Tuesday 3 July 1917 – We Lost 423

by greatwarliveslost

Shot at dawn memorial

British air forces raid Belgian towns.

While the steamship Shuna is anchored in the River Seine, a fire breaks out among some cases of grenades which form part of the deck cargo. Master Albert Spence immediately hurries to the scene of the fire, but by the time he reaches the spot the cases are already on fire. With a few buckets of water he succeeds in extinguishing the fire before the first hose can be started, and he then removes the charred cases. Later some others catch fire, but the fire is gotten under control by means of the hose. Captain Spence’s actions undoubtedly avert an explosion and save a great many lives for which he will be awarded the Albert Medal.

Two members of the 22nd Canadian Infatnry are shot at dawn for desertion.  Private Gustave Comte and Private Joseph LaLancette both pay the ultimate price for their actions.  The twenty-two year old Comte had enlisted in September 1915 and landed in England in June 1916.  The twenty-one year old LaLancette joined the army in June 1916 just two days after Comte landed in England. LaLancette was drafted to France in November 1916, just before the end of the Battle of the Somme.

Today’s losses include:

  • Two Canadian soldiers shot at dawn
  • The son of a member of the clergy

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Second Lieutenant Leslie Nethercote Johnson MC (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend Alfred Henry Samuel Johnson Rector of Trusley.