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Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Biography -
- Charles Seymour Pittis -

Name : Charles Seymour Pittis

Son of Seymour Pittis and Kate Pittis (née Lock) of Arreton, Isle of Wight

Born 1895, Arreton.
  Census information :

1901 : Seymour and Kate Pittis with their family including Charles, are at Hale Manor, Hale Common, Arreton. Seymour Pittis is a Farmer.

1911 : Seymour and Kate Pittis with their family including Charles, are at Hale Manor, Hale Common, Arreton. Seymour Pittis is a Farmer. Charles is still at school.

  Service Details :

Captain Charles Seymour Pittis, 1/8th Bn Hampshire Regiment (Isle of Wight Rifles). Awarded M.C.

  Casualty Details :

Died 19 April 1917 aged 21, Palestine

Buried at Gaza War Cemetery

CWGC Record
  Commemorated on these Memorials :

Arreton Parish War Memorial
Arreton Roll of Honour
St George's Church, Arreton, C S Pittis Memorial
Carisbrooke Castle Isle of Wight Rifles War Memorial
Newport Drill Hall Isle of Wight Rifles War Memorial
Newport Literary Society War Memorial
  Photo Gallery :
Memorial to Capt C S Pittis Original grave marker Capt C S Pittis
Capt C S Pittis, photo from John Hamblin Memorial at St George's Church Capt Pittis' original grave marker at Gaza, photo from Brian Greening

Officers of the 1/8th Bn Hampshire Regiment in 1915 illustrated in The Hampshire Regimental Journal Oct 1915.
14 of the 29 Officers pictured died in WW I. Click image to enlarge.
  Documents and Newspaper cuttings :


Friday, February 4, 1916 Page 3

Casualties and Honours in the Hants Regiment.

The casualty lists of the last few days have revealed that Hampshire Battalions have lately been in action on four battle fronts. In France there were the names of men in the 11th Battalion, from the Mediterranean came news of the 2nd Battalion, the 10th had a man wounded in the Balkan fighting, and on Saturday there was a sorrowfully long list of officers of the 4th Hants from the Middle East.

Several well-known local officers and a number of men of the Hampshires are "mentioned" in the new list issued by Sir Ian Hamilton. The Hampshire officers of the Regular, Territorial, and Service Battalions who are included are: - Temporary Second-Lieutenant F.R. Mann, Second-Lieutenant (temporary Major) A.C.T Veasy, Lieutenant (temporary Captain) C.S. Pittis, Captain P.H. Hudson, and Quartermaster and Lieutenant W.J. Saunders.

Other ranks honoured are: - Sergeant Sinsbury, Private G. Hampton, Acting Sergeant-Major G.E. Bryant, Lance-Sergeant (Acting Sergeant) T. Sturges, Private S. Bowers, Private F. Biddlecombe, Private J.C.R. Moxham, Private F. Dyer, and Private E.P. Shave.

Lieut Young-James died at Suvla Bay 12 August 1915.


Saturday, December 8, 1917 Page 8

Information has been received from Col. Marsh, Hants Regiment, that the bodies of Capt. C.S. Pittis, M.C., and Lieut. S.G. Ratsey, Hants Regiment, as well as that of Capt. C.G. Seeley, as previously announced, were recovered in the recent Palestine advance, and that all three were buried side by side with full military honours.

  from Isle of Wight County Press of Saturday, April 6, 1918
Pittis Charles Seymour Captain MC
1/8th (Isle of Wight Rifles) Battalion Hampshire Regiment
Killed in action on the 19th of April 1917 aged 21
He was born at Hale Manor Farm, South Arreton on the Isle of Wight 7th September 1895 the eldest son of Seymour Pittis, farmer, and Kate (nee Lock) of Hale Manor Farm. He was educated at Bedford House School in Folkestone and at the King’s School Canterbury from January 1909 to July 1911 where he was a probationary scholar and a member of the Officer Training Corps.
On leaving school he was articled to the solicitors A.Y. Young-Jones of Newport Isle of Wight, passed his Law Society Intermediate Examination in March 1914 and became a partner in the firm Roach Pittis.
He applied for a commission in the 8th Battalion Hampshire Regiment (Isle of Wight Rifles) on the 10th February 1913 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the battalion on the 20th February 1913. He was mobilised with his battalion for war service on the 5th August 1914.
He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 20th of August 1914 and sailed from Liverpool on the 30th July 1915 bound for Gallipoli where he landed with his battalion at Suvla Bay on the 9th August 1915. On the 12th August the battalion was ordered to an advance, with their objective being some huts about a mile ahead of their lines. They moved forward at 4.40 pm but soon came under machine gun fire from their left flanks which inflicted a number of casualties. They advanced, meeting little opposition but the machine guns continued to take a toll and after an advance of 1,000 yards the move was a halted at Anafarta Wells where the survivors were finally forced to take cover in a ditch. Being only a small number they were forced to retire and joined others from their Brigade in a sunken track, holding this line until the 14th August. On the 14th the Turks launched an attack against them and Charles Pittis' machine gun section caused a large number of Turkish casualties on the left of the line. The battalion was relieved that night.
For his actions that day Charles Pittis was mentioned in Sir Ian Hamilton's despatches of the 11th December 1915 and was awarded the Military Cross for the way he managed his machine gun section during the fighting there, an award which appeared in the London Gazette of the 2nd February 1916. He was awarded his medal by the King in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on the 8th March 1916.
On the 1st September 1915 he was promoted to Temporary Captain and on the 6th of October he left his unit and was evacuated from ANZAC the same day suffering from enteric fever. He arrived in Gibraltar on the 15th October 1915 where he spent some time being treated before he re-embarked on board the Hospital Ship "Egypt" on the 25th of November and landed in Southampton on the 29th November 1915.
He was taken to Parkhurst Hospital on the Isle of Wight where he received further treatment before being sent on leave from the 12th December 1915 to the 11th January 1916. On the 20th May 1916 a Medical Board sat at Parkhurst which declared him as being fully fit for active service. Having re-joined his battalion, he was promoted to Captain on the 5th July 1916 and was posted to Egypt where he was involved in the defence of the Suez Canal.
In 1917 the invasion of Palestine began and it was during the 2nd Battle of Gaza that he was killed close to the Turkish trenches having attacked across open country under heavy rifle and artillery fire. He was twice mentioned in despatches.
A brother officer and fellow OKS wrote:-
"His rather shy and reserved manner covered a splendid character. He was not brilliant at games but he tried hard in both work and play, and was absolutely straightforward and thorough in everything he undertook and was ready to lend a hand to anyone who wanted his help. Besides two and half years with him at school, I have served under him in the ranks and I hold a commission in the same regiment; I know how popular he was with both men and officers, especially after active service had brought out his true worth. In the words of his men accidently overheard he was a "proper gentleman." His death was typical of him, steadily going forward in the face of great difficulties without flurry or excitement, until at the moment of getting the attack home he fell riddled with bullets. In our grief at his death our hearts go out in sympathy to his family."

Biographical notes from John Hamblin
  Links to further information :

King's School Canterbury Roll of Honour

London Gazette 1913

Edinburgh Gazette 1916

History of Roach Pittis (also includes Alexander YOUNG-JAMES)

  Acknowledgments :

Brian Greening for the Grave marker photo

Ann Riley for the Officers group photo

Janet Griffin for newspaper and other research

John Hamblin for photo and biographical notes
  Page status :
Page last updated : 27 May 2016 (added photo and biography from John Hamblin)


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