1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Norman Holden

Contributed by: Adrian Holden, on 2008-11-04

Norman V Holden
Rank
First Name Norman
Surname Holden
Year of Birth 1890
Year of Death 1915
Regiment Lancashire Fusiliers
Place of Wartime Residence Manchester, Lancashire

Norman's Story

Norman Holden was a graduate of St Johns College, Cambridge. He had been appointed Junior Master at Manchester Grammar School less than a year in August 1914. He had started the first Boy Scout Troup in Manchester in 1907 in his father's parish of Moston and encouraged his scouts to join the Lancs Fusiliers with him at Bury Drill Hall. They were sent to Egypt in the Autumn of 1914 ostensibly to protect Palestine from the Turks. But, along with Anzacs who were also diverted there, they made up a force which was sent to attack Gallipoli. His brother Jack also went as a member of the Royal Fusiliers but transferred to the Signals Corps once in Egypt (and eventually the RFC).

In August 2008 I was only the 2nd relative to visit his grave since 1915

Norman survived the costly landing at W beach on 25th April 1915 but, on standing aside to let a stretcher party pass on June 4th, was shot in the head by a Turkish sniper. He died on June 5th and was buried on the beach at Suvla Bay. There was a memorial service in Manchester Cathedral attended by large contingents from Manchester Grammar School and the Boy Scouts as well as from other parishes. Two of his scouts survived and returned to marry two of his sisters, but his father had a breakdown and was unable to continue as a vicar in Manchester, retiring to a rural parish at Brindle. Norman is now interred in the middle of Row A of the Lancs Landing Cemetery at Gallipoli. Five years ago a second cousin managed to visit the grave for the first time. This summer (2008) I was the second relative to visit since 1915. He was my great-uncle.

Other memories

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