|Additional Information:||Son of Robert Malcolm and Esther Anne Theaker; husband of Margaret Isabella Theaker, of Bebington, Cheshire.|
|Cemetery:||ALEXANDRIA (HADRA) WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt|
|1. E. 13.
|Location:||Hadra is a district on the eastern side of
Alexandria and is south of the main carriageway to Aboukir, known as Al
Horaya, near the University of Alexandria. The Cemetery is on the road
Sharia Manara. The junction of this road and Al Horaya is diagonally
opposite the University of Alexandria.
|Historical Information:||During the 1914-1918 War Alexandria became a great Anglo-French camp and hospital centre, and in 1915 was made the base of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. The 1939-1945 War saw Alexandria again an important centre. To the hospitals were brought casualties from the campaigns in Greece, Crete and the Aegean islands; camps were set up for men on leave from the desert; Kom el Dikk Fort (constucted in 1799 by the Napoleonic leader Colonel Criban and occupied by the British from 1882 until February 1947) was the centre of military telephonic and telegraphic communications for the Middle and Near East, the Headquarters of the Military Police and a powerful anti-aircraft base; and from the port sailed convoys bearing supplies to hard-pressed Malta. The original part of the cemetery, which is built partly over Roman catacombs, was acquired in February 1916, when it was found that the cemetery at Chatby, a few hundred yards to the North-West, would not be large enough for all the burials from the Alexandria hospitals. It was first used in April 1916, under the name of Hadra New Military Cemetery, and it remained in use until December 1919. Nearly all the burials took place from the 15th, 17th, 19th, and 21st General Hospitals and the Military Hospital at Ras-el-Tin; but a number of graves of December, 1917 are due to the sinking of transports outside Alexandria. In December 1919 and January 1920 sixty British graves from some small graveyards in the Western Desert (due mostly to operations against the Senussi Arabs) and from Maadia and Rosetta were brought in. There are now 1,700, 1914-18 war and 1,300, 1939-45 war casualties commemorated in this cemetery. The following are particulars of three of the cemeteries from which British graves were brought to Hadra War Memorial Cemetery:- SOLLUM MILITARY CEMETERY. Es Sollum is a small port among lofty hills, 400 kilometres West of Alexandria, on the Tripolitan border. It was occupied (for the second time) by British forces on the 14th March 1916, after considerable fighting, and a Rest Camp and a hospital were established near the shore. The Military Cemetery, on the South side of Sollum Bay, contained the graves of 30 British soldiers, 1 South African and 1 French. At Es Sollum, on the 6th November 1915, one Egyptian coastguard steamer was sunk and one disabled by a German submarine. SIDI EL BARANI MILITARY CEMETERY. This place is on the sea coast 320 kilometres West of Alexandria. The cemetery, on high ground below the coastguard station, contained the graves of 14 South African and 2 British soldiers who died in February and March 1916, and a memorial to the men of the 1st and 3rd South African Infantry who fell at Agagiya on the 26th February 1916. BIR HAKKIM BURIAL GROUND. Bir Hakkim is 240 kilometres South West of Es Sollum, in the desert. It was the place of confinement of the prisoners from the armed boarding steamer "Tara", which was torpedoed in November 1915. They were rescued by armoured cars soon after the reoccupation of Es Sollum; but 1 officer and 3 men had already died and been buried there. For the 1939-45 War graves, additional land south and west of the original burial ground was acquired. It was first used in 1941, mainly for casualties of the campaign in the Western Desert; but there are many graves of naval men who lost their lives during actions in the mediterranean. In January 1951 the graves of 124 men were moved into this cemetery from an outlying African and Indian cemetery known as Amiriya Military Cemetery. This was in an isolated situation in a desert area where the graves were liable to desecration and could not be maintained properly.|
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