Wednesday 4 July 1917 – We Lost 405
At Observatory Ridge, about five miles from Ypres and a mile from Hooge, the Liverpool Regiment are in the front line. Lieutenant Aidan Chavasse and 8 men are out on a raiding party when they meet a German patrol and in the ensuing fight Lieutenant Chavasse is wounded. When the party returns, it is discovered he is missing. His brother Bernard the medical officer of the battalion and some others go out to try and bring him back but he is never found. Lieutenant Aidan Chavasse is dead at age 26 one month prior to the death of his brother Noel, one of only three double Victoria Cross winners in the history of the British military. They are sons of the Bishop of Liverpool.
Gothas raid the Royal Naval Air Station at Felixstowe. Civilian worker John Charles Newman is killed at age 46. His son will die of wounds in April next year.
The ship S S Ribston is sunk by a torpedo 85 miles west of Fastnet killing 25 including the Master J Tweedie.
Lieutenant ‘Lord’ Ian Basil Gawen Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 47 at Boesringhe, in Flanders during a night raid. He is the son of the 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava KP Governor General of Canada. He was an artist in black and white for children’s books written by Hilaire Belloc including The Bad Child’s Book of Beasts, More Beasts, The Modern Traveller, A Moral Alphabet, Cautionary Tales for Children and More Peers. His brother died of wounds at Ladysmith in January 1900 and a nephew will be killed in Burma in March 1945.
Today’s losses include:
- The brother of a double Victoria Cross winner
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- The son of a member of the clergy
- A son of the 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava KP and Governor General of Canada
- An artist
- A man whose brother died of wounds in the South African War at Ladysmith
- A man whose nephew will be killed in March 1945 in Burma
- A man whose son will be killed in action
- A prominent footballer
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain John Norman Wilson (Black Watch) is killed in action at age 25. He is the only son of ‘Sir’ James Wilson.
- Second Lieutenant Ian Fitzgerald Stuart Gunnis (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 26. He is the son of ‘the Honorable’ Mrs Gunnis.
- Second Lieutenant Frank Remington Pretyman (Scots Guards) is killed. His brother was killed in August 1915 on Gallipoli.
- Company Sergeant Major Herbert Pickard DCM (Lincolnshire Regiment) dies of wounds received eight days earlier at age 51. His son was killed in that action.
- Sergeant David Farquarson Smart (Canadian Infantry) dies of wounds received in action at age 24. He is prominent in Scottish and Saskatoon football.
- Corporal Oscar Augustus Vaughan (Newfoundland Regiment) dies at home at age 26. His two brothers will also lose their lives in the Great War.
- Private Alexander Milne Gellatly Fyfe (Machine Gun Corps) is killed in action at age 23. His brother will be killed in March 1918.
- Private Edwin Shelton Bicheno (Australian Pioneers) dies of wounds at age 22. His brother was killed last July serving in the South African Infantry.
- Private Clarence Norton (Liverpool Regiment) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son of the late ‘Sir’ Ralph Norton.