Sunday 18 March 1917 – We Lost 342
Early this morning German destroyers attack the Dover Barrage. HMS Paragon is struck by a torpedo and gunfire and breaks in half and sinks within eight minutes. Some of her depth charges explode killing some of the seventy-five crew members that are lost including
- Lieutenant Richard Grenville Bowyer age 26. He is the grandson of both the Reverend William Henry Wentworth Atkins-Bowyer and Major General Charles Stuart Lane.
The minesweeper HMS Duchess of Montrose (Lieutenant Gerald L Lesmond) strikes a mine and sinks in less than one minute near the Graveslines Buoy off the coast of Belgium. Twelve members of her crew are killed.
Today’s losses include:
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- A grandson of a member of the clergy
- A grandson of a Major General
- The son of a member of the clergy
- A victim of Werner Voss
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain Guy Stafford Thorne (Royal Flying Corps) dies of wounds received in action at age 35 when his BE2d is shot down by Werner Voss. Thorne is the pilot of the aircraft and is hit in the back by what his observer later describes is an explosive bullet. Despite being shot and pain from his wound, he manages to land his aircraft at Henin sur Cojeul before he passes out. He dies later this day. He represented Wolverhampton Grammar school (1893-1899) at cricket, football and tennis. On this day he is in temporary command of his squadron and because of the importance of the reconnaissance has decided not to delegate the job to others but to go himself. His brother Lieutenant Colonel Harold Underhill Hatton Thorne will be killed next month.
- Captain Hubert Robarts Purser (Royal Marine Artillery) dies of illness in Tanganyika at age 40. He is the son of the Reverend T S Purser.
- Lieutenant Edwin Ballard Dalby (Royal Naval Reserve SS Joshua Nicholson) is killed at age 32 when his ship is sunk by a torpedo. He is married to the niece of ‘Sir’ John Middleton. Twenty-five others are also killed including the master.
- Pioneer Ernest Rhucroft (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 21. His brother died of wounds last July.