Sunday 2 May 1915 – We Lost 1,344
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
A German attack is repulsed near St Julien.
Turkish forces at Gallipoli attack, while British/Franco forces counter attack. The British forces fail in an attack at Gaba Tepe. Sergeant N Roberts (Royal Marines) is awarded the DSM during operations south of Achi Baba displaying coolness and gallantry in carrying men out of fire. The Turkish Minister of War sends British and French subjects into the danger zone at Gallipoli. Kite balloon ship Manica directs naval gunfire towards batteries at Sin that records three direct hits. Australians take part in the Battle of Baby 700.
The “Chessboard” is attacked by three Australian Battalions, the Otago Infantry Regiment and two battalions of Royal Marines; and on the same day a Turkish Observation Post at Lala Baba is destroyed by New Zealanders. The Canterbury Battalion, raid Nibrunesi Point, at Salt Lake, Suvla Bay capturing fifteen Turks and destroying Turkish artillery observers’ telephone wires and huts.
Private John Lynn (Lancashire Fusiliers) is awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery near Ypres. When the Germans are advancing behind their wave of asphyxiating gas Private Lynn, although almost overcome by the deadly fumes, handles his machine gun with very great effect against the enemy, and when he cannot see them he moves his gun to higher up on the parapet, which enabled him to bring even more effective fire to bear, and eventually checks any further advance. The great courage displayed by this soldier has a fine effect on his comrades in the very trying circumstances. He dies the following day from the effects of gas poisoning.
Union forces occupy Otjimbingwe, German South West Africa.
A British detachment at Chahbar, on the Gulf of Oman, commanded by Lieutenant C. M. Maltby, 95th Russell’s Infantry successfully repulses a tribal attack.
Today’s losses include:
- The man who inspired John McCrae to compose the poem In Flanders Fields
- A brother of future Victoria Cross winner James Thomas Byford McCudden
- The grandson of a Member of Parliament
- A cousin of the President of Magdalen College, Oxford
- A father and son killed together
- A scout master
- A school master
- A divinity student
- The son of a Brigadier General
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two sons
- A family that will lose three sons
Today’s highlighted casualties are:
- Early on this morning Lieutenants Owen Carley Frederic Hague and Alexis Hannum Helmer (Canadian Field Artillery) leave their position to check on a battery whose personnel have positioned themselves on the bank of the Yser Canal near St. Julien close to the France-Belgium border. They have only gone a few yards when a six inch, high explosive canon shell burst killing them both instantly. Lieutenant Helmer is killed at age 22. He is the son of Brigadier General Richard Alexis Helmer. His death so affects John McCrae one of Alexis’ instructors at McGill University in Montreal that the next day he will vent his anguish by composing the poem In Flanders Field. Lieutenant Hague (Canadian Field Artillery) is killed at age 26. He is the son of Frederick Hague KC.
- Lieutenant Richard Ewen Egglestone (Otago Regiment) is killed at age 26. His brother will be killed next month.
- Lieutenant Arthur Sidney Pelham Burn (Gordon Highlanders) is killed in action at age 19. His brother will be killed in April 1917 and they are sons of the late Reverend William Pelham Burn (Archdeacon of Norfolk) and is planning to take Holy Orders having matriculated for New College, Oxford.
- Lieutenant John Spencer Ruscombe Anstice (Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of Colonel ‘Sir’ Arthur Anstice KCB of Dymock, Glos. (Mentioned in Despatches) and is buried at Redoubt Cemetery.
- Lieutenant Bernard Henry Herford (Royal Marines) a schoolmaster is dies of wounds at age 29 on a hospital ship off Gallipoli received 28th His brother was killed on HMS Monmouth in November 1914. They are sons of Percy Michener Heford (Canon of St Mary’s Cathedral and Rector of Christ Church, both in Edinburgh.
- Lieutenant Charles Herbert George Martin (Monmouthshire Regiment) is killed at age 33. He is the grandson of Charles Herbert James, for some years M.P. for Merthyr Tydfil and was first cousin of the President of Magdalen College.
- Lieutenant Malcolm Drury Campbell (Howe Battalion, Royal Naval Division Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) is killed in action on Gallipoli at age 24. He is the son of Herbert Ernest Campbell (Chancellor of Carlisle). While leading his company he is hit in the head by a machine gun bullet.
- Second Lieutenant Ernest Edward Glossop (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at age 19. He is the son of Canon George Henry Pownall Glossop.
- Second Lieutenant Charles Reginald Fausset (Royal Irish Regiment) is killed on the Western Front at age 36. He is the son of the late Reverend Charles Fausset and was Captain of the Trinity College Cricket XI and the mile and quarter-mile champion of Ireland.
- Sergeant William McCudden (Royal Flying Corps) dies of injuries received in a flying accident at home at age 24. He is giving a lesson at Gosport, near Portsmouth, when a carburetor floods, causing his Bleriot plane to lurch. He tries to clear the problem by going into a nose dive, but crashes. His two brothers will be killed in the Royal Flying Corps and Air Force in 1918 including James Thomas Byford McCudden winner of the Victoria Cross.
- Sergeant William Pritchard age 42 and his son Private Reginald J Pritchard age 19 are killed in action together while serving in the Monmouthshire Regiment.
- Corporal Alban Shepherd Munn (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Joseph Shepherd Munn.
- Lance Corporal John Henry Rose (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 24 six weeks before his younger brother will be killed serving in the same Regiment.
- Lance Corporal John Henry Wilton (Monmouthshire Regiment) a scout master is killed at age 22.
- Private Claude Otto Strachey (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 27. His brother will be killed in August 1917.
- Private Robert Reid Fraser (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in August 1916.
- Private Percy Lionel Gent (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in April 1917.
- Private Lewis George Pescod (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 34. His brother will be killed in November also serving on Gallipoli.
- Private Isaac Charles Gosset (Otago Regiment) is killed at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Hilgrove Gosset Archdeacon of Christchurch New Zealand.
- Private Eric James Victor Davis (Australian Infantry) is killed. His brother will be killed in exactly one week.
- Rifleman Harold David Vallentine (London Regiment) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed in April 1917.
- Private Henry Charles Toombs (Monmouthshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 27. His brother died in London on active service less than one month ago.
- Private James Henry Royle (Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in April 1918.
- Private Peter Binks Pratt (Yorkshire Regiment) is killed. His brother will be killed in October.