Monday 24 April 1916 – We Lost 380
The first day of the Easter Rising sees some 1,200 insurgents of the Irish Volunteers take over positions in the centre of Dublin, launching the week-long rebellion known as the Easter Rising. The Irish Rugby Union Football Corps headed by Lieutenant Francis Henry Browning is returning to Dublin from a route march and drill practice with drums beating and standards held a loft and march straight into the maelstrom that is the Rising, totally unaware of the momentous events that are unfurling around them. The Corps in civilian clothes with arm-bands are carrying rifles but not ammunition and in the ensuing encounter with the “Rebels” seven members of the Corps are wounded, four fatally including Browning who will die of his wounds two days. Browning is an international Irish cricketer and President of the Irish Rugby Football Union. Second Lieutenant Guy Vickery Pinfield (Hussars) becomes the first officer killed during the Easter Rising. He is a Rosslyn Park Rugby footballer.
At 20:00 with a crew from the Royal Navy under Lieutenant Humphrey Osbaldston Brooke Firman (Royal Navy) assisted by Lieutenant Commander Charles Henry Cowley (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) S S Julnar carrying two hundred seventy tons of supplies leaves Falahiyah in an attempt to reach Kut-el-Amara. Her departure is covered by all artillery and machine gun fire that can be brought to bear in the hope of distracting the enemy’s attention. She is however discovered and shelled on her passage up the river. At 01:00 on the following morning General Townshend reports that she has not arrived and that at midnight a burst of heavy firing has been heard at Magasis, some nine miles from Kut by river, which had suddenly stopped. Lieutenant Firman and Lieutenant Commander Cowley are killed and the remainder of their crew, including five wounded is taken prisoner. Both officers will be awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for their efforts to re-provision the force besieged in Kut. Lieutenant Firman is the son of H B Firman, JP and dies at age 29 while Commander Cowley dies at age 44. His brother will be killed in July 1918.
Today’s losses include:
- A Victoria winer
- A Rosslyn Park Rugby footballer
- A Brigadier General
- A Battalion commander
- The son of a General
- The son of a member of the clergy
- The son of a Justice of the Peace
- A man whose brother will be killed in 1918
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Brigadier General Augustus de Segur McKerrell CB (Commanding Tay Defence Garrison) dies at home at age 53.
- Lieutenant Colonel Edward Bourryau Luard DSO (commanding 1st Shropshire Light Infantry) dies of wounds at age 45. He was the Judge Advocate at the murder trial of Corporal Alexander Chisholm last year and the son of Lieutenant General Richard George Amhurst Luard General Commanding Officer of the Militia of Canada.
- Major Henry Humphreston Scott Vaughan (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 39. He is the son and heir of Henry Francis John Vaughan the Lord of the Manor of Humphreston Salop.
- Second Lieutenant John Murray Bell (Highland Light Infantry) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend Benjamin Bell former Minister of Withington Presbyterian Church.