Sunday 29 April 1917 – We Lost 1,858

by greatwarliveslost

Francis St Vincent Morris

40th squadron moves from Auchel six kilometers southeast to an aerodrome on the outskirts of the mining town of Bruay.

Flight Commander Hubert Dunsterville Harvey-Kelly DSO (Royal Irish Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps), the first pilot to land in France after the Great War began, dies of wounds three days after being shot down and made a prisoner of war on a day he was not scheduled to fly.

Flight Commander Rupert Randolph Winter achieves his first victory.  He will become a five-victory ace on the day he is killed in February of next year.

Second Lieutenant Francis St Vincent Morris (Sherwood Foresters attached Royal Flying Corps) dies of injuries he received in a crash three weeks earlier during a blizzard at Vimy Ridge at age 21.  He fractures both legs one of which has to be amputated and he dies during his second surgery.  He is the son of Canon Ernest E Morris JP the Chaplain to the Sherwood Foresters and his is a Great War Poet.  A book of his poetry was published in 1917, ‘The Poems of Francis St. Vincent Morris’.

The Eleventh Hour

Is this to live? – to cower and stand aside
While others fight and perish day by day?
To see my loved ones, slaughtered, and to say:-
“Bravo! Bravo! how nobly you have died!”
Is this to love? – to heed my friends no more,
But watch them perish in a foreign land
Unheeded, and to give no helping hand,
But smile, and say:- “How terrible is war!”

Nay: this is not to love nor this to live!
I will go forth; I hold no more aloof;
And I will give all that I have to give
And leave the refuge of my father’s roof:

Then, if I live, no man will say, think I,
“He lives: because he did not dare to die!”

Today’s losses include:

  • A Great War Poet
  • The first pilot to land in France after the war began
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A member of the first class of Military Cross winners
  • Multiple sons of Baronets
  • Families that will lose two and four sons in the Great War
  • A man whose brother-in-law killed at the Battle of Jutland

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Angus George Gillman (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 34. He was among the first 99 to be awarded the Military Cross.
  • Lieutenant Cyril John Pile (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 19. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Thomas Devereux Pile 1st
  • Second Lieutenant William Gilbert Elphinstone Clapp (Norfolk Yeomanry) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend William John Clapp Rector of Ashley, King’s Somborne.
  • Second Lieutenant Cyril John Pike (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps) is dies of wounds received in action at age 19. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Thomas D Pile the first Baronet.  His observer Lieutenant John Howard Westlake will die of wounds on 7th
  • Private George James Reynolds (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. His brother will die on service at home in December 1918.
  • Rifleman Henry Walter Mumford (London Regiment) is killed at Arras at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Levy Mumford and a History Honors student at Manchester University.
  • Private P Davidson (Royal Scots) is killed in action. He is the second of four brothers who are killed in the war.
  • Private Percy Cox (Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 33. His brother will be killed in the explosion of HMS Vanguard later this year and their brother in law was killed on HMS Shark at the Battle of Jutland.