Maurice Bovingdon Lambert

Rank Lieutenant
Service No Unknown
Date of Death 07/08/1915
Age 21
Regiment/Service Yorkshire Regiment 6th Battalion
Memorial

Helles Memorial. This stands on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. It takes the form of an obelisk over 30 metres high that can be seen by ships passing through the Dardanelles. The Memorial serves the dual function of Commonwealth battle memorial for the whole Gallipoli campaign and place of commemoration for many of those Commonwealth servicemen who died there and have no known grave. It bears over 20,000 names.

 

Maurice was born in Twickenham, West London on 8th January 1894 and baptised at St Stephen’s, Twickenham on 18th March of that year. He was the son of John James Lambert, Assistant Clerk of the Skinners’ Company, and Florence Louisa Lambert. He had a younger sister, Hilda Marjorie (b.1896), and shortly after her birth the family moved to Willesden, north-west London. In 1904, his brother Geoffrey was born, and the family then moved to Finchley.  Hilda was confirmed in St Luke’s Finchley on 17th March 1915, aged 19, with the family’s address listed as 44 Cyprus Road, Finchley.

In 1905, Maurice moved back to Twickenham to reside with his maternal aunts, Ada and Lilian Legge, who supported themselves by private means. He was a pupil at Merchant Taylors’ School, Northwood, and played rugby for the first XV from 1911 until 1913. He then studied at Queen’s College Cambridge, having received an exhibition (scholarship award) for his academic merits.

At the onset of war he applied for a commission. On 25th August 1914 the University of Cambridge Military Education Committee said he was a suitable for such an appointment. He was gazetted into the Yorkshire Regiment as a Second Lieutenant on 2nd September 1914, joining the 6th battalion the following month, and being promoted to Lieutenant in June 1915. On 3rd July 1915 he sailed from Liverpool with the battalion bound for the Gallipoli Campaign. On 10th July they landed at Mudros and on 20th moved onto Imbros for training and acclimatisation. The battalion were towed ashore at Suvla Bay on Gallipoli in the early hours of 7th August 1915, and under fire the officers marshalled the men as best they could as they disembarked on the beach. Maurice may well have been the first officer from his regiment to be killed in the campaign, the regimental history stating, “Lt Lambert came back and said they were ready to move off, he then returned to his company and I never saw him again”.

The St Luke’s Finchley monthly magazine of September 1915, records that Maurice: “was a member of our Communicants’ Union and C.E.M.S (Church of England Men’s Society). He also, previous to his going to Cambridge, assisted at the Children’s Afternoon Service. He entered Cambridge, as an Exhibitioner in 1913, and had thus completed one year when the war broke out. He belonged to the Cambridge University O.T.C. and was gazetted to the 6th Yorkshire Regiment last September and was promoted to be Lieutenant in June. His mother has been a worker for the church for some years and acts as Treasurer to the Working Party and has taken a leading part in our Annual Sale of Work. She was also one of the leading organisers in the Sale for Dr Barnado’s Homes which was held last March. Maurice was the eldest son and will be greatly missed both by his parents and by his younger brother and sisters. Our sympathy and prayers go out to them in this great trial”.

Maurice’s mother and sister were thanked by the Vicar of St Luke’s Finchley in various editions of the monthly magazine for decorating the choir stalls for Christmas and Easter services.