Thursday 23 December 1915 – We Lost 181

by greatwarliveslost

Roland Leighton III

Roland Leighton III

Corporal Percy Fairborn Annis (Central Ontario Regiment) is instructing a class in the use of the trench catapult when a lighted bomb falls from the catapult into the trench.  Annis at once picks up the bomb and throws it away.  Along with a similar act performed in February of next year he will be awarded the Albert Medal.  He is the only Canadian winner of the award in the Great War.

HMHS Britannic departs Liverpool on her maiden voyage.  She is bound for Mudros on the isle of Lemnos where she will join in the Dardanelles service.

Lieutenant Roland Aubrey Leighton III (Worcestershire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 19.  He is the fiancé of the post war author Vera Brittain and a war poet.


The sunshine on the long white road
That ribboned down the hill,
The velvet clematis that clung
Around your window-sill
Are waiting for you still.

Again the shadowed pool shall break
In dimples at your feet,
And when the Thrush sings in your wood,
Unknowing you may meet
Another stranger, Sweet.

And if he is not quite so old
As the boy you used to know,
And less proud, too, and worthier
You may not let him go –
(And daisies are truer than passion-flowers)

It will be better so.

Today’s losses include:

  • The fiancé of post war author Vera Brittain
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Lewis Charles Howard DSO (commanding 8th Somerset Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 34. His younger brother will be killed in action in April 1917.
  • Sapper Samson Farnell (Royal Engineers) dies on service at age 38. He is the first of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War. His two brothers will be killed next year.
  • Gunner James Yoxall Twamley (Royal Field Artillery) is killed on Gallipoli at age 22. His brother was killed last March.