Friday 7 January 1916 – We Lost 736

by greatwarliveslost

Innes Owen Hutchison

Innes Owen Hutchison

The merchant ship SS Euterpe (Master Frederick George Billot) is sunk by a mine in the North Sea.

  • The Master is one of nineteen killed. His son will be killed serving in the Second World War.

The final evacuation of Gallipoli from Seddul-Bahr begins this evening.  At Cape Helles the defenses are manned from left to right by: 13th Division; 29th Division; 52nd Division; and in the old French sector, the Royal Naval Division. At this moment the Turks launch their last attack of the campaign. This comes under the cover of the heaviest bombardment of the campaign, directed primarily upon the British left flank. The attack fails almost before it begins, as it is met by steady British fire, and many Turks simply refuse to advance, as if, after months of heroism, their will has finally given out.  This last Turkish attack costs the British one hundred sixty-four casualties, almost all among the North Staffordshire Regiment of 29th Brigade (13th Division), whose trenches are heavily shelled.

  • Lieutenant Colonel Francis Hercules Walker (commanding 7th North Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 46 in the firing line along with twenty-five of his men at the start of the attack He was promoted temporary Lieutenant Colonel, commanding the battalion on 8th His battalion is holding a line of trenches between the Western Birdcage and Fusilier Bluff, at places separated from the Turkish trenches by only 10 or 15 yards.

The weather at Sheikh Sa’ad is very humid, with thick mist following heavy rain.  Without heavy artillery, the British are ordered again to attack entrenched positions. The attacking infantry – notably the 1st Seaforth Highlanders, 2nd Black Watch and Jats – are hit by concentrated crossfire. As they move forward into murderous fire, the Turks counter-attack and attempt to encircle on the right. The small British field artillery, with the 41st Dogras and 9th Bhopals, fight this assault off.  By nightfall, the position remains stalemated.  Later this night it is discovered that the Turks have withdrawn upstream. The Turkish commander is replaced as a result of this decision. The British casualties at Sheikh Sa’ad are over 4,000.

  • Second Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Innes Owen Hutchison (Black Watch) killed at age 24 leading an infantry charge. He was on the staff of the London Evening News prior to the war and has a younger brother who will be killed in April of this year.
  • Second Lieutenant Owen Perrott Gwynne (Punjabis, Indian Army) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in July 1915.
  • Private William Hewer (Leicestershire Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed in July of this year.
  • Private John Alfred Vidler (East Kent Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed on Gallipoli less than one month ago.
  • Private Edwin Thomas Pile (East Kent Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will die of disease next year.