• Christina Drummond

Lieutenant Jack Clixby Barnes, Royal Marines, Plymouth (11th) Battalion, Royal Naval Division

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1915, Lieutenant Jack Clixby Barnes, Royal Marines, Plymouth (11th) Battalion, Royal Naval Division, was killed in action at Gallipoli.

The Royal Naval Division was formed at the outbreak of the Great War from Royal Navy and Royal Marine reservists and volunteers who were not needed for service at sea – the idea came from Winston Churchill, then the First Lord of the Admiralty. Before Gallipoli they fought at Antwerp, and consisted solely of light-equipped infantry, not being provided with medical, artillery or engineer units. Probably the most famous of their number was the poet Rupert Brooke, who had died just over a fortnight before Lieutenant Barnes.

The fourth son of the vicar of Wendens Ambo, Saffron Walden, Lieutenant Barnes spent his school years in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire. Early in 1913 he began studying for the examination to join the Royal Marines, and when the Great War broke out he received his commission. He was subsequently appointed to the newly-formed Royal Naval Division, being promoted to Lieutenant in March of 1915, and shortly thereafter accompanied his battalion to the Dardanelles. He was killed while acting as Machine Gun Officer, and is memorialised on the Helles Memorial, near Sedd el Bahr, in Turkey, on the headland at the tip of the Gallipoli peninsula overlooking the Dardanelles.

Jack, from Saffron Walden, was 19 years old.

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