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354: Searching for Sergeant Harry

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posted on 2024-01-12, 10:52 authored by Lest We Forget Project Team

My name is Craig Roach, Roachie to my friends. I've been wandering around Gallipoli in Turkey for over 30 years. I am an artist specialising in Gallipoli and also an avid historian on the subject.

Earlier this year I was contacted by a chap whose Grandfather came to Gallipoli but never left. His name was Sgt Harry Tutin of the 6th Lincolnshire Regiment. Informaftion on the 6th Lincs is scarce as all war diaries etc were left behind after the evacuation, however, we found quite a bit of info in the 32nd and 33rd Brigade reports.

His Grandson spoke to me about locating Harry and giving him a decent burial. Harry's unit saw some time in the trenches in Cape Helles at the end of July 1915 before being shipped off for the crucial landing at Suvla Bay. Harry landed on the 7th of August where his unit was involved in fighting at Lala Baba before securing the beachhead. His unit was moved to different positions around Suvla and the Chocolate Hills before they advanced on W Hills, this was the last seen of Harry.

Now surprisingly, over a hundred years after the event, folk still don't realise the remote beauty of Gallipoli, I get it all the time, people never knew how wild and beautiful the area is. Harry's Grandson was one of them. His initial plan was to first find Harry's name on the Helles Memorial before searching for Harry, his idea was to find Harry and bury his bones with his medals on the beach where he landed. I told him that in Gallipoli there are areas still scattered with the bones of the fallen from both sides of the conflict and that it would be near impossible to find Harry in particular. In the end I convinced him to donate a photo of Harry and his medals to the lovely little museum in Buyuk Anafarta, near to where Harry was lost.

While following Harry's footsteps I discovered this 2.75" artillery shell in the trenches on Buyuk Lala Baba. And the photo and medals along with a cigarette case are in the small museum.
Records of the 6th Lincs were quite hard to find as most of them were lost around the 8th or 9th of August. There were very few records and the battle diaries were lost after the evacuation. But I did manage to find the Divisional war diaries and some post-war stuff. It was likely that Harry and his unit were lost advancing from Hetman's Chair to W Hills, those that weren't killed outright were caught in the flames of the fire that raged afterwards. We decided that this was the most likely resting place of Harry, somewhere under the scrub of the seaward looking hillside.

We paused in silence for Harry and his mates of the 6th Lincs. Maybe lost, maybe with no gravestone to call their own, but a beautiful place nonetheless. A small compensation for Harry and closure for his family. More than a few tears were shed on that hill as the sunset and in the small museum.

History

Name of contributor(s)

Craig Roach - Gallipoli artist and battlefield guide

Subject of the story/individual the object(s) relate to

Sgt. Harry Tutin - 6th Lincolnshire Regiment - Suvla Bay. Gallipoli Turkey

Date(s) the event(s) in the story took place

08/08/1915

Location(s) where the event(s) in the story took place

W Hills, Suvla Bay, Gallipoli Turkey

Community Collection Day

Our Lady's School, Abingdon (09/03/18)

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