Monday 12 February 1917 – We Lost 523
The Cunard liner Afric is torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine UC66 close to Eddystone Light in the English Channel. Of those on board, five are killed by the explosion, seventeen drown and one hundred forty-five survive. The troopship Celtic hits a mine laid by U80 off the Isle of Man with the loss of 17 lives. The Slieve Bawn takes the passengers to Holyhead and Celtic is towed into Peel Bay. The trawler Euston (Skipper William Christian) is sunk while on mine sweeping duty. Eleven are killed including her skipper who dies at age 32.
At Johannesbruck, near Songea, Tanganyika during an attack in thick bush on an enemy position and under very heavy rifle fire, Sergeant Frederick Charles Booth (British South African Police) goes forward alone and brings in a man who was dangerously wounded. Later he rallies native troops who are badly disorganized and brings them to the firing line. For his actions on this day and many previous occasions this NCO will be awarded the Victoria Cross.
Today’s losses include:
- The son of Justice of the Peace
- The daughter of Lord and Lady Seymour
- The son of a member of the clergy
- A family that will lose four sons in the Great War
- A man whose was died of wounds last October
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain Charles Norman (North Irish Horse) is killed at age 37. He is the son of the late Thomas Norman JP DL.
- Second Lieutenant Humfrey Theodore Shuldham Cole (London Regiment) dies of wounds at age 20. He is the son of Canon Theodore Edward Fortescue Cole of St Paul’s Cathedral Calcutta.
- Probationer Nurse Constance Emily Mary Seymour (Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service) dies at Connaught Hospital, Aldershot at age 29. She is the daughter of Lord and Lady Seymour.
- Private Samuel Henry Garraway (West Surrey Regiment) dies at home at age 32. He is one of four brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
- Private Percy Manning (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed at age 26. His brother died of wounds last October.