Wednesday 17 May 1917 – We Lost 471
The Q-Ship schooner HMS Glen (Lieutenant Richard James Turnbull, RNR) sinks the German submarine UB-39 off the Needles.
Lieutenant Douglas Frederick Hervey (Norfolk Regiment) dies in Cairo at age 20 after the amputation of his leg having been badly wounded in the left knee and shoulder at the Battle of Gaza last month. He is the eldest son of Matthew Wilson Hervey JP for Norfolk. Lieutenant Hervey joined the Norfolk Regiment in December 1914, before completing his term at Cambridge. In September 1915 he went to Gallipoli and was invalided home with enteric two months later. In January 1917 he took out a draft of the Sussex Yeomanry to Egypt and there rejoined his own Regiment. After being wounded on 19 April he lay in a shell-hole until dark and then pushed himself on his back for eight or nine hours, hoping to reach our lines. Exhaustion made him fall asleep and when he woke up he found himself within 500 yards of the enemy trenches, with several of his men lying near him. With two others he determined to try and get back to our lines some 2,500 yards away. Fortunately they came across three water-bottles, which gave them temporary relief. They all three got back to our lines, though it took them thirty hours to crawl the distance.
Today’s losses include:
- The son of a Justice of the Peace
- An Artillery Group commander
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- The son of a Justice
- The son of a school master
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Ernest Tyrrell (Royal Garrison Artillery commanding 64th Heavy Artillery Group) dies of wounds at home. He is the son of General F H Tyrrell.
- Major James Hugh Clapperton (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 31. His brother will be killed in September 1918.
- Captain William Bertram Vallancey (South African Infantry) dies on service at home at age 39. He is the son of the Reverend John Vallancey Vicar of Rosliston.
- Lieutenant Francis Burton Pitts (Leicestershire Regiment) is killed at age 27. He is the son of Reverend Canon Pitts Rector of Loughborough.
- Lieutenant John Stanser Rich (Liverpool Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the son of ‘the Honorable’ Mr. Justice George Edward Rich.
- Second Lieutenant Alfred Peel (Berkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend J Edward Peel and a former Scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
- Second Lieutenant Harold James Bradshaw (Norfolk Regiment) dies of wounds received in action in Palestine at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Charles James Bradshaw.
- Second Lieutenant Nelson Downie (Gurkha Rifles) dies of wounds on the Northwest Frontier of India received during an attack by Mahsuds. He is the son of John Downie schoolmaster of Newton Mearns.
- Corporal Edward Thomas Shearman (Norfolk Regiment) is killed at age 39 by shell fire. His brother was killed in December 1914.
- Private Albert Edward Bates (Gloucestershire Regiment) is accidentally killed at age 21. His brother was killed in July 1916.
- Private Arnold Jephson (Liverpool Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. His brother will be killed in exactly seven months.
- Sapper Alfred Mansfield (Royal Engineers) dies of wounds at age 30. His brother will be killed in less than 30 days.