Thursday 16 August 1917 We Lost 4,119

by greatwarliveslost

Arthur Conway Young

Flight Lieutenant William Melville Alexander (Royal Naval Air Service) attacks two hostile scouts at about 3,000 feet, one of which, after a short combat, falls completely out of control.

British forces attack on a front of over nine miles of the Ypres-Meinin Road, capturing their first objectives and carrying the village of Langemarck fighting for a distance half a mile beyond the village taking over 1,800 prisoners.

  • Lieutenant Colonel Audley Charles Pratt DSO (commanding 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers) dies of wounds at age 43 as a result of shell bursting outside his dugout. He is the second son the Joseph Pratt DL JP of Enniscoe, Crossmolina, Ireland, and is a South African War veteran. Lieutenant Colonel Pratt was gazetted to the Royal Scots in 1895, and was promoted Lieutenant in 1896, and Captain in 1902. He served with his Battalion in the South African War, was mentioned in Despatches, and received the Queen’s Medal with three clasps, and the King’s Medal with two clasps. He retired in 1913. On the outbreak of the War he rejoined the Service as Second-in-Command of a Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers, and in August 1916, he was given command of the 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He was twice mentioned in Despatches and received the DSO.
  • Lieutenant Colonel ‘Sir’ Robert Benyon Nevill Gunter (Yorkshire Regiment) the 2nd Baronet dies on active service at age 26. He is a veteran of the South African War.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Stafford James Somerville (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers commanding 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers) dies of wounds at age 46. His son has been killed in action in 1916 and he is the son of the Reverend Dudley Gunter Chaplain to the Forces.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Frank George Greir Morris DSO (Border Regiment) is killed in action at age 48. He is the son of Major General Robert Morris IA.

After the capture of a position, the enemy mass in force and counter-attacked. The situation becomes very critical, all wires being cut. It is of the utmost importance to get word back to Headquarters. Private Harry W Brown (Albert Regiment) and one other are given a message with orders to deliver it at all costs. The other messenger is killed. Private Brown has his arm shattered but continues on through an intense barrage until he arrives at the close support lines and finds an officer. He is so spent that he falls down the dug-out steps, but retains consciousness long enough to hand over his message, saying “Important message.” He then falls unconscious and will die in the dressing station tomorrow. For his efforts Private Brown will be awarded the posthumous Victoria Cross.

Today’s losses include:

  • Multiple battalion commanders
  • A Baronet
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • A man whose son was killed in 1916
  • Multiple men whose sons will be killed in the Second World War
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • The son of a General
  • A Victoria Cross winer
  • The son-in-law of the 3rd Earl of Dartrey
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • A 14-victory ace the victim of Werner Voss
  • A Rhodes scholar
  • The Assistant Master of South District School
  • The grandson of Dr Samuel Smiles of self help fame
  • A London News Agency journalist
  • A man whose headstone read Sacrificed To The Fallacy That War Can End War
  • A print, journalist and former editor of Manxman
  • A man whose two uncles were killed in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Temporary Captain Gerald Vansittart Neave (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 32. He is the great grandson of ‘Sir’ Thomas Neave 2nd Baronet and related to Airey Middleton Sheffield Neave MP who will be assassinated in March 1979 by the Irish National Liberation Army in a car bombing.
  • Captain Arthur John Ross (Irish Rifles) is killed in action. He is the son-in-law of 3rd Earl of Dartrey and his son will be killed in October 1940 serving in the Royal Navy.
  • Captain Hubert Allan Churchward (Westminster Dragoons attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend Marcus Wellesley Churchward.
  • Captain John Nugent Cahill (Irish Rifles) is killed at age 27. He is one of three brothers who are killed in the war.
  • Captain James Owen Williams Shine (Dublin Fusiliers) is killed at age 26. He is the last of three brothers who are killed over the first three years of the Great War.
  • Captain Henry Jepson Paddison MC (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed leading his company in an attack at age 20. His brother was killed in July 1915.
  • Captain Noel William Ward Webb MC (Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 20 when he is shot down by Werner Voss over Polygon Wood. He is a 14-victory ace who was the first pilot to gain a victory in the Sopwith Camel.
  • Captain John Stanley Beck MC (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 29. His two brothers have been previously killed in the Great War.
  • Captain Alfred Francis James Steele-Nicholson (Royal Irish Rifles) is killed in action at age 31. His brother will die in April 1918 at home.
  • Lieutenant Theodore Arthur Carnegie (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) a Rhodes Scholar is killed at age 21.
  • Lieutenant William Graham Boyd (Royal Irish Fusiliers) is killed by shell fire at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend R H Boyd.
  • Second Lieutenant Gordon Dill Long Smyth (Royal Irish Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of the late Reverend James Smyth.
  • Second Lieutenant George Stride Falkiner (Dublin Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 19. He older brother will be killed in action five days later.
  • Second Lieutenant Vincent Robert Wordingham (Worcestershire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 27. He is the former Assistant Master of the South District School March.
  • Second Lieutenant Kenneth Shorland Abernethy (New Zealand Rifle Brigade) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Christopher Abernethy and has a brother who will be killed in September 1918.
  • Second Lieutenant William Ewart Woodburn Bamberger (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 26. His brother was killed in December 1914.
  • Second Lieutenant Frederick John Gwynn Ellison (Royal Irish Rifles) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend W F A Ellison.
  • Second Lieutenant Samuel Smiles (Royal Irish Rifles) is killed at age 36. He is a grandson of Dr. Samuel Smiles of self-help fame and has a brother that was killed in July 1916.
  • Second Lieutenant Robert Kirkpatrick Neill (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 20. His brother died of wounds in July last year.
  • Second Lieutenant John Murray (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed at age 19. He is the only son of the late Reverend George Murray DD.
  • Second Lieutenant Alfred Richard Williams (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 23. The London News Agency journalist is the son of the Reverend John Williams.
  • Second Lieutenant Neville Vernon Evans (South Wales Borderers) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend John David Evans Vicar of Treherbert.
  • Second Lieutenant Charles Everard Thorne MC (Royal Engineers) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend Charles William Thorne.
  • Second Lieutenant Arthur Conway Young (Royal Irish Fusiliers) is killed at age 26. His headstone in Tyne Cot Cemetery reads “Sacrificed to the fallacy that war can end war”.            
  • Corporal Albert Woonton (Royal Irish Rifles) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in June 1918.
  • Lance Corporal Henry Greer Mills (Irish Rifles) is killed at age 27. His brother was killed in September 1915.
  • Private Alfred Thomas Newell (Lincolnshire Regiment) dies at age 23. His brother was killed in action in February 1915.
  • Rifleman John Biggart (Royal Irish Rifles) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in April 1918.
  • Rifleman Joe Hey (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 30. His brother will be killed in November of this year.
  • Private Douglas Hartley (Machine Gun Corps) is killed in action at age 19. He is a printer and journalist and the former editor of “Manxman”. His brother will be killed in May 1918.
  • Private Henry James Depear (Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. His mother also lost two brothers in the Great War.
  • Private Thomas William Bamford (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in April of this year on Salonika.
  • Rifleman Wilfred Henry Moore (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed last May.
  • Private Archibald Richard Hayman (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in December.
  • Gunner Frederick Shingler (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed. His brother died of wounds in April 1916.
  • Private Gilbert Arthur Wagg (London Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will die of gassing in May 1918.
  • Rifleman William John Hall (Irish Rifles) is killed at age 26. His brother was killed in April.
  • Private John Tame (Berkshire Regiment) is killed. His brothers were killed together in May 1915 serving in the same Regiment).
  • Private Christopher Gillions (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at ag e23. His brother will be killed in May 1918.
  • Private Joseph Clulow (Irish Fusiliers) is killed in action. His son will be killed in August 1944 in the Second World War.
  • Private Norman Richardson (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 28. His son will be killed in the Second World War.
  • Private Harold Smith (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 22 less than one month after his brother was killed.
  • Private Frank Foley (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed in December 1915 at Kut.
  • Rifleman Richard H Treffry (London Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in October 1914.