Commander Alfred Peel Ethelston, Royal Navy

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Reference WMO/274005

Address:

St Alkmund's Church

Church Street

Whitchurch

SY13 1LB

England

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Status: On original site
Type: Non freestanding
Location: Internal
Setting: Inside a building - public/private
Description: Board/Plaque/ Tablet
Materials:
  • Metal Brass
Lettering: Incised
Conflicts:
  • Boer War, Second (1899-1902)
About the memorial: Memorial to Commander Alfred Peel Ethelston, Royal Navy. Son of Richard Peel and Louisa Philippa Ethelston, of Hinton, Shropshire, England. He was born in the village of Hinton. Entered the Royal Navy as a cadet in Jul 1875. Promoted Sub Lieutenant Dec 1882, to Lieutenant on 4 Feb 1885 and to Commander on 1 Jan 1897. As a sub Lieutenant of HMS Helicon, he had served during the Naval and Military operations in the Eastern Soudan, at Suakin, in 1884-85, and was awarded the medal and bronze star. In 1899 he was serving on HMS Powerful and was placed in command of the Royal Naval sailors who formed part of the Naval Brigade deployed on land as part of the Kimberley Relief Force under Lord Methuen. Two days after the battle of Belmont (23 Nov 1899) the Naval Brigade fought in the Battle of Graspan (or Enslin). Commander Ethelston was killed in action as he led his sailors in an assault on Boer defensive positions near Enslin, north of Hopetown, Cape Colony. Major Plumb, in charge of the Royal Marine Light Infantry contingent and Captain Senior of the Royal Marine Artillery were also killed along with Midshipman Huddart. Of 365 men in the Naval Brigade, 101 became casualties, nearly a third of the force. Commander Ethelston was buried close to Enslin Station, a little east of the railway siding, beside Major Plumbe and Captain Senior. Their remains were later reinterred in West End Cemetery, Kimberley. They are commemorated on a Boer War memorial in the cemetery in Kimberley and on a Boer War memorial to the crew of HMS Powerful in Victoria Park, Portsmouth.
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In loving memory of Alfred Peel Ethelston, Commander R.N. H.M.S. Powerful, fourth son of Robert Peel Ethelston and Louisa Philippa his wife of Hinton in this Parish, killed in action at Graspan S. Africa, 25th Nov 1899 Aged 56.

Alfred Peel Ethelston

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