Monday 12 October 1914 – We Lost 102
III Corps takes position to the left of II Corps. The loss of Vermelles by the French forces Smith-Dorrien to move south to close the gap left by the French withdrawal and attempt to continue the advance eastwards. He leaves five infantry Brigades of 3rd and 5th Divisions facing four enemy Cavalry Divisions and more infantry than he has himself; he places the rest of II Corps south of the canal. The Middlesex Regiment and the Royal Irish on the right cross the Lawe Canal with little opposition, though the Royal Scots have a stubborn fight at Etroa. As the Germans fall back they suffer heavy casualties due to heavy rifle fire. The Corps begins to advance in long continuous lines, beating off some enemy counter-attacks as the advance reaches the line Noyelles – Givenchy – Lacouture. In the meantime Ostend and Zeebrugge are evacuated by the Allies.
HMS Yarmouth (Captain H Cochrane) catches the captured collier Pontoporos and the German collier Markomannia a few miles north of Simaloer. The German ship attempts to make a run despite a blank shot across her bow; a live six inch shell brings her to a halt after short chase.
Today’s losses include:
- A man who dies of wounds on his 20th birthday
- The son of a member of Royal Company of Archers
- Son of a writer to the Signet
- Multiple families that will lose two or three sons
- Multiple sons of clergy
- Sons, a son-in-law and grandson of Generals
Today’s highlighted casualty is
Second Lieutenant Nigel John Lawson Boyd (Black Watch) dies of wounds received on 14 September today is his 20th birthday at Aisne. He is the son of William Boyd, The King’s Body Guard for Scotland (Royal Company of Archers) and grandson of ‘Sir’ John Boyd, while his mother is a member of the Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet. He was educated at Winchester College and Sandhurst and has a brother who will be killed in action in April 1915. In the early misty morning his battalion is acting in concert with the Cameroon Highlanders on the banks of the Aisne and they find themselves opposed to a strong force of the Germans, and come under a very severe fire. Lieutenant Boyd with his platoon has been directed to take up a position, and it has been indicated to him that it must be held at all costs. He personally fires 10 rounds at the Germans with his rifle and empties his revolver. He is standing up and has drawn his Claymore, in turning to his side to give a signal to those of his men who survive; he is shot. The bullet hit the scabbard of his Claymore, glances off it and enters his left hip and lodges in the bladder. He pretends to be dead as the Germans entered his position. He is later rescued by Captain Napier Cameron of the Cameron Highlanders. Today he collapses suddenly from a blood clot and dies shortly afterwards.
- Major William Lewis Campbell Allan (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed at age 43. He is the son of Major General William Allan and he served in the South African War.
- Major Gerald Wilson Bentley(Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 35. His brother will be killed in seventeen days and they are sons of Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Wilson Bentley.
- Captain Hugh Russell Eliott(Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 41. He is the son of the late Major General William Russell Eliott grandson of ‘Sir’ Daniel Eliott KCSI and descendant of General G A Eliott Lord Heathfield Defender of Gibraltar.
- Lieutenant Frank Glencairn De Burgh Edwards(Royal Horse Artillery) is killed at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend R J Edwards.
- Lieutenant Alfred Northey (Royal Horse Artillery)is killed at age 28. He is a member of the Worcestershire Cricket Club and the son of the late Reverend Alfred Edward Northey Vicar of Rickmansworth. His uncle will die of wounds in ten days serving in the Durham Light Infantry.
- Lieutenant Francis Ellison Levita(Hussars) is killed one month prior to his cousin meeting the same fate.
- Second Lieutenant Charles Stephenson Woollcombe(King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed in action at age 18. He is the son of Lieutenant General ‘Sir’ Charles Louis Woollcombe KCB KCMG and grandson of General ‘Sir’ John Irvine Murray KCB IA.
- Private Archie Albert Miles (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at La Bassee at age 19. His two brothers will be killed within a year.
- Private Edward Bleackley Stott (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend James Augustine Stott.
photo from Wikipedia.org