Sunday 4 March 1917 – We Lost 685
40th squadron suffers the loss of “Black Friday”. Also Albatros D.III scouts of Jasta 11, led by Manfred von Richthofen dive on the Royal Flying Corps flight. Four FE8s are shot down and the remaining aircraft of the patrol are damaged.
- Second Lieutenants Herbert John Green and Alexander William Reid (King’s Own Scottish Borderers attached) are shot down and killed by the Red Baron. Reid has been at the front for nine days.
Gunner Frederick Powner (Royal Field Artillery) attempts to save a man who is thrown in the Tigris when his mule trips in a hole while watering. Unfortunately he is unable to find the man. For his actions he will be awarded the Humane Society Medal. He will be killed in Baghdad in October of this year.
Today’s losses include:
- Two victims of the Red Baron
- The great grandson of the Poet Felicia Hemans
- The son of a member of the clergy
- The son-in-law of a member of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- A man who will have two brothers killed in the Great War
- A volunteer whose husband wall killed in the Royal Navy in 1915
- The drama critic for the Birmingham Daily Mail
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Major George Willoughby Hemans (Indian Cavalry) is killed in action at age 37. He is the great-grandson of Felicia Hemans, the poetess and son in law of the late Reverend. A. J. Myers. He went to France early in the War and was mentioned in Lord French’s Dispatches of October 1915. He is killed having just returned to the Front after riding in the King’s Imperial escort at the opening of Parliament. At the time of his death he is commanding a detachment of his Regiment.
- Captain Francis Ernest Knight (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 35. His brother will be killed in May.
- Second Lieutenant Frederick Mallinson Marrs (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Francis Marris.
- Second Lieutenant Richard Aubrey Fuge Grantham (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 21. His younger brother will be killed in twenty-seven days.
- Lance Corporal Charles William Benwell (Royal Berkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 30. His brother will be killed in October 1918.
- Lance Corporal George Thompson (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed. His two brothers will also be killed in the Great War.
- Rifleman George Savage (Royal Irish Rifles) is killed in action. His brother will be killed in August 1918.
- Private George Gardner (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in September 1915.
- Mary Jane Flynn Gartside-Tipping (Women’s Emergency Corps) is shot to death by a deranged French soldier while on active service. She is the widow of Lieutenant Commander Henry Thomas Gartside-Tipping who was lost when the Yacht he was commanding was sunk by shore batteries off Zeebrugge in September 1915. She will be posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre.
- Private John William Husbands (Leicestershire Regiment) dies of wounds received 21st February at age 39. He is the dramatic critic for the Birmingham Daily Mail and a versatile journalist.