Tuesday 13 October 1914 – We Lost 431

by greatwarliveslost

John Kirwan Gatacre

At 06:30 the 8th Brigade (Middlesex Regiment, Royal Scots and Gordon Highlanders) advance over flat country.  The advance is made difficult by the many dykes, which can only be crossed by means of planks or ladders taken from neighboring houses. Still by mid-day the Middlesex Regiment has captured the village of Croix Barbee and the Royal Scots Pont de Hem. Their advance is checked by a strong counter-attack by the Germans though the British are able to maintain their ground and inflict heavy losses on the enemy. Second Lieutenant Dudley Ralph Turnbull (Gordon Highlanders) will be awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his conspicuous gallantry in serving his Maxim gun when his detachment  are all wounded until he is wounded himself in two places and his gun damaged by a shell.  He subsequently recovers the gun bringing it away on his shoulder. Lieutenant Turnbull will be killed as Lieutenant Colonel commanding 20th Manchester Regiment on 1 October 1917 at age 25.

Advance patrols find the Germans well entrenched on the far side of the Meterenbeek stream, near Hazebrouck.  The 4th and 6th Divisions of Lieutenant General Pulteney’s III Corps are ordered to attack the enemy.  This is the first formal attack by the British Army on the Western Front.  Going in at 14:00 the attack is successful but slow and difficult.  The weather is poor, being misty and wet. By dusk the hamlet of Outtersteene along with Meteren and Mont Noir have all been captured, while the hill outside St. Jans-Cappel (Mont des Cats) is captured by the dismounted members of the Hussars and Lancers together with a battery of the  Royal Horse Artillery.  British losses amount to approximately 1,000 many of which are incurred in a heavy bombardment of Givenchy.  St Omer becomes and will remain until the end of March 1916, the General Headquarters of the British Expeditionary Forces.

Lieutenant George Edward Boscawen (Royal Field Artillery) will be awarded the DSO for gallantly fighting his section in front of La Bassee when all his detachment except himself are wounded and all infantry had fallen back from where the guns are. He will be killed in June 1918.  Sergeant E Howard (Lancashire Regiment) will be awarded the DCM for actions at Meterin when within two hundred yards of the enemy in the open and noticing that the twelve men on the left of his platoon are not firing though he shouts to them to carry on. He crawls along the line at very great risk to make them do so, only to find that all twelve are dead.  He will be killed next month.

The Russian Imperial Navy sends to London a German signal book from the German cruiser Madgeburg, which has run aground in the Gulf of Finland and come under Russian naval gunfire.  The German signal man who is about to destroy the book is killed by a bursting shell. The Russians discover the book and as a result of this find, British cryptographers are able to begin painstakingly decoding German naval wireless messages and locating their adversaries.

Today’s losses include:

  • Water color artist
  • Sons of Generals
  • Multiple examples of families that will lose two sons and one family that will lose four
  • First Class Cricket player
  • Son of a Justice of the Peace
  • Grandsons of the 7th Marquess of Lothian, the 14th Duke of Norfolk and the 1st Baron Lawrence
  • A member of the Dundrum (Dublin) Hockey Club

 Today’s highlighted casualty is

Major John Kirwan Gatacre (Lancers Indian Army attached Hussars) a gifted water color artist is killed at age 32. He is the son of the late General ‘Sir’ William Forbes Gatacre KCB DSO.  Being on leave when at the outbreak of the war he was attached to the 4th (Queen’s Own) Hussars. He had been previously awarded the French decoration the ‘Croix de Chevalier” of the Legion of Honour.


  • Captain Cecil Falconer Tulloh (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 32. He is the son of Major General John Stewart Tulloh and nephew of Lieutenant Colonel G S Tulloh (commanding 2nd Gloucestershire Regiment) who will be killed on Hill 60 next year.
  • Captain Arthur Edwin Bradshaw(Lancers Indian Army attached Hussars) is killed during a recon of the village of Bout de Ville at age 32. He is the youngest son of the late Surgeon Major General ‘Sir’ Alexander Frederick Bradshaw KCB and Lady Bradshaw. His wife is the sister of ‘Sir’ William Price and on his mother’s side he came from a family which had seen service at the Battle of Plassey and almost every Indian campaign since.
  • Lieutenant Walter Evelyn Parke (Durham Light Infantry) a first class cricketer is killed in action at age 23. His brother will be killed in September of next year.
  • Lieutenant James Maxwell Pitt (Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed at age 26. His brother will die of wounds in August 1916.
  • Lieutenant Joe Anthony Francis Parkinson (Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed by a sniper at age 26. He is the son of Thomas Parkinson JP.
  • Second Lieutenant G A B Chester(North Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 23.  He is the son of the late Reverend J G Chester.
  • Second Lieutenant David Anselm Kerr(Royal Scots) is killed after three days at the front at age 21. He is the son of Major General Lord Ralph Kerr KCB CB and grandson of both the 7th Marquess of Lothian and the 14th Duke of Norfolk.
  • Second Lieutenant Christopher Hal Lawrence(King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 20.  He is the son of ‘the Honorable’ Henry Arnold Lawrence and his brother will be killed next January serving the same regiment. They are grandsons of the 1st Baron Lawrence and great nephew of ‘Sir’ Henry Lawrence who was killed at Lucknow.
  • Second Lieutenant Thomas Sydney Smith(Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Sydney Edward Smith Rector of Sprotborough.
  • Second Lieutenant Arved Waterhouse (Lancaster Regiment) is killed at age 23. He was raised by his aunt and uncle the Reverend Canon Herbert Woodward after he was orphaned.
  • Second Lieutenant Arthur Molesworth Samuels (Irish Fusiliers) is killed at age 25. He is the son of Lieutenant Colonel W F Samuels who served at Ashanti 1973-4 and the grandson of George McCulloch Staff Surgeon of the Life Guards who died on his way home from Crimea. He is also a member of the Dundrum (County Dublin) Hockey Club.
  • Second Lieutenant Greville Arthur Bagot Chester (North Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at Oultserteen at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend John Greville Chester and grandson of Colonel C M Chester DL JP. His brother will be killed in April 1918.
  • Corporal Alfred Arnell (Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in July 1917.
  • Private George Cleverley (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 32. His brother will be killed in March 1918.
  • Private Luke Bradley (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed next August. Private John Sanderson Jardin Douglas (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed at age 25. He is the first of four sons of James & Agnes Douglas of 15 Green Terrace, Selkirk.

Photo from findagrave.com