Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Annesley Gray-Cheape

Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Annesley Gray-Cheape, DSO and Bar. He was lost at sea aboard the H.M.T. ” Leasowe Castle ” on 27th May 1918 when it was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea. He was promoted from the Worcester Yeomanry in 1915 to be Lieutenant Colonel commanding the Warwickshire Yeomanry . Having also served in the Boer War 1900-1902 he was awarded the DSO in January, 1917. He achieved fame and a Bar to his DSO for conspicuous gallantry when he commanded the Warwickshire  and (temporarily) Worcester Yeomanry in the famous charge at Huj in Egypt on 8th November 1917. This was the last charge on guns in British Military History when the attack was directed at Turkish positions. This action, in defence of the beleaguered 60th (London) Division who were pinned down by Turkish fire succeeded in forcing the Turks to withdraw and resulted in the capture of the guns. Yeomanry losses were heavy with 2 out of 9 officers killed and 4 wounded and of the 96 NCO’s and men 17 were killed and 35 wounded.  The citation for his Distinguished Service Order reads” For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He led a charge against the enemy’s guns with the utmost gallantry and determination. The enemy’s gunners were firing at point blank range, but the guns were captured and the gunners put out of action”. The HMT “Leasowe Castle ” was torpedoed 100 miles from Alexandria and he is commemorated on the Chatby Memorial, Alexandria, Egypt along with around 1000 Commonwealth servicemen who have no other grave but the sea. His surname was Cheape until he married Carsina Gordon Gray when the Gray was added. They lived at Carse Gray, Forfar, Angus, the family home of the Grays. He lived for a time at Bothendene, Bowden and was a member of St Boswell’s Curling Club. He was also joint master of the Berwickshire Hunt. The photo shows the yeomanry during the campaign.

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