Tuesday 15 June 1915 – We Lost 982
At 13:30 the Western Ontario Regiment moves into the front line positions east of Givenchy in the Somme sector. By 15:00 they are ready to attack the German forward positions where they wait 3 hours before the order to attack is given. During the attack the flanks of the battalion become exposed and they are forced to retreat back to their own lines. A German counter-attack is not successful but results in many Canadian casualties including brothers Sergeant Frederick Wakelin DCM, 25, and Tom Wakelin, 28.
British take, but fail to hold, German front line trench east of Festubert.
Zeppelin L10 crosses the English coast north of Blyth at 23:45. The Zeppelin then turns south and for thirty minutes drop 3,500 pounds of bombs on Wallsend, Jarrow, and South Shields. Many factories are brightly lit, having received no air raid warning, no searchlights are in action and there are still very few anti aircraft guns. Eighteen are killed and seventy two wounded.
The steamship Strathnairn (Master John Browne age 39) is sunk by a submarine 25 miles northeast of Bishop and Clerks. Twenty-one are killed including the master.
Today’s losses include:
- The brother of a future Victoria Cross winner
- A man whose twin brother will be killed later in the Great War
- A Metropolitan Police Officer
- A man whose brother will carry him off the battlefield
- An Army Chaplain
- The ‘Soldier-Squire’
- The Vice Captain of the North of Ireland Football Club
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
Today’s highlighted casualty is:
- Major George Thomas Acton Drought (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 34. He is the son of the Reverend George Meares Drought.
- Captain Guy Lister Nevile (Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother will die of injuries received in a rail accident in January 1918.
- Captain Edric Hugh Barnstey Richardson (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend Albert Thomas Richardson Vicar of Bradford on Avon.
- Captain William Henry George Raley (Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 30 one month and one day to the day after his brother was killed.
- Lieutenant Ernest Henry Hewitt (King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment) is killed in action at age 29. He has two brothers who will be killed in separate actions on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. He was Vice Captain of the North of Ireland Rugby Football Club.
- Lieutenant Basil Herbert Ellis (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in May next year and they are sons of the Reverend Henry Maitland Ellis son of Vicar of Hedge End.
- Second Lieutenant George Braddyll Bigland (Royal Lancaster Regiment) is killed in action at age 23. He is known as the Soldier-Squire and is the last of his line that for a thousand years served in either the Navy or the Army.
- Second Lieutenant Dudley Hurst-Brown (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 18. His brother will be killed in September of this year.
- Chaplain Philip John Thomas Blakeway (attached Middlesex Hussars) dies of heart failure in Egypt at age 50.
- Corporal Peter Duchart (Seaforth Highlanders) dies of wounds received in action at Givenchy. His brother Lance Corporal John Duchart carries him wounded off the battlefield.
- Lance Corporal William John Wale (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 23. His two brothers will die in the service of their King later in the Great War.
- Private William Dunnett (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 19. He has two brothers who will die in the war. The first was killed earlier this month while the second will be killed in March of next year.
- Private Frederick Thomas William Hewitt (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 25. He is a member of the Metropolitan Police Force.
- Private Andrew Davison (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 30. His brother will die of wounds in April 1918.
- Private David Catto (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 29. He is the first of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.
- Private Thomas Johns (Royal Fusiliers) is killed. He is the first of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.
- Private Walter Alexander Dobie (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 28. His twin brother will be killed in March 1918.
- Trooper Thomas Francis Weathers (Australian Light Horse) is killed on Gallipoli. His brother Corporal Lawrence Carthage Weathers will be awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions north of Peronne on 2nd September 1918 and then will be killed later that month.