Thursday 18 February 1915 – We Lost 174
The battleship Cornwallis fires the first shot in the bombardment of the Dardanelles forts. At no point from the entrance of the Dardanelles to its junction with the Sea of Marmora is the channel out of range of the Turkish defenses on both the European and Asiatic shores. At the mouth, the channel is two and a quarter miles wide, guarded by the forts of Sedd-el-Bahr on the European side and Kum Kale on the Asiatic. Past these two fortifications the channel widens to some four and a half miles and then reduces some fourteen miles upstream to ‘the Narrows’, less than a mile across. The approach is protected by the Kephez and Narrows minefields and a further pair of fortifications, Kilid Bahr on the European shore and Chanak Kale on the Asiatic. The main concentration of defenses is at ‘the Narrows’, some seventy-two guns plus torpedo-tubes, but the most effective defenses are 6-inch howitzer batteries and latterly dummy batteries which emit only smoke, serving to draw the fire of any attackers.
The destroyer Goldfinch is wrecked in a fog on Start Point, Sanday Island, on the north east side of the Orkneys. There are no casualties.
The German policy of including the “waters around Great Britain and Ireland…in the war zone” comes into effect having been announced two weeks prior.
Today’s losses include:
- An Olympic hurdler and tennis player
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the war
- A man who will lose two brothers in the war
- The son of a Justice of the Peace
- A member of the Pershore Hockey Club
- The son of a jurist
- A man who will lose eleven blood relatives in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties are
Private Kenneth Powell (Honorable Artillery Company) an Olympic hurdler dies at home at age 29. He competed in the 110-meter hurdles in both the 1908 and 1912 Olympics. In 1908 he also competed in the tennis singles and doubles outdoor events. At Cambridge he was the tennis partner of Wimbledon Champion Anthony Wilding.
- Major Arthur Joseph Clay (North Staffordshire Regiment) dies of pneumonia at home at age 43. He is the son C J Clay JP.
- Lieutenant John Kearsley Mather (York and Lancaster Regiment) is killed in action at age 25. His two brothers will be killed later in the War.
- Lieutenant Henry Brassington Stone (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 24. He is the son of ‘Sir’ J H Stone.
- Second Lieutenant Joseph Charles Edward Mary John Reginald Waterton (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed in a motorcycle accident at home. His brother will be killed in action in November 1917.
- Sergeant Frederick George (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 21. He played hockey for the Pershore Hockey Club.
- Private Francis Patrick Kelly Hay (Cameron Highlanders) is killed at age 22. He has eleven blood relatives who will fall in the Great War including his brother who died of wounds in November 1914.
- Gunner Philip Walton (Singapore Volunteer Artillery) is killed as the Singapore Mutiny continues. He is the son of the ‘Honorable’ Mr. Justice Walton.