Friday 28 January 1916 – We Lost 247
Private Siegfried Wedgwood Herford (Royal Fusiliers) is a British climber who was active in the years immediately prior to the Great War. He and John Laycock and Stanley Jeffcoat initiated what is referred to as ‘gritstone climbing’ in England, bouldering on large blocks at the base of the cliffs, and roping up to climb the edges and faces above. By 1911 he had invented the ‘girdle traverse’, practicing at Castle Naze before applying his concept to the face of Scafell. Although Herford spent considerable time on the crags, the quality of his academic work was superior, and he was at the top of his class in mathematics and physics when he graduated in 1912. He received a postgraduate scholarship which allowed him to do aeronautical research at the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough. In the spring of 1914, Herford, with three companions, climbed the Central Buttress of Scafell, negotiating the crux – the infamous Flake Pitch – after reconnoitering the difficulties from above, as well as below. With the War in full swing, and having failed to obtain a commission due to his Teutonic heritage, Herford enlisted as a private in the Royal Fusiliers and is killed today by a grenade blast at age 25.
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain Sholto Douglas (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 42. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Robert and Lady Douglas.
- Lieutenant Jeffrey Bradley Jerry Penfold (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) dies of wounds at age 28. He is the only son of ‘Sir’ Stephen Penfold.