On Saturday February 27, leading Dorset law firm Humphries Kirk is sponsoring the commemoration to mark 100 years since the Battle of Agagia took place.
Agagia, the name for the famous charge of the Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomanry against a mixed Turkish and Senussi force in the Egyptian Western Desert on Saturday February 26, 1916, was the last Regimental charge in battle by the British army which routed the enemy and was a key element in preventing the Turks and their German allies from capturing the Suez canal, a vital link with India.
A display of military collectables is staged at The Keep Military Museum. The original painting by the famous 19th to early 20th century military artist Lady Elizabeth Butler (a Dorset resident who was commissioned by a public subscription raised by Dorset County Council in March 1918 to paint the battle), is on display at the County museum. Tickets to see the display at the County Museum are £1.50 per person.
Lieutenant Colonel James Selby Bennett, now senior partner of Humphries Kirk solicitors (and a former Commanding Officer of the Regiment) said: “The 100th anniversary of the charge of the Dorset Yeomanry at Agagia is an occasion well worth celebrating. It is an extraordinary story. Perhaps the most extraordinary thing is that the families of those who served in the regiment 100 years ago, still live and work here in Dorset, and still serve in the Dorset Yeomanry, a unit which still exists, still bears the name of Dorset and is now part of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry.”
“Many of the people who make up the regiment now are descendants of people who served in the regiment – my grandfather, who served in the first world war and may have been at Agagia, great uncle, uncle and great grandfather all served in the regiment, as did I, my cousin and my son.
“The people who returned after the battles were the people who set up the businesses who served Dorset in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Mr Humphries, Mr Kirk and Mr Miller were three of them who set up Humphries Kirk and Miller by buying out the old Phyliter practice in Wareham in the 1920’s thus founding what has today become Humphries Kirk.”
From 6.30pm to 8.30pm the soldiers of the Dorset Yeomanry and its Association will gather to remember the fallen and celebrate the victory at Minterne House, by kind permission of the Honourable Henry Digby, a patron of the Regiment. Guests will learn more about the history of the charge and see and hold some of the artefacts from the battle as well as learning more about the regiment’s expertise as an armoured tank regiment.
The Regiment itself still exists as the Royal Wessex Yeomanry which is the army’s only volunteer tank regiment. For more information, click here.