4th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers Pewter 1 Pint Tankard - CSM H K West Shooting Trophy 1925 - Gallipoli Veteran
These normally come a bit more bashed and with the bottom glass broken, but in this case it is watertight, fits nicely in the hand and has only a few dings and small dents that do not detract. Maker marked Phillips Aldershot. It has a disc bearing St George slaying the Dragon and below engraved neatly in upright capitals:
4th Bn Northd Fusiliers
C.S.M. H.K. West
The tankard comes with a photocopy page from the St George's Gazette dated 31st August 1925 confirming the award of the Special Prize for Permanent Staff - No 6447034 C.S.M. West at the Rifle Meeting at Ponteland.
Harry West was a regular solider who served as a Corporal in the 2nd Royal Fusiliers in WW1, landing at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915 (regimental number 139181 & GS/127207 on re-enlistment in March 1919), and was entitled to a 1915 Trio. He later served with with the 4th Battalion (TA) as part of their permanent staff (Army Number 6447034). He was awarded his LSGC medal in 1929, but this was forfeited in 1932 on account of his being tried by a District Court Martial for offences of a fraudulent nature and reduced from the rank of CQMS to Fusilier. His WW1 MIC comes with the tankard confirming the above details.
At the outbreak of the Great War the 2nd Bn Royal Fusiliers was based in Calcutta, India. In January 1915 the Battalion landed in England, moving to Stockingford near Nuneaton. The 2nd Bn Royal Fusiliers formed part of the 86th Infantry Brigade, 29th Division which sailed for Egypt on 16th March 1915. The Battalion departed with a strength of 28 Officers and 962 Other Ranks destined for Mex Camp.
On 25th April 1915 Harry West of the the 2nd Royal Fusiliers landed at X Beach, Cape Helles, Gallipoli, at the start of the ill-fated campaign. The Battalion would stay in theatre for eight months and took part in some of the most brutal fighting on the peninsula. On 10th Oct 1915 the 29th Division took stock of its casualties to date and counted the number of ‘originals’ in each battalion who had landed on 25th April some six months earlier. Only 158 of the Royal Fusiliers 990 ‘originals’ answered the roll call. Of these most had been wounded or sick, evacuated, recovered and returned. Only 72 had never left the Gallipoli peninsula. There is no record of the number who struggled through to January 1916 when the Battalion was finally evacuated at the end of the disastrous campaign, but the presumption is Harry was one of the lucky ones. A sad ending to his military career at the hands of a District Court Martial.