Friday 9 March 1917 – We Lost 499

George Edward Cates

George Edward Cates

The first night bombing of London by German fighter planes takes place.

Second Lieutenant George Edward Cates (Rifle Brigade) is engaged with some other men in deepening a captured trench when his spade strikes a buried bomb which immediately starts to burn.  Without hesitation he puts his foot on it and it immediately explodes killing him at age 24 but saving the lives of the others. For this action he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.  His two brothers will be killed next year.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • Families that will lose three and four sons in the Great War
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A victim of the Red Baron

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Brevet Lieutenant Colonel John Brecknock Noble (Royal Marines) dies at home at age 49. He is the son of the Reverend and Mrs. Noble.
  • Lieutenant Arthur John Pearson MC (Northamptonshire Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 29 when he is shot down by the Red Baron.
  • Private Henry Brazier (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 18. He is the third of four brothers who are killed in the Great War.