Sergeant 1176 William John H. Horne
Sergeant Horne was born in Hungerford the son of Mrs J. Horne, of Church Street, Hungerford, and the husband of Edith Mary Desmond (formerly Horne), of 6 Allen Road, Sunbury, Middlesex.
He enlisted in Hungerford and was killed in action in Gallipoli on the 21 Aug 1915, age 27 in the assault on Scimitar Hill (Hill 70). He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial to the missing in Turkey. [We believe at some point he lived in Charnham Street]
- Sergeant William John Horne
- The cap badge of the Berkshire Yeomanry
- A print showing the charge of the Berkshire Yeomanry at Gallipoli. It was produced by the famous military artist Richard C. Woodville who had a personal interest in the regiment as he joined the Royal Berkshire Yeomanry Cavalry in 1879, staying with them until 1914 when he joined the National Reserve as a Captain.
- This image shows the ground covered by the yeomanry during the attack on the 21st Aug 1915. Sgt Horne would have been killed somewhere on the left.
Arrived Sulva Bay, Gallipoli, landed at 'A' beach east and bivouacked in Sulva Camp.
Marched to Lala Baba and bivouacked on the shore, went up the hill.
3.00pm. Brigade took part in a general attack against the enemy entrenched on Hill 70. The Brigade advanced across the open leaving the salt lake on the left flank.
4.45 pm – Brigade formed up on Hill 53
5.00pm – Brigade order to attack Hill 70
5.15pm – Berkshire Yeomanry started the attack. Heavy casualties were caused in all Regiments owing to the skillful way in which the enemy's trenches had been sited. It was impossible to se them. The Berks, with portions of the Bucks and Dorset's charged and captured the enemy's front trench. The position captured formed the apex of a triangle and owing to enfiladed fire the Brigade were unable to hold it. All the Brigade Officers and 70% of Regimental Officers had become casualties.
Berkshire Casualties 9 Officers and 312 men (Returned after action 3 Officers and 178 men) [NOTE – This was the Regiments first major action]
A witness to this action described it as follows:
"It was now almost beginning to be dark, and the attack seemed to hang fire, when suddenly the yeomanry leaped to their feet and as a single man charged right up the hill. They were met by a withering fire, which rose in crescendo as they neared the northern crest; but nothing could stop them. They charged at amazing speed, without a single halt from the bottom to the top, losing many men and many of their chosen leaders. including gallant Sir John Milbanke. It was a stirring sight, watched by thousands in the now ever-gathering gloom. One moment they were below the crest, the next on top. A moment setter many had disappeared inside the Turkish trenches, bayoneting all the defenders who had not fled in time, while others never stopped at the trenches line, but. dashed in pursuit down the reverse slopes.
From thousands of lips the shout went up that Hill 70 was won. But the night was now rapidly falling. The figures became blurred, then lost all shape and finally disappeared from view, and as one left Chocolate Hill he looked back on a vista of rolling clouds of smoke and huge fires, from the midst of which the roar of the rifle fire never ceased.
All through the night the battle raged incessantly, and when morning broke Hill 70 was no longer in our possession. Apparently the Turks were never driven off the knoll on the northern crest, from which they enfiladed us with machine guns and artillery fire, while those of the yeomanry who dashed down the reverse slopes in pursuit were counterattacked and lost heavily, being obliged to retire. In the night it was decided that it would be impossible to hold the hill in daylight, and the order was given for the troops to withdraw to their original positions. Nothing, however, will lessen the glory of that final charge of England's yeomen. Thus ended this great fight. "
Point of Interest:
In was in this action that Trooper Potts from Reading won the Victoria Cross. On 21st August 1915 in the attack on Hill 70, Private Potts (although wounded in the thigh) remained for over 48 hours under the Turkish trenches with another private from his regiment who was severely wounded, and unable to move. He finally fixed a shovel to the equipment of his wounded comrade and using this as a sledge, dragged the man back over 600 yards to safety, being under fire all the way. Also killed in action on this day was Lieutenant Niven of the Berkshire Yeomanry, the father of David Niven the famous actor.