Saturday 7 October 1916 – We Lost 2,226
After a delay of two days the Battle of Transloy Ridges (which will last until 20th October) begins with attacks directed toward the German held positions near Beaulencourt, northwest of the British held town of Guardecourt. The German trenches to be attacked are given the names of Bayonet, Scabbard, Rainbow and Stormy trenches. The opening British artillery barrage is met with heavy and accurate counter fire from German artillery which greatly reduces the effectiveness of the British bombardment and leaves a significant portion of the German machine gun positions undamaged. By the end of the day’s attack 2,022 British officer and men will be killed.
The Royal Fusiliers come under heavy machine gun fire during the assault on Bayonet trench. They make gains and hold the land until relieved in two days. 254 Men and officers are lost in the attack which will be the final action the regiments makes on the Somme.
- Lance Corporal Leigh Richmond Roose MM (Royal Fusiliers) a Welsh international football goalkeeper who is killed at age 38. He earned twenty-four international caps playing for Wales and is considered one of the most famous amateur football players in the world before the Great War.
- Lance Corporal Frederick George Benkin (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
- Private David Darts (Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 28. His brother will be killed in less than one month.
- Private James William Conrade (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed last December.
- Private Sydney Frederick Hutton (Royal Fusiliers) is killed by a shell. He is the only son of the Reverend Frederick Robert Chapman Hutton Rector of Ashtonunder-Lyne and grandson of the late Honorable Henry Mop. He was ordained to the Curacy of Swinton Parish Church and failed to receive a Chaplaincy at the outbreak of the war.
- Second Lieutenant Gerald Montegue Gray (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed next April.
Dear Meg, Now I’m a simple Tommy
I thought you’d like a letter from me,
Living a silent celibate
With 20 others in a hut.
My bed of wooden boards and trestles
And blankets thick with which one wrestles,
While the cold night wind through the door
Keeps time to rats that scour the floor.
A Sergeant stern with language rude
Who tell me that my drilling’s crude,
And boots two inches thich, which they
make me to clean three times a day.
But even hear where bugles ring
The Southern lark goes up to sing;
And nobly stretch the long white downs
O’er looking Hampshire’s famous towns,
Where years ago through woods of fir
King Alfred rode to Winchester;
And hear is haunted, wholly ground
Where Arthur held his Table Round,
And Ethelbert and Athelstane
Drove back the foray of the Dane.
And so farewell – if when May comes,
And snow-white gleam the garden plums,
You run across the yard to school
Hair-braided, with your reticule,
Then think of me, my little maid,
Forming for nine o’ clock parade,
And making an egregious hash
Of drill and growing a moustache !
Today’s losses include:
- A Welsh International football goalkeeper
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- A family that will lose five sons in the Great War and another in the service of King and Country
- A Poet
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- A Brigadier General
- The grandson of a General
- A man whose son will be born next February
- A Buckingham County cricketer
- The son of a Justice of Peace
- A Master at Bishop Cotton School in Bangalore India
- The son of an Irish Member of Parliament who died on service in 1915
- A man whose brother will be killed in 1942 performing acts for which he will be awarded the Victoria Cross
- A Southampton amateur footballer
- A man whose widow will marry another man who will later be killed in the Great War
- A man whose brother was killed in South Africa in December 1900
- A man whose son will be killed in May 1942
- The fourth victim of the Red Baron
- A man who has five cousins killed in the Great War
- A Victoria Cross winner
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Brigadier General Philip Howell CMG (General Staff) is killed in action at age 38 at Authille by a stray shell while on a reconnaissance near Pozieres. His son will be born next February. His headstone reads “Fellowship is heaven and lack of Fellowship is Hell”. He published The Campaign in Thrace in 1913, while his wife will publish Philip Howell a memoir by his wife after the war.
- Captain Edward Alfred Shaw (Oxford and Buckinghampshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 24. He is a well-known cricketer having represented Buckingham County from 1910 to 1914. His two brothers have been previously killed in the war and they are sons of the Right Reverend Bishop Edward Domett Shaw Bishop of Brighton.
- Captain Leonard Cosmo Bolles Russell (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 21. He is the grandson of General Lord ‘Sir’ Alexander George Russell.
- Lieutenant George Michael Hoste (London Regiment) is killed at age 30. He is the son of George Henry Hoste JP.
- Second Lieutenant Herbert Clowe Crichton (Manchester Regiment) is killed in action at age 33. Prior to joining he was the Master at Bishop Cotton School, Bangalore, India.
- Second Lieutenant Geoffrey Esmonde (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Irish MP who died on service in 1915 John Joseph Esmonde. His brother will be elected to fill his father’s term and a half-brother will be killed performing acts that will win him the Victoria Cross in 1942.
- Second Lieutenant Edwin Cecil Russell Christmas (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 30. He is an amateur footballer playing twice for Southampton.
- Second Lieutenant Eric Claude Spedding (Ogato Regiment New Zealand Expeditionary Force) dies of wounds at age 20. His brother was killed on Gallipoli in May 1915.
- Second Lieutenant Alfred Erasmus Stuart Ommanney (East Kent Regiment) is killed near Guedecourt at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Erasmus Austin Ommanney Vicar of St Nicholas Guildford.
- Second Lieutenant William Cecil Fenwick (Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 19. He is the fourth victim of Manfred von Richtohofen and has five cousins who will lose their lives in the Great War.
- Sergeant David Jones VC (Liverpool Regiment) is killed in action at age 25. On 3rd September at Guillemont his platoon was ordered to a forward position and during the advance came under heavy machine gun fire, the officer being killed and the platoon suffering a great many casualties. The sergeant led forward the survivors, occupied the position and held it for two day and two nights, without food or water until relieved. On the second day they drove back three counter attacks inflicting heavy losses. For his efforts Sergeant Jones will be awarded the Victoria Cross.
- Sergeant George Thaxter (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 32. His brother was killed in January 1915.
- Lance Corporal Herbert Swales (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 25.His brother died of wounds exactly two months ago.
- Private Harry Prior (Royal West Kent Regiment) becomes the third of five brothers to lose their lives in the Great War when he is killed on the Western Front. A sixth brother was killed while serving in the Royal Marines in 1912 during the accidental explosion of a gun on HMS King Edward VII during exercises.
- Corporal Sidney Edgar Wannell (London Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother will die next May.
- Lance Corporal Frank Victor Coppack (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed. He is the middle of three brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
- Private Egbert Reid (London Regiment) is killed at age 33. His brother will be killed in April 1917.
- Private Frederick J Osborne (West Surrey Regiment) is killed. His widow will remarry a man named Buttress who will also be killed in the Great War. Private Harry Hesselden (Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed last month.
- Rifleman Nicholas Herbert Todd (London Regiment) is killed at age 38. He is the son of the Reverend H L Todd.
- Private Leonard W Horton (Army Veterinary Corps) dies on Salonika at age 46. His brother was lost in HMS Formidable in January 1915.
- Rifleman Ernest Edward Leadbeater (London Regiment) is killed. His brother will be killed in November 1918.
- Private Ernest Francis Bentley (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 30. His brother was killed in South Africa on 29th December 1900.
- Rifleman Harry Thomas Carbery (London Regiment) is killed at age 26. His son will be killed in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in May 1942.