PRIVATE W A SAUL, No. 310309, 1ST WARWICKSHIRE YEOMANRY
by Martin Saul
This article was originally published in the December 2008 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
Wallace Arthur Saul son of Alfred and (phoebe) Kate enlisted in The Warwickshire Yeomanry in 1913. His original regiment number was No 1953 then later re numbered to No 310309.
When the war started at midnight on the 4th of August 1914 the regiment received orders to mobilise. Wallace was in B Squadron and they were moved by train to Norfolk to meet up with other regiments. After training for nine months, on the 11th April they departed for overseas service aboard The Wayfarer. The vessel was torpedoed just off The Scilly Isles, but through their brave efforts only 3 of the 763 horses were lost and sadly, 4 men lost their lives.
Eventually the regiment arrived at Alexandria in May 1915 to continue training. In August 1915, 75% of them were ordered to Gallipoli, Turkey as dismounted infantry. During one of the many fierce battles, Wallace was injured along with many others and was sent to convalesce at a hospital in Cairo. During this 4 month campaign, 14 men were killed in action. After recovering, Wallace went back to his regiment and continued to serve. Eventually the regiment moved back to Alexandria to their colleagues and horses where they continued to fight in numerous battles.
Then on Thursday 8th November 1917 during a terrifying charge on a ridge at Huj against machine gun fire and field guns Wallace lost his life.
The charge was a great success and is considered to have been one of the finest moments of the British Cavalry history. It became known as “The Last Cavalry Charge”. Altogether, 163 officers and men took part in the charge, seventy six from the Warwickshire Yeomanry and eighty seven from The Worcestershire Yeomanry. Seventeen of The Warwickshire Yeomanry were killed and another eighteen wounded. Forty five of their seventy six horses were also killed.
The enemy lost all twelve of their guns, nine field guns and three 5.9 howitzers and also lost 3 machine guns. Several hundred of the 2,000 Turks defending the ridge were captured and over 100 were killed.
In Memory of Private W A SAUL 310309, 1st/1st, Warwickshire Yeomanry who died on 8th November 1917
Remembered with honour
GAZA WAR CEMETERY
Commemorated in perpetuity by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
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