Wednesday 26 September 1917 We Lost 2,962
The offensive east of Ypres is renewed on a six mile front from south of the Menin Road to east of St Julien. The capture of the Tower Hamlets spur is completed by British troops. The weather is still fine and the ground has dried out; on this day Plumer’s rolling barrage works well and the Anzacs are able to advance concealed by a barrage. The 4th Australian Division now takes the rest of Polygon Wood, or what was left of it, and the Butte (which was the local Rifle club’s Rifle range; on top of the Butte is now the A.I.F. 5th Division memorial). They have thus reached a position where they can strike at the main Broodseinde Ridge.
HMS PC-61 (Lieutenant Commander F Worsley) rams and sinks the German submarine UC-33 in St George’s Channel. The Drifter Ocean Star (Skipper James Mitchell RNR) disappears and is presumed sunk by a mine off the Nab Light with a loss of her entire crew of ten.
Captain John Gerald Manuel (Royal Flying Corps) attacks alone the Abeele Aerodrome, dropping his bombs from about 1,500 feet with good results. A machine gun opens fire on him but he dives down low and silences it by firing 50-rounds from his machine gun. For his action this day Captain Manuel will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, but on 10th June 1918 he will be killed in a flying accident at the front.
Today’s losses include:
- A battalion commander
- The son-in-law of a General
- The brother of a General
- An actor
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- Multiple Military Chaplains
- Multiple sons of Justices of the Peace
- A cartographer and naturalist
- The son of the 20th Baron Hastings
- Multiple men whose sons will be killed in the Second World War
- A man whose twin brother will die on service next year
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel Oswald Mosley Croshaw DSO (Glasgow Yeomanry commanding 53rd Australian Infantry) is killed at age 38. He is married to the daughter of Major General Walter Weldon. Lieutenant Colonel Croshaw received his commission in the Hussars in 1899, and served with his regiment through the South African War, being with ‘Sir’ George White in the Defence of Ladysmith, and receiving the Queen’s and King’s Medals with six clasps. He retired and became Remount Officer for Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. He left England in April 1915, as Second-in-Command of the City of London Yeomanry, with whom he served in Egypt and in Gallipoli. In 1916 he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 53rd Australian Infantry and saw much service in France. He was three times mentioned in despatches and awarded the DSO for voluntarily crossing a barrage of fire three times to obtain accurate information of the situation. He was mortally wounded while leading his battalion in the attack on Polygon Wood.
- Major Clarence Evelyn Beerbohm (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 32. He is an actor and nephew of ‘Sir’ Herbert Tree.
- Captain Kenneth Thomas Limbery MC (Royal Army Medical Corps) is killed in action at age 25. His brother was killed in July 1916.
- Captain Arthur Reginald Loveband (West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Matthew Thomas Loveband.
- Captain Alan Graham Thomson (Royal Scots) is killed in action. He was a gold medal winner at Edinburgh Academy.
- Captain Francis William Ford MC (Cambridgeshire Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the only son of the Reverend John Thomas Ford head master of March Grammar School and curate of St John’s Church.
- Captain John Black (King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment) dies of illness at age 39. He is the son of the Reverend John Black.
- Lieutenant Frederick Herbert Doust MC (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed next September.
- Lieutenant Claude Henry Chute (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at Polygon Wood at age 33. His brother was killed on Gallipoli at Lone Pine in August 1915.
- Lieutenant John Stuart Bainbridge (Hampshire Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in October 1915.
- Second Lieutenant Percy Cecil Vaughan (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed. He is the brother of Lieutenant General ‘Sir’ Louis Ridley Vaughan and they are sons of Cedric Vaughan JP.
- Second Lieutenant Edwin Leonard Wood (Royal Scots Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 25. He is a cartographer and naturalist and the son of Walter Wood JP.
- Second Lieutenant John Douglas Marriott (Cameronians) is killed at ag e19. He is the son of the Reverend Frank Ransome Marriott Vicar of Wootton.
- The Reverend Benjamin Corrie Ruck-Keene (attached East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. His brother was killed in January 1916 and they are sons of the Reverend Edmund Ralph Ruck-Keene Rector of Copford.
- Chaplain the Reverend Charles Harold Garrett (attached South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. He was the late Assistant Priest of the Pirory Church, Worksop Notts.
- Company Sergeant Major the Honorable Jacob John Astley (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 32. He is the son of ‘Sir’ George Manners Astley 20th Baron Hastings.
- Sergeant Arthur William Currie (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 26. His brother was killed last December.
- Lance Corporal John William Prunnell (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 26. His brother was killed in October 1914.
- Lance Corporal Robert Charles Hall MM (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 29. His son will be killed in April 1943.
- Private Robert William Coxhill (Sherwood Foresters) dies at home of gas poisoning at age 36. His brother will die in 1920 as a result of his war service.
- Private Ernest Kent (Sherwood Foresters) dies of wounds. His brother died of wounds in June of this year.
- Private Robert William Gash (Machine Gun Corps) is killed in action at Passchendaele at age 24. His brother will be killed next March.
- Gunner Hylton Rodney Jolliffe (Royal Field Artillery) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend E Jolliffe.
- Private Dafydd Griffith (King’s Own Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 27. His brother will be killed in December of this year.
- Rifleman Arthur Edwin Cousins (London Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in April 1915.
- Private Alfred John Kester (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 27. His twin brother will die on service at home in November of next year.
- Private Frederick Allingham (Suffolk Regiment) dies of wounds at age 31. His brother died of wounds last month.
- Private Frank Hunsley (London Regiment) is killed at age 26. His two brothers were killed in 1916.
- Private John Shearon (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 36. His brother will be killed in December.
- Private Maurice Arthur Newberry (Hertfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 26. He is the middle of 3 brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
- Private John Lilburne Davison (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 24. His brother died on service in India earlier this month and they are sons of the Reverend W Hope Davison.
- Private Albert Charles Elvy (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 34. His brother was killed last year.
- Private Thomas William Geer (Cambridgeshire Regiment) is killed at age 32. His brother will be killed next June.
- Private Frederick William Pauley (Cambridgeshire Regiment) is killed in action. His son will be killed serving in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in May 1944. They are the only Pauley’s who will lose their lives in service of King and Country in the World Wars.
- Private Edward James Libretto (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 30. His brother was killed in October 1914.
- Private Earl Roland Mewburn (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 20. His older brother will be killed in the same area in six weeks. Neither man’s body will be recovered while they will both be commemorated on the Ypres Memorial.
- Private Charles Thomas Ayers (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 29. His brother was killed in November 1917.
- Private Arthur Ashley (Cambridgeshire Regiment) is killed. His brother will die of wounds in May 1918.