Wednesday 31 January 1917 – We Lost 360
Germany announces the resumption of unrestricted U-boat warfare.
While the steamship Rhydwen is lying at Genoa, a fire breaks out in the ship’s magazine. A fire signal is immediately hoisted, but before assistance arrives Boatswain John Bulmer and Private John Edwin Brown (Royal Marines Light Infantry) go below unlock the door of the magazine and get the hose at the seat of the fire. Water is then played on the magazine and the ammunition is taken out on deck and, owing to the prompt action of the ship’s crew, the fire is extinguished. Both men will be awarded the Albert Medal for their efforts. Private Brown will be lost when the steamer Dalewood is torpedoed and sunk in February 1918.
Today’s losses include:
- A 1912 Olympian
- A man whose brother drowned in the sinking of HMS Laurent
- The son of a member of the clergy
- A footballer and cricket player
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain Henry Sherard Osborn Ashington (East Yorkshire Regiment), a member of the 1912 Olympic team, is killed by a sniper as he is going round his posts and he dies the same night without recovering consciousness at age 26. In the University Sports of 1912, he won the Hurdles and the Long Jump for Cambridge, in 1913, the Hurdles, the Half-mile and the Long Jump. In 1914 he won the High Jump and the Long Jump, beating his own record. Shortly after the War broke out Captain Ashington was given a Commission in the East Yorkshire Regiment and went to the Belgian Front early in 1915. He was wounded in the advance of July 1916, and was sent to the London Hospital. After some months of light duty he returned to the Front in November 1916, and was promoted Captain. He was mentioned for a gallant action in the General’s Divisional Orders in December 1916.
- Cadet Patrick Kerr McNeill (Royal Field Artillery, formerly Glasgow Yeomanry) dies of illness at age 34 at home less than one week after his brother drowned in the sinking of HMS Laurentic. They are sons of the Reverend Daniel McNeill.
- Lance Sergeant Harry Joseph Howard (Sherwood Foresters) is killed in action at age 26. He played for the “Ironville Bible Class” Football Club and “Codnor Park” Cricket Club.