Wednesday 8 December 1915 – We Lost 244

by greatwarliveslost

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields is published in Punch Magazine. McCrae will die on service in January 1918.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields, the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below…

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields…

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands, we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields…

General Monro is ordered to evacuate Suvla and Anzac.

The Bulgarians attack Rocky Peak in a dense fog but are pushed back by the defenders at bayonet point.  Several machine guns are sighted on the Peak giving fire support with a mountain battery to a mass attack on the Connaught Rangers. At 14:00 an attack on the Hampshire Regiment results in a breach of the line and companies on the right fall back to the second line of defence at Crete Simonet.  With their right flank partially exposed the Connaught Rangers face a further determined attack. After fierce hand to hand fighting they are overwhelmed.  The Munster Fusiliers on the left are under less pressure and they retire when the Bulgarians occupy the Connaught Rangers trenches. The Dublin Fusiliers serving in reserve move up to Crete Simonet and with 31 Brigade straighten out the line and consolidate their position.

Today’s losses include:

  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A first class Australian cricketer
  • Families that will two and three sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Second Lieutenant Frank Thackery Howis (Essex Regiment) is killed on Gallipoli at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Charles William Howis Vicar of Plesby.
  • Second Lieutenant Cyril Talbot Burney Croft (Somerset Light Infantry attached Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at home at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Otho Talbot Bourdois Croft Rector of South Cadbury.
  • Sergeant Matthew Stanley McKenzie (Australian Army Medical Corps) dies of appendicitis in Egypt at age 24. He is a first class Australian cricketer and Australian Rules Footballer.
  • Lance Corporal Clifford Kossuth Robinson (Canterbury Mounted Rifles) dies of wounds on Malta at age 26. He is the last of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War this year.
  • Private Percy Arthur Vidler (Royal East Kent Yeomanry) is killed on Gallipoli at age 20. His brother will be killed in less than a month at the Battle of Sheikh Saad in Mesopotamia.