Monday 26 February 1917 – We Lost 567
The Battle of Nahr-al-Kalek is fought in the immediate aftermath of the British recapture of Kut by ‘Sir’ Frederick Maude, largely destroying the effectiveness of Turkish river forces on the Tigris River. Having inadvertently outrun their own ground forces, the Royal Navy gunboats Mantis, Moth and Tarantula find themselves under fire some 30km north of Kut from four Turkish vessels at Nahr-al-Kalek while pursuing the retreating Turkish force from Kut. Among the Turkish ships was the originally-British monitor Firefly. In the ensuing gunnery battle the British succeed in routing the Turks, destroying all three Turkish-built ships while successfully recapturing Firefly. In addition to trouncing the Turks the British manage to secure several hundred prisoners from Turkish infantry along the shore.
A large enemy bombing raid takes place on the Royal Flying Corps airfield at Janesh. Seven mechanics are killed and another nine wounded.
Today’s losses include:
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Gerald Vaughan-Jones (Royal Engineers attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 25 during a reconnaissance of the Hindenburg Line. His older brother will be killed in action in May 1918.
- Private Neville Smart (Honorable Artillery Company) is killed at age 34. His brother will die on service in India in October 1918.
- Private James Bath (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 38. His brother was killed in September 1915.