Great War Lives Lost

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

Saturday 17 August 1918 We Lost 398

Today’s losses include:

  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Signaler John Anthony Morse (Australian Engineers) is killed along with four other signalers when a stray 5.9 inch pierces the roof of their dugout near Rosieres. The 21-year old’s older brother was killed last year in Egypt.
  • Gunner George Lionel Gorman (Canadian Field Artillery) is killed at age 28. His brother was killed last March.

Friday 16 August 1918 We Lost 506

L de V Fitzgerald

Captain Herbert Axford (Royal Air Force) leads his formation to bomb certain docks near Bruges.  These docks being exceptionally well guarded and our planes are heavily handicapped by adverse weather conditions; moreover, the formation has suffered casualties, and his own machine is badly damaged; he nevertheless succeeds in reaching and bombing his objective in the face of an intense barrage.

Lieutenant Frederick Stanley Gordon (Royal Air Force) achieve three victories leaving him one short of being an ace when he shoots down two Fokker D.VIII’s over Messines this morning and a Rumpler C east of Kemmel Hill in the afternoon.

Today’s losses include:

  • A battalion commander
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel L de V Fitzgerald (Royal Irish Fusiliers commanding 2nd Inniskilling Fusiliers) is killed.
  • Lieutenant John Leslie Payton (Royal Air Force) is killed in action at age 21. His brother was killed in July 1916.
  • Private Richard Bater MM (Canadian Army Medical Corps) is killed at age 27. He is the last of three brothers who will lose their lives in the war.
  • Private Ernest William Heath (North Lancashire Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in November 1916.

Thursday 15 August 1918 We Lost 447

Henry Palmer Cullwick

Two Harwick Force destroyers HMS Scott and Ulleswatere (Lieutenant Commander Edge K Boddam-Whatham) are sunk off the Dutch coast when torpedoed by German submarine UC-17.  Twenty-seven crew members of the two ships are lost.

Major Arthur William Keen MC commanding officer of 40 squadron crashes near Bruay, his machine bursting into flames.  He is admitted to hospital suffering from burns to his face and legs and a severe concussion.  He will die on 2nd September after seventeen days of intense suffering. He is a 14-victory ace.

Today’s losses include:

  • The son of the Headmaster at Rodmersham School
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain George Christopher Samuel (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds received in action at age 37. He is the son of the late Reverend George Samuel.
  • Second Lieutenant and Adjutant Arthur Bowsher Ward (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 25. He is the son of the headmaster of Rodmersham School.
  • Private Henry Palmer Cullwick (Australian Infantry) dies of wounds at home at age 20 received on 7th March 1917. He is the son of Canon Cullwick Vicar of Takapau, New Zealand.

Wednesday 14 August 1918 We Lost 441

Clifford Charles Burge

Second Lieutenant Reginald Francis Clements MC (Royal Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 26.

Immortality

I may not wait to hear

What says the wind that sweeps across the lea,

And yet I know it speaks, and in its voice

There is some word to make my heart rejoice,

Some message speeding on eternally

That God has not made clear!

I may not wait to find

The secret of the seething sea that flows

Nor ever rests; yet must thre b some plan

Above the most exalted thought of man,

Some destiny that none but Heaven knows,

And Heaven keeps me blind!

I may not wait to know

The secret of the towering mountain height

That makes my little self so small and frail

And bids me rest awhile behind the veil,

Because so far beyond it shines the light

And God would have it so!

 

Today’s losses include:

  • A Great War poet
  • A 14-victory ace
  • Two 6-victory aces
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • An Australian Rules footballer
  • A man whose father died on service in 1915

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Leonard Vivien Drummond-Hay MC (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 23. His brother will be killed in action in September 1918.
  • Captain Herbert Ruska Gould MC (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 26. He is a 6-victory ace.
  • Captain James Fitz Morris MC (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed serving as an instructor in Cincinnati, Ohio at age 21. He is a 14-victory ace.
  • Lieutenant David Esplin Smith (Royal Air Force) a six-victory ace is killed in action at age 19.
  • Lieutenant Clifford Charles Burge (Australian Infantry) is killed at Villers-Bretonneux at age 24. He is a former Australian rules footballer who played with Melbourne.
  • Private Thomas Nuttall (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed in action. His parents will lose two other sons during the Great War.
  • Airman 2nd Class Lindsay Gordon Cubbins (Australian Flying Corps) dies of illness in England at age 21. His brother will be killed in October of this year.
  • Driver Walter Thomas Brazier (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 21. His father died on service in Aden in September 1915.

Tuesday 13 August 1918 We Lost 514

Lieutenant (Acting Captain) Eugene Seeley Coler and Second Lieutenant C W Gladman (Royal Air Force) while on escort duty dive on a formation of twenty enemy airplanes.  In the engagement that follows the pilot destroys three and his observer two, making a total of five machines destroyed in this fight.

During an enemy counter-attack, Sergeant Robert Spall’s (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) platoon is isolated. There upon Sergeant Spall takes a Lewis gun and, standing on the parapet, fires upon the advancing enemy, inflicting very severe casualties. He then comes down the trench directing the men into a sap seventy-five yards from the enemy. Picking up another Lewis gun, this gallant NCO again climbs the parapet, and by his fire holds up the enemy. While holding up the enemy at this point that he is killed. For his actions this day Sergeant Spall will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • A 29-victory ace
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • The son of the Comte and Comtesse de Folle
  • The father of the man who will be the Head of the Home Civil Service 1974-77

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Charles Dawson Booker (Royal Air Force) dies of wounds received at age 21. He is a 29-victory ace.
  • Lieutenant Richard Daunteshey Colnett (Essex Regiment attached Punjabi) is killed in Palestine at age 24. He is the son of the Rector of Willingale Spain, Essex.
  • Private William James De Tolle-Swain (Vicomte De Tolle) (London Regiment) dies of injuries received in rescuing three men from drowning at age 19. He is the only son of the Comte and Comtesse de Folle.
  • Private Albert John Allen (Sussex Regiment) is killed in action. He is the father of Douglas Albert Vivian Allen a politician and civil servant and Head of the Home Civil Service from 1974 to 1977.

Monday 12 August 1918 We Lost 638

Harold Robertson Kissack

Captain Henry John Burden (Royal Air Force) with his flight attacks a large number of Fokkers, seven of which are destroyed. Captain Burden shoots down three of the enemy. Captain William Roy Irwin (Royal Air Force) leads his patrol to attack a large formation of Fokker biplanes, he himself accounting for two of them.

Frankfurt, Germany is attacked from the air for the first time in the Great War by twelve machines from 55 Squadron under the command of Captains Silly and Mackay.  They are attacked by forty scouts on their way to the target and throughout the return journey.  All machines return safely, though one observer is killed by enemy machine gun fire. Also on this day Quinell leading a formation of 104 Squadron has a fight that last for three quarters of an hour and when they have fought these Germans out of the air they fly to a German aerodrome and destroy the machines which they catch on the ground.

Lieutenant William Gordon Claxton (Royal Air Force) ends a nine-day period in which he will destroy ten enemy aircraft and one kite balloon giving him a total of thirty enemy machines and the one kite balloon.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross Cross winner
  • An 8-victory ace
  • A former member of the North West Mounted Police and Sheriff of Pincher Creek, Albert
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Edward Norman Gilliat (Canadian Scottish) dies of wounds at age 35. He is the only son of the Reverend Edward Gilliat. He is a veteran of the South African War.
  • Captain Eric Archibald McNair VC (Sussex Regiment) dies in Genoa, Italy of dysentery at age 24. He was awarded the Victoria for his actions on 14th February 1916.
  • Captain Ivan Frank Hind an eight-victory ace (Royal Air Force) is shot down and killed at Brie by German ace Ernst Udet.
  • Lieutenant John Kershaw (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 27. He is the son of Reverend Samuel Kershaw, Moravian Church.
  • Lieutenant Mervyn Harman Salusbury-Jones (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 22. His brother was killed in September 1916 and they are sons of the Reverend Thomas Salusbury-Jones.
  • Lance Corporal Harold Robertson Kissack (Eastern Ontario Regiment) is killed in action at age 40. He is the son of the late Reverend Canon and former member of the North West Mounted Police and Sheriff at Pincher Creek, Alberta.
  • Lance Corporal Herbert Sharp (West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed in action. His brother will also lose his life in the Great War dying after the Armistice of wounds.
  • Private Charles Timms (Cheshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 21. His brother was killed in November 1916.

Sunday 11 August 1918 We Lost 1,194

Alfred Edward Gaby VC

Lieutenant George Poole and Sergeant Ernest Antcliffe (Royal Air Force) achieve two victories over Fokker D.VII’s at Combles flying their BF2b, while Captain R K Simpson and Sergeant Charles Hill (88) bring down one southwest of Peronne.

The 17th (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) Lancers are mounted and among the leading regiments of the current offensive capturing enemy ground and prisoners. In the 24 hours their losses will include 2 officers and 10 other ranks killed, 24 other ranks wounded two gassed and two missing with 52 horses killed and missing.

Three days after performing acts that will win him the Victoria Cross. Lieutenant Alfred Edward Gaby (Australian Infantry) is killed in action leading an attack at Villers-Bretonneux.

The advance having been checked by intense machine-gun fire, Lieutenant James Edward Tait MC (Manitoba Regiment) rallies his company and leads it forward with consummate skill and dash under a hail of bullets. A concealed machine gun, however, continues to cause many casualties. Taking a rifle and bayonet Lieutenant Tait dashes forward alone and kills the enemy gunner. Inspired by his example his men rush the position, capturing twelve machine guns and twenty prisoners. His valorous action clears the way for his battalion to advance. Later, when the enemy counter-attacks our positions under intense artillery bombardment, this gallant officer displays outstanding courage and leadership, and, though mortally wounded by a shell, he continues to aid and direct his men until his death.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • A battalion commander
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A 12-victory ace
  • The son of a General
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • The son of a Justice of thePeace
  • A member of the Vancouver Police Department

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Bernard Barton (commanding 2nd/8th Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 39. He is the son of the Reverend Haycroft Barton.
  • Captain Gordon Buff Irving DFC (Royal Air Force) a 12-victory ace is killed at age 20.
  • Captain John Clontarf Kelvyn Carson (Quebec Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the son of Major General ‘Sir’ John Wallace Carson CB.
  • Captain Horatio Alfred Fane MC (Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars) is killed in action at age 34. His brother died on active service in May 1917.
  • Lieutenant Henry William Richard Huie (Royal Scots) is killed at age 24. He is the only son of Henry Peckitt Huie JP.
  • Lieutenant Edward Michael Fitzgerald Law (Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. His brother will be killed in October of this year and they are sons of ‘Sir’ Archibald & Lady Law.
  • Private James Murray Watson (British Columbia Regiment) is killed in action at age 32. He is a member of the Vancouver Police Department.
  • Private Harry Plant (Berkshire Regiment) is killed he is the final of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.

Saturday 10 August 1918 We Lost 1,502

Jean Baptiste Arthur Brilliant VC

During this morning Captain Henry John Burden (Royal Air Force) leads his patrol in three attacks and he destroys three enemy machines.  This evening he destroys two more. Captain William Roy Irwin (Royal Air Force) leads his flight down to attack fifteen Fokkers.  In the engagement that ensues he shows brilliant leadership and personal courage, accounting for two machines.

Lieutenant Jean Baptiste Arthur Brillant (Quebec Regiment) dies of wounds received over the past two days performing acts that will win him a posthumous Victoria Cross. When in charge of a company which he leads in attack during two days with absolute fearlessness and extraordinary ability and initiative, the extent of the advance being twelve miles. On the first day of operations shortly after the attack has begun, his company’s left flank is held up by an enemy machine gun. Lieutenant Brillant rushes and captures the machine-gun, personally killing two of the enemy crew. While doing this, he is wounded but refuses to leave his command. Later on the same day, his company is held up by heavy machine-gun fire. He reconnoiters the ground personally, organizes a party of two platoons and rushes straight for the machine-gun nest. Here 150 enemy and fifteen machine-guns are captured. Lieutenant Brillant personally killing five of the enemy, and being wounded a second time. He has this wound dressed immediately, and again refuses to leave his company. Subsequently this gallant officer detects a field gun firing on his men over open sights. He immediately organizes and leads a “rushing” party towards the gun. After progressing about 600 yards, he is again seriously wounded. In spite of this third wound, he continues to advance for some 200 yards more, when he falls unconscious from exhaustion and loss of blood.

The defensively armed tanker Tatarrax (Master William Read age 39) is torpedoed and sunk by UC.34 in Mediterranean off Rosetta, Egypt. Her entire crew of 61, primarily Asian merchant seamen are lost.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A six-victory ace
  • A five-victory ace
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • Multiple Australian Rules footballers
  • The Captain of the Post Office football team

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Brevet Lieutenant Colonel (Temporary Colonel) Alexander John Anderson (Army Service Corps) dies of heart failure in France at age 37. He is the son of the Reverend J H Anderson.
  • Major John Archibald Grove (Army Service Corps) dies on service at age 43. He is the son of the Reverend William Henry Grove Rector of Cliffe.
  • Captain William Otway Boger DFC (Royal Air Force) a five-victory ace is killed in action at age 23.
  • Lieutenant Alfred John Haines DFC (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 20 when his aircraft takes a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire in Italy. He is a six victory ace. Lieutenant Stephen Arthur Dawson (Royal Air Force) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend George F Dawson.
  • Lieutenant Cecil Arthur Auchterlonie (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 18. He is the third and last surviving brother to be killed in the Great War, both of his brothers being killed in 1915 on Gallipoli.
  • Lieutenant Frederick Francis Whitelaw MC (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 29. His brother was killed in June 1917.
  • Lieutenant Arthur Ryrie (Tank Corps) is killed at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend Andrew Ryrie.
  • Lieutenant Harold Collins DCM (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 26. He is an Australian rules footballer who played six games for Fitzroy.
  • Second Lieutenant Edmund John Waldegrave (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Samuel Edmund Waldegrave Rector of Osborne.
  • Battery Sergeant Major Joseph Robert Towner DCM (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 37. He is a South Africa War veteran and Captain of the Post Office Football Team.
  • Private Henry Thomas Hatton (East Kent Regiment) is killed in action at age 33 in Bulgaria. His brother was killed in September 1916.
  • Rifleman Alfred John Charles Dodson (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in September 1915.
  • Private Henry John Dowden (West Surrey Regiment) dies of wounds at age 20. His brother was killed in the first weeks of the War.
  • Private Harold Daniel MM (Australian Infantry) is killed by shellfire at age 39. He is an Australian rules footballer who played 11 matches with Carlton in the Victorian Football League.
  • Private Frederick George Yeoman (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in November 1916.
  • Trooper Walter Collett Timms (Oxford Hussars) is killed. His brother was killed in June of this year.

Friday 9 August 1918 We Lost 1,675

The 29th Battalion Australian Imperial Forces is involved in the capture of Vauvillers.  Among those killed is

  • Private William Reginald Rawlings MM who is uncle of Captain Reginald Saunders MBE the first Aboriginal commissioned officer in the Australian Military Forces who fought in World War II and Korea. He is killed at age 27.  His friend
  • Corporal Harry Thorpe MM who is regarded as a premier footballer and athlete in brigade sports as well as a scout is shot in the stomach and dies after being taken to a dressing station near Bayonvillers.

The 6th London Regiment are at La Houssoye in the Somme sector and are ordered to take Chipilly Ridge, which involves the capture of a small track running along near the ridge of the crest.  Three tanks are employed in support and at 16:15 the battalion moves off from its positions to begin the attack.  As they round the edge of Celestines Wood they come under heavy machine gun fire and heavy casualties are sustained.

  • Rifleman Reginald John Newberry (King’s Royal Rifle Corps attached London Regiment) is killed at age 18. His two brothers have been previously killed in the Great War.

On a bombing raid the machine in which Second Lieutenant. Samuel Lilburn Dunlop (Royal Air Force) is the observer is attacked by a number of enemy airplanes, one of which he shoots down in flames. On the return journey, he and his pilot, Lieutenant G Beveridge, are again attacked.  He succeeds in shooting down a second machine in flames.  In this latter attack Lieutenant Beveridge is severely wounded and faints.  Second Lieutenant Dunlop immediately takes the controls. Leaning over the fuselage to support his pilot, steering the machine and at intervals firing on the enemy aircraft as they close on him, he makes for our lines, and with the help of the pilot, who has recovered consciousness, lands in safety.

Captain Norman Goudie (Royal Air Force) and his observer, Second Lieutenant R McK Jamison, at low altitudes observe about three hundred enemy infantry massed in a sunken road and offering a strong resistance to our advancing troops.  By keeping them under continual machine gun fire, they succeed in demoralizing the enemy, so much that they hold up a piece of white cloth as a sign of surrender.  Captain Goudie ceases fire but remains in the vicinity until our troops push forward and take the enemy prisoners.

During an attack when the advance is much impedd by hostile machine guns concealed in crops and shell holes Sergeant Thomas James Harris VC MM (Royal West Kent Regiment) leads his section against one of these capturing it and killing seven of the enemy. Later on two successive occasions he attacks single handed two enemy machine guns which are causing heavy casualties and holding up the advance. He captures the first gun and kills the crew, but is himself killed when attacking the second one. He will be awarded the Victoria Cross posthumous Victoria Cross for his actions.

Private Robert Matthew Beatham (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 24 during the attack north of Rosieres, east of Amiens. When the advance is held up by heavy machine gun fire, he dashes forward, and, assisted by Lance Corporal Nottingham, bombs and fights the crews of four enemy machine guns, killing ten of them and capturing ten others, thus facilitating the advance and saving many casualties. When the final objective is reached, although previously wounded, he again dashes forward and bombs a machine gun, being riddled with bullets and killed in doing so. For his actions on this day he will be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

Today’s losses include:

  • Multiple Victoria Cross winners
  • Multiple Australian footballers
  • The nephew of the 1st Aboriginal commissioned officer in the Australian Military
  • Multiple families that will two, three and four sons in the Great War
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • The grandson of a member of the clergy
  • A Hampshire cricketer
  • The son of a General
  • A member of the original class of Military Cross winners
  • The Master at Highgate School
  • An Actor
  • A man whose brother lost his life serving in the United States Navy
  • A man whose son will be killed in 1942

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain George Hely-Hutchinson Almond (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Dragoon Guards) is killed in action by a bomb at Caix at age 41. He is the last and oldest of four brothers to die in the Great War. They are grandsons of the Reverend George Almond.
  • Captain Alexander John Mayo (Royal Air Force) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend Dr. James Mayo of Trinity College Cambridge who lost another son exactly three years ago.
  • Captain John Hugh Gunner (Hampshire Yeomanry) dies of wounds at Kemmel at age 33. He is a cricketer who represented Hampshire in six first class matches in 1906 & 1907. His two younger brothers have been killed in the war previously.
  • Captain Charles Edward Henry Tempest-Hicks MC (Lancers) dies of wounds received in action at age 30. He is the only son of Brigadier General Tempest-Hicks, has served on the Western Front since the first month of the war and has been previous wounded three times.
  • Captain Charles Pooley (Dragoon Guards) is killed at age 45. He was among the first 99 to be awarded the Military Cross.
  • Lieutenant Fitzroy Charles Phillpotts (Gloucester Regiment) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend Ernest Alfred Phillpotts Rector of Stapleton.
  • Lieutenant Walter John Pitt Pitts (Royal Air Force) is killed in action at age 19 while on a bombing mission to Peronne Bridge. His brother will be killed in October of this year.
  • Lieutenant Victor William John Hobbs (East Kent Regiment) is killed in action at age 31. He was the Master at Highgate School Highgate London.
  • Lieutenant Edmund Quartermain Cory (Reserve Cavalry) dies on service at home. He is the son of the Reverend Robert Frederick Cory Rector of Higham Gobion.
  • Second Lieutenant George Mellsome Addison (South Staffordshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 23. He showed “great promise as an actor”.
  • Second Lieutenant Thomas Radcliffe Agnew May (Royal Air Force) is killed on his second day at the front at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Frederick Granville May Rector of Cardynham and his brother was killed in April 1917.
  • Second Lieutenant Wilfred Richard Lofts (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed in May 1915.
  • Squadron Sergeant Major Richard Tirrell Shrimpton (Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars) is killed at age 27. His brother Ernest died of influenza in January serving in the United States Navy.
  • Corporal Albert Charles Toole (Australian Infantry) is killed at aged 20. His brother will die on service in February 1919.
  • Lance Corporal Rupert George Jarrett (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed on his way back to a dressing station having just been wounded in the hand. His brother died of wounds in December 1917.
  • Lance Corporal George Roberts MM (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 28. His brother will die of pneumonia in November of this year.
  • Gunner William George Tasker (Australian Field Artillery) dies of wounds received in action at age 26. He was an Australian rugby football player.
  • Private Thomas Albert Ruckley MM (Hampshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed in February 1917.
  • Private Murdo MacKenzie (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 28. He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the war.
  • Private John Archibald Lugton (Australian Imperial Forces) dies of wounds. His brother was killed in July 1916.
  • Private Hugh Grier Mertens (London Regiment) is killed at age 36. He is the son of the Reverend Frederick de Mounteney Mertens Headmaster of Ardingley College and Vicar of Arlington. Private George Henry Adams (London Regiment) is killed at age 24. His son will be killed in October 1942.

Thursday 8 August 1918 We Lost 2,507

Fred Fielding Aust Rules Football

The Battle of Amiens begins in a dense fog at 04:20. Under General Rawlinson’s Fourth Army, the British III Corps attacks north of the Somme, the Australian Corps to the south of the river in the center of Fourth Army’s front, and the Canadian Corps to the south of the Australians. The French 1st Army opens its preliminary bombardment at the same time and begins its advance 45 minutes later, supported by a battalion of 72 Whippet tanks. The attack is so unexpected that German forces only begin to return fire after five minutes. In the first phase, seven divisions attacked: the British 18th (Eastern) and 58th (2/1st London), the Australian 2nd and 3rd and the Canadian 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The Canadian and Australian attackers are supported by eight battalions of the Royal Tank Corps, with a paper strength of 216 Mark V and 72 Mark V tanks, with 48 unarmed tanks used as supply-carrying tractors. Parts of the American 33rd Division support the British attackers north of the Somme.

The attackers capture the first German position, advancing about 4,000 yards by about 07:30. In the center, supporting units following the leading divisions attack the second objective a further two miles on. Australian units reach their first objectives by 07:10 and by 08:20 the Australian 4th and 5th and the Canadian 4th divisions pass through the initial hole in the German line. The third phase of the attack is assigned to infantry-carrying Mark V tanks. However, the infantry is able to carry out this final step unaided. The Allies penetrate well to the rear of the German defenses and cavalry now continue the advance, one brigade in the Australian sector and two cavalry divisions in the Canadian sector. Royal Air Force and armoured car fire keeps the retreating Germans from rallying.

The Canadian and Australian forces in the center advance quickly, pushing the line 3 miles forward from its starting point by 11:00. The speed of their advance is such that a party of German officers and some divisional staff are captured while eating breakfast. A gap 15 miles long is punched in the German line south of the Somme by the end of the day. There is less success north of the river, where the British III Corps has only a single tank battalion in support, the terrain is rougher and a German incursion on two earlier disrupted some of the preparations. Although the attackers gain their first objectives, they are held up short of the Chipilly spur, a steep wooded ridge. The British Fourth Army takes 13,000 prisoners while the French capture a further 3,000. Total German losses are estimated to be 30,000 today. The Fourth Army’s casualties are approximately 8,800, exclusive of tank and air losses and their French allies.

German general Erich Ludendorff described the first day of Amiens as the “Schwarzer Tag des deutschen Heeres” (“the black day of the German Army”), not because of the ground lost to the advancing Allies, but because the morale of the German troops had sunk to the point where large numbers of troops began to capitulate. He recounted instances of retreating troops shouting “You’re prolonging the war” at officers who tried to rally them. Five German divisions have effectively been engulfed. Allied forces pushed, on average, 7 miles into enemy territory by the end of today. The Canadians gain 8 miles, Australians 7 miles, British 2 miles, and the French 5 miles.

Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Conway Macalister Farrell attacks enemy troops and transport with machine gun fire and bombs.  Having silenced a machine gun, he attacks some transport, driving off the personnel.  Later he attacks a dump and carries out a reconnaissance in an area where our cavalry is reported to be held up, rendering a most valuable report of the situation.  Eventually, in a combat with about forty scouts, he is shot down near Warfusee at 15:05.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • Multiple battalion commanders
  • Multiple families that will lose two, three and four sons in the Great War
  • A man who has two brothers killed serving the United States Army
  • A man whose brother in killed in the same battle and family receives notification within hours of each death
  • 5 and 6 victory aces
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A nephew of Baron Estcourt
  • A son of the Marquis de Roussy de Sales
  • A member of the Royal North West Mounted Police
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • An Australian Rules Footballer

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Temporary Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Bushell VC DSO (commanding 7th Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment) is killed in action at age 29 south of Morlencourt, Somme. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions west of St Quentin Canal on 23 March 1918.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Elmer Watson Jones DSO (commanding 21st Eastern Ontario Regiment) is killed in action at age 44.
  • Captain Norman MacLeod MacLean (Quebec Regiment) is killed in action at age 27. Two brothers are also killed in the Great War one Lieutenant Donald was killed in July 1917.
  • Captain Alexander Watson Baird MC (Canadian Infantry) is killed in action. He is the son of the late James Baird KC.
  • Captain Michael Edward Gonne MC (Royal Air Force) is killed at ag e19. He is a five victory ace.
  • Lieutenant Arthur Charles Sotheron Estcourt MC (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend E W Sotheron Estcourt and nephew of George Sotheron-Estcourt 1st Baron Estcourt.
  • Captain Eric Guy Brookes (Worcestershire Regiment attached Royal Air Force) is killed in action at age 24. He is a six victory ace.
  • Lieutenant Frederick George Brian Cobham (Cambridgeshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend George Henry Cobham Rector of Guisborough.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Stuart Nash (Royal Air Force) dies of wounds received during a combat with five Fokkers at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend Cecil William Nash.
  • Lieutenant Arthur Hackforth-Jones (Gloucestershire Regiment attached Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the son of F W Hacakworth-Jones JP.
  • Lieutenant Robert M Finlayson (Cameron Highlanders) is killed. One brother was killed last month serving in the Seaforth Highlanders while two more will be killed this year serving in the U S Army.
  • Lance Sergeant Count Antoine de Roussy de Sales (Lord Strathcona’s Horse and the Royal North West Mounted Police) is killed in action at age 24. His is the son of the Marquis de Roussy de Sales.
  • Sergeant Charles Henry Smith DCM (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. His brother died of wounds received in action less than six weeks before him.
  • Corporal Patrick Calder (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed in action at age 20. His two brothers have previously died in the Great War.
  • Lance Corporal John Buridge Murray (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 33. His brother was killed in September 1915.
  • Lance Corporal William Lang (Dublin Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 34 one week after his brother in law was killed. Another brother in law was killed in July 1917 and a third will die in the Auchengeich Pit mine disaster on the 17 September 1959.
  • Private Robert Savage (Dublin Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 31. His brother was killed in March1917.
  • Gunner Charles Hills (Canadian Field Artillery) is killed at Hangard Wood at age 29. His brother was killed last March.
  • Private Frank Parsons age 24 (Western Ontario Regiment) is killed on the same day his brother Private Wallace Parsons age 22 is killed in the same battle. Official notification of the two losses reaches their parents a few hours apart.
  • Private Fred Fielding (Australian Infantry) is killed at Bretonneux at age 28. He is an Australian rules footballer who scored 10 goals while playing in 18 games for South Melbourne and Collingwood.
  • Private Edmund Wallace Allen (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 23 during the capture of Marcelcave. His brother was killed in August 1917.
  • Private Albert Ballard (Quebec Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed three years and two days ago.
  • Air Mechanic C W S Robertson (Royal Air Force) dies of injuries received in a flying accident at age 22. His brother was killed in May 1917.
  • Private Frederick Samuel Jones (Western Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed in September 1916.
  • Private Frederick Key (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the last of three brothers who lost their lives in the Great War.