Thursday 21 December 1916 – We Lost 344
Australian Light Horse advance to El Arish and find it abandoned by the Turks who have retreated along the coast to Rqafa and inland up the Wadi El Arish to Magdhaba.
While operating with the Grand Fleet HMS Hoste (Commander Graham R L Edwards) develops engine trouble and has to return to Scapa Flow with HMS Negro (Lieutenant Commander Alexander Hugh Gye) as escort. The destroyers collide in the Norwegian Sea off the Orkney Islands. The shock of the collision rolls two depth charges off the stern of HMS Hoste which blow off the stern of that ship and HMS Negro’s bottom plating. Both ships are abandoned. The Negro founders shortly afterwards with a loss of 51 crewmen while four crew members of Hoste are killed as she also sinks. Commander Gye is the son of the Honorable Adelaide Gye and dies at age 32.
Lieutenant William Albert Carmichael (HM Trawler St Ives, Royal Naval Reserve) is killed when his ship is sunk at age 24. His brother will be killed in the Merchant Marine in May of next year. Ten other members of the crew are also lost.
Today’s losses include:
- The brother of the 5th Baron Cronwell
- The son of a Baronet
- A man whose brother will be killed next May
- The son of a Genera
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain Redevers Lionel Calverley Bewicke-Copley (Coldstream Guards) is killed in action at age 26. He is the son of Brigadier General ‘Sir’ Arlington and Lady Bewicke-Copley and brother of the 5th Baron Cromwell.
- Second Lieutenant George Douglas Pechell (Indian Army Reserve of Officers attached Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at home at age 25. He is the son of Lieutenant Colonel ‘Sir’ A Alexander Brooke-Pechell the 7th