Tuesday 22 June 1915 – We lost 194

by greatwarliveslost

General Noel Lee

General Noel Lee

When the submarine S1 surfaces this evening she is still unable to get either diesel working, but she manages to extricate herself from this dangerous predicament by boarding and capturing the German trawler Ost early the following morning. The prize crew of an officer and five seamen start to sail Ost back to Harwich with S1 in tow, but her engines break down also.  They are eventually repaired by the submarines engineers, and after five days S1 arrives at Harwich, in tow of her prize, at a speed of four knots.

At 01:00 a British force under Brigadier General James M Stewart is about to disembark and attack the German town of Bukoba on the eastern end of Lake Victoria in German East Africa, when rockets light up the sky all along the coast. Stewart decides to postpone the assault until daylight. Shortly after sun-up he lands his strike force (the North Lancashire and 25th Fusiliers) at the foot of a steep cliff three miles north of the town. The landing is unopposed, for the Germans never believing the British will land at such an unprepossessing spot, have only a small post there.  The cliff is a formidable obstacle and difficult to scale, but it is negotiated. The Germans, although inferior in numbers, occupy well chosen positions. As the British advance, they come under heavy fire from small arms and a field gun.  Casualties mount, one being the admired sergeant major of the Fusiliers. The North Lancashire troops are ordered to turn the German left flank. They are slow and Richard Meinertzhagen has to prod them.  He finds Lieutenant Colonel C E A Jourdain “shaking like a blanc-mange, terrified of casualties as though he had the whole German Army opposed to him”.  Finally they advance. By nightfall the British are still a mile from the town. No one has eaten all day and no food is issued this evening.  The exhausted, hungry men spend a difficult night bivouacking in the bush very few able to sleep.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Brigadier General
  • A man whose son will be killed later in the Great War
  • A Baronet
  • A man whose brother will be killed later in the war
  • A former Aide de Camp to the Lord High Commissioner of the Church of Scotland
  • A 16-year old

 Today’s highlighted casualties are:

  • Brigadier General Noel Lee, General Officer Commandng 127th Brigade, 42nd Division dies of wounds in Malta received in action at Krithia on 4th June at age 48. His son will be killed in action in just over two years.
  • Captain and Adjutant ‘Sir’ John Edward Fowler (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed by a bursting shell at age 30. His only brother was killed last April and he is the eldest son of ‘Sir’ John Arthur Fowler, 2nd Baronet whom he succeeded as 3rd Baronet in 1899, and of Alice Janet Clive, daughter of the late ‘Sir’ Edward Clive Bayley KCSI. Captain Fowler joined the Seaforth Highlanders in 1904 and for three years he acted as Assistant Adjutant, and as Officer in charge of the Brigade Machine Guns. He held a Commission in the Royal Company of Archers and acted as Aide-de-Camp to the Lord High Commissioner of the Church of Scotland at Holyrood in 1907 and 1908. At the outbreak of the War he was seconded as Adjutant of a Battalion the first Highland Territorial Battalion selected for service in France. After two months’ training at Bedford they went to the Front in November 1914 taking part in an engagement at Festubert in the following month, and in the Battles of Neuve Chapelle and Aubers Ridge.
  • Private William H Walton (Lancashire Fusiliers) dies of wounds at age 16.