Saturday 19 May 1917 – We Lost 589
An attack on the troopship Celtic fails while the ore carrier Farnham (Master Charles Stoddart Westerby) is torpedoed and sunk ninty miles northwest of the Fastnet. Seventeen are killed including her Master who dies at age 47.
Sergeant Albert White (South Wales Borderers) realizes during an attack that one of the enemy’s machine guns will probably hold up the entire advance of company. Without hesitation he dashes ahead to capture the gun. When within a few yards of the gun he falls riddled with bullets thus sacrificing his life in order that he might secure the success of the operations and the welfare of his comrades. For his actions he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
Today’s losses include:
- A Victoria Cross winner
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- A man whose brother was killed in the South Africa War
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- A man shot at dawn
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Major Gerald Desmond Mills (Royal Flying Corps) is killed in an airplane accident at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend Canon William Mills, the Rector of Bennington, Herts. His elder brother was killed in the South African War.
- Major Wilfrid Frank Rogers DSO (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend Alfred George Rogers Rector of Gatton.
- Captain John Archibald Ainslie (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed at age 29. His brother was killed exactly one month ago in Palestine.
- Captain James Ferguson St John Annesley (Royal Army Medical Corps) is accidentally killed at home. He is the son of Canon Annesley of Clogher Thetford.
- Lieutenant Kenneth George Davies (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 21 at Vimy. He is the son of the Reverend Wilfred H Davies Rector of St George’s in the Fields.
- Second Lieutenant George Frederick Maynard Thomson (Liverpool Regiment) dies of wounds. His brother will die at home on service in November of this year.
- Corporal Bertie Phillip Nichols (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed earlier this month.
- Private Samuel Cunnington (Warwickshire Regiment) is executed for desertion at age 20. His brother was killed in September 1915.
- Private William Dodds (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) killed in action at age 22. His brother will be killed in November 1917.