Thursday 19 August 1915 – We Lost 448

by greatwarliveslost

Charles Herbert Collet

Charles Herbert Collet

The British liner Arabic (Captain W Finch) is torpedoed and sunk fifty miles south by west ½ west from the Old Head of Kinsale by the German submarine U24.  The Arabic is bound to New York from Liverpool when she is sunk without warning.  One torpedo is fired and the ship sinks within about ten minutes. Of the four hundred twenty-nine people on board, three hundred eighty-nine are saved.

The Q-ship HMS Baralong sinks the German submarine U-27. Submarine E1 torpedoes and damages the battle cruiser SMS Moltke.

Colonel Hugh M Trenchard is appointed General Officer commanding the Royal Flying Corps in the field.  His appointment is part of a general reorganization of the leadership commensurate with the rapid expansion of the air war.  Trenchard believes that the air services must act to support the armies on the ground and that this can only be achieved through a comprehensive control of the skies.

Today’s losses include:

  • A man whose mother will be killed in June 19144 during the blitz
  • The son of a General
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A Scout Master
  • A man who will have three brothers killed in the Great War
  • Multiple men who will have a brother killed in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties are:

 An airplane flown by Flight Commodore Charles Herbert Collet DSO (Royal Marine Artillery attached Royal Naval Air Service) is ascending from Imbro Aerodrome and reaches a height of 150 feet when the engine of his aircraft stalls.  The machine is turned over by powerful air currents from nearby cliffs and falls vertically to the ground and petrol carried burst into flames which immediately envelopes the airplane and pilot. Chief Petty Officer Michael Sullivan Keogh (HMS Ark Royal) at once makes an attempt to save Commodore Collet by dashing into the midst of the wreckage, which is a mass of flames. He succeeds in dragging the fatally injured officer nearly clear of the flames when he is himself overcome by the burns which he receives from the blazing petrol. Keogh will be awarded the Albert Medal for his efforts. The 27 year old Collet had successfully carried out the first long distance air raid into enemy territory of the war, when he bombed the Zeppelin sheds at Dusseldort on 22nd September 1914. For this action he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. On 18th June 1944 his 79 year old mother will be killed during an enemy air raid on Cubitts Yacht Basin, Harrington Road Chiswick.

  • Major Edward Ernest Williams DSO (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 39. He is the son of the Honorable ‘Sir’ Hartley Williams.
  • Captain Gordon Pemberton Leach (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 30 on Gallipoli. He is the son of the late General ‘Sir” Edward Pemberton Leach VC KCB KCVO.
  • Second Lieutenant George Arthur Smith-Masters (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. His older brother will be killed on the first day of the Somme in July of next year. They are the sons of the Reverend John Ernest Smith-Masters Vicar of South Banbury.
  • Second Lieutenant Richard White Williams (London Regiment) is killed at age 32. He is a distinguished swordsman and scoutmaster.
  • Corporal Alexander Hall (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed in action on Gallipoli at age 23. His younger brother died of wounds as a prisoner of war in Germany earlier this year.
  • Private Septimus Sydney Smith (Australian Infantry) is killed on Gallipoli. His is the first of four brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.