Wednesday 5 July 1916 – We Lost 1,045
British and Indian troops enter Tanga German East Africa and the Germans evacuate the town.
At La Boiselle, France, during an attack when a party of men from another unit is retiring without their machine-gun, Lieutenant Thomas Orde Lawder Wilkinson (North Lancashire Regiment) with two of his men gets the gun into action and holds up the enemy until relieved. Later he forces his way forward during a bombing attack and finds four or five men from different units stopped by a wall of earth over which the enemy is throwing bombs. He at once mounts the machine-gun on top of the parapet and disperses the bombers. Subsequently, in trying to bring in a wounded man, he is killed. For his actions he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
Today’s losses include:
- A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
- A Summerfield footballer
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- A holder of the Royal Humane Society Medal for life saving from drowning
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- The husband of a double Olympic Gold Medal tennis player and Woman’s Doubles Wimbledon Champion
- A Military Chaplain
- A professional footballer
- Multiple Victoria Cross winners
- A battalion commander
- The grandson of a member of the clergy
- Multiple men whose father will be killed in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Stafford Dudley Somerville (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 23. His father will be killed in action on 17th August 1917 serving in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and commanding a battalion of the Irish Fusiliers. He is the grandson of the Reverend Dudley Somerville Chaplain.
- Lieutenant Colonel Walter Sidney Brown (commanding 1st Wiltshire Regiment) is killed by a shell which burst outside his dug-out near Thiepval at age 45. He is directing an attack being carried out by two companies of his regiment and has just send an encouraging message to the men who are holding the captured trenches. Lieutenant Colonel Brown entered the Wiltshire Regiment from the Militia in 1892 and became Lieutenant in 1894, Captain in 1900, and Brevet Major in 1912, in recognition of his services in the South African War. He was gazetted Major in 1909, being then DAA and QMG Wessex Division, Southern Command. He was severely wounded in the South African War, during which he took part in the advance on Kimberley and the actions at Belmont, Enslin, Modder River, and Magersfontein, and saw fighting at Bethlehem, Wittebergen, and Colesberg. He was twice mentioned in Despatches. He went to the Front in command of the 2nd Wiltshire Regiment in March 1915 and in the following July was given command of the 1st
- During an attack a very heavy enfilade fire is opened on the attacking company by a hostile machine gun. Second Lieutenant Donald Simpson Bell (Yorkshire Regiment) immediately, and on his own initiative, creeps up a communication trench and then, followed by Corporal Colwill and Private Batey rushes across the open under very heavy fire and attacks the machine gun, shooting the gunner with his revolver, and destroying the gun and personnel with bombs. This very brave act saves many lives and ensures the success of the attack. For his actions today he will be awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously as in five days this very gallant officer will lose his life performing a very similar act of bravery. He was a teacher and both amateur and professional footballer for Crystal Palace, Newcastle and United and Bradford.
- Roman Catholic Chaplain the Reverend Donal Vincent O’Sullivan is killed at age 26. He is a professor at St Brendan’s Seminary and Doctor of Divinity. Captain Francis John Hannam (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 36. He is the President of the Bristol Cricket Association. His wife Edith Boucher Hannam won two Gold Medals in tennis in the 1912 Olympics and was a Wimbledon finalist twice in the 1914 Women’s Doubles Champion.
- Captain Arthur Alexander Geddes (Army Service Corps) dies of wounds at Rawalpindi. His brother died of wounds last September.
- Lieutenant Henry Peverell Rogers (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in December.
- Lieutenant William Joseph Sanderson Connor (Canadian Field Artillery) is killed at age 31. His brother was killed as a civilian during the Easter rebellion in Dublin last month.
- Lieutenant Oswald R J Green (Welsh Regiment) is killed at age 35. He is a holder of the Royal Humane Society Medal for life saving from drowning.
- Second Lieutenant Gerald John David White (Irish Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in April 1918 and they are sons of the Right Reverend Harry Vere White Bishopof Limerick.
- Second Lieutenant Robert Ableson Harpley (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry attached Machine Gun Corps) is killed by a bomb at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Albleson Harpley Vicar of St Lawrence York and a member of the York St Peter’s School Rugby Football Club.
- Lance Sergeant William McLoughlin (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at age 26. He was a member of the Summerfield Football Club.
- Private Robert Archer (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 31. His widow will commit suicide by drowning in 1922 as she is unable to come to terms with his death.
- Private Bert Jackman (Newfoundland Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 27. His brother will be killed next April.
- Private A E Holman (Essex Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother will die of wounds in one week.
- Private John Chard (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed in June 1915.
- Private Albert John Smith (Australian Infantry) dies of shell wounds at age 23 becoming the first of three brothers who will be killed this year.
- Private George Edward Habgood (West Yorkshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 21. His brother will die during the influenza outbreak October 1918.
- Private Thomas Culley (Border Regiment) is killed. His son will lose his life in the Second World War.