Private Tudor Granville Kent

Regiment:  2nd Battalion Dorsetshire
Service No: 9205
Date and place of birth: 3rd 1891 in Southsea, Hampshire
Date and place of death:  22 November 1915 in Mesopotamia

Family background

Tudor Granville Kent was the son of James and Ada Emily Kent who had married in 1889. James Kent was born in 1853 in Portsea, the son of George Kent, a farmer and his wife Ellen. In 1901 James was a farmer living at Farm Building, Easebourne, Sussex with his wife Ada (aged 38) and seven children. They were Freda (11), Tudor (9), Beryl (7), Richard (5), Gladys (4), Roy (2) and Norah (1 month).

By 1911 an additional two children had been born: Phyllis (8) and Marion (6). The family was then living in Cobden Road, Midhurst, Sussex and James (56) was a jobbing gardener on his own account.

Tudor Kent is not included on the 1911 census form and has not been traced elsewhere.

Military service

Tudor Granville Kent enlisted at Southampton and gave Midhurst as his place of residence.

The 2nd Battalion were halfway through a tour of duty in India and quartered in Poona as part of 16th Brigade, Poona Division. On  14 August  1914, they were ordered to mobilise for war as part of the Indian Expeditionery Force ‘D’. Embarkation took place in October from Bombay and in November the Battalion landed in Fao in the Persian Gulf.

Britain relied heavily on oil and, along with Germany,  was determined to protect the oilfields and pipelines in and around Basra. The Persian Gulf became hotly contended and saw many long and bitterly fought battles.

In 1915 The Dorsetshires were involved with: the Capture of Nasiriyeh  (27 June to 24 July), the First Advance on Bagdad (12 September to 7 October and the Battle of Ctesiphon (22 to 24 November), which was the battle in which Private Kent was involved at the time of his death.

The 2nd Dorsets formed the only British contingent under General Delamaine. Initially successful, with intense fighting, the losses were great. The Battalion lost 9 officers and 25 men, either killed or missing and 207 wounded, amounting to 44% of their total strength. More than half of the 8,500 British and Indian troops who fought at Ctesiphon were killed or wounded.

Tudor Kent was awarded Victory, British and 1915 Star medals.

Death & commemoration

Tudor Kent was killed in action. His name appears on the Basra Memorial, Panels 22 and 63. He is commemorated on Midhurst War Memorial, and the Memorial Panels in Midhurst Parish Church.  He is also remembered on the grave stone of his parents in Midhurst Cemetery.

Memorial headstone in Midhurst Cemetery
Memorial headstone in Midhurst Cemetery

Subsequent family history

James Kent died on 9 January 1912, aged 58, and Ada Kent died on 13 September 1943, aged 82.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project