2293) Imperial Ottoman Order of Medjidieh

I Bet You did not Know that the only individual Commonwealth war grave on the Gallipoli Peninsula belongs to a man who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross and who previously received Imperial Ottoman Order of Medjidieh 2nd Class in the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 for commanding Red Cross units attached to the Turkish Army. His love affair with Gertrude Bell [1] adds another tragic and interesting angle to his life . . .

Charles Hotham Montagu Doughty-Wylie (b.Jul. 23, 1868- d. Apr. 26, 1915) Born Charles Hotham Montagu Doughty at Theburton Hall, Suffolk, an 1889 graduate of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, Doughty served in many of the Empire’s colonial campaigns in the first fifteen years of his career: The Relief of Chitral on the Northwest Frontier of India (1895), Crete (1896), the Sudan (1898-99), South Africa (Second Boer War, 1900), Tientsin, China (Boxer Rebellion, 1900), and Somaliland (1903-04) where he commanded a unit of the Somali Camel Corps. In 1904 he married Lilian Wylie in India and adopted the name Doughty-Wylie. Their honeymoon was spent traveling back to England by way of archaeological sites in Mesopotamia and Turkey. In 1906, Doughty-Wylie was appointed British military vice-consul in the province of Konia, Turkey; later the province of Cilicia was added to his jurisdiction. In 1909, he intervened to halt a massacres during the 1909 riots in Adana, Cilicia, for which King George V made him a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. During the Gallipoli Campaign, Lt. Col. Doughty-Wylie was serving on the staff of the operation’s Commander-in-Chief, Sir Ian Hamilton. On the morning of the 26th April, 1915, subsequent to a landing having been effected on the beach at a point on the Gallipoli Peninsula, during which both Brigadier-General and Brigade-Major had been killed, Lieutenant-Colonel Doughty-Wylie and Captain Walford organised and led an attack through and on both sides of the village of Sedd el Bahr on the Old Castle at the top of the hill inland and both were killed in the moment of victory. The story is told that Doughty-Wylie did not carry a firearm into combat out of respect for the Turkish troops he had once known as a military attaché. Doughty-Wylie and Walford were buried where they fell, and in the consolidation of graves that occurred after the Armistice, Walford’s remains were moved to the British V Beach Cemetery. Doughty-Wylie’s, however, were kept on the hill above Seddulbahir. His medals are on display at the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum, Caernarfon.

[1] Gertrude Bell (1868- 1926)Born to an enormously wealthy industrialist family Bell could have been a playgirl heiress. Instead, she insisted on attending Oxford, argued with eminent professors and became the first woman to take a first in modern history.

In the years that followed, she came out at Court, learned Persian, Arabic and Turkish, became a famous Alpine mountaineer, joined the Anti-Suffrage League, translated Sufi poetry, suffered a broken engagement, studied photography, cartography and archaeology and travelled the world, becoming, by her thirties, an expert on Arabian desert travel and politics who worked in military intelligence with TE Lawrence and helped to found the modern Iraqi state and includes a frustrated love affair with married soldier and administrator Dick Doughty-Wylie. In 1915, having written two letters discouraging both his wife and Bell from committing suicide, their brief, almost entirely epistolary romance ends when Doughty-Wylie succumbs to a Turkish bullet in the Dardanelles in 1915.

After World War I, she was almost single-handedly responsible for the founding of modern Iraq, where her grave is still located.

See also: The books and papers of Gertrude Bell were given to Newcastle University Library by Gertrude's half-sister, Lady Richmond, although part of the Doughty-Wylie correspondence came from St. Anthony's College, Oxford.

More on Gertrude Bell
from Mavi Boncuk

Source: Mavi Boncuk


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