Monday 21 June 1915 – We Lost 227
The Battle of Bukoba is the first victory for British forces in German East Africa, coming after the disastrous battles of Tanga and Jassin. The British objective is the destruction of the Bukoba wireless station. Due to Bukoba’s location on the shore of Lake Victoria, it is decided that the raid should take the form of an amphibious assault. The raid is launched from Kisumu in British East Africa. Among the units chosen for the attack are the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and the 25th (Frontiersmen) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, more commonly known by the their nickname the 25th ‘Frontiersmen’. This unusual unit had been created by Colonel Daniel Patrick Driscoll as an irregular skirmish force shaped by his experiences during the Second Boer War, and was drawn largely from his peacetime paramilitary group, the Legion of Frontiersmen.
Upon reaching Bukoba the attacking force are accidentally landed in a large swamp and pinned down by fierce rifle and machine gun fire from the German positions. Finally managing to escape the swamp, the British force is held up by snipers who succeed in stalling the attack until Captain Meinertzhagen advances towards them and opens fire, killing one and driving the rest away. The attack continued for a further two days in the town; however, casualties are light on both sides.
The submarine S1, while on patrol this night north of Heligoland, is forced to submerge, first by a Zeppelin, then by two seaplanes and finally by trawlers and a destroyer. Under this strain her diesels break down, and she is forced to remain on the surface trying to repair them so that her batteries can be re-charged.
Christiaan DeWet is found guilty of treason and given six years in prison and fined 2,000 pounds.
Today’s losses include:
- A man whose two brothers have already been killed in the Great War
- A member of the Pershore hockey club
Today’s highlighted casualties are:
- Major Henry Tailyour Lumsden (Cameron Highlanders attached Royal Flying Corps) dies of injuries at Brooklands at age 36. He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the war.
- Second Lieutenant Kenneth Ralph Mason (Suffolk Regiment) is killed in action at age 27. He had been a member of the of the Pershore hockey club.