Sunday 15 April 1917 – We Lost 1,418

by greatwarliveslost

Arthur Keedwell Harvey-James

The hired transport Cameronia is torpedoed and sunk one hundred fifty miles east from Malta.  She is carrying 2,650 reinforcements for Mesopotamia from Marseilles via Alexandria, and at least one hundred twenty seven of the soldiers on board are lost and their bodies never recovered.  Survivors are picked up by the escorting destroyer HMS Rifleman the remainder being picked up the following morning by a sloop sent from Malta.

The hired transport Arcadian is torpedoed and sunk. She is carrying 1,335 troops and crew and is proceeding from Salonika to Alexandria and is in the southern Aegean, twenty six miles northeast of Milo. The troops have just finished a boat-drill when a submarine approaches and fires a torpedo causing the ship to sink in six minutes. Two hundred seventy seven men drown in the sinking including nineteen army officers.

  • Major Crathorn Edward Isham Charlton Anne (Royal Flying Corps) drowns at age 24. He is recommended for the Victoria Cross for attempting to save others. He is the grandson of ‘Sir’ Thomas Parkyns Baronet and cousin of Brigadier General Charlton.
  • Rifleman Walter James Newnham (Rifle Brigade) killed at age 24. His brother will be killed in action in October 1918.

Lieutenant Charles Pope VC (Australian Infantry) is killed in action performing acts that will win him a posthumous Victoria Cross at age 34.  When in command of a very important piquet position the sector held by his battalion he is ordered to hold this post at all costs. After the post has been heavily attacked, the enemy in greatly superior numbers, surround the post.  Lieutenant Pope finding that he is running out of ammunition sends back for further supplies.  But the situation culminates before it could arrive, and in the hope of saving the position he is seen charging into the superior enemy for with his piquet.

Today’s losses include:

  • A playwright
  • The grandson of a Baronet
  • The son of a General
  • A cousin of a General
  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • A man recommended for a Victoria Cross
  • Multiple families that will lose two, three and four sons in the Great War
  • A man whose letters from the front will be privately published
  • The son of Viscount Molesworth
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A man whose brother and his family will be killed during the blitz in September 1940

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel John Puckle DSO (Army Service Corps) is killed at age 48. His brother was killed in the first month of the war in Africa.
  • Captain Wilfred Joseph Bunbury (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 35. He is the son of Lady Harriot Bunbury.
  • Captain Theodore Anthony Brown MC (East Kent Regiment) is killed at age 27. His letters from the front were privately published as a book A Year in the Salient. His brother was killed in November 1915.
  • Captain Arthur Keedwell Harvey James (East Kent Regiment) is killed at age 41. He is the playwright Arthur Scott Craven.  His works include The last of the English a play in four acts, published in 1910.
  • Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ Charles Willoughby Murray Molesworth (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Viscount Molesworth.
  • Lieutenant Gerald Mercer Renny (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 21. He is the son of Major General Sidney Mercer Renny CSI CIE.
  • Second Lieutenant Augustus William Howell (Rifle Brigade) is killed in action at age 37. He is the son of the Reverend Alfred James Howell of Wyke Vicarage, Bradford.
  • Second Lieutenant Henry Charles Hamerton Gould (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Hamerton Gould Rector of Fawley.
  • Second Lieutenant Paul Archer May (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in August 1918 and they are sons of the Reverend Frederick Granville May Rector of Cardynham.
  • Corporal William Edward Stillman (Australian Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 27. His brother was killed last July.
  • Lance Corporal Edwin Real Bennett (Devonshire Regiment) dies on service at age 26. His brother was killed at Jutland last year.
  • Rifleman Ernest William Desaleux (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 23. He is the middle of three brothers who will be killed in 1917 while a fourth brother will be killed in September 1940 in a German Air Raid along with his wife and two children.
  • Private John Murray (Australian Infantry) is killed in action. His brother will be killed in October.
  • Acting Bombardier James William Bourner (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 29. He is the first of three brothers all who are serving in the Royal Artillery who will be killed over a four month period.
  • Gunner T Douglas (Royal Field Artillery) is killed. He is the second of four brothers who are killed in the war.