Friday 8 October 1915 – We Lost 451
Private Stephen Carman Bird (Nova Scotia Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. His is the younger brother of the author William R Bird, who earned the Military Medal while serving in the 42nd Royal Highlanders of Canada during the War and who will also lose his only son at Normandy in World War II. It has been said that Stephen told his brother in 1914, that “if I don’t come back maybe I’ll find a way to come and whisper in your ear,” which he may have done, reportedly saving his brother’s life on more than one occasion.
Lieutenant Arthur George Heath (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed when shot in the neck at age 28. The author James Saumarez Mann wrote the following in his honor:
It seems so long ago
Since in that musty Flemish lumber-room
You made such music flow
With master hand, as charmed away our gloom,
Drawing from battered, broken keys
And rusty wires such harmonies
That we forgot war and the shadow of death
And caught our breath
To hear the hurrying clamour of your themes.
So long ago it seems!
So long ago! and now
Your sun is set ; but in our memory gleams
Like some fair after-glow
The image of those haunting magic themes.
And as our faltering hands essay
What you so passionately would play,
Far off we hear your music echoing yet ;
And we forget
That you are silent for us, save in dreams.
So long ago it seems!
Today’s losses include:
- A son of the Secretary of the Privy Purse to His Majesty the King
- The son of a Baronet
- A man whose poems will be published in a book after the war
- A battalion commander
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple men who will have a brother killed in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel Charles Edward Lloyd (commanding 6th Irish Regiment) dies at home at age 44.
- Lieutenant Thomas Callender Campbell (Royal Engineers) is killed on Gallipoli. He is the son of the Reverend William Howard Campbell Missionary in Cuddaple.
- Lieutenant Malcolm Reginald Gibson (East Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in October 1917 and they are sons of ‘Sir’ Walter Matthew Gibson Kt CVO ISO Secretary of the Privy Purse to His Majesty the King.
- Temporary Lieutenant Edward Henry Pollock Brunton (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 25. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Thomas Lauder Brunton the 1st
- Second Lieutenant Robert Williams (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 28. His brother will be killed on HMS Russell in April 1916.
- Second Lieutenant Alexander Ronald Anderson (Highland Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 31. He has three brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
- Second Lieutenant James Stanley Yates (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 26. A book of his poetry will be published in 1919 under the title ‘War Lyrics’. J M Courtney’s ‘As the Leaves Fall’ a volume of poems written in France concludes with An Englishman: In Memorium James S Yates killed in action October 8th
- Corporal Ernest Borissow (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies on service at Mudros at age 47. He is the son of the late Reverend Louis Borissow Rector of East Gilling.
- Private Fenton Webster McKenzie (Fife and Forfar Yeomanry) dies of wounds at Alexandria at age 36. His brother was killed two weeks ago on the Western Front.
- Private Alexander Duchart (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) dies of wounds at age 20. His brother will be killed on HMS Gurkha in February 1917.
- Private Leonard Hibbert (Lancaster Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed next February.