08 January 2014

Mark Tuite

This Victory medal awarded to 2nd LT Mark Alan Wallace Tuite is one of the few we have remaining from the NSW RSL box. Quite quickly I located the details about Tuite's death on 2 Dec 1917. However, it was the rather tangled family tree complicated by numerous deaths during WWI that made this search difficult..
Tuite was from an aristocratic family with many senior officers amongst them. His great grand father was the 9th Baronet of Sonagh. The Baronetcy has now passed down the line of his great uncle. In that branch alone there was a Major General and many who served as subalterns. Mark's father was a naval officer, his uncle (10th Baronet) was a Colonel and his cousin a Lieutenant Colonel whose body was never found. As part of my search for a close family member I have received some great information from a distant relative. This is a summary of the information I have received:
1. 1911 Census. Mark, born Hampstead, was working as a journalist and living with father Henry, mother Marion and sister Honor at 45 Croxted Road. Father, Henry, was employed as an etcher, probably of photos since he was a photo engineer in 1901 and a portrait artist in 1891.
2. Messines & Third Ypres. Extracts from Landships-British Tank accounts of the First World War - sites.google.com/site/landships
Messines. 7 June 1917
6 Company. B Battalion with 25th and 36th Divisions, and the II ANZAC Corps (H2), 2nd Army
9 Section - Capt. Croxford
B41 2035   2Lt Tuite
Account of Operations - 9 Section: Three tanks reached their objective to find the infantry (H2), who had started earlier than intended, already there. B41 (2035) reached O27c at 9am engaged a battery at 250 yards range and thus enabled the infantry (H2) to capture it then returned to the RP. The Battalion history states that three tanks reached their objective and helped mop up. The battle graph indicates only B41 (2035) fired on the enemy.
Third Ypres. 31 July 1917
6 Company, B Battalion, with II Corps, 5th Army
9  Section - Lt AC Harcourt
B41 2035  “Boomerang”  2Lt MAW Tuite
Account of Operations - 9 Section: Three tanks proceeded to the junction just east of Clapham Junction where they found the infantry held up by MG fire from Glencourse Wood and Inverness copse. B41 (2035) engaged an enemy MG but became ditched south of the Menin Road. They engaged the enemy who were counter attacking towards Chateau Wood. B41 (2035) successfully unditched using its unditching gear but was unable to get up the Bank onto the Menin Road.  
3. LT Harcourts's DSO. 'On November 30, in the attack to capture Gouzeaucourt, this officer led his section of tanks into action. When one of his section commanders, 2nd LT Tuiet, was wounded, this officer, borrowed a horse and rode back for a stretcher, which he then took back under shell fire' Harcourt survived the war and went on to command 2nd Royal Tank Regiments in North Africia in 1940/41. He died in 1946
4.  Mark's Cousins. Lt-Col Henry Mark Tuite was wounded in command of the rearguard action when Vauix-Vraucourt was lost on 24 March 1918. His body was never found and he has no known grave. Lt Brian Hugh Morgan Tuite survived the war but a gunshot wound to his left arm, 9 October 1916, necessitated an emergency partial amputation in France followed by a secondary amputation in England.
Mark is one of 22 relatives who perished in WW1 that I'm researching via Google. I add the retrieved information to my family tree on 'ancestry' in hope that the site is available long after I'm gone. 
Thanks to JP for all this great information and to Simon from the British Medal Forum for his assistance. I'm now contacted the most appropriate branch of the family to receive the medal. This Victory Medal is in almost as issued condition and how it got to Australia is a mystery.
The returned medal tally is now 1408.

1 comment:

  1. At least it is back with the family now and that is the best thing. He will be pleased!