Philip Walter Jules Le Gallais

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Memorial in the Town Church to Philip Walter Jules Le Gallais

Philip Walter Jules Le Gallais (1861-1900) was a cavalry leader.

Early years

He was the grandson of Jurat Philip Le Gallais, and son of Edmund Le Gallais of La Moye and Leonie Metz of Luxembourg. Born on 17 August 1861 he was educated at Victoria College and in Germany.

In 1881 he passed through the Jersey Militia into the 8th Hussars, and in the following year he went with his regiment to India. He became Captain in 1888, Adjutant in 1893, and Major in 1897. From 1891-5 he was Aide-de-camp to the Commander-in-Chief, Bombay.

In India he gained fame as a polo player. His regimental team, in which he played No 1, three years running reached the final in the Inter-regimental Tournament, and for the next two years won the tournament. He was also a brilliant steeplechase-rider.

Nile Campaign

In 1897-8 he served under Kitchener in the Nile Campaign. He was mentioned in dispatches after the Battle of the Atbara.

"Major Le Gallais' squadron gallantly charged the Dervish horsemen, forcing them to fall back"

and again after the Battle of Omdurman. He was given the brevet rank of Lieut-Colonel, and received the Egyptian medal with two clasps.

South Africa

He remained in Egypt until 1900, when he went to the South African Campaign. He became Assistant-Adjutant-General to Ian Hamilton, and accompanied that General on his march to Pretoria. He was then given a mounted infantry command, and sent in pursuit of De Wet. He overtook him near Bothaville on 5 November, and in the five-hour fight which followed, was shot through the left breast.

De Wet described him in his book, The Three Years War, as "without a doubt one of the bravest English officers I ever met".

The choir-stalls in St Brelade's Church were given by his fellow-officers in his memory, and the States placed a commemorative tablet over the door of the Town Church.

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