The Great War 1914 – 1918

 We will remember them …

JEROME Joseph Fane De Salis

1915 JEROME Joseph De Salis

b. Portnall Park, Virginia Water, Surrey, 03.01.1896 – d. Lincoln, 03.10.1915.
Educated: Clayesmore School, Pangbourne; Uxbridge County School and University of London OTC-Northampton Polytechnic Institute in London (Engineering).
Lt. 8th Battalion Middlesex (Duke of Cambridge’s Own, Territorials) Regiment.
He was wounded in the head, near Ypres on 13th September 1915. He was evacuated to hospital at Lincoln where he died from his wounds.
Buried: S. Peter & S. Paul’s Church, Harlington.
Jerome was the third son of Sir Cecil Fane De Salis and Rachel Fane De Salis (née Waller) of Dawley Court, Middlesex.

John PETER Fabius Fane De Salis 1917 John PETER Fabius De Salis
b. Gundagi, NSW, 12.10.1897 – d. Bouchavesnes, France, 22.01.1917.
Educated: King’s School, Parramatta, NSW; Hildersham House, Broadstairs, Kent and Lancing College, Sussex.
2nd Lt. 2nd Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders.
Killed in action near trenches at Bouchavesnes.
Buried: (CWGC) Peronne Communal Cemetery, Somme, Plot V, Row P, Grave 17.
Peter was the younger son of Leopold William Jerome Fane De Salis and Jeanette Caroline (nee Armstrong) Fane De Salis of “The Limes”, Laleham on Thames, Surrey.

On the night of 21st/22nd January the battalion was relieved by the Royal Irish Fusiliers and were moving to shelters in Road Wood. During the relief a shell fell killing Peter De Salis instantaneously. The same shell killed one other rank and wounded Lieutenant Aitken, Company Sergeant Major McLeod and four other men.
His Colonel wrote:
“Always cheerful and helpful, his unfailing devotion to duty made him a good friend and all a soldier ought to be.”

GEORGE Rodolph Fane De Salis1917 GEORGE Rodolph De Salis
b. Dawley Court, Middlesex, 01.06.1898 – d. Wancourt, France, 21.06.1917.
Educated: Hildersham House, Broadstairs, Kent; Lancing College, Sussex; St. Paul’s School, London and R.M.C. Sandhurst.
2nd Lt. 8th Battalion, Middlesex (Duke of Cambridge’s Own, Territorials) Regiment
After only six weeks service, he was killed in action, by a shell which burst in his trench.
Buried: (CWGC) Hibers Trench Cemetery at Wancourt, Arras, Row E, Grave 16.
George was the fifth son of Sir Cecil Fane De Salis and Rachel Fane De Salis (née Waller) of Dawley Court, Middlesex.

In June 1917 the 1/8th Battalion Middlesex Regiment was holding the line at Wancourt near Arras where they were subjected to occasional heavy shelling.  On the night of the 21st of June a shell fell in the trench killing George De Salis and wounding one other man. 
His Commanding Officer made this entry in his diary the following day:
“June 22nd Showery. Heard that young De Salis was killed by a shell last night in Wancourt Line. Buried him in the Cemetery there in the afternoon.  Very wet day.  Quiet night”.

Charles ERIC Fabius Fane De Salis, MM1917 Eric (detail)
b. Cuppacumbalong, ACT, May 1891 – d. Tel el Khuweilfe, Palestine, 06.11.1917.
Educated: The King’s School, Parramatta, NSW.
Lance Corporal, 2 Machine Gun Squadron, 2 Australian Light Horse Regiment, AIF.
Killed in action at Tel el Khuweilfe, Palestine.
Buried: 34 Jerusalem War Memorial Cemetery, Mt. Scopus, Israel (Panel 60).
Eric was the third son, and youngest of seven children of George Arthur Charles Fane De Salis and Mary St Lawrence Irving Fane De Salis (née Smith) of “Soglio”, Michelago, NSW.

On 6 November 1917 the British and the Imperial Camel Corps attacked the Turkish positions at Tel el Khuweilfe but met with stiff resistance. According to an eyewitness, De Salis’ unit “had to gallop into action to save the flank of the Camel Corps and when they arrived under the hills they got their guns mounted and commenced firing. The Turks were amongst the rocks close by.
De Salis was No.1 on his gun and, when firing it, was hit by a machine gun bullet”. He died later that day from his wounds.
The official history records that the Light Horse machine-gunners “rushed their guns up the hill within forty yards of the Turks, and, although they were shot down almost to a man, their very gallant action caused the Turks to pause” helping to save the Camel Corps’ position.
Eric was awarded the Military Medal, posthumously.  

Photo: courtesy of Adrienne Bradley.