Tuesday 18 May 1915 – We Lost 729
In the battle of Festubert the British advance to the La Quinque Rue-Bethune road. The Irish Guards attack with the support of the Hertfordshire Regiment but are held up by heavy machine gun and rifle fire after only 200 yards.
Lieutenant John George Smyth (Sikhs) is awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery near Richebourg L’Avoue. With a bombing party of ten men, who voluntarily undertake this duty, he convoys a supply of ninety six bombs to within twenty yards of the enemy’s position over exceptionally dangerous ground, after the attempts of two prior parties failed. Lieutenant Smyth succeeds in taking the bombs to the desired position with the aid of two of his men (the other eight having been killed or wounded) and to achieve his purpose he has to swim a stream, being exposed the whole time to howitzer, shrapnel, machine gun and rifle fire.
Lieutenant William Murray Hutchison (King’s Liverpool Regiment) organizes and conducts an attack and leads a bombing party and by his work forces the surrender of 200 Germans and forces an additional 200 to retreat leaving behind their arms and equipment. For his actions on the day and those two days previously he will be awarded the Military Cross. Lieutenant Hutchison will be killed next April.
Turkish forces attack Gaba Tepe at Gallipoli.
The Greek steamer Proton under German contract to carry fuel oil to submarines operating in the Mediterranean is captured by a British warship and taken into Alexandria.
Lord Kitchener in the House of Lords insists on the importance of an adequate supply of munitions.
Today’s losses include:
- The youngest British soldier to die on Gallipoli
- An Australian Major General
- A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
- The Director of the 1st Pathological Research Institute in Australia
- A battalion commander
- The son of a member of His Majesties Body Guards
- The Editor of the Weekly Dispatch
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- 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
Today’s highlighted casualties are:
- Major General Sir William Throsby Bridges CMG KCB General Officer Commanding 1st Australian Division dies of wounds received on 15th May on his way through Monash Valley when he stopped near ‘Steele’s Post’. As he continues on his way he ducks around the next traverse and falls, hit in the groin by a sniper’s bullet. He is taken on board the hospital ship Gascon where he dies at age 55. He is the first Australian General killed in the Great War and the only Australian soldier in two world wars to be brought home for burial. His son will lose his life in the Second World War in Malaya.
- Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Fraser (commanding 4th Cameron Highlanders) is killed in action at age 50.
- Major Basil Herbert Barrington-Kennett (Grenadier Guards) one of three sons of His Majesties Body Guards to be killed in action, dies today at age 30.
- Major Llewellyn Morris Bucknill (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds received in the spine at age 32. His brother will be killed in January 1916.
- Captain Montague Cotton (London Regiment) the Editor of the Weekly Dispatch is killed in action.
- Captain Gordon Clunes Mackay Mathison MB DS MD DSc FRCP (Australian Army Medical Corps) dies of wounds at age 31 at Alexandria received eight days before on Gallipoli. Last month he was appointed the first Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research Australia’s first pathological research institute. A bequest from his mother will be used to establish the Gordon Clunes Mathison Research Scholarship and the Institute.
- Lieutenant Norman Leslie Hannon (Liverpool Regiment) is killed at age 20 becoming the first of three brothers to be killed in the Great War.
- Second Lieutenant Sydney Maurice Gregory (London Rifles) is killed at age 30. He is the son of Reverend W H Gregory.
- Second Lieutenant Harry Gustav Byng (Border Regiment) is killed in action at age 25. He has a brother who will be killed in August 1918.
- Lance Corporal Robert Mytton (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother will be killed in April next year.
- Private Alfred Miles (Bedfordshire Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 28. His brother will die at home in August 1916.
- Private John Cullinan (Royal Munster Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 35 eleven days after his brother met the same fate.
- Privates and brothers Alan Abel and Gordon Cedric Stockbridge (Hertfordshire Regiment) are killed together in action at ages 19 and 18 respectively.
- Private Eric Osmond Collinson (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend Samuel Edward Collinson Vicar of Bradford on Avon.
- Private Alfred J Payne (Hertfordshire Regiment) is killed. His brother will be killed next year in May.
- Drummer Joseph Aloysius Townsend (East Lancashire Regiment) the youngest British soldier to die on Gallipoli is killed in action at age 15.