Monday 31 July 1916 – We Lost 803
At Bazentin-le-Petit, France Private James Miller VC (Lancaster Regiment) whose battalion is consolidating a position after its capture by an assault. Private Miller is ordered to take an important message under heavy shell and rifle fire and to bring back a reply at all costs. He is compelled to cross the open, and on leaving the trench is shot almost immediately in the back, the bullet coming out through his abdomen. In spite of this, with heroic courage and self-sacrifice, he compresses with his hand the gaping wound in his abdomen, delivers his message, staggered back with the answer, and falls at the feet of the officer to whom he delivered it and dies at age 26. For his actions he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
The Bedfordshire Regiment is shelled in its assembly positions south of Bernafoy and Trones wood with tear gas and a new sort of gas that causes violent tomach pains and headaches among the men. They attack Maltzhorn Farm with a battalion of French troops and though they do not hold the Farm the attack is deemed a success.
- Second Lieutenant David Newbold Gaussen (Bedfordshire Regiment) dies of wounds received the previous day at Delville Wood at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Edward Gaussen Vicar of Nettleden.
- Private Francis Bolton is killed at age 39. He is the first of three brothers who are killed within a year.
Today’s losses include:
- A Victoria Cross winner
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two, three and four sons in the Great War
- A Penarth Rugby Club footballer
- The son of a Baronet
- A man whose brother will be killed in March 1944 over Germany
- A Derbyshire first class cricketer
- An Ulster Cricket Club player
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Sergeant John Regan (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed. He is a member of the Penarth Rugby Club.
- Sergeant John Winning (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed in action. His brother will be killed in November of this year.
- Sergeant Richard Everard Buckworth-Herne-Soame (King’s Shropshire Light Infantry) dies on service at home. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Charles Buckworth-Herne-Soame the 10th
- Corporal Leonard Henry Frampton (New Zealand Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed over Germany in March 1944 as a Pilot Officer in the New Zealand Air Force.
- Lance Corporal Arthur Marsden (Manchester Regiment) dies of wounds at home at age 35. He is a first class cricketer for Derbyshire.
- Lance Corporal Sidney Smith (Norfolk Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed four days earlier while serving in the same regiment.
- Lance Corporal Albert Victor Nudds (Royal West Kent Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 20. His brother will be killed in action in October 1918.
- Private Harry Venni (Sussex Regiment) dies of wounds at age 22. His brother will be killed in May of next year.
- Private Balfour Jackson (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 24. He is a member of the Ulster Cricket Club and played Rugby for the knock club. His brother was killed four days earlier.
- Private Francis Austin Elliott Paget (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 25. His brothers will be killed next year.
- Private Francis Charles Theodore Jansen (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Francis Charles Theodore Jansen Vicar of Newton Sidney.
- Private Ronald Cameron (Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 23. He is the middle of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
- Private Samuel Frederick Bateup (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in September next year.
- Private Francis Austen Elliott Paget (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 25. He is the first of three sons of the Reverend Cecil George Paget Rector of Stock Gayland to be killed in the Great War.
- Private James Tocher (Gordon Highlanders) is killed. He is the third of four brothers who are killed in the Great War.
- Private Francis Austin Elliott Paget (Royal Fusiliers) is killed. He is the first of three sons of the Reverend Cecil George Paget who will be killed in the Great War.