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RAMC profile of:
James ENTWISTLE
[Service No:  34054]
 
 


Place or Date
of Birth:
16 Tockholes Road, Darwen on 9th August 1885

Service Number: 34054

TF Number:

Rank: WOII

Unit: 31st Field Ambulance

Attached To:

Enlistment Location:

Also Served:

Outcome:

Date Died:
Age Died:

Where Buried and/or Commemorated:

Awards:

Gazette Reference:
 


Other Information:

According to an article written in the Darwen Gazette on 2nd October 1915, James was formerly employed at Olive Mill, and subsequently was in business as a stationer and newsagent in London Terrace. He was also a member of the St John Ambulance Association, and so volunteered for service with the R.A.M.C. He served at Netley Hospital, before being sent to Egypt, being transferred to the Dardanelles. He entered the war on 7th August 1915 at Sulva Bay. In a letter to his wife, who was living with her parents, Mr and Mrs Frankland of Redearth Road Post Office, Darwen, James wrote:- “We had been for a week on an island about ten hours sail from the place where we were to make the landing, and we had a very rough time of it. On Thursday night, we had word that we were on the Friday, and we were very excited about it. We left our place about nine o’clock on Friday night, and we arrived in front of the beach about 3.30, but the first landing had been made at midnight by another division, and the Turks were on the shore waiting for them. Under cover of the fire from the warships they made a landing, and drove them back, but the losses were very heavy. When we got there, we were a good way inland, but the warships were still firing at the Turks. Our boat was quite close to one of the warships, and it was a treat to see it firing broadsides all at once. The noise was deafening, and all the time shells were dropping in the sea all around us. I saw a shell carry away the bridge of a destroyer, and a German aeroplane came over dropping bullets, but they did not hit us. It was getting very exciting, I can assure you. Our division was in two boats. The other boat got to the land before ours. They were taken ashore in barges, and then had to wade waist deep to the beach. I saw the men on the first barge land. First the colonel went ashore, and he said, ‘Come on, lads, all’s well.’ Our turn then came. We landed without any difficulty, but when you don’t know when you are going to step on a land mine you have to step gingerly. We at once put up a field hospital, as wounded were already coming in. My first job was to see to the burying of three bodies, and it was a singular thing they were three of the Manchesters that had left Ashton Barracks. We had also some wounded in the same regiment. We had over 100 wounded, and all night I was told to see them all across to a hospital ship. I did not get back till Sunday noon. I shall never forget that night as long as I live. It was pitiful to hear the men groaning. I held a man in my arms along time waiting for him dying, but he was living when I handed him over to the ship. We were up early on Monday morning, was we could hear the fighting going on, and it seemed to be very severe. So at 5.30 we sent 10 squads out for the wounded. I managed then to get a shave and a wash, which I very much needed, and I also remembered that it was my birthday. About 9 o’clock I got orders to get ready and take over ten squads out along with an officer and another sergeant. I ought to say hear the infantry had advanced about six miles since the landing on Saturday, which was very good indeed. We had a long way to go before we came to the fighting, but when we could hear the bullets going by we knew we were there. We were not very long in finding the wounded, and we were under fire all the time. Bullets were flying all around, but we got used to them, and I remembered being told that the bullets you hear has gone by, and the one that hits you don’t hear, which I proved to be true later. We had got all our stretchers filled, and the officer said we could go back, when we had a message that a man was wounded in the firing line. So, I said I would go for him, and the officer said he would go as well, so we went together. We found him all right, and while we were attending to him we had bullets coming pretty fast. When we were ready to move, I helped him away with his arm round my shoulder, and I was expecting all the time to be hit, but I got him away on a stretcher, and the officer and I were walking side by side when I got hit. Yes, I am wounded. I got a bullet straight through the feet, and down I went. I was attended to on the spot, and it was now my turn to be carried. It took two hours to carry me back to our people, and my officer was there before me. When I got back the colonel came to me, and he said ‘I am sorry you have been hit, you have been doing good work, and I am proud of you. You must get better soon and come back.’ All the officers came to see me, and I was then sent about half a mile to the beach ready for being sent aboard a hospital ship. I am on the ship near, and we are crowded out. I hope they send me to England; it is miracle how I got away alive. I have just had my foot dressed, and I am doing very nicely. Don’t worry about me; I don’t think I shall be any the worse for it. I was the third in my company to be hit.” On 11th September James was in hospital in Port Said, when he wrote again to his wife: “I can quite believe how upset you would be when you got my letter, but I can assure you it has all been for the best. I have met one of our lads here wounded. I have got my wounds healed now, and I can walk, but I have numbness down one side of my foot, and if I had I had a lot of walking would get some pain. They X-rayed me on Thursday night, but no bones are broken. I think it must be a nerve that is wounded, but I don’t know what they are going to do with me.” Further correspondence revealed that James had been removed from Port Said to a convalescent home in Alexandria, and that he is progressing very favourably. He was the son of James Entwistle & Elizabeth Ann (nee Shorrock); and the husband of Edith Alice Frankland - married on 9th September 1907 at Redearth Road Primitive Methodist Church, Darwen. [Information researched and kindly provided by Tony Foster]


 
 
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