Great War Lives Lost

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

Sunday 20 January 1918 We Lost 617

Harry Beauchamp Duff

During the war, the Mesopotamian Campaign was under the responsibility of the Indian Army until the disaster surrounding the surrender at Kut. The campaign started well with the landing in Basra in November 1914, but the attack on Baghdad by 9,000 troops of the 6th Indian Division commanded by General Townshend in 1915 ended in catastrophe when the remnants of the British invasion force were surrounded in Kut El Amara, and three attempts to relieve the trapped British and Indian troops also ended in failure, at the cost of 23,000 lives. The surrender on 29 April 1916 has been described as one of the worst military disasters of the British Army.  Consequently the Commander in Chief India, General ‘Sir’ Harry Beauchamp Duff was relieved of command on 1 October 1916. In 1917, the Mesopotamia Commission of Enquiry was damning in its conclusions. While General Townshend was exonerated, the Commission was harsh towards the Government of India and Duff together with the Viceroy, Lord Hardinge. Both were found to have showed little desire to help and some desire actually to obstruct the energetic prosecution of the war. General Nixon, the Commander-in-Chief of the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force, was also held responsible for the failed campaign. Unable to live with the shame, Duff committed suicide today.

Air fighting on the Western Front is light and the only British casualty of the day is a wounded pilot.

Goeben and Breslau leave the Dardanelles to attack Imbros sinking the monitors Raglan (6,150 tons) and M28 (540 tons).  One hundred twenty-seven sailors are killed including

  • Lieutenant H L Bacon (HMS Raglan) whose brother will die on service in 1920. They are both sons of the Reverend Dr. Bacon DD.

While heading for Mudros, Breslau strikes four mines in quick succession to the northwest of Rabbit Island and sinks.  Five Turkish destroyers endeavor to reach the point, but are driven off by two British destroyers.  Goeben also strikes two mines, and then another trying to re-enter the Dardanelles, and finally runs aground off Nagara Point.

The escort ship HMS Mechanician is torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine eight miles west of St Catherine’s Point.  The armed boarding steamer HMS Louvain is torpedoed and sunk by another German submarine in the Eastern Mediterranean, killing seven officers and two hundred seventeen men.

  • Stoker Petty Officer Arthur Farrar (HMS Louvain) age 33 is drowned while leaving the ship. His brother was killed in action in April 1917.
  • Trimmers and brothers from Malta Gaetano age 36 and Francesco Carabott (HMS Louvian Mercantile Marine Reserve) are killed also.

British mines sink two German submarines, UB-22 and U-95.

Today’s losses include:

  • A General who commits suicide
  • A man whose brother will died on service in 1920
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • Brothers killed together

Saturday 19 January 1918 We Lost 262

Gordon Stachey Shephard

Flight Sub Lieutenant E G Johnstone (Royal Naval Air Service) will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for the pluck and determination shown by him in engaging enemy aircraft.  On this day he attacks five Albatross scouts, and engages one, nose on, opening fire at 75 yards range.  The enemy aircraft turns on its side and spins. He follows and engages the enemy again at 80 yards range. The enemy aircraft goes down completely out of control.  Later in the day, in a general engagement with fourteen Albatross scouts, he follows one down to 8,000 feet, firing all the time.  This machine is confirmed by other pilots of the patrol to fall completely out of control.

The 68, 69 and 71 (Australian) Squadrons are re-designated 2, 3 and 4 Squadrons, Australian Flying Corps.

British losses in the air for the day are four aircraft the pilots of three are killed while the fourth is taken prisoner.

The submarine H10 (Lieutenant Martin Huntly Collier age 25) does not return from a North Sea patrol and it is believed she struck a mine.

  • Sub Lieutenant Derrick Ives dies at age 21. His brother died of pneumonia on service in December 1914.
  • Artificer Harry Pearson is also lost at age 31. His brother was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • Stoker 1st Class Patrick Murphy is lost age age 26. His brother was killed in the sinking of HMS Monmouth in November 1914.

Today’s losses include:

  • Multiple families that will lose two son in the Great War
  • A General
  • A member of the Royal Cruising Club
  • A member of the Gloucester Journal and Citizen

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Brigadier General Gordon Strachey Shephard DSO MC (1st Royal Flying Corps Brigade, 1st Army) dies of injuries received in a flying accident on the edge of Auchel aerodrome at age 32. He was the model used by Erskine Childers for his hero Carruthers in the novel The Riddle of the Sands.  He is the son of ‘Sir’ Horatio Shephard. He was educated at Summerfields and Eton and, after passing through Sandhurst, obtained a commission in the Royal Fusiliers in 1905. Before the war he did a great deal of yachting. He became a member of the Royal Cruising Club, and made some remarkable cruises in a small sailing yacht, on two occasions gaining the challenge cup of the club. In July, 1912, he joined the Royal Flying Corps, and flew over to France with the first five squadrons on 13th August 1914. He received the Legion of Honour from General Joffre for good reconnaissance work during the retreat from Mons, and in January 1915, he won the Military Cross.
  • Captain Evelyn Horace Guy Sharples (Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at age 19. He is the only surviving son of the late Reverend Henry Milner Sharples of Finghall Rectory, Yorkshire whose other son was killed on HMS Hampshire.
  • Lieutenant Humphry Walter Smith (Royal Navy) is killed in the Persian Gulf. His brother was killed last October and they are sons of the Reverend Walter Edward Smith Vicar of Andover.
  • Second Lieutenant Eric Godwin Chance (Royal Flying Corps) is killed in Italy at age 19. He was a member of the Gloucester Journal and Citizen.

Friday 18 January 1918 We Lost 220

Cap badge of the Lincolnshire Regiment

The submarine H6 is stranded on Schiermonnikoog.  The Dutch will intern and later acquire it.

The sloop HMS Campanula (Commander P L Goddard) sinks the German submarine UB66 off Cap Bon.

H M trawler and minesweeper Gambri (Skipper Albert Edward Sayers DSC) is sunk by a mine in the English Channel off the south east coast of the Isle of Wight.  Twenty-one crew members including the skipper are killed.

British air losses for the day are two aircraft lost both pilots being killed.

Today’s losses include:

  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A family that will lose four sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include

  • Captain Clement Gawler Mead MC (Alberta Regiment) is killed at age 38. He is the son of the Reverend Richard Gawler Mead Rector of Balcombe.
  • Lieutenant Gorham Vinton Stevens (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend Lorenzo and attended Dover College.
  • Lance Corporal Frank Ernest Williams (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 21 in Palestine. He is the third of four brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War. .

Thursday 17 January 1918 We Lost 242

S S KIngsdyke

Lieutenant Len M.S Potts and Lieutenant Fred Hancock claim an Albatros DIII OOC near El Lubban. Lieutenant Potts brother Lieutenant Jack Diamond Sumner Potts (Australian Flying Corps) was killed less than two weeks ago when his aircraft collided with an enemy aircraft which had attacked an RE8 of 113th Squadron.  The Potts brothers were from the Hawkesbury area in north western Sydney, their father was the Dean of the Hawkesbury Agricultural College for many years.

The steamer Kingsdyke (Master John Hutton) is torpedoed and sunk en route from Rouen to Cardiff in the English Channel. Sixteen are killed including her master.

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Sapper Edwin Leonard Bowden (New Zealand Engineers) is accidentally killed in Belgium.

Wednesday 16 January 1918 We Lost 242

Cap badge of the Highland Light Infantry

Second Lieutenant Alan Arnett McLeod (General List attached Royal Flying Corps) crosses the lines at La Bassee, and observes a group of men around an anti-aircraft gun, descends to within 50 feet from the ground and fires 150 rounds; one man standing near the gun falls while the other men take cover.  McLeod will be awarded the Victoria Cross for actions performed in March of this year and will die of the Spanish influenza in November after returned to his native Canada.

Today’s losses include:

  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A family that will lose four sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Second Lieutenant Arthur Charlewood Turner (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 37. He is the son of the Right Reverend Charles Henry Turner DD Bishop Suffragan of Islington.
  • Private T J Roseburgh (Highland Light Infantry) is accidentally killed at age 19. He has four brothers who served in the Great War.

Tuesday 15 January 1918 We Lost 260

The Seaplane Defense Squadron based at St Pol becomes 13 (Naval) Squadron.

Brigadier General Arthur Anthony Howell CMG (London Regiment) dies at Blackdown Camp in England.

Today’s losses include:

  • A General
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A family that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • A man whose son will die on service in December 1941

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain John Reginald Philpott MC (Royal Flying Corps) dies of dysentery as a prisoner of war after arriving in Mesopotamia in January 1917 at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Canon John Nigel Philpott Rector of Southchurch.
  • Commander Sandford Grant Radcliffe Nevile (Royal Navy) dies of injuries received in a rail accident at home at age 44. His brother was killed in June 1915.
  • Squadron Sergeant Major William Gass Halliday (Dragoon Guards) is killed at age 39. His son will die on service in December 1941.
  • Airman 1st Class Albert Edward Bainbridge (Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 22. His brother will die of wounds in November 1918.

Monday 14 January 1918 We Lost 204

Submarine G8

British air forces bomb Karlsruhe, Thionville and the Metz area. In broad daylight a successful air raid is carried out on the railway station and nunitons factories in the Rhine Valley one and a quarter tons of bombs are dropped. There is also a raid on the steelworks of Thionville midway between Metz and Luxemburg and also bombs are dropped on the two large railway junctions near Metz. The 6th (Naval) Squadron arrives at Petite Synthe Dunkirk as a day-bomber unit on this day. It has been reformed at Dover at the end of last year from personnel of the Walmer Defense Flight and #11 Squadron Royal Naval Air Service.  The 17th (Naval) Squadron is formed to replace the Seaplane Base at Dunkirk.

British ground forces raid Lens.

Yarmouth is bombarded from the sea.  Fire is opened at 22:55 and lasts about five minutes, some twenty shells falling into the town.  Six civilians are killed and seven injured.

The submarine G8 (Lieutenant John Francis Tryon) fails to return from a North Sea patrol and it is believed that she falls victim to a mine or ran aground. Her crew of 32 is lost including Able Seaman John Short age 22 whose brother will be killed next August.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Baronet
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A Military Chaplain
  • A Nottinghamshire cricket player

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain ‘Sir’ Ralph Henry Sacheverel Wilmot (Coldstream Guards) the 6th Baronet dies at home of an illness contracted at the front at age 42. He is the son of the Reverend A A Wilmot.
  • Chaplain the Reverend Harvey Staunton dies in Zrzizeh, Mesopotamia at age 45. He is the son of the Reverend Francis Staunton and he played cricket for Nottinghamshire from 1903-5.

Sunday 13 January 1918 We Lost 225

Second Lieutenant F B Willmott (Australian Royal Flying Corps) lags behind and is cut off by three enemy aircraft during an offensive patrol east of La Bassee. He is shot down, becoming the first casualty of the squadron, suffered on the squadron’s first air fight.  He is taken prisoner.  Two other pilots are lost on this day, one killed and one made a prisoner.

  • Second Lieutenant Alan Scott Balfour (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 23. He is the son and heir of ‘Sir’ Robert Balfour 1st Baronet MP for the Partick Division of Lanarkshire. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Oxford, and received his commission in the Artillery in August, 1916, subsequently joining the Royal Flying Corps.

Today’s losses include:

  • The son of a Baronet
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • Families that will lose two and three son in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Commander Arthur Cyril Brooke-Webb DSC (Royal Navy Reserve) is killed at age 36. He is the son of the Reverend Albert Brooke-Webb.
  • Sergeant James Kavanagh (Irish Regiment) dies at home at age 32. He is the third brother to lose his life in the Great War.
  • Private Ewart Montague Jones (North Lancashire Regiment) dies of wounds received in action. His brother was killed in November 1916.

Rhodes Scholars lost to world in the Great War

  • Alan Wilson Morey
  • Alfred Nelson King
  • Arthur Leigh Collett
  • Lennock de Graaff Godet
  • Athol Hudson
  • Allan MacDougall
  • Alan Wallace
  • Andrew William McGregor
  • Basil Elmo Atkins
  • Walter Power
  • Vere Arthur Edmondstone Elliott
  • Gordon Stanley Fife
  • Reginald Harry Myburgh Hands
  • Richard George Hart
  • Ronald Owen Lagden
  • George Harrison Hayward
  • Harold Ernest Whiteman
  • John Seymour Denison Clarke
  • Daniel Pike Stephenson
  • Osric Orsmond Staples
  • Vere Karsdale Mason
  • Harry Austin McCleave
  • Gordon Lautre Murray
  • Walter Josiah Pearse
  • Leonard Maurice Platnauer
  • Alexander Phipps Turnbull
  • Kenneth William Calder
  • Charles Hercules Francis Augustus Newton
  • John Clarkson Tredgold
  • Ernest St Clair Tulloch
  • Henry Stokes Richards
  • Talbot Mercier Papineau
  • Stewart Arthur Rodney-Ricketts
  • Theodore Arthur Carnegie
  • Geoffrey Vaughan Noaks
  • Paul Dominie Wilmot
  • Alaric Pinder Boor
  • Stephanus Sebastian Lombard Steyn
  • William Webster Sant

Saturday 12 January 1918 We Lost 453

A Handley Page 0/100 (16th Naval Squadron) is shot down by French forces near Nancy. Two other aircraft are brought down in combat, both behind enemy lines.  The pilot and observer of the first both die of wounds as prisoners of war, while the pilot of the other is taken prisoner.

The destroyers HMS Narbrough (Lieutenant Edmund Mansel Bowly) and HMS Opal (Lieutenant Commander Charles Ceasar De Merindol Malan) are wrecked on the Pentland Firth outside Scapa Flow during a violent gale and snowstorm.  All 188 on board are lost but for one survivor from Opal who manages to climb up the rocks onto a ledge from where he is rescued with great difficulty. Among those killed in Opal is

  • Surgeon Probationer Louis Percival St John Story (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) who is killed at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Lawrence Parsons Story.

On HMS Narborough

  • Petty Officer Stoker Richard Morris is killed at age 40. He is the middle of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War
  • Ordinary Seaman Francis Wallace McCheyne is also killed. The 19 year old is the last of four brothers who are killed in the war.

Auxiliary transport Whorlton (Master Alexander Gordon) is sunk in the English Channel near the Owers light vessel killing the crew of 13. Her Master is killed at age 48.

Today’s losses include:

  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • Families that will lose three and four sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Laurence Claude Barnard (Army Service Corps) dies on service at age 45. His brother will die in March of this year also on service.