Friday 26 February 1915 – We Lost 128
Sixteen Squadron Royal Flying Corps makes its first reconnaissance flight. Third Squadron Royal Naval Air Service returns to England from Dunkirk.
The Dardanelles Straits are swept clear of mines for four miles.
Lieutenant Commander Eric Gascoigne Robinson (Royal Navy) is awarded the Victoria Cross as he advances alone, under heavy fire, into an enemy machine gun position at the Dardanelles, which might well have been occupied and destroys a four inch gun, returns to his party for another charge with which a second gun is destroyed. Lieutenant Commander Robinson will not allow members of the demolition party to accompany him, as their white uniforms render them very conspicuous. Lieutenant Commander Robinson takes part in four attacks on the minefields – always under heavy fire.
At 10:30 two German aircraft attack the steamer Cordova, two miles west of the Sunk Lightship, scoring no hits.
The Australian Government agrees to supply trained airmen and ground support crews to the Indian Army (who would supply the aircraft) in their campaign against the Turks in Mesopotamia. This force of four pilots and 41 men will be named the Mesopotamian Half Flight.
Today’s losses include:
- The first British Columbia officer killed in the Great War
- A family that will lose two more sons in the Great War
- Multiple families that will lose another son in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties are
Lieutenant Duncan Peter Bell-Irving (Canadian Engineers) is killed by a sniper at age 27 becoming the first British Columbia officer killed in the war. He is the partner of Kenneth Churchill Craige Taylor of “Taylor & Bell-Irving” land surveyors of Vancouver. Major Taylor will be killed in September 1916.
- Second Lieutenant Kenneth Cortlandt MacGregor (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in May on Gallipoli.
- Private Thomas Stanley Gunn (Highland Light Infantry) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed in May 1917.
- Sapper Stanley Parr (Royal Engineers) dies on service at age 18. His brothers will be killed in a 4 week period in late 1916.
- Private William Mellis Meikle (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 39. His brother will be killed in September 1918.