1856 Pte. H. Jensen Middlesex Regiment

 Victory Medal to 1856 Private Hubert Johan Munck Jensen, Middlesex Regiment


Hubert Johan (or John) Munck Jensen was born i Willsden, Middlesex in the last quarter of 1889. 

His was father was Gardener Johan Munck Jensen, born in Copenhagen, Denmark 1864.
Hubert's grandfather was Book binder Nicholai Munck Jensen.
His mother was Emma Ellen Taylor, born in Hollywood, Ireland 1858.
Johan and Emma were married December 25th 1888 at St. Luke, Chelsea.

In 1899 Hubert's brother Leonard Nickola Munck Jensen was born.
Unfortunately he died July 28th 1900.


In 1911, Hubert, only living child, still lived with his parents at 53 Quainston Street Neasden N. W.

His father was listed as a railway labourer and himself as a coach builder.


July 15th 1915, Hubert married Maud Mary Harding (aged 22) at St. Andrew Parish Church, Kingsbury. He was listed as a Private in 2/10th Middlesex Regiment, and his residence at the time of his wedding was, 19 Erie Road, Willsden.

Hubert obviously met his wife in his childhood neighbourhood, as her residence was 39 Quainton Street, Neasden.

Three days later, on July 18th 1915, Hubert sailed with the rest of 2/10th Bn. Middlesex, from Devonport, going via Imbros and landed at Sulva Bay, Gallipoli on August 9th 1915.
 

2/10th Battalion (taken from the Regiment history:

9th Aug - "Without mishap the Middlesex men landed, at about 2am and waited the coming dawn. They sat or lay about the beach, with the grim silence of the hills above them, broken occasionally by the sharp crack of a rifle. Few knew what was happening in the frontline, then about 1000 yards away.

There was to be another attack by the 11th Division at dawn (this was actually delayed until 4am the following moning) in a final attempt to gain possesion of the heights above the Bay, but success was doubtful. It was known that Turkish reinforcements were moving up rapidly, and at any moment might sweep down from the hills in a desperate effort to drive the invaders back into the sea. For beyond a small advance "by part of the 11th Division between the Chocolate Hil ad Ismail Oglu Tepe, and some further progress along the Kiretch Tepe Sirt ridge by the 10th Division, the day of the 8th had been lost."


With the breaking of dawn came the rattle of musketry and the boom of guns: the attack had begun. The 2/10th Middlesex were not, however, destined to take part in the operations of that day. The Battalion had been detailed for the unloading of stores and ammunition, and also for the pumping of water from barge tanks into canvas troughs on the beach.
The beach was in full view of the Turks and their guns searched the whole area where the Middlesex men were working - a trying experience for raw troops under fire for the first time. Apparently the Battalion suffered its first casualties on this day, for although there isno mention of losses in the Battalion Diary, Major C Jarrett, writing in The Die-Hards for August, 1922, state that "the casualties were not heavy"


All day long, shelled heavily, the 2/10th carried on their work exasperated at been fired at though unable to fire a shot in reply. Rumours drifted back from the firing line and information was gathered from wounded men that the advance was hung up a few thousand yards away. At last night fell, mercifully shielding the men on the beach fromthe enemy's artillery observers: th Middlesex then moved to the Western slopes of Lala Baba.


When darkness had fallen the 2/10th were ordered to join the 158th Brigade (53rd Division) in an attempt to drive home an attack on Chocolate Hill (or Yilghin Burnu) on the morning of 10th.


The following Operation Order, issued from the 53rd Divisional Headquarters at 11pm onthe night of th 9th, not only gives the positon as then known, but also outlines the orders given to the 2/10th Mddlesex for the attack which was to take place on the 10th :


(i) The 11th and 53rd Divisions are holding the line Yilghin Burnu-Hill 50-1 of Sulajik-last A of Anafarta Ova. The 10th Division holds the line Bench Mark 200on Kiretch Tepe Sirt - about sq. 135 Y.6- about sq. 118 a.7


(ii) Enemy have shown strength on ridges Ismail Oglu Tepe-Anfarta Sagir and have opposed steadily 10th Division advance to-day.


(iii) The 158th Brigade, (The 158th Brigade was less one Battalion - th 2/10th Middlesex was ordered to join the Brigade in place of it) with the addition of 2/10th Middlesex from 160th Brigade, and the 159th Brigade will carry out an attack tomorrow against the ridge from points where the road cuts contour 100 about 105 p.5 to th point where the road cuts contour 100 about 106 G. half-way between points 3 and 6. The 159th Brigade will commence the attack at 6am and advance from Sulajik with its left to the south of the Kanli Keupru Dere, and its right on the track through 105 I.3 - Knoll at 105 D.8-first E of Kanli Kepru Dere. After making good this position it will pass through it, and attack the ridge from 105 P.5 to 106 G, halfway between points 3 and 6. All troops must keep south of the Kanli Keupru Dere which will be shelled by our artillery.


Dawn was breaking on the 10th when the 2/10th Middlesex joined the 158th Brigade about 4a. The attack was to begin at 6 o'clock.


The 159th Brigade, which had been detailed to capture the first objective, had been fighting hard the whole of the previous day, and at nightfall its units were much scattered, and the work of collecting and reorganising the Battalion went on throug the night. By th morning of 10th, howver, all Battalions but one (7th Cheshire Regiment, a large part of which had not joined the Brigade) had been assembled in their jumping-off positions ready for Zero hour.


At 6am the guns of the 11th Division and aboard the naval boats at Sulva opene fire on the Turkish position and the advance began.


The country over which the troops were advancing was flat, covered with scrub, trees and hedges, but afforded little cover. There were few landmarks, and in the absence of previous reconnaisance and from the poor nature of the maps supplied, it wasextremely difficult to if not impossible for Battalion Commanders to locate their exact positions or those of the enemy. Roughly, the objectives of the attack lay between Scimitar Hill on the right and Baka Baba on the left, the jumping-off line of the 159th Brigade being about Sulajik.


From the meagre reports concerning the actions of the 2/10th Middlesex it is impossible to give an adequate idea of the part taken in the operations by the Battalion. The Battalion Diary describes the happenings of the 10th August in the following brief words:
"Battalion took partin an dvance on Salt Lake in an easterly direction, being the reserve Battalion in the Brigade (158th). During progress across Salt Lake came under shrapnel fire. Men absolutely steady. Came into action later in the day and held a line of trenches until the afternoon of Wednesday 11th when Battalion was allotted another part of the line". It will be seen that no casualties are mentioned.


Writing in the Die-Hards' Journal of August and November 1922 however, Major C Jarrett thus describes the action of the 2/10th Middlesex:

"Accordingly at dawn on the 10th August, we advanced across the intervening plain. This was named on the map 'Salt Lake', but at this time of the year it was a dry plain with marshy edges. We ploughed across the stinking mud on to the hard bed of the lake, and for the next thousand yards of the advance there was no scrap of cover. The shelling was terrific, and towards the far side of the plain the Battalion came into the zone of machine-gun and rifle fire. Once among the foothills there was more chance of cover than in the scrub, but the advance was too much hampered by the volume of fire. Advancing up the slopes of Chocolate Hill the various Compaines got out of touch and near the top they became merged into a firing line made up of many units. Thenceforward anything like control by Battalion Commanders was out of the question. The hill was already a shambles, and, to add to the distress of he troops, the want of water became a very serious mtter. The heat was awful, and the men had used the water they carried in their bottles and no more was to be had yet"
 

"The firing line was quite unable to push on. Isolated attempts were bravely made by officers to lead on parties of their men, but all were doomed to failure, and night came down without any progress being posible" (this is a little misleading. The Brigade Narrative states that 'By about noon the attack had almost succeeded in takingthe first objective)
 

"Perhaps the most terrible incident that evening was the fire which started in the dry brush. Many wounded men were unable to get away from the flames and their moans were heart-rendering. Superhuman eforts were made to rescue some of them, an formost in this work was our Medical Officer, Majo Paull and his ordrlies.

"Meanwhile the Turks were doing their utmost to drive us off the position, but they too were beaten to a standstill, and so the two forces were in a state of stale-mate. The order came from the Corps Commander that we were to dig in on the line held and prepare for trench warfare. It was a bitter disappointment to us all, but it seemed to bethe only alternative to being driven off the Peninsula.


"The Battalion was so dispered in the line that it was impossible to ascertain the casualties that night, but we knew that Captains E.W.Bitten and M.J.A Foley and Lieuts Pope and J.G Hollingsworth had been killed; also that Lieuts Snowden and Ried Todd had been badly wounded.


"ll that night the men did their best with their entrenching implements to scratch some sort of cover, for no picks or shovels had come up to the line yet. During the night our tireless Quartermaster Wallis had been toiling to bring us up food and water. He had gllantly attempted this several times during the day, but ithad ben impossible to bring his mulea across the deadly Salt Lake.


"The next day, the 11th August, having collected the Companies more or less during the night, the Batalion was ordered to take over another sector of the line a few hundred yards to t he left of our first position, and this was done by noon under great difficulties, and from then on till the late night of te 13th/14th we dug ourselves in, suffering many more casualties, but keeping the line intact. That night we were relieved by the 2/4th Battalion Royal West Kent Regimet, and went back to Beach 'A' for duty, unloading lighters, &c. Here we were reinforced by the party which had been left behind at Alexandria, and we had a very trying period on this work till the 4th September."


From the 14th to the 31st August the Battalion Diary has only the following entry: "Employed on beach duty 'A' Beach. Continually shelled during the day."


Thereafter there is little of interest in the Diaries of the 2/10th Battalion until December, when the evacuation of Gallipoli and Sulva began.


The battalion was evacuated from Gallipoli to Mudros on December 11-12th

1915, and moved to Egypt.

At some point, Hubert was transferred to th 13th London Regiment (Probably 2/13th London, as they arrived in Egypt in July 1917.)
 

Maud Mary Jensen died in the first quarter of 1962.

Hubert remarried Edith M. Busby in the 3rd quarter of 1963.

Hubert John Jensen died 80 years old Thanet, Kent in 1969.

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