Thursday 6 August 1914 – We lost 158
The cabinet in London authorizes the dispatch of four of the army’s six divisions to make up the British Expeditionary Forces (BEF) in France. Parliament sanctions an increase of 500,000 men of all ranks in the Regular Army.
On her way back to Harwich HMS Amphion strikes one of the mines laid by Konigin Luise, off the Thames estuary. The first explosion breaks her back forward, killing members of the British crew and some of their German prisoners, and then a short time later, there is a second explosion and the ship sinks in twenty minutes. The total killed is one British officer and one hundred fifty ratings, together with eighteen German prisoners. There are one hundred seventy-seven survivors.
Today’s losses include
- The first British officer killed in service in the Great War
- The officer for whom the Gedge Award is created
- The son of a member of the clergy
- Two brothers killed together in the action
- Families that will lose multiple sons in the Great War
The officer killed is Staff Paymaster Joseph Theodore Gedge, the first British Officer of all fighting services to be killed in the Great War. He is the son of the Reverend Edmund Gedge Vicar of Marden who will lose two others sons in the Great War. The Gedge Medal, named in his honor will be created in 1928 and is given annually to the Royal Navy officer who has passed the examination for the rank of Lieutenant at the first attempt and has obtained the highest aggregate score of the total maximum marks in these examinations during the calendar year.
Stoker 1st Class Thomas Hamlin age 23 and his brother Leading Seaman Joseph Hamlin age 28 are both lost in the sinking. This is the first example of a family that will lose multiple sons and brothers in the same action in the Great War.
Leading Stoker Henry Copland is killed at age 29. His brother will be lost in the sinking of submarine D5 in November. Also lost on HMS Amphion is Able Seaman Victor James McKey who dies at age 21. His two brothers will be killed later in the war the first in October 1915 and the second in October 1917.
Photos, wikipedia & DNW