v 6.30.00
28 Jan 2022
updated 28 Jan 2022

Col William Campbell Little
(b 26 Feb 1875)

The narrative that follows is transcribed from Alexander (Sandy) Waddell's invaluable summary in his biographical documentation of the Little and Martin families.

Summary transcript

Born 26 Apr 1875 in Singapore. Second child and elder twin of Matthew, to Mary Elizabeth (née Campbell) and Dr Robert Little. His formal education commenced in Edinburgh, where with his twin Matthew Little and younger brother John Wishart Little they were in the care of a Mrs Mackay in the autumn of 1883. On the death of his mother in Singapore on 6 Apr 1884, Dr Robert Little (known to the boys as the 'ruling elder') retired to Blackheath. There, with the help of his daughter Jessie Little, the whole family was gathered.

William Little continued his education at Kidbrooke House, Blackheath. He gained entry to Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Marines, transferring to 3rd Gurkha Rifles, and eventually served with 6th Gurkha Rifles between 31 Jan 1907 and 1 Jan 1922, holding command as Colonel1 from 17 Mar 1918 till retirement 1 Sep 1922. He survived the landing at Gurkha Bluff2 in the Gallipoli campaign but was severely wounded in action against the Turks in the Suez Canal zone 12 May 1915.

He married Marjorie Birkett and latterly lived in Charmouth.

1: Gibbs, H.R.K., Historical Record of the 6th Gurkha Rifles, Gale and Polden, Aldershot, 1955

(Perhaps this is the Regimental History to which Sandy was referring)

2: "The 1st Battalion had the distinction of being the first Gurkha unit to arrive at Gallipoli landing at Cape Helles on 25 April 1915. Their first major operation saw them attack an Ottoman position that was doing significant damage to Allied forces with machine guns – this involved them going up a 300 foot (91 metre) vertical slope which had defeated both the Royal Marine Light Infantry and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers – however, the Gurkhas gained the position with ease. Eighteen Gurkhas were killed in this action and another forty-two were wounded. For their sacrifice, this area is now known as Gurkha Bluff.


Col Little was undoubtedly a distinguished and highly-decorated officer, but one can be equally sure that this particular award gave him especial cause for pride:

Decorations conferred by
Order of the Lion and Sun.

1st Class.
Lieutenant-Colonel (temporary Brigadier-
General) Hugh Frederick Bateman-Champain,
C.M.G., Indian Army.

2nd Class.
Lieutenant-Colonel William Campbell Little,
l/6th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army.

3rd Class.
Major Andrew Noble Bredin, l/6th Gurkha
Rifles, Indian Army.
Captain Eric Carmichael Brown, l/6th, attached
2nd Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army.

Order of the Lion and Sun