Wilfred (Lawson) Campsall

wilfred campsallPrivate 1929, 1/5th Battalion, Manchester Regiment (formerly 1773, Lincolnshire Regiment), killed in action, 5th June, 1915, aged 19.

Born at Medge Hall in 1895, Wilfred was the eldest of the seven children of George and Emma Campsall (nee Singleton). His father was from Crowle and his mother from Gringley-on-the-Hill.

Around 1899 the family moved to Scunthorpe. In 1901 they were living in Frodingham Road and in 1911, Dunstall Street. His father was an iron ore inspector at the blast furnaces, whilst Wilfred was a press-boy at a brickworks.

Wilfred enlisted as a territorial soldier in the Lincolnshire Regiment at Scunthorpe, possibly before outbreak of war and most likely with the 5th Battalion who were the nominal territorial battalion for the north of the county.

It is uncertain how he came to be transferred to the 1/5th Battalion Manchester Regiment, but he was certainly with them in Gallipoli in June 1915. The 1/5th Manchester’s had gone out to Egypt in September 1914, moving to Gallipoli on 6th May when they landed with 42nd Division at Helles Beach. On 26th May they became part of 127th Brigade in 42nd Division.

On 4th June, the 42nd Division, alongside the 29th Division, attacked the Turkish trenches in the hills above Cape Helles in an attempt to breakout from Helles Beach. Now known as the Third Battle of Kritha, the 127th Brigade lead the attack for 42nd Division. The attack was succesfull, by Gallipoli standards, but at the cost of a huge number of casualties. Consolidating their position over the next two days the 1/5th Manchester’s defended it against several Turkish counter-attacks.

Wilfred Campsall was one of the casualties of these counter-attacks.

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial. Wilfred is also remembered on the Scunthorpe Roll of Honour.