Thursday 1 February 1917 – We lost 730
The daylight bomber offensive versus England code named Turk’s Cross is scheduled to begin today with the planned availability of thirty Gotha bombers. Material shortages, production and technical problems plus realistic training impose a three months delay.
8 (Naval) squadron hands it’s Sopwith Pups over to 3 (Naval) Squadron which takes its place in the line with the Royal Flying Corps while Naval Eighth’s personnel are sent back to Dunkirk to reform with the more formidable fighting machine – the Sopwith Triplane.
Germany resumes unrestricted U-boat warfare.
Manfred von Richthofen achieves his 19th victory when he shoots down a BE2d south of Thelus. Both crew members will die of wounds the next day as prisoners of war.
- Lieutenant Percival William Murray (Durham Light Infantry attached Royal Flying Corps) dies at age 20.
- Lieutenant Duncan John McRae (Alberta Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) dies at age 24.
Today’s losses include:
- A man whose two brothers will be killed as Generals in the Second World War
- The son of a General
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- A man who will have two brothers killed in the Great War
- The son of a member of the clergy
- A Bedfordshire Constable
- A church organist
- A family that will lose for sons as a result of Great War service
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Major Harry Kendal Walpole Bruce MC (Gurkha Rifles) is killed at age 37. He is the son of Lieutenant General ‘Sir’ Henry LeGeyt Bruce KCB.
- Captain Geoffrey Howard Atkinson (Rattray’s Sikhs) is killed in Mesopotamia ate 26. His brother was killed in December 1914.
- Lieutenant Francis St Leger Greer MC (Irish Guards) dies of wounds at age 22. His brother will be killed in July commanding the 2nd Battalion Irish Guards and they are sons of ‘Sir’ John Henry Greer.
- Second Lieutenant E L J Barstow (Sikhs) is killed in action at age 21. His two brothers will be killed serving as Generals in the Second World War.
- Second Lieutenant George Mitchell (Sikhs) is killed at age 20 in Mesopotamia. He is the son of the Reverend Robert James Mitchell.
- Second Lieutenant Thomas Edwards Brydon (Royal Engineers) dies of wounds at Kut at age 28. He is the nephew of ‘Sir’ Henry Ballantyne.
- Sergeant Henry William Gordon (Grenadier Guards) dies of wounds at age 25. He is a member of the Bedfordshire Constabulary.
- Private Henry Bruce (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 26. His brother will be killed in September of this year.
- Private John Isherwood (Manchester Regiment) dies of wounds at age 27. His two brothers have already been killed in the Great War.
- Sapper John Shaw Challenger (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 35. He is the organist and choir master at the Foundry Street Primitive Methodist Church.
- Driver Frederick Burgess (Royal Field Artillery) becomes the third of four sons of Thomas and Mary Ann Burgess to lose their lives in the Great War when he is killed at age 18. The fourth brother will die as a result of war service in 1920.