Wednesday 27 June 1917 – We Lost 457

by greatwarliveslost

Alan Cookson

General Allenby arrives in Egypt to replace Murray. Unlike most generals, Allenby becomes well-known to his troops moving his Headquarters from Cairo to Palestine.  His mission is according to Lloyd George, to take Jerusalem before Christmas and then take Aleppo before a new German force of 6500, the Asia Corps under Falkenhayn, arrives to take on the British in Mesopotamia.  Gaza had to be taken first, where the Turks are building trenches to create a defensive line 30 miles long from Gaza to Beersheba.

The Cunard liner Ultonia is torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U53 while east bound about three hundred fifty miles west from Land’s End.  The Ultonia sinks in ten minutes but fortunately is being escorted by a ‘Q boat’, which picks up the crew and lands them at Falmouth.  One man is killed during the operation of leaving the ship.

Captain Alan ‘Skipper’ Cookson (Liverpool Regiment) is killed at age 23. The following poem by Second Lieutenant Murray McClymont was dedicated to his “skipper”.

God’s Acre

When sands of Time have run their course

And mortal heart is stilled,

We render back unto its Source

The dust that He fulfilled

And in some still, subdued spot

Where all is peace, and they

Who walked the silent paths are taught

To meditate and pray,

We to that dust its rest afford

And dry our idle tears;

For Death is peace, and Peace adored

Reigns here throughout the years.

Today’s losses include:

  • A man that the poem God’s Acre is dedicated
  • A prisoner of war attempting to escape
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain William Graveley Morritt (East Surrey Regiment) is killed attempting to escape after three years as a prisoner of war at Schwarmsted Camp, German. He dies at age 24.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Edgar Wylde (Norfolk Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) dies of wounds at age 28. His brother will be killed in April 1918.
  • Sergeant George Leonard Hayward (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 20. His brother will be in November.
  • Private David S Bain (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed. His brother was killed in April 1916.
  • Private Alfred Clement Williams (West Surrey Regiment) one of three brothers to lose his life in the Great War dies on service at age 29.
  • Private Frederick Edwin Slater (Army Service Corps) is killed. His brother died of wounds last October.