Thursday 25 January 1917 – We Lost 993
German warships raid the Suffolk coast causing some loss of life.
The armed merchant cruiser HMS Laurentic leaves Bucrana at 17:00 bound for Halifax with a secret cargo of five million pounds sterling of gold bullion (3,211 gold bars) to pay for munitions. Under the command of Captain Reginald Arthur Norton the Laurentic in bitingly cold weather strikes a mine off Fanad Head on the port side. The ensuing explosion is followed quickly by a second in the engine room. The ship sinks in forty-five minutes in one hundred ten feet of water, with three hundred fifty four of the four hundred seventy five on board being killed. Although fifteen lifeboats manage to get clear, many of the crew will die of exposure.
- Lieutenant William A McNeill drowns. His brother will die on service in less than one week and they are sons of Reverend Daniel McNeill.
- Engineer Lieutenant James Carlisle (Royal Naval Reserve) also drowns at age 43. He is the son of the late Rear Admiral (Engineer) James Carlisle.
- Sub Lieutenant Allan Boyle De Blaquiere (HMS Antrim) dies at age 21. He is the son of the 6th Baron and has had a brother killed in action in March 1915.
- Private Harry Hartill (Royal Marines Light Infantry) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in April.
- Seaman Thomas McGregor is killed at age 31. His son will be killed serving in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in May 1944.
Today’s losses include:
- A Victoria Cross winner
- A nephew of the 3rd Baron Ashtown
- A man whose nephew will be killed in 1942
- A battalion commander
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- The son of an Admiral
- The son of the 6th Baron De Blaquiere
- A man whose son will be killed in May 1944
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel Edward Elers Delaval Henderson VC (North Staffordshire Regiment commanding 9th Warwickshire Regiment) brings up his battalion up to our two front line trenches which are under intense fire at Kut and the battalion suffers heavy casualties when the enemy makes a heavy counter-attack and succeeds in penetrating our line in several places. As the situation is becoming critical and although shot through his arm Lieutenant Colonel Henderson jumps on the parapet and advances alone some distance in front of the battalion cheering them on under intense fire over 500 yards of open ground. Again wounded he nevertheless continues to lead his men on in the most gallant manner finally capturing the position in a bayonet charge. He is again twice wounded and will of those wounds when he is eventually brought in. For his actions Colonel Henderson will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
- Captain Percy Richard Oliver Trench (West Surrey Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of ‘the Honorable’ William C Trench who is a younger brother of the 3rd Baron Ashtown. His nephew will be killed serving in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1942.
- Captain Armytage Percy Bosanquet MC (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed in Mesopotamia at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Claude Charles Courthope Bosanquet Vicar of St Stephen’s by Saltash, Cornwall.