James Gordon Menhinick

Able Seaman
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Date of death 
20 June 1915
Age of death 
Woodford House
Woodford Road
Woodford Bridge
Address source 
1901 Census
Cemetery / Memorial 
Turkey (including Gallipoli)

Born in 1891 at Tooting/Wandsworth, son of George (Clothing Manufacturer) and Rhoda Menhinick. His father’s company, Menhinick & White Co., Montague Place, Poplar was established in 1893, and supplied khaki uniforms to the Army during the Boer War. His mother died in 1896, and his father remarried in 1899 to Eliza Charlotte Penny. 1901: A Scholar with his family at Woodford Road Woodford Bridge. During 1909 his step mother also died. 1911: George was living at “St Breock”, Vicarage Lane, Chigwell, with his own and his step children. James however was not there, being at 38&39 Stodman Street, Newark, Nottinghamshire. He was an assistant in a drapery business, boarding with Charles Henry Whitehouse. His father died in 1914.

When he joined the Forces his occupation was a Commercial Traveler, and he was living with his brothers at 24 Ashbridge Road Leytonstone. Serving initially as a Signaler with the Public Schools Battalion from 26th November 1914, a transfer to the Royal Navy followed on 3rd May 1915. He was attached to 5 Section, 14 Platoon, “D” Company Hawke Battalion of the Royal Naval Division as an Able Seaman, and went to Gallipoli. His brother Edward Menhinick also served in the same Battalion.

It was decided following the Battle of Krithia on 4th June 1915 that to minimise the ground to be covered in any future attack, a number of small actions would be launched to advance the British front line. One of these actions targeted a Turkish position opposite the lines of the Royal Naval Division. The RND was ordered over the top at 00.30 on 20th June and they advanced cheering. The first wave reached the Turkish line, but as only 1 Officer and 2 men had escaped death or injury, a second wave was dispatched, and the trench was taken at 02.30. It was then dIscovered that the trench was only about 3-4 feet deep and so additional casualties were sustained. By 08.00 the Turks had begun bombing attacks, and the casualty rate increased further. At 08.30 the decision was taken to withdraw what was left of Hawke Battalion to their initial starting point.

During this engagement James Menhinick was Killed in Action. It was reported that he was killed by a shell in a sap while carrying ammunition with Able Seaman Herbert North Stoessiger.

X/R: Second Lieutenant George Penny was his Step Brother.

Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian

Principal Sources:


”The Hawke Battalion” by Douglas Jerrold