Cpl. Boyens served in the Boer War receiving the Queen's South Africa medal.  He remained with the regiment earning the rank of Corporal prior to the start of WWI.

During the first year of the Great War, the Essex Regiment remained stationed in England.

Understanding the need to create another front, the Allies devised a plan for an amphibious landing on the Turkish Dardanelles. The Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (under of the command of General Ian Hamilton) comprised both British and French forces.  The British 29 Division (under the command of Major-General Hunter Weston) was formed in Warwickshire for the assault.

The 1st Battalion Essex Regiment became part of the Division's 88th Brigade.

The Battalion landed on "W" Beach on Cape Helles, 25 April 1915. Cpl. Boyens' "Military Index Card" indicates the same.

The 1st Essex Battalion landed behind and reinforced the heroic 1st Lancashire Fusiliers.  Because of the gallantry of the Lancs battalion on 25th April, W Beach was renamed "Lancashire Landing" in their honour, and the beach was thereafter referred to by that name.  "Six VCs before breakfast"

During the 3rd Battle for Krithia (4-6 June), Cpl. Boyens was wounded - Gun Shot Wound,  Left Shoulder

Excerpt from 1st Essex Regiment War Diary 6 June 1915 -

"Enemy attacked position during the night, they worked around the left flank of the advanced position and attacked from the rear with bombs.  They were driven back once, but the line was eventually forced to fall back on H11. Y company on the right and the machine guns held (illegible) 25 men of Y and one man of the M.G. section reaching H11. When the front line reached H11 the 2nd line broke on the right of H11 which dampened our line, but but were rallied and reoccupied the trench. The enemy succeeded in reaching one part of the trench but were eventually driven out by bombs.

3 Companies Inniskilling Fusiliers reinforced our line. Later the Inniskillins withdrew and 3 companies W, X, & Z connected between the K.O.S.B. and Royal Fusiliers. During the afternoon, the enemy attempted another attack but were repulsed.  The enemy's artillery was very active.  The enemy suffered very heavy losses during the day.

Casualties     Officers    Other Ranks
  K.                    3                 16
  W.                   6                 31
  M.                   3                  59  "

Cpl. Henry Boyens returned home and spent the remainder of the war in the Labour Corps.

WWI British Army
2  Cpl. Henry P. Boyens, 1st Battn. Essex Regiment

- Queens South Africa Medal - "Transvaal" & "South Africa '02"
- 1914-15 Star
- WWI British War Medal
- British Victory Medal
1  George V 1911 Coronation Bowl (Royal Doulton)
3  Pte. Walter T. Randall 11th Hussars

- 1914 Star (Mons Bar)
- WWI British War Medal
- British Victory Medal
- Imperial Service Medal (ERII)
Pte. Randall entered the theatre as part of the BEF on 16 Sep 1914.  The 11th Hussars were part of Gen. Allenby's Cavalry Division (1st Brigade).

The "Great Retreat" is the name given to the slow, fighting retreat by Allied forces to the River Marne, on the Western Front early in World War I. After their holding action against the Imperial German Armies at the Battle of Mons on 23 August 1914, the Allies were closely pursued by the Germans, acting under the Schlieffen Plan.

Mr. Walter T. Randall received his ISM for services as a waiter at the Staff College, War Office, Cambereley.  (LG - 29 March 1957)
4  Essex Regiment Cap Badge