Saturday 14 November 1914 – We Lost 254
Field Marshall Frederick Sleigh Roberts (1st Earl of Kandahar) dies while visiting the front at age 82. He was one of the most successful military commanders of the 19th century. He served in the Indian rebellion, the Expedition to Abyssinia and the Second Anglo-Afghan War before leading British Forces to success in the Second Boer War. He also became the last Commander-in-Chief of the Forces before the post was abolished in 1904. He died of pneumonia at St Omer, France, while visiting Indian troops. After lying in state in Westminster Hall (one of two non-Royals to do so during the 20th century, the other being Sir Winston Churchill), he will be given a state funeral and entombed in St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Rebels are routed at Bultfontein.
Today’s losses include:
- A King’s Messenger
- Nephew of a Victoria Cross winner
- Multiple sons of Generals
- The first son to fall in a family that will lose four sons
- Multiple families that will lose one of two sons
- A member of the Wisbech Isle of Ely Constabulary
- Grandson of the founder of the first foreign hotel in China
Today’s highlighted casualty is
Major Eric Grey Drummond (Gurkha Rifles) is killed the day after he enters the trenches at age 39. He retired from his majority in 1913 to become a King’s Messenger then rejoined at the beginning of the Great War. He is the son of the late Major General Henry R Drummond (Royal Engineers). He was wounded in the Mohmand Expedition of 1897-8.
- Captain Charles John Chard Barrett (Scots Fusiliers) is killed at age 41. He is a South African War veteran and nephew of Colonel J R M Chard VC the hero of Rorke’s Drift.
- Captain George Raleigh Kerr Evatt(Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 31. He is the son of Major General ‘Sir’ George KCB and Lady Evatt and grandson of the late Lieutenant Evatt who fought with the 57th Foot (predecessor of the Middlesex Regiment) and was wounded at the Battle of Albuera where they earned the nickname ‘The Die Hards’.
- Lance Corporal George Frederick Mathieson (London Scottish) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in January 1916.
- Lance Corporal William John Cheney (Coldstream Guards) a member of the Wisbech Isle of Ely Constabulary is killed in action.
- Private Oliver Edward Breed (Bedfordshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 20. His brother will be killed in August 1916.
- Private Edward George Hodder (West Surrey Regiment) dies of wounds as prisoner of war at age 33. His brother will be killed in June 1917.
- Private Joseph Clayton (Highland Light Infantry) is killed. He is the first of four brothers who are killed in the Great War.
- Private Ronald Mackenzie Richards (London Scottish) is killed at age 19. He is the grandson of Peter Felix Richards founder of the Richard Hotel in Shanghai, the first foreign hotel in China and the forerunner to the Astor House Hotel.