Monday 7 August 1916 – We Lost 697

by greatwarliveslost

William Henry Short VC

William Henry Short VC

British forces attack the outskirts of Guillemont.

Second Lieutenant Albert Jacka’s VC platoon moves into the line near Pozieres last night and as dawn breaks, German troops overrun a part of the line. Jacka has just completed a reconnaissance and has gone to his dug-out when two Germans appear at its entrance and roll a bomb down the doorway, killing two men. Jacka charges up the dug-out steps, firing as he moves, and comes upon a large number of the enemy rounding up 42 members of the 48th Australian Infantry as prisoners. Jacka rallies his platoon and charges the enemy, some of whom immediately throw down their rifles. Hand-to-hand fighting erupts as the Australian prisoners turn on their captors. Fifty Germans are captured and the line is retaken. Jacka will be awarded a Military Cross for his gallantry.

Versus the Turks at Katia

  • Captain John Julius Jersey De Knoop (Cheshire Yeomanry attached Imperial Camel Corps) dies of wounds received at age 40. He is the son of the late Baron and Baroness.
  • Lieutenant and Baron Alan Frederick James De Rutzen (Pembroke Yeomanry attached Imperial Camel Corps) is killed at age 40. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Albert De Rutzen Metropolitan Magistrate. His son Major and Baron John Frederick Foley De Rutzen (Welsh Guards) will be killed 11th November 1944 at age 36.

Today’s losses include:

  • A man who will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross
  • A Baron
  • The son of a different Baron (both killed while serving in Yeomanry attached to the Imperial Camel Corps)
  • The son of a Baronet
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • The son of a member of the clergy

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

On the Western Front

  • Private William Henry Short (Yorkshire Regiment) performs actions that will result in his being awarded the Victoria Cross. He was foremost in the attack bombing the enemy with great gallantry when he is severely wounded in the foot. He is urged to go back but refuses and continues to thrown bombs. Later his leg is shattered by a shell and he is unable to stand so he lays in the trench adjusting detonators and straightening the pins of bombs for his comrades. He dies before he can be carried out of the trench
  • Lieutenant Timothy John Aloysius O’Brien (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 24. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Timothy Carew O’Brien the 3rd
  • Lieutenant Ernest Wilfred Rupert Finch (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed by Slavic mutineers in North Russia in July 1919.
  • Second Lieutenant Ian Strathy Donald (Cameronians) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Duncan Macalister Donald.
  • Private Steve Runham (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed in April 1917.
  • Private Leonard Swales (West Yorkshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 20. His brother will be killed in October.