt and on the Macclesfield War Memorial.