Thursday 27 April 1916 – We Lost 710
The Battle of Hulluch begins lasting three days, involving the 16th (Irish) Division of the British Army’s 19th Corps. The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on this night suffer a heavily-concentrated German chlorine gas attack near the German-held village of Hulluch, a mile north of Loos. The Germans begin the attack by first releasing smoke, followed by the gas 1½ hours later. This subterfuge causes the British Army troops to dispense with their Phenate-Hexamine Goggle helmets after the smoke is released, resulting in heavy casualties during the actual attack. Other units of the 16th Division, including the Royal Irish Rifles, the Royal Munster Fusiliers and The Royal Dublin Fusiliers are called on to stem the German attack.
The battleship HMS Russell and the minesweeping sloop HMS Nasturtium both strike mines off Malta in the Mediterranean in a field laid by U-73 two days earlier. The Russell suffers one hundred twenty-four casualties out of a crew of seven hundred forty-nine while the Nasturtium loses seven. Both ships sink. Among the survivors of the Russell is future First Sea Lord John Henry Dacres Cunningham.
Those killed on the Russell include
- Clerk Henry Churchill McNeil-Smith. The 19-year old is the son of the Reverend H B Odam.
- Assistant Paymaster John Bassett Odam is killed at age 24. His brother, also an Assistant Paymaster, will be killed at Jutland in little over a month.
- Lieutenant John Francis Williams is killed at age 26. His brother was killed in October 1915.
- Lieutenant Hobart William Theodore Seymour is killed at age 29. He is the son of the late Canon Seymour of Christ Church Cathedral Dublin.
- Chief Stoker Charles Richard Daniel Palmer is killed at age 35. He has three cousins who will be killed later in the war including the first black commissioned officer in the British Army Walter Tull and a pair of brothers one of whom is killed in August of this year while the second will be killed next year.
- Stoker 1st Class Harry Cooke is killed at age 38. He is the second of four brothers who are killed in the Great War.
The German submarine UC-5 becomes stranded in Shipwash Shoal. The crew is taken off HMS Firedrake and the U-boat salvaged.
The British occupy Moghara Oasis ninety miles southwest of Alexandria.
Martial Law is imposed throughout Ireland and newly arrived British troops in Dublin begin shooting Irish men on sight while artillery has set the General Post Office on fire. General ‘Sir’ J Maxwell takes command in Ireland.
A successful raid is carried out by men of the Bedfordshire Regiment on the enemy’s trenches near Carnoy. Corporal Alexander Hugh Sincalir Joyce will be awarded the Military Medal for his efforts on this day and he will suffer wounds in both feet during the operation. He will die of wounds on 20th August 1918 serving as a Lieutenant in the Norfolk Regiment.
Today’s losses include:
- A military Chaplain
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- The first of four brothers killed in the service of King and Country
- Another family that will lose four sons in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Chaplain ‘the Reverend’ Hatton Bertram St John De Vine (attached Gordon Highlanders) is killed in action at age 36. He is the son of the Reverend Wilson T de Vine Vicar of Tipton, Staffordshire.
- Captain William Murray Hutchison MC (Liverpool Regiment) dies of wounds received in action two days prior. His brother was killed in January.
- Lieutenant Henry Paton Nott (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 21. His older brothers will be killed together in April 1917.
- Second Lieutenant Ronald MacPhail Cowper (Highland Light Infantry) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend J J M Cowper Chaplain to the Forces.
- Second Lieutenant Richard James Trench Wingfield (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in Mesopotamia at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Lieutenant Colonel W E Wingfield DSO.
- Bombardier Joseph Mytton (Trench Mortar Battery Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 25. His brother was killed in May 1915.
- Driver Donald Wilfred Lashmar (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at Kut at age 20. In September two of his brothers will be killed while testing a Wight Landplane for J Samuel White Aircraft Builders and a fourth brother will be lost in the sinking of the submarine K5 off the Isle of Scilly in January 1921.