Friday 27 July 1917 We Lost 592
While acting as a scout for a patrol Private Thomas Barratt (South Staffordshire Regiment) works his way towards the enemy line in spite of continuous fire from hostile snipers at close range. He stalks these snipers and kills them. Later his patrol his patrol is similarly held up and again he disposes of the snipers. During the subsequent withdrawal of his patrol it is observed that a party of the enemy is endeavouring to outflank them. Private Barratt at once volunteers to cover the retirement, and this he succeeded in accomplishing. His accurate shooting causes many casualties to the enemy and prevents their advance. After safely regaining our lines, this very gallant soldier was killed by a shell at age 25. For his actions this day Private Barratt will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
During bombing instruction a bomb hits the parapet and falls back into the trench which is occupied by Lieutenant Frederick Leonard Houghton (Royal Warwickshire Regiment), a non-commissioned officer and the man who has thrown the bomb. The non-commissioned officer shouts to the man to seek cover which he can easily do but the man remains crouching near the bomb. Lieutenant Houghton has already moved himself to safety but on hearing the shouts of the non-commissioned officer runs back into the trench, seizes the bomb and throws it over the parapet where it at once explodes. Had he not returned from his place of safety into danger the man would almost certainly have been killed. For his actions Lieutenant Houghton will be awarded the Albert Medal.
With his patrol engaged Lieutenant George Thomas William Burkett (Royal Flying Corps) engages a superior force of enemy machines, and although wounded early in the engagement, he continues to fight. He brings down two hostile machines, and drives off two more whilst returning to our lines with his own machine badly damaged. In spite of this, however, he succeeds in making a good landing.
The Zeppelin sheds at Brussels are bombed by 27th Squadron.
Lieutenant Ivan Beauclerk Hart-Davies (Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at home at age 41. He is the son of the Reverend John Hart-Davies. He played Rugby for Hampstead Wanderers, Blackheath and Midlands. He is a renowned veteran motorcyclist and holder of the final Lands End to John O’Groats U.K. record for solo motorcycles. In June 1911 riding his 3.5hp single-speed Triumph he covered the 886 miles in 29 hours 12 mins. As his speed exceeded the then maximum of 20mph further official record attempts were banned by the Auto Cycle Union.
Today’s losses include:
- The second Rhodes scholar to be killed in two days
- A Victoria Cross winner
- A Rugby player
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- A record holding motorcycle rider
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain Harold Gerard Hans Hamilton (Border Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Hamilton Vicar of Holybourne.
- Lieutenant William Arthur Marshall Boissier (Royal Marine Artillery) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend Frederick Scobell Boissier Vicar of Denby.
- Second Lieutenant Norman Lindley Watt (King Edward’s Horse attached Royal Flying Corps) a Rhodes Scholar is killed at age 27.
- Private John Wellings (North Staffordshire Regiment) is killed in Basra. His brother was killed in September 1914.
- Shoeing Smith William Allen (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 31. His brother died of wounds in the first December of the war.
- Private Harold George Summers (Gloucestershire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 21. His brother will die while training at home in February 1917.
- Private Edward Baker Godfrey (Manitoba Regiment) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend George Godfrey Vicar of Redbourne.