MAJOR WILLIAM JAMES ANDERSON
DUKE OF WELLINGTON'S WEST RIDING REGIMENT
19TH OCTOBER 1915 AGE 54
BURIED: TWELVE TREE COPSE CEMETERY, GALLIPOLI, TURKEY
"I feel frightfully upset today. Our new commanding officer, Major W.J. Anderson was on a tour of inspection along the firing line, when a bomb hit him above the heart. I expect another commanding officer will be appointed shortly. He will be our tenth commanding officer, which speaks for itself of the work our battalion has done."
So wrote Major Connery a fellow officer in the regiment. William Anderson was born in India, joined the army in 1882 and retired in 1909 to Rock Creek, British Columbia. He re-enlisted on the outbreak of war and served with the Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment but had just been made C.O. of the 1st/9th Manchesters and was serving on the Headquarters Staff when he was killed.
Where did the phrase 'Carry on', chosen by Major Anderson's wife for his headstone inscription, come from? It's so firmly asociated with the Second World War poster 'Keep calm and carry on' that's it's difficult to find any First World War associations, and yet there are some. There's a Christmas card that circulated among the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, which carries a verse headed, 'Carry On':
Be sure to keep hope in your line of sight,
And face the music with all your might,
Smile and be always brave and bright,
You'll find 't will make all burdens light.
It's possible that Mrs Anderson, still living in British Columbia, was familiar with this verse but perhaps more likely that she knew the poster urging Canadians to buy Victory Bonds. Under the words 'Carry On!' there's a nurse supporting a wounded officer and the injunction: - Lest we forget! Belgium, Louvain, Lusitania, Edith Cavell, Llnadovery Castle.