Saturday 17 February 1917 – We Lost 1,444
W H S S Douglas-Willan
The Q-Ship HMS Farnborough (Lieutenant Commander G Campbell) sinks the submarine U83 by gunfire southwest of Ireland.
Today’s losses include:
- A battalion commander
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- A man who will have two brothers killed later in the Great War
- The son of the 4th Baron Langford
- An actor for the Birmingham Repertory Theatre
- Brothers killed together
- A member of the Hemel Hempstead Salvation Army Band
- A member of the Bedfordshire Constabulary
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel Robert James Francis Meyricke (Royal Fusiliers commanding 6th Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 38.
- Captain William Howard Sholto Stanhop Douglas-Willan (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend John Alfred Douglas-Willan Rector of Morley.
- Lieutenant Henry Guy Chaplin Coulson (Royal Marines Light Infantry) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed in April 1918.
- Lieutenant James Howard Stables (India Army Reserve of Officers attached Gurkha Rifles) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of the late Reverend Walter Howard Stables Vicar of St Chad’s, Leeds.
- Second Lieutenant Robert Burton Clegg (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Robert E Clegg.
- Second Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ George Cecil Rowley (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of the 4th Baron Langford.
- Sub Lieutenant William Ribton Haines (Howe Battalion Royal Naval Division) a member of the original stock company at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
- Brothers Lance Corporal Charles Guy Destrube and Private Paul Jean Destrube (Royal Fusiliers) are killed in action together. Charles dies at age 27 while his brother is only 26. They are the only Destrube’s to die in the service of their King in either of the World Wars and are buried together in same grave in Serre Road Cemetery No. 1.
- Private George Anderson (Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 29. His brother Robert is killed during the Great War.
- Private George Edward Fairclough (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed in action. His brother will be killed on the last day of this year.
- Private Clarence William Mears (Australian Infantry) dies of wounds received in action at age 25. His brother will die in less than one month.
- Private Laurence Ogden (Suffolk Regiment) is killed in action at age 24. His brother was killed in January 1915.
- Private George Brand (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 34. His brother was killed last July.
- Trooper Edward Romaine Thompson (Household Battalion) is killed in action at age 29. His brother will be killed in August of this year at Ypres.
- Private Alfred Henry Bass (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed. He is a member of the Hemel Hempstead Salvation Army Band.
- Private Charles Herbert Pedley (Royal Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the third member of the Bedfordshire Constabulary to be killed this month.
- Private Douglas Henry Purchase (Royal Marine Light Infantry Royal Naval Division) is killed at age 28. His brother was killed on the first day of the Somme.
- Private Arthur Maiden (Royal Marines Light Infantry) is killed at age 26. He is the first of three brothers who will be killed this year.