Friday 20 April 1917 – We Lost 839

by greatwarliveslost

Norman Leslie Steele & brothers

H M Paddle Minesweeper Nepaulin (Lieutenant James Clark) is sunk after striking a mine near Dyck Light Vessel.  The nineteen crew members are killed including the commander.

Driver Clifford Flower (Royal Field Artillery) is killed by a shell piercing his dug-out at age 25.  He is a Great War poet. Originally rejected from the army as he was ½ inch short of the required height, Flower wrote an appeal to Lord Kitchener and was then allowed to enlist. Three weeks after joining he is offered a stripe if he joined the clerical staff, but he preferred to remain with the ordinary ‘Tommies’. In 1915 Flower received a shrapnel wound in his arm but remained on duty.

Red’s Tribute to Khaki

(Red the chief of colours, to whom all other

colours pay homage, itself must now pay tribute

to Khaki, the colour of the glorious dead).


Colour magnificent, flaming splendid

Monarch potential, crowned ina flame;

Spirit of life before life is ended,

Symbol of power dominion and fame.


Blooming fair on the apples’ ripe skin

Roses voluptuous and poppies allure,

Luscious and warm on the lips of women,

Cheer to the heart when the heart is pure.

To you blow the spirits of every hue,

majestic, torrential, transcendent RED,

But pay you the tribute to virtue due,

KHAKI – the shade of the glorious dead.

Today’s losses include:

  • A man whose wife’s brother is killed
  • An actor and playwright
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • The son of an Alderman and Justice of the Peace
  • A deserter
  • A man whose son will be killed in June 1940 in Dunkirk
  • The grandson of a General
  • The great grandson of an Admiral

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major John Brooke Cunliffe (Northamptonshire Yeomanry) dies of illness at age 47. He is a veteran of the South Africa War and his sister’s husband was killed in action.
  • Captain Samuel Murray Carson (Army Service Corps) dies on service at age 52. He is a vigorous actor and a playwrite of several plays including Rosemary, Gudgeone, The Blue Boar, Chase Alley and more.
  • Lieutenant Titho Glynne Jones (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed at age 30 in Palestine. He is the son of the Reverend Canon Edmund O Jones Vicar of Llamidloes.
  • Second Lieutenant Norman Leslie Steele (Australian Flying Corps) dies of wounds as a prisoner of war at age 21 in Palestine when his Martinsyde G102 is shot down by anti-aircraft fire east of the lines. He has two brothers who have already been killed in the Great War.
  • Second Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) (Suffolk Regiment) dies of wounds at age 31. His younger brother will be killed in March 1918.
  • Second Lieutenant Alan Kennedy Williamsson (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Lawrence Williamson.
  • Second Lieutenant Thomas Henderson O’Donahue (Manchester Regiment) is killed at Gorre. He is the son of Alderman James O’Donahue JP.
  • Private Alexander Carmichael (Cameron Highlanders) is killed at age 38. His brother was killed last November.
  • Private Harold George Carter (Royal Highlanders of Canada) is executed for desertion at age 23.
  • Private Ernest Joseph Lodge (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed last November.
  • Stoker 1st Class Frederick Carder (HMS Broke) dies on service. He is the middle of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.
  • Gunner William James Barron (Royal Horse Artillery attached Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 23. His son will be killed in June 1940 at Dunkirk.
  • Private Monsell Mounier Orlebar Boxer (Hampshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 31. He is the grandson of General E M Boxer and great grandson of Admiral ‘Sir’ Edward Boxer KCB.
  • Private Arthur William Dyer (Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the middle of three brothers who are killed in the War.