Trooper John Hawkins Turner was killed in action on 8th November 1917 whilst serving with the 1st Worcestershire Yeomanry in Palestine. He was born in Duddeston, Birmingham in 1891 and was the eldest son and the fourth of the six children (two sons, four daughters) of parents Horatio George Hawkins Turner (a corn merchant) and Eliza Deakin who had married at Aston in 1886.
At the time of the 1911 census, the Turner family was living at 335, Coventry Road, Birmingham with two of the children – 18-year-old John and 20 year-old Madeline – assistants to their corn merchant father. It seems that the family then moved to Abbey Farm, Wood End, Earlswood and Information from the family suggests that John joined the Queen’s Own Worcestershire Hussars (Worcestershire Yeomanry) in 1911.
When war broke out in 1914, the Worcestershire Yeomanry formed part of the 1st South Midland Mounted Brigade and, by April 1915, had been ordered to Egypt. John Turner joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in September 1916 and was killed in action on 8th November 1917, during the “Glorious Charge” at Huj, one of the last British cavalry charges. Although the charge was successful, British casualties were heavy, and the Worcestershire Yeomanry lost two of their nine officers (four were wounded) and 17 of their 96 men (35 wounded).
John Hawkins Turner is buried at Gaza War Cemetery and is commemorated locally on Tanworth-in-Arden war memorial.
[Much of this information was provided by family members to Tanworth-in-Arden Royal British Legion]
Photo credit: Painting of the Charge at Huj by Elizabeth Southerden Thompson, Lady Butler (1846-1933).
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