Wednesday 14 April 1915 – We Lost 330
Andrew Fisher Prime Minister of Australia
Mr. Harcourt states that the Dominions will be consulted as to peace terms. Mr. Andrew Fisher the Australian Prime Minister states in the Australian Parliament that the Government will support Britain “to the last man and the last shilling.”
HMS Hyacinth carrying the flag of Admiral Herbert G King-Hall finds the German supply ship Kronborg at Manza Bay, a sheltered anchorage near Tanga, waiting for a pilot to board. Kronborg has been sent from Germany to resupply Konigsberg. Hyacinth comes on at full speed until her starboard engine stops. The connection between the piston and connecting rod has “collapsed” reports the engineer. Nevertheless, steaming on at reduced speed, her guns begin to pummel the Kronborg which is soon ablaze and run aground by her captain. The Hyacinth sends boarding parties to complete the destruction of the Kronborg, but they are driven back by machine gun fire from the shore which Hyacinth’s guns are unable to silence. About midday the attempt is abandoned and the Hyacinth ships her boats and steams away. The Kronborg itself is a total loss, but an astonishing amount of its cargo proves capable of being saved. Two divers from Konigsberg, together with soldiers, sailors and some 2,500 Arabs and Africans labour to bring everything salvageable ashore. In just one day 293 rifles, 375 rounds of rifle ammunition, a field gun, four machine guns, 100 rounds of 105 mm ammunition, forty officer’s tents, a boat repair kit and other valuable supplies are landed. Lettow-Vorbeck later says that the failure of the British to destroy the cargo of Kronborg is the greatest mistake of the entire African campaign.
The British offensive south of Shaiba routs the Turkish forces.
Jan Smuts’ Southern Force columns are in motion, converging on the central railway that runs down the length of Southwest Africa and which the Germans will have to use on their retreat north.
While engaged in a long North Sea reconnaissance, the Captain of Zeppelin L9 finds himself within striking distance of the English coast, in good weather and carrying a substantial bomb load. At 19:45 L9 reaches the coast at Blyth where she drops bombs causing minor damage in Wallsend.
Today’s losses include:
- A battalion commander
- The son of a General
- The son of a member of the clergy
- A man whose brother will be killed later in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties are
- Lieutenant Colonel Henry Louis Rosher (commanding 2nd Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed in the battle at age 49.
- Captain Aubrey Osborne Creagh (Rajputana Infantry) is killed in action in Mesopotamia at age 31. He is the son of the late Major General William Creagh.
- Captain Arthur Charles Sincalir Hind (Mahratta Light Infantry) is killed. He is the son of Reverend William Hind Vicar of St John’s Hampstead.
- Second Lieutenant Geoffrey Staniland (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed when his platoon is in a rest area behind the front lines when the enemy’s long-range artillery open up fire and a shrapnel shell explodes near him. He is gravely wounded and dies within minutes. His older brother will be killed in July of this year serving in the same regiment. Geoffrey dies at age 34. The brothers are two of only 79 British soldiers buried in Drancourt Churchyard.