Cpl. Henry Holland (mess spoon)



Cpl. Henry Holland (mess spoon)


Cpl. Henry Holland


Mess spoon


Henry Holland was born in Northwich, Cheshire on 22/1/1894 and died on 17/7/1963. He enlisted in the Royal Marine Light lnfantry in 1912 based at Plymouth. The number on the spoon (see photograph) he used while in service bears his RMLI number and unit and is 15577 F. He rose to the rank of corporal.

The following is from a newspaper cutting:
• He played football for the Navy three times.
• ln the Grand Fleet sports at Plymouth 1915 he won the open mile event and was presented with the cup by Admiral Jellicoe.
• He won another cup in the half mile event of the Devonport Services sports in 1919.
• He used to tell my cousin Michael that RMLI stood for Rogues, Murderers, Liars & Imposters.

The following information regarding the RMLI is obtained from the internet.
• The Royal Marines are not part of the British Army but are an integral part of the Royal Navy, hence their WW1 Records being held at the FAA museum.
• ln WWI there were Royal Marine Light lnfantry (RMLI) & Royal Marine Artillery (RMA). They were organised into three Grand Divisions based at Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth. These divisions did not have an operational role as such but acted in the same way as an Army Regiments depot. They supplied drafts and reinforcements to man the RN ships and the RN Battalions in the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division.
• Every RN Ship had a home port of Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth. Normally they were manned by sailors and Marines from that Depot/ Grand Division.

Royal Marine deployment to Gallipoli:
6 February 1915: Plymouth and Chatham Battalions entrain at Shillingstone near Blandford and move to Devonport. They are temporarily known as the "Royal Marine Special Service Force". Portsmouth and Deal Battalions remain at Blandford. About 6pm Plymouth Battalion and the headquarters of the Royal Marine Brigade saiI on "Braemar Castle".

Chatham Battalion sails on "Cawdor Castle". Both arrive St Paul's Bay (Malta 14 February 1915, sailed 8am on 19 February. Arrive Tenedos 3.15pm on 21 Februa4y, Lemnos 4pm on 24 February, returned to Tenedos next day.

Sailed at 1am on 26 February for Dardanelles, arriving 8am. Naval bombardment of the Straits forts and emplacements is underway. Ships return to Tenedos but at 5pm ordered to lmbros. Orders to land on Gallipoli on 28 February cancelled due to bad weather at sea.

March 1915/1916
By the end of the Division's part in the Gallipoli campaign, very few men with sea service remained. The Division transferred from the authority of the Admiralty to the War Office on 29 April 1916 and was re-designated as the 63rd (Royal Navy) Division on 19 July 1916. The Division moved to France, arriving Marseilles 17-23 May 1916, after which it remained on the Western Front for the rest of the war and took part in the following engagements:
• The Battle of the Ancre, a phase of the Battles of the Somme 1916 (13-18 November 1916).

• The Operations on the Ancre (January-March 1917)
• The Second Battle of the Scarpe (23-24 April 1917), a phase of the Arras Offensive, in which the Division captured Gavrelle.
• The Battle of Arleux (28-29 April 1917), a phase of the Arras Offensive.
• The Second Battle of Passchendaele (26 October-10 November 1917), a phase of the Third Battle of Ypres 1917.
• The action of Welsh Ridge (30 December 1917), subsequent to the Cambrai operations.

• The Battle of St Quentin * (21-23 March 1918)
• The Battle of Bapaume * (24-25 March 1918)
The battles marked * are phases of the First Battles of the Somme 1918.

• The Battle of Albert (21-23 August 1918), a phase of the Second Battles of the Somme 1918
• The Battle of Drocourt-Queant (2-3 September 1918), a phase of the Second Battles of Arras 1918
• The Battle of the Canal du Nord ^ (27 September - 1 October 1918)
• The Battle of Cambrai 1918 ^ (8-9 October 1918)
The battles marked ^ are phases of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line

• The passage of the Grand Honelle (5-7 November 1918), a phase of the Final Advance in Picardy.

This unique Division was demobilised in France by April 1919. It had suffered over 47,900 casualties.




Gallipoli, The Western Front


Jacqui Whiteley, granddaughter of Henry Holland and proud inheritor of the spoon he used in service.

Collection Day

November 3 2018 Menston

This item was submitted on February 6, 2019