Tooker, James A

Jeremiah William Tooker

James A Tooker

Rank: Trooper

Regiment: 3rd Berkshire Yeomanry

Parents: Mr John & Mrs Sarah Mary Tooker

Brother: Jeremiah William Tooker & John Patrick Martin Tooker

Address: 44 Vicarage Road, West Hill, Hastings

Other Info: Additional name information from the Lives of the First World War website.

Published: September 1915

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3 Replies to “Tooker, James A”

  1. Trooper James Augustus Tooker enlisted June 1915 into 3/1st Berkshire Yeomanry were he completed his training at Tidworth Camp in Salisbury.
    Sailed from England in October 1915 as one of a Draft sent to Gallipoli as reinforcements 1/1st Entered theatre (Mudros) 6th November 1915. His draft first went via the island of Mudros on 6th November 1915 then onto land at Suvla Bay in Gallipoli. The 1/1st Berkshire Yeomanry regiment had taken part in a major battle on 21st August 1915 which became famously known “the great Yeomanry charge” or the “Battle of Burnt Hill” (Scimitar Hill, Hill 70). During this action the regiment received heavy casualties and those who were left were suffering from a variety of illnesses including trench fever. James would have been involved in the defence of the beachhead against some fierce Turkish attacks intended to drive them into the sea. No further British attacks were mounted after his arrival and by December the allied occupation became untenable and it was clear that the objectives in Gallipoli were not to be achieved. The regiment was evacuated in the latter half of December 1915 and withdrawn back to Egypt to reform.
    On his medal card it confirms he Entered Theatre on 6th November 1915 (his First Theatre overseas) 2b = Gallipoli
    On returning to Alexandria the 1/1ST Berkshire Yeomanry reformed and were reinforced back up to full strength. The allied army spent the rest of 1916 preparing itself for a land offensive against the Turkish army. This time was needed to establish a railway and fresh water pipe to supply the allied army’s advance across the desert. This was to start in April 1917.
    They took part in 2nd and 3rd Battle of Garza and a major action at El Mugah and then fought in a number of actions in the Judean Hills in November 1917. By the 30th November the regiment was reduced to less than 100 fighting men and was taken out of the line to recover and reform. These successful actions lead to the capture of Palestine by the allies on 11th December 1917.. The Turkish army was by now in full retreat and falling back to Damascus. However the situation in France was very much different as Russia has surrendered by Christmas of 1917 which allowed the German army to move 1,000,000 troops from their Eastern to the Western front. America had joined the war however needed 6 months to train and deploy their troops. Germany intended to knock Britain out and end the war before USA were able to deploy their troops. Many experienced troops were moved from North Africa to combat this threat in France.
    In April 1918 L/Cpl James Tooker (renumbered No. 165465) was transfered with the remainder of Berkshire Yeomanry regiment to join together with the Bucks Hussars to form 101st (Bucks & Berks Yeo) Bn. Machine Gun Corp to serve in France.
    Unfortunately the ship the regiment was transported in “SS Leasowe Castle” was torpedoed some 10 hours out from port of Alexandria in the Mediterranean Sea. All but 3 of Berkshire Yeomanry were saved and returned to Alexandria but they lost all of their equipment. They stayed 3 weeks until the ‘battalion was re-equipped and then in April 1918 they arrived in Italy and went by train through the Alps to France to serve out the last 100 days of the war. James was ‘Disembodied’ (released from the army) 3rd June 1919 so survived WW1
    He was awarded 1914/15 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal

    Trustee Berkshire Yeomanry Museum

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