Thursday 18 January 1917 – We Lost 235

by greatwarliveslost

Sir Thomas Barlow seated, with his three sons.

Sir Thomas Barlow seated, with his three sons.

A member of the crew of one of his Majesty’s Ships, when returning from leave, falls into the sea between the ship and the quay. The matter is at once reported to Acting Lieutenant Frederick William Weeks RN, to whom it is obvious that any attempt at rescue must be attended by considerable danger. The ship, which is kept clear of the side of the quay by spar fenders of only nine inches in diameter, is working to and fro with the slight swell entering the harbor. Moreover the man is incapable of helping himself as he is of heavy build and is wearing a uniform greatcoat. Due to the risk of the rescuer being crushed between the ship and the quay, Lieutenant Weeks decides that he cannot order a man down. He thereupon takes a line and goes down himself. By this time the man is almost unconscious. Lieutenant Weeks manages to obtain a hold of his hair and by this means keeps him sufficiently above water, while wedging himself with his back against the quay with his knees against the ship’s side. During this time he is mostly under water, the temperature of which is thirty-nine degrees. He succeeds in securing a line round the man, who is hauled on deck. The man is unconscious and very nearly drowned when brought on deck, and there is no doubt that, but for Lieutenant Weeks’ prompt measures, he would have lost his life. For his action he will be awarded the Albert Medal.

Three NCO’s of the Durham Light Infantry are shot at dawn for desertion. Lance Sergeant Joseph Stones and Lance Corporals Peter Goggins and John McDonald all face the ultimate fate for their actions on 26 November 1915.  Early that morning Lance Sergeant Stones is a member of a patrol to the edge of King’s Crater. As the patrol passes along the lip of the crater they are set upon by a German raiding party who shoot the Lieutenant leading the patrol.  Sergeant Stones thereupon drops his rifle and makes off. Without orders and assisted by a private from his battalion the sergeant then makes his way towards the rear in order to give the alarm.  However, the two men are detained by the military police at a battle stop.  In the meantime Corporal Stevenson goes out and rescues the wounded lieutenant and scatters the Germans in the process. Although not attacked directly, in at least one section of the British line the sentries also flee and during the confusion the Germans capture a private.  Lance Corporals Goggins and McDonald are among a group of six men who flee, all of whom end up in the hands of military police.

Today’s losses include:

  • Three men shot at dawn
  • The son of a Baronet
  • A man whose brother will be killed in Oct 1918
  • A member of the Hardingstone Football Club

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Private Patrick Basil Barlow (Grenadier Guards) dies from blood poisoning resulting from trench foot at age 32. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Thomas Barlow 1st Baronet KCVO and Lady Barlow.
  • Private Leonard Henry Green (Royal Warwickshire Regiment) is killed by a sniper in Mesopotamia at age 23. His younger brother will be killed in October 1918 by shellfire.
  • Lance Corporal Batup Oliver (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed by shrapnel at age 27. He is a well known member of the Hardingstone Football Club.