Herbert Pettit

Name

Herbert Pettit

Conflict

First World War

Date of Death / Age

16/04/1915
20

Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Driver
78135
Royal Field Artillery
97th Battery

Awards

Not Yet Researched

Cemetery/Memorial

HELLES MEMORIAL
Panel 21 and 22.
Turkey (including Gallipoli)

UK Memorials

Much Hadham Village Memorial
St Andrew’s Church Memorial, Much Hadham
Stone Bench Plaque, Much Hadham
Congregational Church Memorial, Hadham Cross

Pre War

Born on 9 Mar 1893 in Castle Camps, Cambridgeshire son of John and Eliza (Halls)Pettit and living at The Cross, Much Hadham in 1901. He was a gardener.

Wartime Service

Before the war he enlisted as Private 2455 Hertfordshire Regiment 1st Bn. Territorial Force on 13 May 1914 transferred to the R.F.A. on 22 Jun 1914 and was sent to Preston. He drowned at sea when the Horse Transport Manitou was attacked by a Turkish torpedo boat, the Demir Hissar, under German command in the Aegean Sea south of Skyros. The Demir Hissar came alongside the Manitou and gave a ten-minute warning to evacuate the ship so that she could be sunk. However, two torpedoes were fired after only 3 minutes, they missed. A third was then fired which hit but did not explode. The Torpedo boat then fled. Sadly, as the troops were evacuating in large numbers to the life boats, one of them crashed into the sea before being lowered. As a result, about 40 men were drowned. One of these men was Herbert. Boats were lowered and in the melee. The S.S. Royal George, another troop ship, attended and assisted in the rescue. The Demir Hissan was chased by a destroyer and seen wrecked on the Turkish shore.

Acknowledgments

Malcolm Lennox, “Lest We Forget – Much Hadham 1914-18” by Richard Maddams (Much Hadham Forge Museum), Jonty Wild