Saturday 9 September 1916 – We Lost 1,802
The Battle of Ginchy takes place.
Lieutenant William Henry Hubbard (Royal Flying Corps) brings a Fokker down along with Lieutenant H B Rickards, near St. Julien.
Lieutenant Thomas Michael Kettle (Royal Dublin Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 36 at Givenchy. He is a Great War Poet, his poems including To My Daughter Betty, Paddy, and On Leaving Ireland. He is the Nationalist Member of Parliament for East Tyrone and the Professor of National Economics at University College, Dublin. In addition those roles he is also a journalist, essayist and idealist. A leading Irish Nationalist, he joined the Dublin Fusiliers when Belgium was attacked to fight ‘not for England, but for small nations.” Considered one of the outstanding Irishmen of his generation, he wrote a number of war poems. Poems and Parodies, published 1916, and The Ways of War, published 1917.
TO MY DAUGHTER BETTY, THE GIFT OF GOD.
In wiser days, my darling rosebud, blown
To beauty proud as was your mother’s prime,
In that desired , delayed, incredible time,
You’ll ask why abandoned you, my own,
And the dear heart that was your baby throne,
To dice with death. And oh ! they”ll give you rhyme
And reason: some will call the thing sublime,
And some decry it in knowing tone.
So here while the mad guns curse overhead,
And tired men sigh with mud for couch and floor,
Know that we fools, know with the foolish dead,
Died not for flag, nor King, nor Emperor,
But for a dream, born in a herdsman’s shed,
And for the secret Scripture of the poor.
Near Pozieres, the first three companies of the 2nd Ontario Regiment go over the top, leaving the fourth in reserve. Acting Corporal Leo Clarke is assigned to take a section to clear the enemy on the left flank to allow his company sergeant to build a fortified dugout that will secure the Canadian position once the salient is overrun. When his section reaches the trench, it is so heavily defended that they have to battle their way through with hand grenades, bayonets and their rifles as clubs. Clarke is the only man left standing; the rest having either been killed or wounded. At that time, about 20 Germans, including two officers, counter-attack. Clarke advances, emptying his revolver into their ranks. He then picks up two enemy’s rifles and fires those too. One of the officers attacks with a bayonet, wounding Clarke in the leg, but Clarke shoots him dead. The Germans retreat, but Clarke pursues, shooting four more and capturing a fifth. In all, Clarke killed 19 of the enemy, capturing one. For his actions Clarke will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross as he will die of wounds received next month.
Today’s losses include:
- A Great War Poet
- A battalion commander
- A sportsman and author
- The grandson of author Charles Dickens
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- The grandson of a member of the clergy
- A 1912 Olympic Rifle shooter
- The High Sheriff of King’s County
- The Editor of The Monaghan Standard
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- A man whose brother will be killed and his sister will die on service
- A Malone Golf Club member
- A North of Ireland Football Club member
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel Fitzroy Edmund Penn Curzon (Royal Irish Rifles commanding 6th Royal Irish Regiment) is killed in action at age 57. He is the son of the late Colonel the Honorable E G Curzon. He raised and trained his unit.
- Major Harry Stuart Wilson (Royal Munster Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 33. He is the son of ‘Sir’ David and Lady Wilson and is considered a sportsman and an artist.
- Major Cedric Charles Dickens (London Regiment) is killed at age 27. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Henry Dickens KC and grandson of the author Charles Dickens.
- Captain Maurice Fletcher MC (Royal Munster Fusiliers) dies of wounds at age 31. He is the son of the Reverend W H Fletcher, Rector of Swalecliffe, Kent.
- Captain Charles Edward Bland (Hampshire Regiment) is shot through the head while leading his company into action at Ginchy Telegraph at age 23. He is the only son of the Reverent Charles Bland Vicar of Milland Sussex. Captain Bland obtained a commission, on the outbreak of the War. He went to France with his Regiment in December 1915 having been promoted Captain the previous July.
- Captain Robert Finden Davies (London Regiment) is killed at age 39. He represented England as rifle shot in the 1912 Olympics.
- Captain Lancelot Joseph Moore Studholme MC (Leinster Regiment) the High Sheriff of King’s County is killed in action.
- Lieutenant Thomas James Kennedy (Inniskilling Fusiliers) is killed. He is the editor of the Monaghan Standard.
- Lieutenant Henry Alfred Hogarth Bren (Leinster Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Alfred Bren.
- Lieutenant Thomas William Winspeare Foley (Leinster Regiment) is killed at age 34. He is the son of the Venerable Archdeacon William Malcolm Foley.
- Second Lieutenant Charles Frederick Forder (Royal Sussex Regiment) is killed in action at age 34. His older brother will be killed in action in September 1917.
- Second Lieutenant Arthur Cecil Vigors (Munster Fusileirs attached Dublin Fusiliers) is killed in action on Salonika at age 21. His brother will be killed in September 1918.
- Second Lieutenant Ronald Burrell Scott (Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend E C Scott.
- Second Lieutenant Norman Kemp (Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed at age 21. He is the son of Canon R Lavers Kemp.
- Second Lieutenant Hugh Montgomery Archdale Olphert (Munster Fusiliers attached Leinster Regiment) is killed at age 18. He is the son of Canon John Olphert and grandson of the Very Reverend Thomas Olphert former Dean of Londonderry.
- Second Lieutenant Adam Clarke Capper (Royal Irish Rifles) is killed at age 22. He is a member of the North of Ireland Football Club and Malone Golf Club.
- Second Lieutenant Matthew Carruth (Royal Irish Regiment attached Connaught Rangers) is killed at age 26. His brother will die of wounds in October 1918.
- Second Lieutenant Eric Adrian Nethercote Hackett (Irish Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed in April 1918 and his sister will die on service in October 1918.
- Second Lieutenant Charlton Leverton Ridout Reade (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 18. He is the son of the Reverend Edward Frank Reade.
- Sergeant William Colston (Inniskilling Fusiliers) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in July 1917.
- Driver Nicholas Hornby (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in March 1918.
- Private Richard Alfred Aylmer Newell (Saskatchewan Regiment) is accidentally killed when a bomb he is carrying explodes. He dies at age 24 and his brother was killed last May.
- Private Willie Walker (South Lancashire Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. His brother was killed in May 1915.
- Rifleman Sidney John Olivry (Irish Rifles) is killed at age 22. His brother will die of wounds in October 1918.
- Rifleman Thomas William Davidge (London Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother will be killed in November next year.
- Private John Collins (Munster Fusiliers) is killed. He is the third son of Agnes Collins of Waterford to be killed in the Great War.