Friday 17 December 1915 – We Lost 202

by greatwarliveslost

R H Gretton

The Turks throw a few Broomstick bombs at the trenches held by the Royal Scots, two landing at Headquarters in Great Western Road.  Good work is recorded by the catapult in No 9 Bomb Sap, according to the groans which are heard from the Turkish line.

The German light cruiser Bremen and torpedo boat V-191 are torpedoed and sunk by E19 in the Baltic.

Dschang Mangas is captured by the force under Charles Dobell.

In the early morning in fog, a goods train runs out onto the main line past St Bedes signal box having been banked in the rear up the incline by a six-coupled tank engine. The banking engine, uncoupled drops away from the goods train and comes to a stand on the up main line, but is not seen by the signalman. Shortly afterwards the signalman accepts the 07:05 passenger train from South Shields to Newcastle on the up line, and the 06:58 empty stock train from Hebburn to South Shields. The passenger train collides with the rear of the banking engine at 30 mph; telescoping the two leading coaches. Almost immediately the empty stock train collides with the wreckage, killing the fireman. The gas-lit passenger coaches are consumed by fire, killing an additional 18 including Councellor John Wright Johnson and his son Corporal John Wright Johnson (Army Service Corps) age 23.

Today’s losses include:

  • The brother of a future Member of Parliament
  • Families that will two and three sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Rupert Harold Gretton (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed in action at Ypres at age 30. He is the brother of ‘Lord’ John Gretton who will serve as a Member of Parliament for nearly fifty years.
  • Private Albert Isherwood (Manchester Regiment) is killed at age 21. He is the first of three brothers who will lose their lives by February 1917.
  • Gunner George Eustace Martin (Royal Field Artillery) dies of illness at age 26. His brother will be killed in April 1917.