Sunday 2 July 1916 – We Lost 1,389
Last night Lieutenant and Adjutant Geoffrey St George Shillington Cather (Royal Irish Fusiliers) goes out to bring in the wounded from ‘no man’s land’. By midnight he has brought three men into safety. This morning at 08:00 he will go out again but is killed at age 25 by machine gun fire at 10:30. For his efforts last night and today he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
The first time thermite shells are fired by British field artillery is when the 30th Division artillery fires on Bernafay Wood on the Somme today.
Today’s losses include:
- The grandson of the 3rd Baron de Freyne of Coolavin
- A battalion commander
- An England International Hockey player
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- The son of a Justice of the Peace
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- An amateur heavyweight boxer
- The son of a General
- An Australian Rules footballer
- The son-in-law of a Baronet
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel Louis Meredith Howard (commanding 24th Northumberland Fusiliers) dies of wounds received on the previous day. He is a veteran of the South Africa War.
- Major Charles John French (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 37. His brother was killed last month and they are grandsons of the 3rd Baron de Freyne of Coolavin.
- Lieutenant Dudley Holme Scott (Liverpool Regiment) dies of wounds at age 37. He played hockey for England against Ireland in 1904 and for many years was a member of the Cheshire County team.
- Lieutenant Francis Leslie Melville Pym (Irish Guards) is killed. His brother will die of wounds in March 1917.
- Lieutenant Henry Whittaker Coombs (Northumberland Fusiliers) dies of wounds received the previous day at age 23. He is the son of Baptist Minister the Reverend Arthur Henry Coombs.
- Lieutenant Lyons George Edmund Walcott (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed at age 25 when he is shot through the head as he leads his men close to German wire. He is the son of Lyons Roden Sympson Walcott JP.
- Lieutenant Ian Cameron MacDonell (Lord Strathcona’s Horse attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 21. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Archibald Cameron MacDonell KCB CMG DSO.
- Lieutenant Stanley Moore (New Zealand Field Artillery) is killed at age 29. He is a well-known amateur heavyweight boxer.
- Lieutenant Johnston Murphy (Royal Irish Rifles) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed in October 1918.
- Lieutenant Valentine Ashworth Braithwaite MC (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at age 20. He is the son of General ‘Sir’ Walter Braithwaite KCB.
- Lieutenant Ronald Henry Spinney (Coldstream Guards) is killed at age 28. His brother will be killed in October.
- Lieutenant Ronald Duncan Wheatcroft (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 26. His brother was killed in August 1915.
- Lieutenant James Leslie Jameson MC (West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Raine Jameson.
- Second Lieutenant George Kenneth Raine (Durham Light Infantry) dies of wounds received in the attack on Serre on the previous day. His only brother died of wounds on 27th September 1915.
- Second Lieutenant John Maurice Hunter (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 31. He is the son of the late Reverend John Hunter DD.
- Lance Corporal Albert Plummer (Sussex Regiment) dies of wounds at age 36. His two brothers will be killed before the end of the war.
- Private Henry Charles Crane (Newfoundland Regiment) is killed at age 29. His brother will be killed in September 1918.
- Private James Hayes (Inniskilling Fusiliers) dies of wounds received yesterday at age 36. His brother was killed last year on Gallipoli.
- Private James R Pender (Australian Infantry) an Australian Rules Footballer who played in 15 games scoring 4 goals in 1898 is killed at age 38.
- Private Clement Lockhart Moore (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 37. His twin brother will be killed tomorrow.
- Private William O’Hare (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 24. His 16-year old brother was killed in March 1915.
- Rifleman William Greer (Royal Irish Rifles) is killed in action. He is the third William Greer to be killed in action serving in the Royal Irish Rifles in two days. All three are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
- Sapper Richard Farnell (Royal Engineers) is killed. He is the last of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
- Private Stanley Victor Cruse (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 22. He is the son-in-law of ‘Sir’ Arthur Talbot Munro 13th
- Trooper Alexander Butler (Royal Canadian Dragoons) is executed for murder at age 28. During May 1915 he suffered a head injury after falling from a horse and almost immediately his good conduct begins to deteriorate and after suffering another fall from his horse his conduct becomes even worse. On 8th June while his unit was resting behind the lines at Hesdin he picked up his rifle and fired 5 shots into the chest of Trooper Mickleburgh, killing him instantly.