Sergeant Eric Turner Symes

Date of Birth 1895
Age at Death 20
Date of Death 31 December 1915
Service Number 18563
Military Service Royal Field Artillery
Merton Address The Farm, Lower Morden
Local Memorial St. Lawrence Church, Morden

Additional Information

Eric Turner Symes was born in Leigh in Lancashire in 1895. He was the third son of Samuel Bartlett Symes, a farmer, and his wife Sophie. Eric’s mother died before 1901 and his father moved to a farm at Studhayes in Kilmington in Devon. He had older two brothers, Clarence and Gordon, and a sister Mary. Eric was at this stage living with his uncle’s family in Warminster in Wiltshire. By 1911 census records show that he had rejoined his family which had moved to The Farm, Lower Morden, Mitcham, Surrey and he was now working on the farm with his father who had remarried and had three more children.

Eric enlisted in London with the Royal Field Artillery and his record card shows that he served in the Balkans before going to Gallipoli with the A Battery 66th Brigade in 1915. His regimental number was 18563. The Royal Artillery provided artillery support for the British Army and was responsible for the medium calibre guns and howitzers close to the front line.

Serjeant Symes was killed during the failed allied offensive at Gallipoli on 31 December 1915, exactly a week after his brother’s death in the same campaign. His final resting place is unknown but he is commemorated at the Lancashire Landing Cemetery L 24 in Turkey. He and his brother Clarence are also remembered on one of the panels in the Lychgate at St. Lawrence Church, Morden, which serves as the parish war memorial


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