Monday 22 November 1915 – We Lost 1,004

by greatwarliveslost

Battle of Ctesiphon

The Battle of Ctesiphon, Mesopotamia opens.  General ‘Sir’ Charles Townshend divides his force into three columns who will make a frontal attack, and one (mixed cavalry and infantry) which will sweep around to the east to outflank the position and move on Baghdad.  C-Column, nearest the river, immediately runs into heavy small-arms and artillery fire, and is brought to a standstill before they reach the first Turkish line.  To their right, the Gurkhas and Punjabis of B-Column capture their first objectives, but suffer heavy losses. They continue, pursuing fleeing Turks towards the Arch, rather than rolling-up the Turkish defences that are holding up Column-C.  In turn, Column-C is ordered to turn 90 degrees and follow B through the gap. This is a manoeuvre that takes a great length of time and many casualties are suffered from the continuing Turkish fire.  No boats have been able to cruise up the river to assist Column-C as they are well covered by Turkish guns on the right bank.

Column-A between B and C is similarly held up. The Flying Column, failing to move sufficiently far from the Turkish trenches, slows when confronted by some Turks and Arab cavalry and lags behind the infantry advance.  By late afternoon, the first Turkish line has been captured, but British losses and confusion are such that they cannot continue the advance to the second line.

Today’s losses include:

  • A battalion commander
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • The brother of an Admiral who will be killed in June 1941
  • Multiple men who will have a brother killed in the Great War
  • A member of the Sunnyside Football Club
  • The son of a Baronet

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Cyril Compton Jackson DSO (commanding 110th Light Infantry Indian Army) is killed at age 47. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Bird Jackson Rector of Wold Newton.
  • Captain Arthur Powys Wodehouse (Indian Political Department attached Mahratta Light Infantry) is killed at age 34. He is the Deputy Commissioner of the Calcutta Police and the son of the Reverend Frederick Armine Wodehouse. He is the brother of Vice Admiral Norman Atherton Wodehouse (Royal Navy) who will be killed as a Convoy Commodore when the merchant vessel Robert L Holt is sunk in July 1941.
  • Captain George Lumley Whatford (Punjabis) is killed at age 37. He was a cricketer for Sussex in the 1904 County Championship and his brother will be killed in an accident in Northern Italy in September 1919.
  • Captain John Harold Courtis (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 27. He is the son of ‘Sir’ John Courtis.
  • Captain Francis Constantine William Wynter (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 27 in the Persian Gulf. His brother was killed in April of this year.
  • Lieutenant Frederick Cecil Boosey MC (Norfolk Regiment) is killed on the first day of the battle at age 24. His younger brother has been killed in May of this year.
  • Lieutenant John Wynton Shilcock (Royal West Surrey Regiment) dies of wounds received the previous day at Ctesphon at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend Sidney Isaac Welbank Shilcock Rector of Titsey.
  • Private George Goodege (Middlesex Regiment) is killed. He played for the Sunnyside Football Club.
  • Private Charles Robert Oliver (Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed at age 25. His brother was killed in March of this year.
  • Private George Edward Button (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 37 less than two months after his brother was killed.
  • Private Joseph Colclough (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed at age 37. His son will be killed next November.

Those lost on other fronts include:

  • Lieutenant John Dalrymple Champneys (Leicestershire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 26. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Francis Henry Champneys MD 1st
  • Second Lieutenant Ernest Dann (Bedfordshire Regiment) dies of wounds received the previous day at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend G J Dann.
  • Private Charles Stephen Appleby (Army Service Corps) dies on service at home at age 24. His 16-year old brother was killed on the Monmouth one year ago this month.