Thursday 10 May 1917 – We Lost 740
Lieutenant Daniel Joseph Sheehan (Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 22. While on a scouting expedition, a superior body of German aircraft engaged the British and Sheehan is shot down by Lothar von Richthofen. He manages to land the damaged plane in an open field, near Noyelles, before he dies in the cockpit of his Sopwith Pup. He is the eldest son of Captain Daniel Desmont (known as D D) Sheehan, MP. He was educated at Christian College, Cork, and Mount St. Joseph’s College, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. He played for Munster two years in the Senior College Inter-Provincial Rugby Championships and was considered the best three-quarter back in Ireland. He joined the Devitt and Moore’s Ocean Training Ship Medway as a Cadet in 1912, winning first prize for Navigation and General Seamanship. He transferred to HMS Hibernia as midshipman RNR, for training with a view to a permanent commission in the Royal Navy. After serving with the 3rd Battle Squadron in the North Sea, on the outbreak of the War he transferred to the Royal Naval Air Service, obtaining his aviator’s certificate in 1915. He was wounded while flying in Belgium, and, being regarded as unfit for further service with the RNAS, received permission to transfer to the Royal Flying Corps. He was engaged for a time as an instructor at Oxford before returning to active service. Sheehan’s two younger brothers are Lieutenant Martin Joseph (Royal Air Force) who will be killed on 1 October 1918 and Michael Joseph Aloysius Sheehan (1899-1975). Born in Skibbereen, Co. Cork Ireland, he left St. Finbarr’s College, Farranferris, Cork to join the 7th Leinster Regiment on 20 April 1915. He is transferred on 25 September 1915 to the Royal Munster Fusiliers as a Second Lieutenant and aged 16 is the youngest commissioned officer on the Western Front. He is promoted lieutenant on 1 July 1917 and was wounded twice. After the war he embarked 18 September 1919 for the British Indian Army and was promoted captain on 20 October 1920. In World War II, he served on the Headquarters of the 14th Army (UK) in Burma, reaching the rank of Brigadier. He was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1944, later advanced to Commander (CBE) in 1946, in recognition of his distinguished services during the Burma Campaign.
Today’s losses include:
- The son of the 6th Count & Countess of Magawly Cerati de Calry
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- The son of a Member of Parliament
- A battalion commander
- The son of a member of the clergy
- A Celtic Club footballer
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain (Acting Lieutenant Colonel) Valerio Awly Magawly de Calry DSO (Dragoons commanding 7th Rifle Brigade) is killed by a shell near Wancourt Arras. The 34 year old is the son of the 6th Count and Countess Magawly Cerati de Calry. He went to France in November 1914, and served with the Cavalry until 1916, when he is given command of the 7th Rifle Brigade. He fought in the Battles of the Somme and Arras, is twice mentioned in Dispatches, and receives the DSO and the Croix de Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
- Lieutenant David Keith Finnimore (Royal Engineers) dies of wounds at Aldershot Military Hospital at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Arthur Kington Finnimore.
- Second Lieutenant Trevor Webb (London Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 21. His brother will die of wounds next March.
- Company Sergeant Major Charles Edward Skeer (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies at home on service at age 41. His brother will be killed next March.
- Sergeant Walter Bond (Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action while on a photo recon. His brother was killed last October.
- Private John McLaughlin (Highland Light Infantry) dies of wounds received 23 April at the Battle for Cavelry Farm. He is a football player for the Celtic Football Club.
- Private William Joseph Harrington (Australian Infantry) dies of wounds as a prisoner of war at age 33 having been captured near Armentiers. His brother will die of wounds in August of this year.
- Private Evan MacDonald (Alberta Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will die on service in July 1919.
- Private William Edward Beable (Royal Marines) dies of wounds at age 30. His brother was killed in action last December.