Friday 18 August 1916 – We Lost 2,080
Today there is major activity with attacks on the German line all the way from Mouquet Farm to Guillemont. At Mouquet Farm 143rd Brigade of 48th Division attacks Hindenburg Trench, which they capture along with NabValley. The Berkshire Regiment of 145th Brigade captures ground on the Skyline Trench Spur. Second Lieutenant William Howe Bissley (Berkshire Regiment) a member of the Maidenhead Cricket Club is killed. His daughter will be born in four days. Meanwhile the 1st Australian Division attacks a new German trench in front of Fabeck Graben and also establishes posts in Quarry Trench and consolidates areas north of the quarry. At Pozieres two Australian Battalions of 2nd Brigade advance at 21:00 south east of Bapaume Road. Both are unsuccessful and are driven back to the start line by dawn while north of the road another battalion begans digging a trench towards the Elbow.
Northwest of High Wood the action begins at 04:00 when The Black Watch attacks Intermediate Trench. Under heavy shelling small parties advances beyond the trench but are driven back. At 14:45 in conjunction with the main attack the Royal Berkshire Regiment again attacks Intermediate Trench and is again driven back. At the same time two companies of Loyal North Lancashire Regt attacks the part of the trench where it enters High Wood. They are practically wiped out by their own barrage but a bombing attack from the captured part of the trench by Northamptonshire Regiment is more successful. In the wood itself the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders attack the Germans with blazing oil drums and flame-throwers, neither weapon is successful and the Highlanders are driven back. South of High Wood the King’s Liverpool and Suffolk Regiment fail in an attack on Wood Lane.
- Second Lieutenant Geoffrey Vaughan Noaks (Northamptonshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 21. He is a Rhodes Scholar.
Today’s losses include:
- A Rhodes scholar
- A Rugby Union player
- Multiple families that will two, three and four sons in the Great War
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- The son of a Justice of the Peace
- A published author
- The brother of a published poet
- A Montrose Football Club player
- A General
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain Donald Owen Howard Tripp DSO (North Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 26. He is a former Rugby Union player.
- Lieutenant John Coulson Hannon (Irish Rifles) is killed at age 24. He is the middle of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
- Second Lieutenant Vivian Gray (Liverpool Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. His brother will die of wounds in July 1918.
- Lance Corporal Frederick Alexander Radford (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed in June of this year.
- Lance Corporal Joseph Greenhalgh (Liverpool Regiment) is killed at age 26. His two brothers have already been killed in the Great War.
- Private Alfred Hill (Suffolk Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 22. His brother was killed in January of this year.
- Captain Hugh Stewart Smith (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 27. In his pocket will be found the following poem
On the plain of Picardy
Lay a soldier, dying.
Gallantly, with soul still free
Spite the rough world’s trying
Came the Angel who keeps guard
When the fight has drifted
What would you for your reward
When the Clouds have lifted?
Then the soldiers through the mist
Heard the voice and rested
As a man who sees his home
When the hill is breasted –
This his answer and I vow
Nothing could be fitter –
Give me Peace, a dog, a friend
And a glass of bitter
East of Delville Wood between the wood and the village of Ginchy the 14th Division is in action. After a 36-hour bombardment the Somerset Light Infantry advances and captures the southern portion of Beer Trench which is virtually obliterated by the artillery as well as Hop Alley, a communication trench between Delville Wood and Beer Trench. The Somersets barricade Beer Trench, consolidate and drive off two German attacks. At the same time the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry captures Edge Trench but are driven out by a German attack. North of the wood the King’s Royal Rifle Corps captures Orchard Trench and dig in beyond it. They also capture a small portion at the southern end of Wood Lane.
- Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ Brian Danvers Butler (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 40.
- Lieutenant George Charles Farmer (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed on the Somme at age 22. His brother died of wounds as a prisoner of war in November of last year.
- Corporal Harold William Stammers (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 27. He is the official shorthand writer to the Crown.
At Guillemont at 04:00 an attack drawn from companies of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, West Yorkshire Regiment, Suffolk Regiment and King’s Own Lancaster Regiment make another unsuccessful attack on Lonely Trench. At 14:45 two companies of the Welsh Fusiliers and two of the Gordon Highlanders attack the Guillemont-Hardecourt Road. The Scots reach the road and the Welsh capture the southern part of Lonely Trench. On their left however the Northumberland Fusiliers are driven back and with their flank exposed the Welsh withdraw from Lonely Trench. Twice more the Northumberland Fusiliers attempt an assault on their objective with no success.
- Second Lieutenant Aubrey Melchior William Patch (Lancaster Regiment) is killed at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend H M Patch.
- Second Lieutenant Gouldbourne Hayward Jennings (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Richard Jennings Rector of Gyflylliog.
The afternoon also sees attacks on Waterlot Farm and Guillemont Village by 24th Division South of the Trones Wood track, the Middlesex Regiment is driven back by macahine gun fire. North of the track Northamptonshire Regiment gains a position in the German line at the quarry. Reinforced by a company of the Sussex, they consolidate there. The Rifle Brigade captures Guillemont Station and the Waterlot Farm Road. The East Kent Regiment captures the north section of ZZ Trench.
- Lieutenant Clifden James Crockett (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. His brother will die at home in October 1918 and they are sons of ‘Sir’ James Crockett Kt.
- Lieutenant Anthony William Scudamore Brown (Rifle Brigade) is killed in action at age 35. He is the Rector of Michalehouse School and his brother was killed the previous April.
- Second Lieutenant J G M Henderson MC (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend James Henderson.
- Second Lieutenant Cecil William Thomas Daly (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 19. He is the son of William Daly JP DL.
- Sergeant Henry James (Middlesex Regiment) is the last of four brothers who are killed in the Great War. His three brothers were all killed last year and he dies at age 28. They are sons of the Reverend Charles Henry James Vicar of Haigh
- Corporal James Lippett Russell (East Kent Regiment) is killed at age 23. His twin brother was killed less than one month ago.
- Private Frank Wingrove (Middlesex Regiment) is killed in action at age 24. His brother will be killed in September 1917.
On ‘Horseshoe Hill’ in Macedonia the enemy makes some attempts at counterattack but they are beaten back and the gains are secured. The post established in the valley by the 11th Worcestershire is named “Worcester Post”.
- Lieutenant Colonel James Atkinson Longridge CMG (commanding Erinpura Regiment Indian Army) is killed at age 41. He is the author of The Artillery of the Future and the New Powders. His brother will die of wounds in October 1918.
- Lieutenant Wilfrid John Chambers (East Surrey Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Francis and received his commission in December 1914.
- Lieutenant Albert N P Service (Manitoba Regiment) is killed in action. He is the brother of poet and writer Robert Service who is best known for the poem The Shooting of Dan McGrew.
- Second Lieutenant Hugh Reginald Stanley Clarke (Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend Walter John Clarke.
- Lance Corporal David Thomas John (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 25. His brother will die of wounds in September 1918.
- Lance Corporal Charles Irvine Bowman (Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 37. He is a former center half for Montrose Football Club regarded as “one of the best center halves Montrose produced”.
- Private Alfred Reid (Newfoundland Regiment) dies of wounds in England at age 21. His brother was killed 17 days ago.
- Private Limuel Chance (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in June of this year.
- Private Frank Andrew Williams (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 32. He is the middle of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
- Sapper Charles Gilbert Draper (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 26. His brother will be killed August 1918.
- Brigadier General Archie Stewart Buckle commanding 17th (Northern) Division Artillery dies of meningitis at age 47.