Wednesday 5 April 1916 – We Lost 532

by greatwarliveslost

Robertson Stewart Smyth

Robertson Stewart Smyth

After many days of bombardment of Hanna the 13th Division makes an attack only to find that they were expected and the Turks have silently withdrawn to the newly strengthened line at Fallahiyeh.  The lead 40th Brigade presses on a mile and a half to the new positions where they come under heavy fire and have to fight off a counter-attack.  After dark the British artillery opens up on the Turkish lines.  At 19:30 the 38th and 39th Brigades advance but are cut down by machine gun fire and hand to hand fighting losing some 2,000 men in the process.  At Fallahiyeh, Mesopotamia an officer is lying out in the open severely wounded about 150 yards from cover.  Two men go out to his assistance and one of them is hit at once.  Captain Angus Buchanan (South Wales Borderers) immediately goes out and with the help of the other man, carries the first casualty to cover under machine gun fire.  He then returns and brings in the other wounded man, again under heavy fire.  He will be awarded the Victoria Cross for these actions.

The German submarine UB-26 is caught in nets off Le Havre laid by drifters under the command of Lieutenant J M McLaughlin in HMS Endurance. She is then destroyed by the French destroyer Trombe.

Today’s losses include:

  • An England and Ireland International Rugby footballer
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Robertson Stewart Smyth (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies at home as a result of being gassed on New Year’s Day. He is an Irish and English International Rugby player. He dies at age 36 and his brother will be killed next year.
  • Captain Harold Pierce Dobson (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed in Mesopotamia at age 34. His brother was killed last September.
  • Captain John Nichol (Scots Fusiliers attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed flying at age 22. His brother will be accidentally killed in September 1919 in a motor car accident and buried in the same grave in Dunkirk.
  • Captain Anthony Temple (British Columbia Regiment) is killed in action at age 36. He is the son of the Reverend John Temple.
  • Captain Edward Bruce Conybeare MC (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother died at home in January 1915.
  • Lieutenant Osric Alwyn Mann (Lancaster Regiment) is killed in action at age 24 in Mesopotamia. He had been a scholar in Philosophy and History at Sydney University.
  • Private Douglas C MacLaurin (Manitoba Regiment) is killed in action. His brother will be killed in June.
  • Private Alex Moncrieff (Alberta Regiment) is killed in action. His brother was killed last May.
  • Private Harold Rippon (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 23. His brother will die of wounds in November.
  • Private William Kerr (Welsh Fusiliers) dies of wounds. His brother died at home as an instructor in January 1915.
  • Private George Phillips (Cheshire Regiment) is killed in Mesopotamia at age 23. His brother will be killed next May.