Wednesday 26 April 1916 – We Lost 449

Francis Sheehy-Skeffington

Francis Sheehy-Skeffington

During the Easter Rising well-known pacifist writer, ardent supporter of women’s rights and a bit of an ‘eccentric’ Francis Sheehy-Skeffington is shot by firing squad at Portobello Barracks ordered by a mentally unstable British officer, Captain Bowen-Colthurst.  Sheehy-Skeffington took no part in the rising, but was ordered shot by Bowen-Colthurst who is carrying on his own private campaign against “Sinn Feiners”.  At first the British attempt to cover up Colthurst’s actions but continued protests lead to his formal court-martial on 6th June.

The British gunboat Helga bombards Dublin destroying Liberty Hall headquarters of the Labour Party and other buildings.  Shells from Helga and British artillery kill civilians and start fires in the city.  British troops land at Kingstown and march towards Dublin.

The last attempt to raise the siege of Kut is abandoned, after more than 23,000 officers and men have become casualties.

Flying an unarmed BE2c, Captain Donald Alastair Davidson (Royal Flying Corps) is badly wounded in a fight with a Fokker while dropping supplies to besieged Kut el Amara.  In spite of the fact that his machine is heavily damaged, the controls being shot away, and he is wounded in three places he succeeds in reaching his aerodrome and landing safely, after which he is lifted out of his aircraft and carried to the hospital.

Today’s losses include:

  • A man whose fourth child and only son was born four days earlier
  • A family that will lose four sons in the Great War
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Claude Burrard Lewes Dashwood (Northumberland Fusiliers) dies of wounds at age 33 four days after his fourth child and only son is born. He is the son of the Reverend Robert Lewes Dashwood Rector of Stanford on Soar.
  • Captain Thomas Lewis Blatchford (Canadian Infantry) is killed at age 31. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas W Blatchford and his brother will be killed in August 1918.
  • Lieutenant Edmund Joseph Maxwell-Stuart (Royal Engineers) is killed in action at age 23. He is one of four sons of Mrs. “The Honorable” Maxwell-Stuart to die in the Great War.
  • Lieutenant John Howe (Quebec Regiment) is killed in action at age 25. He is the grandnephew of the late Honorable Joseph Howe.
  • Lieutenant Robert Bertram Taylor (Eastern Ontario Regiment) is killed in action at age 29. He was the son of the Reverend R E Taylor Vicar of Cresswell, Northumberland.
  • Second Lieutenant Alexander Keith Gorrie (Highland Light Infantry) is killed at age 32. His brother will die of pneumonia in October 1918.
  • Private David George Melrose Watt (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies of illness at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend William Watt.
  • Private Percy Eve (Essex Regiment) is killed at age 22 one year to the day after his older brother was killed.