Saturday 8 January 1916 – We Lost 321

by greatwarliveslost

The 1/4th and the 1/7th Royal Scots embark on the Prince George, which is struck by a torpedo, which fails to explode, shortly after departing Helles.  The preceding eleven days have seen 35,268 troops taken off Cape Helles with no casualties.  As well as the men 3,689 horses and mules are taken off. Five hundred eight mules are shot and 1,590 vehicles abandoned. The expedition employed from first to last 410,000 British Empire and 79,000 French troops. Out of 213,980 British casualties, 145,154 were due to sickness, with dysentery heading the list (29,728) diarrhea next (10,373) and enteric fever third (9,423).  More than 66,000 Turkish soldiers have been killed, along with 25,000 British, 7,595 Australians, 2,431 New Zealanders and 10,000 Frenchmen.

A final fierce battle in Cameroon takes place on the banks of the Nyong where the Germans cross over into neutral and friendly Equatorial Guinea (then a Spanish possession).  The Anglo-French conquest of Cameroon is now complete – except for the fort at Mora, which will hold out a while longer before surrendering.  The conquest of Cameron has cost the British 4,600 casualties, including 1,668 dead, most of who have died of disease. Aside from the British naval forces employed, 7,000 British troops have taken part in the campaign.  All the rank and file is comprised of black Africans except for a few NCOs, the Indians of the 5th Light Infantry, and the men of the West Indian Regiment, who were blacks from the British West Indies.

The Italian transport Citta di Palermo, carrying (among others) one hundred fifty British soldiers in sunk by a mine ten miles from Brindisi.  At least fifty-seven of the British are drowned. In rescuing the survivors two of the British Otranto drifters, Freuchny (Skipper Joseph Cowie, Royal Naval Reserve age 27) and Morning Star (Skipper Peter Buchan RNR age 50), are themselves mined and sunk.

  • Both skippers are killed as is the 16 year old son of Skipper Buchan, a Deck Hand on the Morning Star with the same name.

Today’s losses include:

  • Second Lieutenant Ivar Campbell (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders attached Seaforth Highlanders) is killed in action in Mesopotamia at age 25. He is the son of Lord and Lady George Campbell and the grandson of the 8th Duke of Argyll.