Great War Lives Lost

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

Friday 24 May 1918 We Lost 376

Captain Thomas Colvill-Jones (Royal Air Force) dies of wounds as a prisoner of war at age 20.  He is an 11-victory ace and his brother will be killed in November of this year. He is the highest scoring Argentine born ace of the war and a biography of him entitled Your Ever Loving Son, will be published in 2008.

 Today’s losses include:

  • An 11-victory ace
  • Multiple families that lost two sons in the Great War
  • A man whose biography will be published in 2008
  • Multiple sons and a daughter of members of the clergy
  • The brother of a future admiral, general and jurist
  • A Territorial Nurse
  • An Australian Rules footballer
  • A man whose brother-in-law is killed
  • A man whose first wife’s husband was killed in October 1915

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Hugh Fanshawe Glanville (Royal Air Force) dies of injuries received the previous day in Scotland. He is the son of the Reverend Owen Fanshawe Glanville.
  • Lieutenant ‘The Honorable’ Philip Granville James FitzAlan Howard (Welsh Guards) son of thje 2nd Baron Howard of Glossop dies of wounds received in action three days earlier at age 23. His daughter will be born on 29th
  • Lieutenant Jesse Dell Berridge MC (Royal Engineer) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Jesse Berridge Rector of Little Baddow.
  • Sub Lieutenant Charles Gordon Denning (HMS Morris) dies on service at age home at age 21. One brother was killed in September 1916 while three other brothers will go on to become a general, an admiral and a jurist.
  • Nurse Ruth Mary Nodder (Territorial Nursing Service) dies in India at age 33. She is the daughter of the Reverend J B Nodder.
  • Private Thomas Handley (Royal Marine Engineers) dies on service at age 33. His brother was killed in June 1917.
  • Private James Henry Bonella (Australian Machine Gun Corps) dies of wounds received four days earlier at age 33. He is an Australian Rules footballer for Melbourne in 1908 and his wife’s brother was killed on 21st November 1916.
  • Private Robert Herring (West Yorkshire Regiment attached Trench Mortar Battery) is killed in action. His wife’s first husband was killed in October 1915.

Thursday 23 May 1918 We Lost 373

The Armed Mercantile Cruiser Moldavia (acting Captain A H Smyth) is torpedoed and during the morning in the Channel when making for a British port. Although a careful lookout is being kept, the submarine is not sighted and the first intimation of an attack is a violent explosion amidships. Arrangements are made to transfer all the survivors to British destroyers and other vessels, the transfer being safely accomplished and all on board are saved with the exception of 56 American soldiers, who were on the lower decks.

When his squadron is charging a strong enemy position on the west bank of the River Jordan, Ressaidar Badlu Singh (Lancers, Indian Army) realizes that heavy casualties are being inflicted from a small hill occupied by machine-guns and two hundred infantry.  Without any hesitation he collects six other ranks and with entire disregard of danger he charges and captures the position.  He is mortally wounded on the very top of the hill when capturing one of the machine guns single handed, but all the guns and infantry surrender to him before he dies.  For his actions on this day he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Thomas Frederick Le Mesurier DSC (Royal Air Force) in spite of bad weather successfully drops bombs on the Ostend docks from a height of 800 feet amidst very intense anti-aircraft and machine-gun fire. He also makes valuable observations.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • A General
  • The son of a member of the Canadian Senate
  • A 21-victory ace
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • The grandson of a member of the clergy
  • A man whose cousin was killed last March
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Brigadier General Duncan Sayre MacInnes CMG DSO (Royal Engineers) the Inspector of Mines, GHQ France dies of accidental injuries at age 47. He had been previously wounded in November 1914 and is the son of Donald MacInnes, a member of the Canadian Senate and he served in the Ashanti War 1895-6 and in South Africa.
  • Captain George Edwin Thomson DSO MC (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed flying cross-country in England. He is a twenty-one-victory ace and dies before his twenty-first birthday.
  • Captain Audubon Eric Palfreyman (Royal Air Force) is killed in action at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend I H Palfreyman.
  • Second Lieutenant George Edward Ffrench (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed while on a bombing operation when the engine of his DH9 falls out of the aircraft. The 18-year old is the son of the Reverend Lebel Holbrooke Edward Ffrench Incumbent of Kilconnell.
  • Lieutenant Ewart Austin Bouchier Wimbush DFC (Royal Air Force) is killed in action in an air duel over Turkey on his twenty-first birthday. His parents are first cousins and he is the grandson of the Reverend Samuel Wimbush. His cousin was killed in March of this year and they are often confused as brothers as their parents are both John and Maud Wimbush.
  • Gunner William Gathercole (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 27. His brother will die on service less than one week after the Armistice.
  • Gunner Arthur Henry Snook (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 28. His brother died at home in December 1915.

Wednesday 22 May 1918 We Lost 420

Charles James Mott

Lance Corporal Charles James Mott (London Regiment) dies of wounds received two days prior at age 37. He was born in Hornsey, North London, the son of Henry Isaac Mott, a surveyor’s clerk, and Eliza Brockley, a singing teacher. His early music was as a choirboy at St. James’ Church in Muswell Hill. When he left school he took a clerical job like his brothers, and he became a bank clerk, where he was well-known for his habit of singing to himself as he worked. After work he studied singing with Josiah Booth and Henry Stanley, before being spotted by Baron Frederic d’Erlanger who sent him to study with Paul Knupfer in Berlin. A year later, such was his progress that Knupfer arranged an audition with the Hofoper at Dessau leading to his becoming principal baritone.

At the age of 25 Charles returned to England to continue studying with Madame Novello Davies. His chance to sing publicly in England came when he was invited to share the stage with a new tenor, John McCormack. In 1909 he was given supporting roles at the Royal Opera, before being given the part of Méru in Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots, singing with Luisa Tetrazzini. Early in 1912 Mott sang the part of the Second Knight of the Grail in The Royal Opera’s Festival of German Opera production of Wagner’s Parsifal – this being the first English production, though sung in German. Following Parsifal, Mott sang in Meistersinger and Götterdämmerung. Later in 1912 he sang in the Wagner Festival in Budapest, and the next year at the Edinburgh Festival. Early in 1913 he participated in an unsuccessful production of Raymond Roze’s Joan of Arc, but later that year he was fortunate in playing leading roles more to his liking in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, Lohengrin and Bizet’s Carmen. In 1914 the English composer ‘Sir’ Edward Elgar attended the Festival, expecting to hear Tristan, but instead of that the curtain rose on Meistersinger in which Mott by chance took August Kiess’s part of Kothner. Mott would have been singing the part of the Nachtigall, but Kiess was indisposed. Elgar was impressed by Mott’s voice, praised him personally and remembering him later, recommended him for the part of the Priest in his Gerontius.

Elgar invited Mott to play the key role of The Organ Grinder in Lena Ashwell’s production of The Starlight Express at the Kingsway Theatre, and this was followed by successful performances in Elgar’s song cycle on Kipling’s poems The Fringes of the Fleet. In 1916 Mott played the part of the Angel of the Agony in Gerontius, alongside Clara Butt and Gervase Elwes, with the composer conducting. There was a run of six performances at Queen’s Hall from 8th May and a gala performance on 19th May in the presence of the King and Queen. At the end of that year he sang in Coleridge-Taylor’s exotic Scenes of Hiawatha. He was conscripted into the British army and joined the Artists Rifles. On 20th May 1918, during the Third Battle of the Aisne, whil3 on active service with his comrades in Aveluy Woods, he is mortally wounded by enemy fire. He died of his wounds two days later. There are other singers in the regiment, and he is fondly remembered by one of them, Roy Henderson, for his popularity, unconventionality and light-heartedness. ‘Sir’ Edward Elgar, in writing to a friend, said “It is difficult to believe that Charles Mott is dead; dead of wounds in France. I am overwhelmed: a simple, honest GOOD soul.”

 Today’s losses include:

  • A baritone singer and actor
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A man whose two brothers have been previously killed in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain William Nelson Graham MC (Alberta Regiment) is killed in action at age 34. He is the son of the Honorable George P Graham.
  • Lieutenant Basil Howard Baker (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Samuel Howard Baker.
  • Second Lieutenant John Whitely Mallinson (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend J H Mallinson.
  • Second Lieutenant Edmund Nicholas Prideaux-Brune (Rifle Brigade) the son of Colonel and Mrs. (the Honorable) Prideaux-Brune is killed in action at age 19.
  • Sergeant Francis Vaughan (Newfoundland Regiment) is killed. His two brothers have already been killed in the Great War.

Tuesday 21 May 1918 We Lost 438

Lieutenant Harold William Medlicott (Royal Air Force) and Captain J S Walter MC (Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment) are both shot to death attempting to escape from Bad Colberg Prisoner of War Camp in Germany.  It is said that Lieutenant Medlicott held the record for attempted escapes during the war. He succeeded in escaping, with only one exception, from every camp where he was confined, but was in each case recaptured. The final time he escapes Captain Walter will accompany him. Both are recaptured, but on being conveyed back to camp under escort they reportedly make a dash for liberty, without success. Captain Walter had been captured in the autumn of 1917 having been awarded the Military Cross for his actions in the battle of the Somme. Lieutenant Medlicott was captured on 10th November 1915 one month after his brother had been killed in action. His capture took place while he was on a special assignment in a blinding snowstorm which caused engine trouble which compelled him to force land behind German lines. He is a 5-victory ace.

Captain William Henry Hubbard (Royal Air Force) brings down a Fokker Tri-plane while flying Sopwith Camel D.1841 at 18:30 southwest of Maubourdine on an offensive patrol at 10,000 feet.  He then sights three more enemy Tri-planes at 8,000 feet and dives on them, firing two hundred rounds from one hundred yards one target spins out of control and is seen by another pilot to crash just north of a canal.

 Today’s losses include:

  • The man who held the record for most successful escapes from German prisoner of war camps, while attempting yet another escape
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A man whose brother was also killed in the Great War
  • A 5-victory ace

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Second Lieutenant Leonard Charles Hornabrook (Leicestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Venerable Archdeacon Charles Soward Hornabrook.
  • Private Francis George Grahame (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed at age 35. He is the son of the Reverend David Francis Alexander Grahame.

Monday 20 May 1918 We Lost 588

John Smith Davidson Baigrie

Etaples Hospitals suffer serious damaged during an enemy air raid.

  • Trooper Cecil Percival King (Life Guards) dies of wounds received during the air raid on Etaples at age 23. He won many prizes as a long distance swimmer.
  • Sapper Norman Sharples (Royal Engineers) dies of wounds received in the same air raid at age 22. His brother was killed in August 1917.

Today’s losses include:

  • A long distance swinner
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • A Deputy Assistant Scout Master

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Private John Smith Davidson Baigrie (Highland Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 18. He is the Deputy Assistant Scout Master of the 8th Midlothian Troop of the Boy Scouts and his brother was killed in November 1917.

Sunday 19 May 1918 We Lost 636

Edmund William Furse

Three Gothas are shot down during a raid on England and a fourth crashes through bad flying.

S S Snowden (Master John Lewis Owen) is sunk eighty-four miles from Malta carrying coal to England. Her master is killed at age 29 along with one other crew member.

Today’s losses include:

  • A battalion commander
  • An Artillery brigade commander
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • The grandson of a general
  • A man whose brother will die on service in the Second World War
  • The son of a member of the clergy

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Michael Frederic Beauchamp Dennis DSO (commanding 7th/8th King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed at age 37. Grandson of General ‘Sir’ John Dennis
  • Lieutenant Colonel Edmund William Furse Chevalier of the Legion of Honor (commanding 88th Brigade Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 41. His younger brother was killed in 1914.
  • Surgeon Lieutenant Alfred Leslie Pearce-Gould (Royal Navy attached Royal Marines) is killed in action at age 31. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Alfred Pearce-Gould and a brother will die during World War II as a Surgeon Rear-Admiral.
  • Sub Lieutenant Mervyn Henry Wollaston Trendell (Royal Air Force) dies of injuries at age 18. He is the son of the Reverend G J W Trendell.
  • Trooper T de Renzy (Life Guards) dies of wounds received in action at age 24. His brother was killed in action in September 1917.
  • Private Henry Gorey (Labour Corps) dies of gassing 8 days prior at age 39. His brother will die of gassing received in the same battle in September 1918.
  • Private John James Dawson (1st Canadian General Hospital, Canadian Army Medical Corps) is killed at Etaples during an enemy air raid at age 18. On 2nd January 1913, his thirteenth birthday, he saved two other boys from drowning in the St Lawrence River near Montreal.
  • Private John Robert Parker (Northamptonshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 32. His brother died of wounds in April 1917 at Gaza.

Saturday 18 May 1918 We Lost 416

G E A A F Hamilton

Today’s losses include:

  • Viscount Glentworth
  • The son of the 4th Earl of Limerick
  • The son of a Baronet
  • The great grandson of the late Duke of Cambridge
  • A Rhodes Scholar
  • A man whose brother was also killed in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Percy Spurgeon (Army Service Corps attached West Surrey Regiment) dies of wounds at home at age 27. He is the only surviving son of ‘Sir’ Arthur Spurgeon.
  • Captain Edmond William Claude Gerard De Vere Pery (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed in France at age 24. He is the Viscount Glentworth and son of the 4th Earl of Limerick.
  • Second Lieutenant George Edward Archibald FitzGeorge Hamilton (Grenadier Guards) is also killed in action today. He is the only son of ‘Sir’ Archibald Hamilton the Baronet and a great grandson of the late Duke of Cambridge. He is 19 years old.
  • Second Lieutenant William Alexander Fleet (Grenadier Guards) is killed in action at age 34. He is the son of the late superintendent of Culver Military Academy, Indiana, USA, a Rhodes Scholar at Magdalen College Oxford and instructor in Classics at Princeton.
  • Private Maurice Lumb (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. His brother was killed in October 1917.

Friday 17 May 1918 We Lost 397

Captain Allan Hepburn and his observer Second Lieutenant G W Lambert shoot down an Albatros DV east of Middelkerke.

Today’s losses include:

  • A man whose brother was killed last June
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • The great grandson of a member of the clergy

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Second Lieutenant Eric Percy Johnstone Touche (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed flying at age 21. He is the great grandson of the Reverend John Edward Touche.
  • Corporal Maurice Given MM (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend James Given Vicar of Chapel en le Frith.
  • Private Benjamin Clarence Strong (East Surrey Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. His brother was killed in July 1917.

Thursday 16 May 1918 We Lost 433

Henry Denne Hirst

German ace Otto Kissenberth shoots down an SE5A piloted by Lieutenant S B Reece (Royal Air Force).  The significant point of this victory is that the German pilot is flying a captured Sopwith Camel.  This is the only case of a Camel being used to shoot down a British pilot in the Great War.  Lieutenant Reece is alright and continues to fly with his squadron for five more days when he will be shot down and captured.

Today’s losses include:

  • A battalion commander
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • An 11-victory ace
  • A man whose son will be born next month
  • A man whose brother will also lose his life in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Henry Denne Hirst (commanding 3rd East Kent Regiment) dies on service at home at age 53. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Hirst Rector of Bishopsbourne.
  • Major James Ingleby Harrison (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 36. He is the son of the late Reverend J J Harrison Chaplin Royal Navy.
  • Captain Trevor Durrant (Royal Air Force) is killed in action at age 25 while fighting several Fokkers northeast of Albert. He is an 11-victory ace. The only Ripman to die in the service of his country in the Great War,
  • Second Liue Second Lieutenant H A Ripman (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies of wounds received in action at age 38. His son will be born on 6th
  • Second Lieutenant Dudley Hugo Heynes (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 32. He is the son of the Reverend George Hugo Heynes.
  • Private Leonard A Gray (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. His brother was killed in November 1914.

Wednesday 15 May 1918 We Lost 462

David Emmett Coyne

Eighteen members of the Royal Air Force are killed on the Western Front today.

  • Captain William Geoffrey Chambers (Lincolnshire Regiment attached) is killed along with his American observer, Lieutenant R J Burky when their DH9 is shot down this morning. He is the grandson of ‘Sir’ Thomas Chambers MP and nephew of both Lady Southwark and Lady Roxburgh.
  • Captain Charles George Douglas Napier (Royal Air Force) a nine-victory ace is killed in an action near Lamotte.
  • Captain John Vincent Aspinall (Royal Air Force) is shot down and killed.
  • Lieutenant Frederick Vincent Hall (Lincolnshire Regiment attached Royal Air Force) a seven-victory ace is killed in a collision with another Camel at age 20. He was awarded a medal by the citizens of Dunkerque for bravery in defending the town from hostile aircraft on 2nd May 1917.
  • Lieutenant John Basil Robert Langley (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed in England at age 29. He is the son in law of ‘Sir’ Oliver Lodge the son of the Reverend John Langley and leaves a three-week-old son.
  • Lieutenant Cecil Martin Sankey MC (East Kent Regiment attached Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed in England at age 21. He was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in leading his men at Loos on 27th January 1917.
  • Lieutenant Geoffrey Wilson (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 23. He is the son of Dr Henry Wilson JP.
  • Lieutenant Herbert Whiteley Sellars MC and his observer Lieutenant Charles Robson shoot down two enemy aircraft including 16-victory ace Ludwig Hanstein who is killed. Lieutenant Sellars an eight-victory ace is killed when their Bristol F2b is shot down over Bouchou later in the day at age 21. His brother will be killed later in the Great War

At Vaire-Sous-Corbie at 21:30 Sergeant David Emmett Coyne (Australian Infantry) is instructing a platoon post in the support line. Being doubtful as to the quality of some Mills Grenades in the trench, he decides to test some by throwing one over the parapet. He does this but by some mischance or other the grenade falls back into the trench among a Lewis Gun team. Coyne cries “Go for your lives boys, the bomb is in the trench” and endeavors to find the bomb in order to throw it out of the trench. Due to the darkness he cannot put his hand on the bomb, which has rolled some little distance away. Realizing the danger to those around him who have not gotten clear of the trench, he throws himself on top of the bomb which explodes, inflicting on him injuries from which he will die. His last words to the men around him are “I layed on the bomb. I thought you didn’t have time to get out.” For this act he will be awarded a posthumous Albert Medal in Gold the only award of its type presented to a member of the Australian Infantry in the war.

Today’s losses include:

  • 16, 9 and 7 victory aces
  • The grandson of a Member of Parliament
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • A man whose son was born three weeks previously
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • An Albert Medal winner
  • An Artillery Brigade commander
  • A man whose two sons were previously killed

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Edward Thesiger Frankland Hood DSO (commanding 38th Brigade Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 36. He is the middle of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
  • Private William Penrhyn Bodington Draper (Lancaster Regiment) dies of wounds at home at age 24. He is the last of all three sons of the Reverend William Henry Draper who lose their lives in the Great War.
  • Private George Alfred Smith (Royal Defence Corps) dies at home at age 54. His two sons have already been killed in the Great War.
  • Private James Wright (King’s Royal Rifle Corps attached London Regiment) dies of wounds. His brother will die of wounds in June.