Friday 16 June 1916 – We Lost 271

Alfred Place AM

Alfred Place AM

At Blandford, during grenade practice, a live bomb thrown by one of the men under instruction falls back into the trench. Petty Officer Alfred Place rushes forward, pulls back two men who are in front of him and attempts to reach the grenade with the intention of throwing it over the parapet.  Unfortunately the bomb explodes before he can reach it and inflicts fatal injuries on Petty Officer Place. By his coolness and self-sacrifice Petty Officer Place probably saved the lives of three other men.  For his action he will be awarded the Albert Medal posthumously.

Today’s losses include:

  • An Albert Medal winner
  • A grandson of the 3rd Baron de Freyne of Coolavin
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • A man who will lose two brothers in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Harold Stewart Gough (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of Colonel the Honorable G H Gough CB.
  • Second Lieutenant Valentine Douglas French (Munster Fusiliers) is killed at age 28. His brother will be killed on the second day of the Battle of the Somme and they are grandsons of the 3rd Baron de Freyne of Coolavin.
  • Corporal James F Young (Manitoba Regiment) is killed in action at Mount Sorrel. His brother will die of influenza in March 1919.
  • Private Percy White May (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 27. His brother will be killed in August 1918.
  • Private Charles Shellam (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) dies as a prisoner of war in Turkey at age 25. He has two brothers who will die in the Great War, one in 1915 and the other just after the Armistice in November 1918.