Saturday 11 December 1915 – We Lost 240

by greatwarliveslost

Richard Lewis Hay Blake Jenkins

Richard Lewis Hay Blake Jenkins

A hastily collected Western Frontier Force, composed of units currently stationed in Egypt and not employed on the Suez Canal begin to move out from Mersa Matruh under the command of Major General A Wallace.  To show the composite make up of this force it only needs to be known that no fewer than 20 different Yeomanry regiments are represented in the Composite Mounted Brigade under the command of Brigadier General J D T Tyndale Briscoe.  The Composite Infantry Brigade is under the commander of Brigadier General the Earl of Lucan.  This force inflicts heavy losses on the Senussi, who withdraw towards Bir Tunis and though British casualties are light Lieutenant Colonel Cecil Longuville Snow (Intelligence Corps) is killed.

While at bomb practice one of the bomb-throwers detonates the cap of his bomb, thus lighting the fuse while, preparing to throw it.  The fuse is damp and as he thinks it has gone out he places this bomb on the ground and goes back to bomb throwing.  Private Alfred George Tehan (Lancers) who is also in the trench suddenly hears a fizzing noise and sees that the fuse of the bomb is burning.  With great coolness and presence of mind he darts forward and seizes the bomb, of which the fuse is already half burned and throws it out of the trench thereby probably saving the lives of himself and four other men in the traverse with him.  The bomb explodes just before reaching the ground.  For his actions Private Tehan will be awarded the Albert Medal.

Sapper Edward Ernest Anderson (Royal Engineers) dies of wounds at age 24.  He attended Leigh Road School before moving on to Southend High School for Boys. While at Leigh Road he attracted attention by his cleverness as a footballer and for three or four season he was the captain of the Leigh Road team. He was selected to play several representative matches and was the recipient of at least two Championship medals.  He next joined Southend United as an inside forward where he played for two seasons, although his appearances with the first team were somewhat limited. During Southend’s tour of Germany in 1910 he went with them and played a number of games.  He is known as ‘an exceptionally good inside man’ and he later joins Woolwich Arsenal. He enlisted at the Shoreditch recruiting office for the Royal Engineers in January 1915. He is mortally wounded by a shell on yesterday near Ypres, only four days after having taken position in the front lines. He receives injuries to his back and head and is immediately removed for medical assistance.

Today’s losses include:

  • A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
  • A man whose two nephews will be killed in the Great War
  • Families that will two and three sons

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Richard Lewis Hay Blake Jenkins (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at Russell’s Top on Gallipoli at age 41. He has two nephews who will be killed in the Great War, Captain G L B Concanon and Flight Commander H Ralfe.  He served as a Special Services Officer in the South African War.
  • Lance Corporal Albert Edward Conrade (East Kent Regiment) is killed on Salonica at age 22. His brother will be killed next October.
  • Private Sidney A Woodland (Royal Marine Light Infantry, HMS Elizabeth) dies at home at age 21. His eldest brother will be killed at Jutland while his second eldest will die on service during the Second World War.
  • Private Sydney Gillard (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother will be killed in October 1917.