Saturday 24 April 1915 – We Lost 969
German forces capture St Julien in the second battle of Ypres. The third Canadian brigade is withdrawn. 6th Squadron’s aerodrome at Poperinghe is shelled during the Germans advance and the squadron withdraws to Abeele.
This evening General Smith-Dorrien, who has been on the Western front since the battle of Mons eight months earlier, drives to ‘Sir’ John French’s headquarters to urge him not to order further attacks. His mission is in vain.
There is fighting around Kilimanjaro in German East Africa.
Company Sergeant Major Frederick William Hall (Manitoba Rifles) is awarded the Victoria Cross in the neighborhood of Ypres. When hearing a wounded man who is lying some fifteen yards from the trench calling for help, CSM Hall endeavors to reach him in the face of a very heavy enfilade fire which is being poured in by the enemy. The first attempt fails, and an NCO and private soldier who are attempting to give assistance are both wounded. CSM Hall then makes a second attempt and is in the act of lifting up the wounded man to bring him in when he is mortally wounded in the head. The man he is attempting to save is also killed.
During a German attack on the Ypres salient Lieutenant Edward Donald Bellew (British Columbia Regiment), as Battalion Machine Gun Officer, has two guns in action on the high ground overlooking Keerselaere. The enemy attacks in full force this morning against the front and right flank of the Battalion – the latter being exposed owing to a gap in the line. The right Company is soon put out of action, but the advance is temporarily stayed by Captain Bellew, who has sighted his guns on the left of the right Company. Reinforcements are sent forward but they in turn are surrounded and destroyed. With the enemy in strength less than 100 yards from him, with no further assistance in sight, and with his rear threatened, Captain Bellew and Sergeant Hugh Nisbet Peerless DCM, each operating a gun, decide to stay where they are and fight it out. Sergeant Peerless is killed at age 30 and Captain Bellew is wounded and falls. Nevertheless, he gets up and maintains his fire until ammunition fails and the enemy rushes the position. Captain Bellew then seizes a rifle, smashes his machine gun and fighting to the last he is finally taken prisoner. For his efforts Captain Bellew will be awarded the Victoria Cross.
A naval armoured car unit under Lieutenant Commander Whittall arrives at Trekkopjes.
AE2 attempts the passage of the Dardanelles Straits but fails due to a broken rudder shaft.
Today’s losses include:
- A who will die of wounds while performing deeds for which he will be awarded the Victoria Cross
- Two battalion commanders
- Great great uncle of British Prime Minister David Cameron
- A cousin of Field Marshall Sir John French
- 1913 Champion Rifle Shot of North America
- A noted yachtsman, rugby player and amateur boxer
- Son of a Brigadier General
- Son of a Baronet
- Football player for Bradford City and Leeds United
- A son of a family that will lose four sons in the Great War
- A son of a family that will lose three sons in the Great War
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- A man whose step-father was killed last year
- A father and son killed together
- Two brothers killed together
- The brother a man who will be awarded the Victoria and killed shortly thereafter in the Second World War
- An Isle of Wight Constable
Today’s highlighted casualties are
- Lieutenant Colonel George Hubert Shaw (commanding 4th East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 50.
- Lieutenant Colonel William Frederick Richard Hart-McHarg (commanding British Columbia Regiment) is killed at age 46. He was the 1913 Champion Rifle Shot of North America.
- Captain John Geddes (Canadian Scottish) is killed at age 37. He is the great great uncle of British Prime Minister David Cameron.
- Captain Charles Alexander Antrobus (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed at age 35. His brother will be killed in September.
- Lieutenant John Gibson Kenworthy (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 33. His brother will be killed next month.
- Lieutenant Rowland George Prichard (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will die of wounds at home in August and they are sons of the Reverend Charles Collwyn Prichard Rector of Alresford.
- Lieutenant Wilfrid Fitzpatrick (Saskatchewan Regiment) is killed in action. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Fitzpatrick Chaplain of the St George’s Hyderabad.
- Lieutenant William Dummer Powell Jarvis (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is a noted yachtsman, rugby football player and amateur boxer.
- Lieutenant Philip Warden Bradley (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 27. He is the son of Brigadier General C E Bradley CB.
- Lieutenant Herbert Assheton Bromley (British Columbia Regiment) is killed in action at age 36. He is the son of the late 5th Baronet ‘Sir’ Harry Bromley.
- Second Lieutenant Gerald Kirk (Lancashire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 31. He played for the Bradford City and Leeds United Football Clubs.
- Corporal William Hugh Twynam (British Columbia Regiment) is killed at age 33. He is the second of four brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
- Lance Corporal Sidney Oliver age 50 and his son Private William Evelyn Oliver age 21 (British Columbia Regiment) are killed together. The senior Oliver’s second son will be killed in April 1917.
- Private George Munns (Suffolk Regiment) is killed in action at age 30. His brother will die of wounds in September 1918.
- Private Hugh Galfried Duplix Kemp (Eastern Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 38. He is a cousin of ‘Sir’ John French.
- Private Percy Noel Rudd (Suffolk Regiment) is killed. His step-father was killed in August 1914.
- Private Robert McKendrick (Cameron Highlanders) is killed at age 25. His brother will die of wounds in less than a week.
- Private Basil Edward Clarke (British Columbia Regiment) is killed in action. He is the son of the Reverend James Sanderson Clarke Vicar of Goudhurst who will lose another a son in October.
- Private George William English (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend William Henry English Rector of Saskatchewan.
- Private Cuthbert Richard Page Fothergill (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 43. He is the son of the Reverend Matthew Monkhouse Fothergill.
- Private Frank Bussell (Highlanders of Canada) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed in May 1916.
- Private Harington Wilbraham-Taylor (British Columbia Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. His brother will be killed in September 1916.
- Brothers and Privates J & J Ross (British Columbia Regiment) are killed together.
- Private John Francklyn Peters (British Columbia Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. His two brothers will be killed in the service of their King and Country, the first next year and the second days after performing acts that will win him the Victoria Cross in November 1942.
- Acting Bombardier Fred Burton (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 30. He is an Isle of Wight constable.
- Private Henry Beaumont (British Columbia Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. His brother will be killed in April 1918.