Saturday 19 December 1914 – We Lost 501
Captain Cecil Edwin Hunt MC (Sikh Pioneers) is killed at age 34. He is the father of the future Brigadier Henry Cecil John Hunt ‘Baron Hunt’ KG PC CBE DSO, who will lead the 1953 first successful expedition to conquer Mount Everest during which Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay will become the first to reach the summit. Also killed in the war will be the father of the second in command of the expedition and the father of the team’s official photographer.
Sharp fighting around Givenchy continues as Indian troops from the Lahore division launch an attack and successfully capture two lines of German trenches. Their success proves short lived as a prompt and aggressive counter-attack pushes them out. The scouts of the Gurkha Rifles, under the command of the battalion’s adjutant Captain David Inglis, are, according to the regimental history, “given the honor of cutting the enemy’s wire and guiding the attacking companies to the gaps”. Captain Inglis is immediately killed. Two of the riflemen with him are also killed while crawling toward the German wire; two others make it to the wire but are killed while cutting it; and still another pair are shot dead still gripping the guiding telephone wire. Only four survive this debacle and two of these are awarded the Indian Order of Merit.
Those lost include:
- Captain David Inglis dies at age 30. A brother was killed while serving with the Scottish Horse in the South African War and another brother will be killed serving in the Gurkha Rifles in September 1915. They are descendants of Colonel Inglis who fell at Waterloo.
- Captain Thomas Campball Burke (Gurkha Rifles) is killed at Festubert at age 37 while attacking a German Trench. He is the son-in-law of the Reverend Thomas Wall Langshaw.
- Captain Robert Crooks Gilchrist (Punjabis attached Scinde Rifles) is killed at age 36. He is a holder of the Burma Police Medal and the son of Brigadier General R A Gilchrist.
- Lieutenant John Cyril Atkinson(Scinde Rifles) is killed at age 26. He is the son of the late Major General John Richard Atkinson (Indian Army) and his brother will be killed next May.
- Lieutenant Lionel Bickersteth Rundall(Gurkha Rifles) is killed at age 24. He is the author of “The Ibex of Sha-Ping”. His brother will be killed tomorrow.
- During a night attack, Lieutenant William Arthur McCrae Bruce(Scinde Rifles) in command of a small party captures one of the enemy’s trenches. In spite of being severely wounded in the neck, he walks up and down the trench, encouraging his men to hold on against several counter attacks for some hours until he is killed at age 24. For his actions on this day he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
An attack by 11th Brigade (Somerset Light Infantry, Hampshire Regiment and Rifle Brigade) on the “German Birdcage” east of Ploegsteert Wood fails with heavy casualties many of which are caused by British heavy artillery firing short of their targets.
The Brigade’s losses include:
- Captain ‘the Honorable’ Richard George Grenville Morgan-Grenville (Rifle Brigade) the Master of Kinlowes is killed at age 27. He is the son of Baroness Kinloss and grandson of the late Duke of Buckingham and Chandos.
- Captain Frank Seymour Bradshaw (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at age 31 during the attack on Ploegsteert. He is the son of Major Frank Boyd Bradshaw who died of fever in the Burma War in July 1887 and the great grandson of General Laurence Bradshaw.
- Captain ‘the Honorable’ Francis Reginald Dennis Prittie(Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 34. He is the son of the 4th Baron and Baroness Dunalley and he served as the Assistant Commissioner to the Uganda Boundary Commission from 1910 to 1914. He is a French Interpreter.
- Lieutenant George Rowarth Parr (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at age 23. He is the only surviving son of Major General ‘Sir’ Henry Hallam Parr KCB. He is a German and French Interpreter and his brother died serving in the same Regiment on Malta in February 1910. They were also grandsons of General ‘Sir’ Hallan Parr.
- Second Lieutenant Archiabld Steuart Lindsey Daniel (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 19 leading his platoon at Ploegsteert. He is the grandson of ‘Sir’ Steuart Colvin Bayley GCSI.
- Rifleman William Charles Hewitt (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 18. His younger brother will die of injuries in 1919 received on active service in April 1917.
- Private Herbert Frank Miller (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at age 18. His brother will die of wounds next month.
- Rifleman Thomas Stapleton (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 45. He is the son of the Honorable John Stapleton.
- Rifleman Robert Barnett (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 15 making him one the young British casualties of the Great War.
- Private John Rose (Highland Light Infantry) is killed. His brother Harris will also lose his life in the Great War.
Captain Josef Johannes Fourie and Lieutenant Johannes Petrus Fourie are condemned in South Africa for high treason.
The Hired Trawler Orianda is sunk by a mine off Scarborough. One crew member is killed.
Today’s casualties include:
- The father of the leader of the 1953 first successful expedition to conquer Mount Everest
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the war
- Two families that will lose three sons in service of their King and Country
- A descendant of a man who fell at Waterloo
- Multiple Victoria Cross winners
- The brother of a Victoria Cross winner
- A son of a member of the clergy
- The son-in-law of a member of the clergy
- Multiple sons of Generals
- The great grandson of a General
- A 15-year old soldier
- An Association Football referee
- A football player for Southampton and West Ham United
- A holder of the Burma Police Medal
- A man whose father died on service in the Burma War
- A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
- The Master of Kinlowes
- A son of the 4th Baron Dunalley
- A grandson of the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos
- The grandfather of the 7th Baron Sudley
- A prospective Unionist candidate for Parliament
The additional losses today by name are
- Captain Hugh Taylor (Scots Guards) is killed at age 33. He is the prospective Unionist Candidate for the Burrough of Sunderland.
- Captain Henry Adam Askew (Border Regiment) is killed at age 33. He is a South African War veteran and son of Canon Edmund Adam Askew Rector of Greystoke Cumberland.
- Captain Charles Henry Anderson(Highland Light Infantry) is killed. He has three brothers who will be killed in the Great War, one of which will be awarded the Victoria Cross.
- Captain Cecil David Woodburn Bamberger (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 30. He is an Association Football referee and his brother will be killed in August 1917.
- Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ Felix Charles Hubert Hanbury-Tracy(Scots Guards) dies of wounds at age 30. He is the son of the 4th Baron Sudeley of Toddington and his son will be killed in December 1940 while his older brother who will also have a son lost on service in the next war will die in one year while serving in the Royal Horse Guards. He is also the grandson of ‘the Honorable’ Frederick Tollemache and great nephew of the 7th Earl Dysart. He is also the grandfather of the 7th Baron Sudeley.
- Lance Corporal William Houston (Highland Light Infantry) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed last September.
- Private Frederick Costello (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed at age 30. He is a professional football player who played forward for Southampton and West Ham United.
- Private Ernest Ebenezer Kennedy (Scots Guards) is killed. His brother will be killed in March 1918.
Private James Mackenzie (Scots Guards) rescues a severely wounded man from in from of the German trenches at Rouges Bancs under very heavy fire and after a stretcher bearer party has been compelled to abandon the attempt. His is subsequently killed today while performing a similar act of gallant conduct. For his actions he will be awarded the posthumous Victoria Cross.
Lieutenant Philip Neame (Royal Engineers) is awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery near Neave Chapelle, when, notwithstanding the very heavy fire and bomb throwing by the enemy he succeeds in holding them back and rescuing all the wounded men whom it is possible to move.
The landing party from the Doris at Alexandretta destroys a railway bridge. Threatened by the cruisers six inch guns, the Turks agrees to destroy railway material and stores, but having no explosives they have to ask the Royal Navy to supply some. This is duly done, and the ludicrous spectacle ensues of British sailors laying explosive charges while Turkish officials supervised their detonation.
Lieutenant Charles Vernon Crossley (Royal Naval Reserve) is awarded the DSC while mine sweeping off Scarborough three violent explosions under the stern of his ship trawler #465 (Star of Britain). He controls the crew and then crawls into a confined space near the screw shaft, discovered the damage and stopped the leak sufficiently to enable the pumps to keep the water down and save the ship. Lieutenant Crossley will die on service in February 1918.