Friday 29 September 1916 – We Lost 766
Destremont Farm, south-west of Le Sars, is carried by a company of the York and Lancaster Regiment while three companies of the same Regiment capture most of Hessian Trench but an attack on Stuff Redoubt fails.
- Major Guy Bertram Oliver (Royal Field Artillery) is killed by an enemy shell at age 35. He is the son-in-law of ‘Sir’ George and Lady Hutchinson and leaves one son. Major Oliver received his Commission in the Royal Field Artillery in 1901, and served for three years in Ashanti and Northern Nigeria. In 1910 he went to Japan, qualifying with distinction as Army Interpreter in Japanese. As Captain of the 116th Battery with the First Guards Brigade he went to France early in August 1914, and fought through the Retreat from Mons, and the Battles of the Marne, the Aisne, Ypres, and Neuve Chapelle. Lord Ernest Hamilton in his book, “The First Seven Divisions” referring to the action of 14th September 1914 states “It may be fairly said that the British victory at Troyon was one of the most brilliant achievements of the War. . . . Much of the success of the day was due to the gallant behaviour of the 116th Battery, when the command devolved on Captain Oliver, who took the Battery into action”. In May 1915, when promoted Major, he returned to England owing to ill-health. He returned to the Front in May, 1916, in command of the 189th Howitzer Battery. His Battery saw much service, being the forward guns in the advance on Delville Wood, in the Battle of the Somme.
Today’s losses include:
- Two battalion commanders
- A holder of the Bronze Medal of the Humane Society for life saving
- A member of the Marylebone Cricket Club
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- The grandson of an Admiral
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel William Drysdale DSO (Royal Scots commanding 7th Leicestershire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 39. He was awarded the Bronze Medal of the Royal Humane Society for attempting to save the life of Private Weaver who drowned in a river near Poona.
- Lieutenant Colonel William Claudius Casson Ash DSO (commanding 23rd Middlesex Regiment) dies of wounds received 15th September at age 46. He is a veteran of the South African War and member of the MCC.
- Captain Owen Guy Parry-Jones (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies of wounds received the previous day. He is a Rosslyn Park Rugby footballer.
- Lieutenant Alfred Chegwin Flower (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 26. His brother will be killed in December 1917 and they are sons of the Reverend Frederick W Flower.
- Second Lieutenant Andrew Robert Ellice (Grenadier Guards) is killed in action at age 18. He has two brothers who will die in the Great War, one in 1914 in the explosion of HMS Bulwark the other killed in action next month.
- Second Lieutenant Leslie Mowbray Nares (Canadian Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 27. He is the grandson of Vice Admiral ‘Sir’ George Nares KCB.
- Second Lieutenant Frank Cecil Allan (Durham Light Infantry) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Peller Allan Vicar of Cramlington.
- Corporal Percy Douglas Marriner (Auckland Regiment) is killed at age 25. His twin brother will die on service in September 1919.
- Private Frederick William Adams (Royal Berkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 33. His brother was killed four days earlier.
- Private William Elijah Barnes (British Columbia Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the last of three brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
- Private Alec Joseph Coventry (London Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in March 1918.