Thursday 14 June 1917 – We Lost 695
Flight Commander John Edward Sharman (Royal Naval Air Service) while on an offensive patrol with three other scouts observes 5 Albatross Scouts. He dives on one of these, firing from his machine gun at about 50-feet range. The Scout then goes down in a spin. Commander Sharman will be dead in 5 weeks.
Private William Banwell (Otago Infantry, New Zealand Expeditionary Forces) is killed in action at age 34 when he shot as a German observation post near Sunken Farm (Warneton) is taken this night. Only a few days before his death, he sent a poem to his wife at home with the title ‘A Soldier’s Dream’. It ends with the following verses:
There was just another vision. Dear wife, if I should die
Remember that I loved you: don’t grieve, sweetheart or cry,
For when our lads are grown, dear, your voice will thrill with pride
When telling them how your father for his country gladly died.
Today’s losses include:
- A man who was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1897
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- The brother of a Hearts of Midlothian FC player who was killed last year
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Colclough Watson VC (Royal Engineers) dies on service at age 50. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in the Mamund Valley on 16th September 1897.
- Lieutenant and Quartermaster Gerald Owen Lydekker (Bedfordshire Regiment) dies of myasthenia gravis on service in Egypt at age 29. His brother was killed on Gallipoli in August 1915.
- Second Lieutenant John Gibson Speedie (Royal Scots) is killed in action at age 25. His younger brother, a former football player for the Hearts of Midlothian Football Club has been killed in September 1915.
- Second Lieutenant James Brendan Lane-Mullins (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action. He is the only son of the Honorable J L Lane-Mullins.
- Corporal Frank Lowe (Suffolk Regiment) is killed in action. His brother died of injuries on service in March 1916.
- Private William Henry Whalley (Manchester Regiment) is killed in action. His brother will be killed in October 1918.