Monday 21 December 1914 – We Lost 525
German counter-attacks continue around Givenchy and several salients are driven into the British line until reinforcements from the First Army are brought up.
At Rouges-Bancs, Privates James Alexander Smith and Abraham Acton (Border Regiment) voluntarily go from their trench and rescue a wounded man who has been lying exposed against the enemy’s trenches for seventy-five hours; and on the same day they again leave their trench voluntarily, under heavy fire to bring into cover another wounded man. They are under fire for sixty minutes while conveying the wounded men into safety. For their actions, both men will be awarded the Victoria Cross. Private Acton will be killed in action on 16th May 1915.
Commander Charles Rumney Samson and his observer Flight Lieutenant W H Wilson (Royal Naval Air Service) carry out the first ever night bombing raid over Ostend.
Germany’s first air attack against Great Britain is carried out over Dover causing no damage. A single seaplane appears off the town at 13:00 and drops two bombs in the sea near Admiralty Pier.
Today’s casualties include:
- The son of the Financial Secretary of the Sudan Government
- Son of the Superintendant of the Shanghai Municipal Police
- Multiple sons of a member of the clergy
- Multiple sons of Justice’s of the Peace
- Son of a Rear Admiral
- Multiple families that will lose two sons
- Two families that will lose three sons
- Son-in-law of a General
- Nephew of a General and Victoria Cross winner
- Grandson of the 1st Baron Trevor
- Grandson of Viscount Dungannon
Today’s highlighted casualty is
Major Charles Buxton Loring (Lancers Indian Army attached Poona Horse) is killed by machine gun fire at age 43. He is the son of the Reverend Edward Henry Loring Rector of Gillingham Norfolk and nephew of General ‘Sir’ John Watson VC and son-in-law of Major General W R Alexander. One brother was killed last October while another will be killed next October.
- Captain James Stewart McEuen (Deccan Horse) is killed. He is the son of Captain J P McEuen sometime Captain Superintendent of the Municipal Police Shanghai. He is related to General W Dickinson RE and his wife is the niece of ‘Sir’ Thomas Fraser KC.
- Captain Oswald Pemberton(Royal Munster Fusiliers attached Royal Dublin Fusiliers) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed in action in October 1918.
- Two 18-year old Lieutenants serving in the Scots Guards will lose their lives this day. Hillyar George Edwin Hill-Trevoris the son of ‘the Honorable’ George Hill-Trevor and grandson of the 1st Baron Trevor. His ancestor was the mother of Arthur Duke of Wellington and she was the daughter of Viscount Dungannon and afterwards created Viscountess Maornington.
- Lieutenant Geoffrey Claude Langdale Ottley DSO (Scots Guards) dies of wounds at age 18 received leading a charge 3 days earlier. He is the only child of Rear Admiral ‘Sir’ Charles Ottley KCMG CB MVO.
- Lieutenant Alexander Dewar (Royal Engineers) dies of wounds at age 29. He is the son of John Dewar JP.
- Second Lieutenant Bernard Frederick Paul Bernard (Warwickshire Regiment) the first Maltese soldier to die in the War is killed at age 20. He is the only son of Colonel E E Bernard CMG Financial Secretary to the Sudan Government.
- Second Lieutenant James Thomas Robinson Pastfield (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in September 1918.
- Lance Corporal Robert Frank Adland (Manchester Regiment) is killed. His brother will be killed next May.
- Lance Corporal Colin Frederick Macrae (Seaforth Highlanders) dies of wounds at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Donald Macrae who will lose two other sons in the Great War.
- Private Ernest Clinch (Dragoon Guards) is killed at age 26. His brother will be killed in October 1916.