Sunday 16 May 1915 – We Lost 1,908

by greatwarliveslost

 

Le Touret Memorial

Le Touret Memorial

The British advance on Festubert continues. The King’s Liverpool Regiment is in action near Rue du Bois at 15:00.  In response to calls for ammunition Lieutenant William Murray Hutchison leads a party of men across the open under a very heavy machine gun fire and succeeds in getting through with most of his men.  The last part of the journey has to be done on hands and knees.  Captain Hutchison will be killed in action in April 1916 at age 22.

The First Sea Lord, Admiral Jack Fisher resigns, after alerting the conservative leader Andrew Bonar Law of his dissatisfaction over the conduct over the Dardanelles campaign.

CSM Frederick Barter (attached Welsh Fusiliers) is awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery and marked ability at Festubert.  When in the first line of German trenches he calls for volunteers to enable him to extend our line and with the eight men who respond he attacks the German position with bombs, capturing three German officers and 102 men and 500 yards of their trenches.  He subsequently finds and cuts eleven of the enemy’s mine leads situated twenty yards apart.

The Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry attack Ferme du Bois and lose 125 men as a result. All but three will be commemorated on Le Touret Memorial as their bodies will not be recovered.

Today’s losses include:

  • A battalion commander
  • Multiple sons of Justices of the Peace
  • Multiple sons of Generals
  • A cricket player for Hampshire and Berkshire
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A grandson of the 2nd Earl of Romney
  • A man whose nephew will be killed in the Second World War
  • A son of the 9th Baron and Lady Polworth
  • A man whose cousin was killed earlier in the Great War
  • Multiple sons of Baronets
  • A Captain in the Indian Army who deserted in order to get to the front earlier
  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • A member of the Blackheath Amateur Dramatic Society
  • A 16-year old member of the Armed Forces
  • The son of an Alderman
  • Two brothers killed together
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • Multiple families that will lose three sons in the Great War
  • A family that will lose five sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties are:

  •  Lieutenant Colonel Richard Edward Phillips Gabbett (commanding 1st Welsh Fusiliers) is killed at age 47. He is the son of Windham Gabbett JP.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Lewis Ironside Wood CMG (commanding 2nd Border Regiment) is killed at age 48.
  • Major Arthur Hughes (Liverpool Regiment) is killed in action at age 38. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Thomas Hughes, Kt.
  • Major Roger Cecil Slacke (East Kent Regiment attached West Surrey Regsiment) is killed at age 34. He served in Aden in 1903-4 and is the son of ‘Sir” Owen Randal Slacke CB who will lose another son on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • Captain Stanley Jones (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed at age 35. He is the son of General Sir Howard Sutton Jones KCB.
  • Captain Gordon Belcher MC (Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 29 and he was a cricket player for Hampshire and Berkshire. His two brothers will be killed in 1917 and they are sons of the Reverend Thomas Hayes Belcher Rector of Bramley.
  • Captain John Agnew Lang Browne (West Surrey Regiment) is killed at Festubert. His brother will be killed in September 1917.
  • Captain Walter Basil Haddon-Smith (Royal West Surrey Regiment) is killed in action at age 35. He is the son of ‘Sir’ George Haddon-Smith KCMG.
  • Captain Fergus Hamilton Reid (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed in action at age 32. He is the son of Major General James Reid.
  • Lieutenant Louis Archibald Jarvis (Scots Guards) is killed at age 23. He is the son of ‘the Honorable” Mrs Jarvis. Lieutenant Henry Laidlaw Garland Edwards (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend Alfred George Edwards who will soon become the first Archbishop of Wales.
  • Lieutenant Ewins Charles Marlborough Crosse (Leicestershire Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed last March.
  • Second Lieutenant Ferdinand Marsham-Townshend (Scots Guards) is killed at age 35. He is the son of ‘the Honorable’ Robert Marsham-Townshend and the grandson of the 2nd Earl of Romney. His nephew will die of wounds serving in the Scots Guards in January 1944.
  • Second Lieutenant Alexander Noel Hepburne-Scott (Scots Guards) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son ‘the Honorable’ Walter George Hepburne-Scott the 9th Baron and Lady Polworth and had attended Bailliol. His cousin was killed earlier this month.
  • Second Lieutenant Martin Frederick Heath-Caldwell (Chestnut Troop, Royal Horse Artillery) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of Major General Frederick Crofton Heath-Caldwell.
  • Second Lieutenant Edward Offley Rouse Wakeman (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 25. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Offley Wakeman DL JP the 3rd
  • Private Thomas Hardy (Royal West Surrey Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. He was Captain Hugh Sale Smart who deserted the 53rd Sikhs in order to get to the front quicker.  He is returned to service officially by His Majesty the King in the London Gazette dated 6 August 1915.
  • Private Abraham Acton VC (Border Regiment) who won the Victoria Cross for saving lives at Rouges-Bancs on 21 December is killed in action at age 21.
  • Private John Humphreys (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed at Festubert. His brother will be killed in the Persian Gulf in March 1918.
  • Private Ronald Young Hedderwick (Honourable Artillery Company) is killed at age 27. He is a member of the Blackheath Amateur Dramatic Society and he wrote several plays in which he performed.  His brother will die on service in the last week of the war.
  • Private Harry Miles (Royal West Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 22. His two brothers will also lose their lives in the Great War.
  • Private Clement Rouse (East Surrey Regiment) dies of septicemia at home from wounds at age 16. His brother will be killed in April of next year.
  • Private Duncan Campbell (Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed last March.
  • Private Robert Spicer (Welsh Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in August on Gallipoli.
  • Sapper Frank Stooke (Royal Engineers) dies of wounds at age 35. He is the first of five brothers who will lose his life in the Great War.
  • Private Bernard George Lofts (Royal Scots) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed in August 1918.
  • Private Donald Nicholson (Scots Guards) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in April 1917.
  • Rifleman Frederick Clement Mears (London Regiment) dies of wounds at age 23. His brother was killed five days earlier.
  • Private Herbert Charlesworth (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 31. His brother was killed last September.
  • Private Benjamin John Cain (Liverpool Regiment) is killed at age 34. He is the son of Alderman Benjamin Cain JP who will lose a second son in April 1918.

 Casualties in the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry attack on Ferme du Bois

  •  Lieutenant Cornwallis John Warner (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 26. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Thomas Courtenay Theydon Warner 1st
  • Second Lieutenant Lionel Albert Dashwood (Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry) is killed four days after his brother was killed serving in the same regiment. They are sons of ‘Sir’ George J E Dashwood the 6th
  • Second Lieutenant Francis Edmund Langton Riddle (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Arthur Esmond Riffle Rector of Tadmartan.
  • Privates and brothers Frank (age 22) and Sidney age (19) Rogers (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) are killed together.
  • Private Harold Fred Hewitt (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in January 1918.
  • Private George Keen (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 29. His brother will be killed in August 1916.
  • Private Charles Edwin Bateman (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in September 1918.
  • Private Thomas Walter Holt (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in August 1917.