First World War: S. Faraday’s experience of the evacuation of Suvla Bay, Gallipoli.

From Bootham magazine, March 1916

“S. FARADAY [Bootham: 1908-10] : “December 13th.—We received orders re the evacuation of Suvla Bay, and I was sent to make a map of the route we should follow when we retired. This I did. The walk was very interesting, and one had a tremendously good panorama of the whole firing line as far as Anzac on our right. I retired at 8p.m., after dinner, and was just going off to sleep when I heard a tremendous row close to my head. I tumbled out of my sleeping-bag and found that a shell had dropped a few feet from my dug-out, but, fortunately, did not explode. December 18th.—’ The Day ‘—our evacuation. The South Lancashires to take over our lines this afternoon. We were to leave 5.45 p.m., and all lights were to be left burning, just as if we were still there. We marched down and embarked on the SS. Rowan safely off South Pier—thank goodness! December 19th.—Had a real good sleep on board and arrived this morning in Mudros harbour. December 25th.— The weather perfect; sun really quite hot. In the afternoon I climbed the highest hill on the island and had a most magnificent view. I saw Asia Minor, Gallipoli, entrance to the Narrows, Mount Athos, Greece, and the whole island of Lemnos laid out like a model map—a truly wonderful view. January 10th.—I refereed in a Soccer match this afternoon. It seems that we are full of Soccer just at present. Still, the men thoroughly enjoy it, and it is something interesting to do, as it is very monotonous here.” Further news says that on January 20th they left Lemnos for Alexandria.”

First World War: News from Old Scholars December 1915

From Bootham magazine, December 1915

“A. BUTTERWORTH (Captain) [Bootham: 1910] remembered on the Peninsula last December how he used to look forward to the School Christmas holidays. ” How well I can see it all again, the old Minster from the Art Room windows…. The only thing I can’t see is the new swimming bath; here one has hard work to get water for a shave”; so he sends a donation to
the bath from “somewhere in Gallipoli.””

“J. C. S. MACGREGOR [Bootham: 1910-14] sent F.A.U. greetings from the most un-Christmaslike surroundings and the most deplorable weather.”

“E. RUSSELL SANDERS [Bootham: 1903] served in France for fifteen months with the Northumberland Hussars (Imperial Yeomanry). He was somewhere in Flanders when he wrote in December. He has evidently learned amidst the discomfort of feet wet and cold for weeks “a great patience, and that if you only wait the worst is bound to pass.” He is captivated by the beauty of some of the nights and early dawns. And if he feels a bit blue and fed up, there’s the grand old song, ” Goals for the eager and fights for the fearless.” “

First World War: Letter from Joseph G. Braithwaite


“J. G. BRAITHWAITE [Bootham 1907-14] wrote in November, 1915, that he had had a touch of rheumatism and had been sent from Gallipoli to a hospital in Malta. Since then he has been reported as a spotter in the Suez Canal. At the end of the November letter he writes : “Just walked into the arms of Sid. Faraday [Bootham 1908-10], to our mutual astonishment. He was wounded in Flanders in March and is now bound for the Balkans, and was ashore for a few hours off the trooper. We had dinner together.””

From ‘Across the Months’, Bootham Magazine, December 1915

In Memoriam: Edmund Yerbury Priestman


Edmund Yerbury Priestman, Second Lieutenant, 6th York and Lancaster Regiment, fell in action in Gallipoli, November 19th 1915. He was born in Sheffield in 1890 and came to Bootham between 1903 and 1906.

Below is an extract (published in Bootham magazine December 1915 as part of an obituary) from “Night in No Man’s Land” by Edmund Y. Priestman, which gives a picture of his life in the Gallipoli Peninsula

“If No Man’s Land is unpromising by day, when it echoes to the rattle of the rifle, it is possibly oven more sinister when, after nightfall, it becomes a silent and menacing sea of shadows, the haunt of the nightbird, seeking who knows what?—and filled with vague rustlings, now and then dispelled by the sharp roar of a chance shot, which rattles and dies away among the echoes of the hills, to leave the land to sombre silence again.

Out into this eerie tract of lurking horrors it has been the lot of six, under the alleged “leadership” of the writer of these chronicles, to creep for the purpose of laying barbed wire entanglements to hinder the progress of the agile Turk, should he be tempted to pay calls. Lifting each foot carefully like a stalking burglar, the little party advanced with the stealth of Red Indians, making if anything slightly less noise than a herd of camels, and convinced that every step as it crashed and echoed into the night could be heard in every corner of the Peninsula.

A stray shot from the Turkish trench rang out. Private Smith dropped the coil of wire he was carrying with a deafening rattle, and the party stood still and thought of their individual misdeeds, and the new lives they would lead, if by some miracle the Turks omitted to turn all their machine guns on them. Moment succeeded breathless moment, and no devastating blast of fire swept them to sudden doom. The officer, whose duty may be summed up as being to fortify the men by feigning valour he didn’t possess, gulped once, and by some superhuman agency got his rigid muscles into working order again. . . . But when, the wiring party had been collected once more and complete, the explorers returned to the shelter of the friendly parapet, each of them swelled with a manly pride in dangerous work well done, and felt richer in confidence in his own nerves under new stresses. In short, all felt themselves not a little heroic, and it was not until daylight brought with it obvious considerations that the danger was really slight and that the work done was less than that carried through daily and nightly by a thousand of our fellow men, that we came down to earth again, and seeing things in their right proportion, vowed to continue our work next night with less melodrama, and to be quite frank in writing home upon what might have become a very richly coloured topic.”

He is buried at Hill 10 Cemetery, Turkey.

In Memoriam: Austen Campbell Dent


Austen C. Dent of the Royal Army Medical Corps, Lance Sergeant, was mortally wounded on his 23rd birthday, July 19th 1915, and died the next day. He was laid to rest in the Military Cemetery, Lancashire Landing, Gallipoli.

He was born in 1892 and attended Bootham between 1907 and 1910.

Roderic Clark (B.1897-1900) wrote an obituary in Bootham magazine. Here is the first paragraph:

“Before me as I write lie two postcards. One of the well known Army brand, with its alternative inscriptions all crossed out save only “I am quite well. I have received your p.c. (our Whitsun greeting). Austen C. Dent, Sergt. July 3rd, 1915.” The other a camp group, with good wishes from nineteen of his friends at Matlock I. this year, which had been posted in the camp letterbox, but not collected before the sad news came, for Austen, or “Mole”, as many readers will still think of him, made many friends, and the frank sincerity of his exuberant boyishness awakened a response in many hearts.”