Monday 23 November 1914 – We Lost 392
The village of Festubert is defended by the Indian Corps repulsing a German attack.
The 6th (Poona) Division of the Indian Army takes possession of Basra. This secures Britain’s oil supplies in the Middle East for the Royal Navy. To the Turks the loss of Basra is a political loss more than a strategic one.
The commander of submarine D2 Lieutenant Arthur George Jameson is swept overboard and lost while returning to Yarmouth in heavy seas. The traditional shout “man overboard” goes up and Lieutenant Francis Eckley Oakeley, D2’s second in command, dashes to the conning tower to take over. The submarine swings around and then in the conning tower attempt to locate their commander but it proves futile and after two hours the search is called off. Lieutenant Oakeley brings the boat back to Harwich and reports the loss. The boat will be lost in two days with another commander.
Today’s losses include:
- Grandson of the Prime Minister of Jaipur State Rajputana
- Son of the Inspector of Police Bengal
- Battalion commanders
- Multiple sons of Generals
- Son of clergy
- Son of an Aide de camp to the late Queen Victoria
- Son of a man who was wounded at Alma in the Crimean War
- Families that will lose another son after the one that they lose today
Today’s highlighted casualty is
Major Pandit Piaray Lal Atal (Indian Medical Service attached Baluchis) is killed at age 42 when the military hospital he is assigned to is destroyed by shell fire while aiding a wounded officer. He is the grandson of the Prime Minister of Jaipur State Rajputana.
- Lieutenant Colonel Claude Cambridge Fenner (commanding 59th Scinde Field Force Indian Army) is killed at age 47. His wife is the grand-daughter of General W P MacMahon and served at Zakka Khel 1908.
- Lieutenant Colonel George Henry Fitzmaurice Kelly (commanding 34th Sikhs) is dies of wounds at Bethune at age 45. He is ordered to capture an enemy trench ‘at all costs’, and, leading his men, is one of the first to reach the enemy’s positions. He is last seen turning around to cheer them on and he is shot in the lungs by a German in the trench and dies 20 minutes later. He is one of seventeen officers of the regiment to be killed or wounded in that attack and his body is carried back five miles by his men to the cemetery at Beuvry, where it is interred tomorrow in the presence of British and French Generals. He served in Tirah 1897-8, Zakka Khel and Tibet 1903-4.
- Captain and Adjutant Alexander Masters (Sikh Pioneers) is killed at age 29. He is the son John Masters Inspector of Police Bengal and he served in the Mohmand Campaign of 1908.
- Captain Donald William Auchinbreck Campbell (South Staffordshire Regiment attached Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 42 attempting to recover the body of his machine gun officer. He is the son of the late Reverend William Pitcairn Auchinbreck Campbell Rector of Fladbury.
- Captain Arthur Hugh Percy Rose (Essex Regiment) is killed in action at age 42. He is the son of Major General James Rose (late Aide De Camp to Her Majesty Queen Victoria) who served in the Crimea War and was wounded at the Battle of Alma.
- Lieutenant Duncan Stuart Ross MacPherson(Gurkha Rifles) is killed at age 25. He is the only child of Surgeon General ‘Sir’ W G MacPherson CB CMG.
- Private Alfred Heath (Worcestershire Regiment) dies of wounds at home at age 26. His brother will be killed in June 1915.
- Private Simon Fagan (Connaught Rangers) is killed. His brother will be killed next May.