Friday 30 July 1915 – We Lost 769
Units of the German Army launch an attack using flame throwers against the 14th (Light) Division holding front-line positions at Hooge in the Ypres Salient. It causes large numbers of casualties to the British defenders and the front is pushed back. British infantry soon learn to deal with the slow-moving men carrying the cumbersome equipment. The British Army will not adopt the weapon.
The Australian Flying Corps suffers its first casualties. In an operation during the attack on Nasiriyeh the two CaudronG3’s are brought down. Lieutenant George Pinnock Merz and Lieutenant William Wallace Allison Burn are brought down among hostile Arabs and armed with only revolvers, they decide to make a stand and in the ensuing engagement one is wounded and the other stays to protect him. Both men are then reported to be captured and murdered. Their bodies are never found. The trophy for the annual Australia versus New Zealand Rugby League competition is known as the Burn-Merz shield.
German air forces again drop three bombs on St. Omer, this time at 05:45.
The enemy break through the center of our front trenches help by the Rifle Brigade and the position held by Second Lieutenant Sidney Clayton Woodroffe (Rifle Brigade) is heavily attacked with bombs from the flank and subsequently from the rear. Still he manages to defend his post until all his bombs are exhausted and then skillfully withdraws his remaining men. He then leads his party in a counter-attack under an intense rifle and machine gun fire until he is killed while in the act of cutting wire obstacles in the open. For his actions on this day he will be awarded the posthumous Victoria Cross. He dies at age 19 and is the second of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
Today’s losses include:
- The two men for whom the annual Australia versus New Zealand Rugby League competition is names
- A grandson of the 4th Lord Lyttelton
- The son-in-law of the 2nd Earl of Latham
- The son of the Vice Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
- The man whose memory is celebrated at Talbot House (Toc H)
- A Victoria Cross winner
- A battalion commander
- An Australian and former Sussex cricketer
- A man whose son was previously killed in the Great War
- A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
- Multiple men who are the sons of clergy
- Multiple men who are the sons of Justices of the Peace
- Multiple men who will have a brother killed in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties are:
- Lieutenant Colonel Charles Slingsby Chaplin (commanding 9th King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 52.
- Major John John Bulkeley Jones-Parry (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed in action. His son was killed in April serving on HMS Wolverine in the Dardanelles.
- Captain Geoffrey Charles Walter Dowling (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 23. He is an Australian cricketer who played for Sussex from 1911 to 1913.
- Captain Bertram Pawle (Rifle Brigade) is killed at Hooge at age 23. He is the son of George Strachan Pawle DL JP.
- Lieutenant Gilbert Walter Lyttelton Talbot (Rifle Brigade) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son of the Right Reverend, the Lord Bishop of Winchester and the Honorable Mrs. E S Talbot and grandson of the 4th Lord Lyttelton. His brother the Reverend Neville Talbot will found Talbot House (Toc H) in his memory.
- Lieutenant ‘the Reverend’ Frederick Edward Barwick Hulton-Sams (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at age 33. He is the son of the Reverend G F Sams. He applied for a Chaplaincy but enlisted when he failed to obtain one.
- Lieutenant Thomas Darwin Overton (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed in action on Gallipoli at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Frederick Arthur Overton Rector of East Barnet.
- Lieutenant George Mitford Paddison (Duke of Cornwall’s Infantry) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed in August 1917.
- Lieutenant Francis Seymour (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 29. He is the son-in-law of the 2nd Earl of Lathom.
- Lieutenant Christopher Benoni Nicholl (Saskatchewan Regiment) is killed at age 33. He is the son of the Reverend Edward Powell Nicholl Vicar of Ascot.
- Second Lieutenant Richmond Fothergill Robinson (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 35. He is the son of the Vice Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and his son will lose his life in the Second World War.
- Second Lieutenant ‘The Honorable’ Gerald William Grenfell is killed in action at age 25. He is the son of the 1st Baron and Lady Desborough and a Great War poet. He is the brother of Julian Henry Francis Grenfell another of the Great War Poets, who died of wounds in May 1915.
- Second Lieutenant Reginald Brandt Arnell (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 21. He is the son of William Thomas Arnell JP and his older brother died of enteric fever contracted during the South African War.
- Second Lieutenant Robert Longbottom (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in ten days.
- Second Lieutenant Horace Bonar Macnicol (Royal Scots) dies of wounds at home at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend D C Macnicol of Grange Church Edinburg.
- Private Thomas Cox (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed. His brother will be killed in September 1918.
- Private James H Campbell (Royal Scots Fusiliers) dies of wounds. His brother will be killed in September 1917.
- Rifleman Bertie Raymond (Rifle Brigade) is killed in action at age 26 the day after his brother was killed serving in a different battalion of the same Regiment.
- Private Oliver Robinson (Border Regiment) is killed at age 27. His brother will be killed in November 1916. Rifleman William Denix Lauria (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action. He is the son of the Reverend John Alexander Lauria Vicar of Emmanuel.