Saturday, 21 April 2018

Sub-Lieutenant Arthur Walderne St Clair Tisdall VC

Arthur Walderne St Clair Tisdall was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, on 21st July, 1890. He was educated at Bedford School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he got a double first in Classics as well as rowing for his college and being a member of the University OTC (Officer Training Corps).

He joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as an Able Seaman when the First World War broke out, but soon afterwards he was commissioned and became a Sub-Lieutenant. He commanded 13 Platoon, D Company, Anson Battalion, Royal Naval Division during the landings at V Beach, Gallipoli, on 25th April, 1915, and it was during the landings that he rescued numerous wounded men whilst under heavy Turkish machine gun fire. His bravery was noted by many people at the time, but he was killed by a Turkish sniper on 6th May before it was officially recognised.

It was not until Major General Paris (the general commanding the Royal Naval Division) was made aware of Tisdall's actions on 25th April that an investigation was made, as a result of which a recommendation was made that he be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. The official citation reads as follows:
'During the landing from the S.S. "River Clyde" at V Beach in the Gallipoli Peninsula on the 25th April 1915, Sub-Lieutenant Tisdall, hearing wounded men on the beach calling for assistance, jumped into the water and pushing a boat in front of him, went to their rescue. He was, however, obliged to obtain help and took with him on two trips Leading Seaman Malia and on other trips Chief Petty Officer Perring and Leading Seaman Curtiss and Parkinson. In all Sub-Lieutenant Tisdall made four or five trips between the ship and the shore, and was thus responsible for rescuing several wounded men under heavy and accurate fire.

Owing to the fact that Sub-Lieutenant Tisdall and the platoon under his orders were on detached service at the time, and that this Officer was killed in action on the 6th May, it has only now been possible to obtain complete information as to the individuals who took part in this gallant act. Of these, Leading Seaman Fred Curtiss has been missing since the 4th June 1915
London Gazette, 31st March 1916

Sub-Lieutenant Arthur Walderne St Clair Tisdall VC has no known grave, and his name is on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli (Panel 8-15) as well as on the memorial in the churchyard of St George's Church, Deal.

After his death The Naval and Military Press published a book of verses, letter, and remembrances about him.

It is worth noting that two of the men who helped Tisdall on 25th April (Chief Petty Officer (later Sub-Lieutenant) William Perring and Leading Seaman James Parkinson) were awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM) for their actions on the day.

Friday, 20 April 2018

I have been to ... Deal, Kent

When Sue and I realised that yesterday was going to be the hottest since last August, we decided to go to the seaside. (The temperature reached 27°C and turned out to be the warmest April day since 1949!) We chose to go to Deal on the Channel coast of Kent, a place where bat we last visited in 2015.

The journey took just over ninety minutes, and we were able to find a place in the main car park in the centre of the town. From there we walked towards the northern end of the High Street.

On our way back along the High Street we stopped off at St George's Church.

Just inside the gates into the churchyard was a memorial ...

... to Sub-Lieutenant Arthur Walderne St Clair Tisdall VC, ...

... his brother, Lieutenant John Theodore St Clair Tisdall, ...

... and the men of Deal who died during the First World War.

We continued our walk along the High Street, visiting a number of shops along the way.

We then turned towards the seafront ...

... and walked northwards past the pier.

By the time we reached the Royal Hotel – a hotel and restaurant that dominates the seafront and which was frequented by Admiral Nelson and Emma Hamilton – we were both feeling thirsty and hungry.

We decided to eat in the restaurant facing the sea, ...

...and whilst Sue ate fish and chips, I chose locally-sourced ham, eggs, and chips.

After eating lunch, Sue and I had a short walk along the seafront ...

... before we returned to the High Street to buy some jewellery we had looked at earlier. We then made our way back to the car park, and drove home, having had a very enjoyable day out.

Whilst we were in Deal, Sue and I discovered that in 2014 the DAILY TELEGRAPH had named Deal's High Street to be the best in England.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

American Civil War model warship plans

I have spent quite some time today turning the hand-drawn pencil drawings I made as I constructed my two American Civil War ironclads into proper drawings that other people may be able to follow.

The results are as follows:

Plans for the Casemate Ironclad.
Plans for the Monitor.
They will be used in my forthcoming book about gridded naval wargames as part of a 'How to construct simple American Civil War model ironclads' appendix.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

A quiet Monday finishing some models

After all the excitement of visiting SALUTE and then writing my photo-report, I managed to spend part of yesterday quietly sitting in my toy/wargames room finishing two models ships that will be featured in my forthcoming book about gridded naval wargames.

I needed a couple of American Civil War ironclads, and so I built a Casemate Ironclad ...

... and a Monitor.

I intend to include an appendix in the book that explains how I built these two models, but the techniques I used are similar to those I have used before.

Before I can use the models, they will need to be given a couple of coats of PVA glue to seal the wood they are made from, after which I will paint them ... probably in contrasting shades of dark grey. Once that is done, battle can commence!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Salute 2018: A selective photo-report

Rather than try to cover everything in this photo-report, I decided to try to give people who were unable to visit ExCel yesterday a flavour of what the show was like and the wargames that I thought were interesting.

Getting there

I am very lucky in that I live near the top of Shooters Hill in south east London. In fact, I can actually see ExCel from the driveway of my house, and getting there by public transport is relatively quick and easy. A short 'bus ride took me to Woolwich Arsenal Station, where I could catch one of the regular Docklands Light Railway (DLR) trains to Canning Town, where I could change onto the line that goes to Customs House, the nearest DLR station to Excel. Yesterday the whole journey door-to-door took just under an hour.

Getting in

I walked along the concourse from the station towards ...

... the entrance into ExCel.

Once inside I walked past the numerous exhibition halls and fast-food outlets until I reached N9, the entrance to SALUTE.

I showed my ticket at the door, and then joined the queue to get in.

At 10.00am the waiting crowd was allowed into ...

... the exhibition hall.

The games that I thought were particularly interesting

Battles for Lake Tanganyika (Peterborough Wargames Society)
This was three wargames on one table. In the first a British force was raiding a German outpost ...

... whilst in the second the two British motor gunboats Mimi and Toutou were trying to sink or capture the German gunboat Kingane.

The third game saw the African Queen trying to negotiate her way along the Ulanga River in order to reach the open lake so that she could sink the German gunboat K├Ânigin Luise.

The Biscotti War (League of Gentlemen Anti-Alchemists)

Twisting the Dragon's Tail (Maidstone Wargames Society)
The first of the two wargames about the Zeebrugge Raid.

Ipsus - A Macedonian game of thrones (Newbury & Reading Wargames Society)

Battle of Kawanakajima 1561 (Loughton Strike Force)

Sink the Hornet (Warlord Games)

Battle of the Bulge (Warlord Games)

Operation Taifun - The Battle for Leros 1943 (A Few Brits and the Hobby)

The Battle of Tewksbury 1471 (Oxford Wargames Society)

Battle of Freeman's Farm (Essex Warriors)

1918 Zero Hour - The Big Push (Scarab Pals)

Blood & Bridges (Berks and Bucks Occasionals)

The Fight at Altenhof (Continental Wars Society)

In God's Name (South London Warlords)

Battle of Soggy Bottom 1643 (Simon Miller & Friends)

War in America - AWI (Bill Gaskin & Friends)

Battle of Aspern-Essling 1809 (The Old Guard)

The Zeebrugge Raid 1918 (The Naval Wagames Society)
The second wargame about the Zeebrugge Raid covered the entire operation, and used some detailed models of the ships and the harbour.

Seagull Day: The First Battle of Britain 1938 (Gentlemens Wargames Parlour)

Glory! From the Halls of Montezuma (Ian Smith & Friends)

Baggenstaket 1719 (Dalauppror)

1914 (Great Escape Games)

Mortem & Glorium (Ancient and Modern/Donnington Miniatures)

Invasion of Copenhagen (Chelmsford Bunker)

Mission Command (Abbey Wood Irregulars/SSG Wargames)

Battle of Paraitacene (Society of Ancients)
Professor Phil Sabin and the other stalwarts of the SOA staged yet another of their large demonstration games.

Battle of Varna 1444 (Wyvern Wargames Club)

Other displays that I thought were particularly interesting

Andy Callan and Peter Dennis's Paper Soldiers
I've know Andy Callan since 1980, and have met Peter Dennis before. I wanted to see what their paper soldiers looked like in the flesh ... and mighty impressed I was!

The First World War tank

Since yesterday I have discovered that this 'replica' (it isn't full size but look impressive nonetheless) is made of wood and is capable of powered movement.