Saturday 3 June 1916 – We Lost 762
Lieutenant-General Byng assembles a hastily organized counterattack in the early hours of today. Owing to the 3rd Canadian Division’s heavy losses, two brigades of the 1st Canadian Division are temporarily placed under the control of Brigadier Hoare Nairne, who has assumed control of 3rd Canadian Division. The counterattack is scheduled to begin at 2:00 However, due to the distances that have to be covered by incoming units, the difficulties in communications and ever present enemy fire, the time allowed for assembly proves inadequate and the attack is postponed until 07:00. The signal to attack is to be six simultaneous green rockets. However, some rockets misfire and do not burst resulting in an uneven assault and a result each unit moves from their starting lines at different times. The four attacking battalions suffer heavy losses as they advance over open ground in broad daylight. The attack fails to regain any lost territory. It does however manage to close a 600 yards gap in the line and advance the Canadian front about 1,000 yards from the positions it had retreated to after the German assault.
Today’s losses include:
- A battalion commander
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two, three and four sons in the Great War
- A man whose brother will awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross in the Second World War
- The son of a Justice of the Peac
- The son of the Mayor of Tiverton
- Brothers killed together
- A cricket player for the Metropolitan Police Force
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel William Beresford Gibbs (commanding 3rd Worcestershire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 35. He is the son of the Reverend William Cobham Gibbs and his younger brother will be killed in March 1918.
- Lieutenant Gerald Hamilton Peters (British Columbia Regiment) is killed at age 21. He has two brothers who will lose their lives in the service of their King and Country the first last year and the second days after performing acts that will win him the Victoria Cross in November 1942.
- Lieutenant George Adam Russell Ross (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend G McMurray Ross.
- Lieutenant Harold Louis Hull (Canadian Field Artillery) is killed at age 27. He is the son of the Honorable H C Hull.
- Lieutenant Stephen Barnes Gregory (Devonshire Regiment) dies of enteritis as a prisoner of war in Mesopotamia at age 21. He is the son of Alfred Thomas Gregory JP Mayor of Tiverton.
- Second Lieutenant Laurence Alfred Howard Barrow (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Alfred Henry Barrow Vicar of Flamstead.
- Second Lieutenant John Vere Isham (Dragoon Guards) dies of blood poisoning at age 20 in Etaples. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Vere Isham. Company
- Sergeant Major Douglas Wallace Gallagher (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 32. His brothers will be killed in October 1917 and April 1918.
- Sergeant James Campbell Kempston (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend William Augustus Kempston Rector of Bally.
- Private George Weight Brebner (Manitoba Regiment) dies of appendicitis at age 32. His brother will be killed in action in July 1917.
- Private Samuel Henry Lemon (Alberta Regiment) is killed in action at age 38. He is the son of the Reverend John Lemon (late Rector of St Stephen’s, Cornwall).
- Privates James age 38 and William Farquhar age 34 (Alberta Regiment) are killed together on Mount Sorrel. They have two brothers who will be killed later in the Great War.
- Sapper William Herbert Brett DCM (Royal Engineers) dies of wounds at home. He is considered the best wicket keeper in the Metropolitan Police Force.
- Private George Alexander Stewart (Quebec Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother will be killed next November.
- Private Edmund Bonar Deane (Alberta Regiment) is killed at age 48. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Henry Deane Vicar of Willoughby.
- Private George Alexander McIntosh (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother died of wounds on Gallipoli in April 1915.