Monday 2 July 1917 – We Lost 390
British advanced posts are driven back short distances from Lens.
British aeroplanes bomb Bruges. One of his engines having seized while he is over Bruges, Flight Lieutenant Cecil Hill Darley (Royal Naval Air Service) drops his bombs on his objective and manages to fly his machine home on one engine and make a safe landing at his aerodrome.
Major General William Holmes CMG DSO (4th Australian Division) dies of wounds received in action at age 55. While escorting the Premier of New South Wales William Holman around the trenches near Messines, the party leaves their car in order to avoid a dangerous corner. As they set out on foot, a German heavy salvo lands nearby and Holmes is hit through the chest and lung. His aide, Captain Maxwell, takes Holmes to the nearest aid post, where he dies.
Captain Charles John Beech Masefield MC (North Staffordshire Regiment) dies of wounds as a prisoner of war at age 35. He is a first cousin of Poet Laureate John Masefield and a Great War poet himself of the following:
Candle-light is so mellow and warm
When a man comes in all hungry and cold,
Clotted with mud, all wet from the storm-
Only of candle-light you shall be told.
Of Madame’s brave, sad eagerness,
And French serentiy of dress,
Her quiet, quick ways as she goes
To dry our heavy, sodden clothes
And bring all hot the great ragout
That makes once more a man of you,
Her pains to help us put away
The sights that we have seen all day,
Her talk of kine and oats and rye
And Francois’ feats when but so high-
You’d never guess, did you not know,
He died for France three months ago.
Search-lights are so blinding and white
The things they show you shall not hear,
Enough to see them; it is not right
We should tell of them too, my love, my dear.
Today’s losses include:
- A Major General
- A Great War Poet
- The cousin of the Poet Laureate
- A man whose uncle was killed previously
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- The son of an Alderman
- The son of a King’s Counsel
- Multiple families that will lose two sons
- The brother of a professional footballer who was killed last July
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain Con William Eric Cole-Hamilton (Royal Scots attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in a flying accident at age 21. His uncle was killed commanding the 6th East Lancashire Regiment at Sari Bahr on Gallipoli in August 1915.
- Captain Felix Wyatt (Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 28. He is the son of the Reverend James Deen Keriman Mahomed Wyatt Rector of Ingham.
- Lieutenant Eric St Clare Smith (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at Brooklands at age 25 when his biplane falls from the sky. He is the son of Alderman Enos Smith, Chairman of the West Ham Education Committee.
- Lieutenant Arthur Sidney Dunne (Dragooons) is killed at age 25. He is the son of Arthur Mountjoy Dunne KC.
- Second Lieutenant James MacHattie Crombie (Royal West Kent Regiment) dies of wounds at age 20 while wiring between the trenches.
- Second Lieutenant Frank Guy Buckingham Pascoe (Irish Fusiliers attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Frank Pascoe Vicar of St George’s Millom.
- Corporal Sidney Charles Wilson MM (Bedfordshire Regiment) is dies of wounds at age 26. His brother was killed in May 1915.
- Private Percy Blunt (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother a professional footballer was killed in July last year.