Wednesday 12 May 1915 – We Lost 428
Gurkha troops, covered by naval gunfire, take part in their first major operation at Gallipoli. To the west of their beach-head is a bluff some 300 feet high which the Turks have converted into a strongpoint bristling with machine-guns. Two previous attempts to capture it by the Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the Royal Marines have failed. With speed and daring the 1st/6th Gurkha Rifles capture more than a quarter mile of enemy territory at Cape Tekke near Cape Helles. Their losses are eighteen killed and forty-two wounded. From here on, by Army Order, this feature of the landscape will be known as Gurkha Bluff.
A house reported to be Turkish headquarters is destroyed by naval gunfire that is supported by the Kite Balloon section launched by the Manica.
Union forces occupy Windhoek, German South West Africa.
Today’s losses include:
- A son of a former Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa and Senior Judge in Southern Rhodesia
- Dean of Magdalen College, Oxford
- The brother of a future Baron
- The son of a Baronet
- The son of a General
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- The son of a Justice of the Peace
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- Multiple families that will lose three sons in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties are:
- Captain John Theodore Cumberland Wilcox (Garhwal Rifles) is killed at age 30. He is the son of Major General E N C Wilcox who has two other sons killed in the Great War.
- Captain Lewis Shaw Farquharson (Royal Scots) is killed in action at age 31. He is the son the Reverend James Alexander Farquaharson and had served as his Battalion’s Adjutant from 1911 to 1914.
- Captain Ernest George Dashwood (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 35. He is the son of ‘Sir’ George J E Dashwood the 6th Baronet who will lose a second son in four days.
- Captain Gordan Holland Merriman (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 30. His brother will be created a Baron in 1941.
- Lieutenant Arthur Thomas Crawford Cree (Durham Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 33. His brother will be killed in July 1916. Second Lieutenant John Leslie Johnston (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 30. He is the Dean of Magdalen College, Oxford and the son of the Reverend Canon J O Johnston DD, the Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral.
- Second Lieutenant Alastair Hunter Macfarlane (Royal Scots) is killed at age 20. He is the son of ‘the Honorable’ Lord Ormidale. Second Lieutenant Geoffrey William Van der byl Hopley (Grenadier Guards) dies of wounds received 3 February while outside his trench at age 23. He is the second son of ‘the Honorable’ W M Hopley former Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa, and afterwards a Senior Judge in Southern Rhodesia.
- Second Lieutenant Arnold Bexley Vansittart (Hussars) is killed at age 25. He is the son of Captain R A Vansittart JP DL.
- Corporal William Brian de Laval Willis (Auckland Regiment) dies of wounds at Alexandria, Egypt five days short of his 26th He is the son of the Reverend William Willis the Venerable Archdeacon of Cambridge.
- Private Malcolm MacKenzie (Seaforth Highlanders) dies of wounds at age 19. His two brothers will be killed in 1918. .