Monday 3 January 1916 – We Lost 210
General ‘Sir’ Fenton John Aylmer VC orders the 7th (Meerut) Division and the Cavalry Brigade – supported on the river by a small number of gunboats – forward towards Sheikh Sa’ad. Signals come from Kut saying that large numbers of Turkish troops have been seen moving downstream, making straight for the same objective. An aircraft spots the Turks entrenching on both sides of the river, in front of Sheikh Sa’ad with the British force now only 10 miles away.
Major Cyril Louis Norton Newall (Gurkha Rifles attached Royal Flying Corps) Corporal Henry Hearne (Royal Flying Corps) 1st Class Air Mechanic Harrie Stephen Harwood (Royal Flying Corps) and 2nd Class Air Mechanic Alfred Edward Simms (Royal Flying Corps) will all be awarded the Albert Medal for their actions today. At about 15:00 a fire breaks out inside, a large bomb store shed belonging to the Royal Flying Corps, which contains nearly 2,000 high explosive bombs, some of which have very large charges, and a number of incendiary bombs which are burning freely. Major Newall at once takes all necessary precautions, and then, assisted by Air Mechanic Simms, pours water into the shed through a hole made by the flames. He sends for the key to the store, and with Corporal Hearne, Harwood and Simms enters the building and succeeds in putting out the flames. The wooden cases containing the bombs are burned, and some of them are charred to a cinder.
Today’s losses include:
- A member of the Surrey Constabulary
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- A son of a family that will lose five sons in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Corporal David Miller (Eastern Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in July 1918.
- Private William Avenall (Royal West Surrey Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 29. He is a member of the Surrey Constabulary having joined in 1910 after five years service in the West Surrey Regiment.
- Sapper David Austin (Royal Engineers) dies of wounds on Gallipoli at age 22. His brother will be killed in September 1918.
- Private Walter Stewart Munn (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed at age 25. He is the second of five brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
- Private George Christian Golding (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed on Gallipoli at age 39. His brother will be killed on Salonika in 1917.