Great War Lives Lost

We died 100 years ago in the War to end all War

Sunday 25 February 1917 – We Lost 632

Basil Elmo Atkins

Basil Elmo Atkins

British forces retake Kut.

  • Captain Basil Elmo Atkins (North Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 24. The Rhodes Scholar has been previously wounded four times.
  • Captain Peter Douglas Colin Eliot (Jat Lancers) is killed at age 31. He is the son of the late ‘Sir’ John Eliot, KCIE.
  • Second Lieutenant Daniel Cottle Green (London Regiment attached Machine Gun Corps) is killed. His brother will die of wounds in August.
  • Second Lieutenant Arthur Gordon Jackson (South Lancashire Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and they are sons of the Reverend Sydney Jackson.
  • Lance Corporal Ronald Roy (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed in March 1918.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Rhodes Scholar
  • A family that will lose two son in the Great War
  • A man that will two brothers killed in the Great War and a third brother killed in a German air raid in 1940

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lance Corporal Arthur Stanley Hoodless (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 23. His brother will die of wounds in May of this year.
  • Rifleman Frederick J Desaleux (London Regiment) is killed in action. Two of his brothers will be killed later this year and a third will be killed in a German Air Raid in September 1940 along with his wife and two children.
  • Private James Kidd (Royal Defence Corps) dies at home at age 24. His brother will die of wounds in July 1918.

Sunday 24 February 1917 – We Lost 671

Gloucestershire Regiment

Gloucestershire Regiment

Second Lieutenant William Neilson (Cameronians) is superintending men of his company at grenade throwing at a Brigade Grenade School in France. A man throws a grenade from a trench while Captain Neilson is standing out of the trench behind him. The man slips in the mud and the grenade falls in the trench in which several men are standing. Captain Neilson jumps down, picks up the grenade out of the mud and throws it over the parapet. The grenade explodes just after leaving his hand and wounds him slightly in several places. By his promptness and courage he undoubtedly saves his men from injury. Captain Neilson will die of wounds in November.

Today’s losses include:

  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Second Lieutenant Gerard Peters (Gloucestershire Regiment) dies of heart failure due to exhaustion at age 25. His is the son of the Reverend Edward Peters Vicar of Bishop Milton.
  • Private Frederick Pearce (West Surrey Regiment) is killed in action at age 27. His brother was killed in July of last year.
  • Private Frederick John Rudge (Hampshire Regiment) is killed in action in Mesopotamia at age 19. His brother will be killed later this year in the explosion of HMS Vanguard.
  • Driver Walter Knowles (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 39. His brother was killed last October.

Thursday 22 February 1917 – We Lost 572

Charles Alfred Vigurs

Charles Alfred Vigurs

Today’s losses include:

  • An Olympic gymnast
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A cricketer
  • A man whose father will die on service next year
  • Families that will two and three sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Robert Wilfred Fairey Jesson (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed in action near Kut at age 30. He played cricket for Hampshire and Oxford University in 1907 & 1908.
  • Captain Clement Richard Folliott Sandford MC (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed. He is the son of the Archdeacon of Doncaster.
  • Second Lieutenant Fred Peirson Newbury (Punjabis) is killed in Mesopotamia at age 25. His father will die on service in May 1918.
  • Trooper Edward Romaine Thompson (Household Battalion) is killed at age 29. His brother will be killed in August 1917.
  • Private Percy Rhodes (Royal Fusiliers) dies of wounds received five days before. He is the last of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
  • Private Charles Alfred Vigurs (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed at age 28. He was a gymnast who competed in the 1908 and 1912 Olympics. He was a member of the bronze medal winning team in the European system event in 1912..

Wednesday 21 February 1917 – We Lost 1,114

Reverend Isaac Wauchope

Reverend Isaac Wauchope

S S Mendi

S S Mendi

At 04:55 in the early morning mist and fog the S S Darro traveling at full speed and emitting no warning signal crashes into the S S Mendi starboard side approximately 18 kilometers off St Catherine’s Point on the Isle of Wight. The Mendi sinks within 25 minutes taking with her five hundred ninety-six men of the South African Native Labor Corps among the six hundred twenty-seven who drown.  Of the 805 African servicemen on board, some 607 died, along with nine of the 21 white officers and 31 of the 69 crew members. The captain of the Darro, H W Stump, is later disciplined for travelling at speed through fog without sounding a warning horn. It was also said that he took no steps to save the drowning, merely floating his ship nearby while lifeboats from the SS Mendi’s escorting destroyer, HMS Brisk, rows among survivors, trying to rescue them.

  • The dead included the Pondoland chiefs
    • Henry Bokleni,
    • Dokoda Richard Ndamase
    • Mxonywa Bangani.
  • There are many legends about the troops’ bravery. Joseph Tshite, a teacher from the Tshwane area, encourages the drowning men around him with hymns and prayers, until he drowns. There is also the story of the white sergeant who is helped by two black compatriots; they swim with him to safety.
  • Survivor accounts attest to how the Reverend Isaac Wauchope (also known as Dyobha) exhorts the men: ‘Be quiet and calm, my countrymen, for what is taking place is exactly what you came to do. You are going to die, but that is what you came to do. Brothers, we are drilling the death drill.’ Those left on board remove their boots and stamp the death dance on the slanting deck of the sinking ship, far from home but united, irrespective of their ethnic origins, according to research from the Sunday Times Heritage Research project.  Wauchope tells the men: “I, a Xhosa, say you are my brothers. Zulus, Swazis, Pondos, Basothos and all others, let us die like warriors. We are the sons of Africa.” Wauchope is among the dead. He is the quintessential missionary-educated African of the late 19th and early 20th He was born in 1852 in Doornhoek near Uitenhage into a family with strong connections to early Christian missionaries. After finishing school at Lovedale Institute, he worked as a teacher in Uitenhage. In September 1882 he played a key role in establishing Imbumba Yamanyama, one of the earliest political associations for Africans in South Africa.   In literary history Wauchope is credited with launching protest literature in South Africa.  In literary history Wauchope is credited with launching protest literature in South Africa. In May 1882, writing as I W Citashe, he published his first poem. The poem exhorts Africans, after decades of resistance, to abandon their spears, which were no match for European weapons, and adopt other means, such as protest and persuasion.  His poem reads, in part:

Your rights are taken away!   

Grab a pen,

Load, load it with ink …

Shoot with the pen …

Engage your mind.

Wauchope moved to Port Elizabeth, where he worked as a clerk and interpreter at the magistrate’s court.  In 1888 he responded to a call for ‘native’ ministers and studied theology at Lovedale. On 6 March 1892 he was ordained and installed as pastor of the Congregational Native Church of Fort Beaufort and Blinkwater. In 1906 Wauchope joined the movement to create an institution of higher learning for Africans. Ten years later these efforts culminated in the foundation of the South African Native College, now the University of Fort Hare.  In 1907 Wauchope fell afoul of the law. After 18 months of administering the estate of a parishioner, he filed a will in his own handwriting and with the signatures of two witnesses. He was later charged with forgery. Despite the lack of evidence that Wauchope profited from the will, or had any intention to defraud anyone, an all-white jury found him guilty. He was sentenced to three years’ hard labor at Tokai prison.  He was released in 1912. Four years later he volunteered for the South African Native Labor Contingent and signed on as clerk/interpreter. In 1917 Imvo Zabantsundu, the first African-language newspaper in South Africa, founded by John Tengo Jabavu, described Wauchope as ‘a man of distinction — prominent in church, political, community and educational affairs’.  Few such eulogies were written about the rest of the men who went down with the SS Mendi. On receiving the news of the disaster, MPs in the South African House of Assembly rose to their feet as a gesture of respect. Despite this, however, African servicemen received none of the customary acknowledgements of service, such as ribbons or medals, routinely accorded to Europeans.

  • Chaplain Koni Luhlongwana (South African Native Labour Corps) is also killed.

Today’s losses include:

  • South African Native Chiefs
  • A member of the clergy
  • A Military Chaplain
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will two sons in the Great War
  • An Everton footballer
  • A member of the New Zealand Herald staff
  • An Elland Wanderers AFC player
  • A Scottish footballer for Dundee and Aberdeen

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major William Henry Denne DSO (Bedfordshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 40. He is the son of the Reverend Richard Henry Denne Rector of Brimsfield and a veteran of the South African War.
  • Captain George Staunton Husband DSO (Indian Medical Service) is killed in Mesopotamia at age 37. He is the son of the Reverend C T Husband.
  • Lieutenant William Edgar Harry Storer (Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed in October 1918.
  • Lieutenant Douglas Neave Gordon (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. His younger brother will be killed in July of this year.
  • Sergeant Harold Waddington Boyne (Auckland Infantry) is killed at age 22. He is a keen Association football player for the Everton Club.
  • Corporal Edwin Bailey Doidge (Auckland Infantry) is killed at age 26. He is on the staff of the New Zealand Herald and Auckland Weekly News.
  • Lance Corporal Thomas Wilfrid Fisher (Border Regiment) dies of wounds at home received in Salonika at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Arthur Thomas Fisher Vicar of Pocklington.
  • Private Alfred Normanton Ridge (Cameron Highlanders) is killed in action at age 22. He played football for the Elland Wanderers AFC.
  • Gunner Alexander L Halkett (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 35. He is a Scottish professional footballer who played for Dundee, Aberdeen and St Johnstone.

Tuesday 20 February 1917 – We Lost 362

Leone Sextus Tollelmache

Leone Sextus Tollelmache

Today’s losses include:

  • Multiple sons of Generals
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple sons of Justices of the Peace
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Gerald Alfred Norcott (North Lancashire Regiment) dies on service at home at age 56. He is the son of General ‘Sir” William Norcott KCB.
  • Captain Leone Sextus Tollemache (Leicestershire Regiment and Brigade Major 3rd Australian Brigade 1st Australian Division) is killed at age 32. He is the son of the Reverend Ralph William Lyonel Tollmache-Tollemacahine JP Vicar of South Witham Lincolnshire who lost another son in November 1914.
  • Captain Cyril Richard Bramley (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend Cyril Richard Bramley Vicar of Donisthorpe who also lost his younger son in May 1915.
  • Captain David MacDonald Chambers (Durham Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 40. He is the son of the late Major General R Y (Bengal Staff Corps). He had also served with the Royal Engineers at Gallipoli in 1915. Prior to the war he was a mining engineer.
  • Private Frank Hall (Somerset Light Infantry) dies at home at age 22. His brother will die at home on service in December of this year.
  • Private Cecil Molyneux Killik (Army Service Corps) dies on service at age 24. He is the son of Stephen Henry Molyneux Kilik JP.
  • Private Harold Orange (Grenadier Guards) is killed in action at age 20. His brother will be killed in July 1918.
  • Driver Maurice Edward Turner (Royal Field Artillery) dies on service at age 18. His brother will be killed next July.

Monday 19 February 1917 – We Lost 396

francis-ashford-lupton

The Q-Ship HMS Lady Olive and the German submarine UC18 sink each other in an action in the English Channel.

Today’s losses include:

  • The great great uncle of the Duchess of Cambridge
  • A battalion commander
  • Families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A Congregational Minister

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel William MacCaullum Macfarlane MVO DL DSO (commanding 15th Highland Light Infantry) is killed at age 42.
  • Major Francis Ashford Lupton (West Yorkshire Regiment) becomes the last of three brothers to be killed in the Great War when he does not return from a two man recon. Their great great niece Kate Middleton will become the Duchess of Cambridge. He dies at age 32
  • Captain Arthur Thomas Elford Wyatt (Lincolnshire Regiment) dies of wounds at home at age 34. He is the son of the Reverend William Wyatt Rector of Broughton. He was a prisoner of war early in 1915 and repatriated in July of that year.
  • Lieutenant Theodore Cuyler McKenzie (Canadian Garrison Artillery) dies in England at age 25. His brother will be killed next May.
  • Second Lieutenant Gilbert Bernard Owen Tuck (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 35. He is the son of the Reverend Julian George Tuck.
  • Second Lieutenant Robert Bramwell Sayer (Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 30. He is a Congregational Minister. S
  • ergeant St George Otway Lloyd (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend William Battersby Lloyd Rector of Rathmullen.

Sunday 18 February 1917 – We Lost 471

Walter Thomas Patrick Spens

Walter Thomas Patrick Spens

Today’s losses include:

  • The son of the Sheriff of Strathaden Troon Ayrshire
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Walter Thomas Patrick Spens (Royal Scots) is killed in action at age 36. He is the son of Sheriff Walter Spens of Strathaden Troon Ayrshire.
  • Bombardier Frank Glaysher (Royal Field Artillery) dies of pneumonia on active service at age 22. His brother was killed in October of last year.
  • Private Michael James Gallagher (Canterbury Regiment) is killed at age 39. His brother was killed last September.

Saturday 17 February 1917 – We Lost 1,444

w-h-s-s-douglas-willan

W H S S Douglas-Willan

The Q-Ship HMS Farnborough (Lieutenant Commander G Campbell) sinks the submarine U83 by gunfire southwest of Ireland.

Today’s losses include:

  • A battalion commander
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • A man who will have two brothers killed later in the Great War
  • The son of the 4th Baron Langford
  • An actor for the Birmingham Repertory Theatre
  • Brothers killed together
  • A member of the Hemel Hempstead Salvation Army Band
  • A member of the Bedfordshire Constabulary

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Robert James Francis Meyricke (Royal Fusiliers commanding 6th Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 38.
  • Captain William Howard Sholto Stanhop Douglas-Willan (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend John Alfred Douglas-Willan Rector of Morley.
  • Lieutenant Henry Guy Chaplin Coulson (Royal Marines Light Infantry) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed in April 1918.
  • Lieutenant James Howard Stables (India Army Reserve of Officers attached Gurkha Rifles) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of the late Reverend Walter Howard Stables Vicar of St Chad’s, Leeds.
  • Second Lieutenant Robert Burton Clegg (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Robert E Clegg.
  • Second Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ George Cecil Rowley (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of the 4th Baron Langford.
  • Sub Lieutenant William Ribton Haines (Howe Battalion Royal Naval Division) a member of the original stock company at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
  • Brothers Lance Corporal Charles Guy Destrube and Private Paul Jean Destrube (Royal Fusiliers) are killed in action together. Charles dies at age 27 while his brother is only 26. They are the only Destrube’s to die in the service of their King in either of the World Wars and are buried together in same grave in Serre Road Cemetery No. 1.
  • Private George Anderson (Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 29. His brother Robert is killed during the Great War.
  • Private George Edward Fairclough (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed in action. His brother will be killed on the last day of this year.
  • Private Clarence William Mears (Australian Infantry) dies of wounds received in action at age 25. His brother will die in less than one month.
  • Private Laurence Ogden (Suffolk Regiment) is killed in action at age 24. His brother was killed in January 1915.
  • Private George Brand (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 34. His brother was killed last July.
  • Trooper Edward Romaine Thompson (Household Battalion) is killed in action at age 29. His brother will be killed in August of this year at Ypres.
  • Private Alfred Henry Bass (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed. He is a member of the Hemel Hempstead Salvation Army Band.
  • Private Charles Herbert Pedley (Royal Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the third member of the Bedfordshire Constabulary to be killed this month.
  • Private Douglas Henry Purchase (Royal Marine Light Infantry Royal Naval Division) is killed at age 28. His brother was killed on the first day of the Somme.
  • Private Arthur Maiden (Royal Marines Light Infantry) is killed at age 26. He is the first of three brothers who will be killed this year.

Friday 16 February 1917 – We Lost 469

Hercules Ralph Langrishe

Hercules Ralph Langrishe

The German submarine U60 fires a torpedo at the Cunard cargo carrier Delphic off southwest Ireland.  It misses.

Today’s losses include:

  • The son of a General
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • The son of a Baronet
  • The daughter of a member of the clergy

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain John Ballard Berkley Ford (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 29. He is the son of Major General ‘Sir’ Richard Ford KCMG CB DSO.
  • Lieutenant Richard William Formby (Royal Engineers) killed in action. His brother was killed in October 1914 and they are sons of Myles Lonsdale Formby JP.
  • Lieutenant Hercules Ralph Langrishe (Montgomeryshire Yeomanry attached Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at home at age 29. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Hercules Langrishe the 5th
  • Nurse Mary C Dickson (Voluntary Aid Detachment, British Red Cross Society) dies of meningitis at age 30. She is the daughter of the Reverend W A Dickson.
  • Rifleman Horace George Bodley (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in October.

Thursday 15 February 1917 – We Lost 477

Henry Bernard Stricker

Henry Bernard Stricker

Today’s losses include:

  • A Professional cricketer
  • A Professional footballer
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • A man who will have two brothers killed later in the Great War
  • The nephew of a General

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Charles Lindsay Murray Scott (North Staffordshire Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 24. He is the nephew of General ‘Sir’ Archibald Murray.
  • Second Lieutenant Arthur Eric Townsend (Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed in September 1916.
  • Private Charles Clark (Northamptonshire Regiment) dies of wounds at a prisoner of war at age 28. His brother was killed in October 1916.
  • Conductor Henry Bernard Stricker (South African Service Corps) dies on service at age 29 in Dodoma, German East Africa. He was a professional cricket player in the Transvaal from 1912-14.
  • Private Fred Walker (West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 27. He is the first of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.
  • Rifleman Alexander Kay (Rifle Brigade) a professional footballer is killed in action.