Wednesday 18 July 1917 We Lost 465
A heavy preliminary artillery bombardment which will last for ten days begins for the Battle of Passchendaele. Three thousand guns expend a quarter of a million shells into the surrounding ground. This assault combined with the heaviest rains the area has seen in 30 years turns the ground into a muddy quagmire.
A major fire envelopes the town of Salonika for three days.
Major Ernest Cole Fleming MC (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 33. This is the second time his wife has been widowed by the Great War having lost her first husband Captain George Armand Furse (Royal Field Artillery) is 1914.
Today’s losses include:
- A man whose wife now loses her second husband to the Great War
- A family that will lose three sons in the Great War
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- A school headmaster
- A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain Philip Mundy Chaworth-Musters MC (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 22. He is the second of three brothers to die in the Great War.
- Captain William Gray Walker MC (General List attached Trench Mortar Battery, 8th Division) is killed in action at age 31. He is the son of the Reverend Johnstone.
- Captain Claude Denman Bennett (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) is shot and killed by a sniper at age 30. He is the Headmaster of Langcliffe School.
- Captain Ian MacFarlane (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Egyptian Hospital Khan Yunus Egypt) dies on service at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend Norman C MacFarlane and he was a Medical Missionary at Nazareth Palentine from 1911 to 1914 joining the forces in 1915.
- Sapper George Brown (Royal Engineers) is killed on Salonika at age 38. His son will lose his life serving in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in the Second World War.