Friday 28 September 1917 We Lost 764

T E Hullme

The 15th Indian Division is sent to the town of Ramadi, Mesopotamia about 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Baghdad on the south bank of the Euphrates River, where an important Ottoman garrison is quartered. A defeat of that garrison will allow the British further advance along the river. General Brooking orders the building of a dummy bridge and road on the north bank, to fool the Turks that the assault they expect will come from that side. He then sends the 6th Cavalry Brigade on a wide flanking march to take up positions to the west of the town (on the Turkish line of retreat). The attack begins today on the south bank of the Euphrates, with two brigades of the 15th Division forcing their way into the town. Although the Turks expect an assault, the British make ample use of armored cars, which the defenders of the town are not ready to fight against, and the garrison is quickly outflanked and surrounded. An evening escape attempt is thwarted by the British cavalry.

Lieutenant Reginald T C Hoidge (Royal Flying Corps) shoots down and kills the German pilot credited with a victory over the French ace Guynemer.  Lieutenant Merril Samuel Taylor (Royal Naval Air Service) scores his first victory when he downs an Albatros DIII.

Private John Patrick Bugden (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 20 at Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke Ypres on the third day of performing duties for which he will be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. During the period previous two days and today an advance is held up by strongly defended pillboxes. Private Bugden, despite devastating machine-gun fire, twice leads small parties against these strong points and, successfully silencing the guns, captures the enemy at the point of the bayonet. On another occasion, he rescues a corporal from capture when, single-handed, he rushes up, shoots one of the enemy and bayonets the other two. On five occasions he rescues wounded men under intense shell and machine-gun fire, showing an utter contempt and disregard for danger. He is killed during one of these missions.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • An Australian Rules footballer
  • The son of the Jurist who participated in the Oscar Wilde trial
  • A Great War Poet
  • A Rugby footballer
  • A Minister serving as a Private who just found out today he was granted a commission as a Chaplain

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Francis Daubarn Stones MC (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 39. His brother was killed in May of this year.
  • Chaplain David De Venny Hunter (Australian Army Chaplains Department) is killed at age 41.
  • Lieutenant Frederick Richard McIntosh (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 24. He is an Australian rules footballer who played 39 games and he scored five goals for University and Essendon.
  • Second Lieutenant Richard Grain Humphreys (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Gravers Humphreys the noted barrister and judge who was involved in the cases of Oscar Wilde, the murderer Harvey Crippen and the Acid Bath Murderer.
  • Second Lieutenant Ronald Paton Hood (Royal Flying Corps) is killed during an air flight. His brother was killed in April of this year.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Ernest Hulme (Naval Siege Battery, Royal Marine Artillery) is killed in action at age 34. He is an aesthetician, literary critic and one of the Great War poets whose poems include Trenches; St Eloi and In the City Square. A founder of the Imagist movement he is considered a major 20th-century literary influence. He was educated at Newcastle-under-Lyme grammar school and went to St John’s College, Cambridge, but was expelled for being rowdy in 1904. Thereafter he lived mainly in London, translating the works of Henri Bergson and Albert Sorel and, with Ezra Pound, F S Flind and Hilda Doolittle, instigating the Imagist movement.  Five of his poems were published in New Age in January 1912 and reprinted at the end of Pound’s   Before his death he defended militarism against the pacifism of Bertram Russell.  Though Hulme published little in his lifetime, but his work and ideas springs to fame in 1924 when his friend Rupert Read assembles some of his notes and fragmentary essays under the title of Speculations. 

The Embankment

Once, in finesse of fiddles found I ecstasy

In the flash of gold heels on the hard pavement

Now see I

That warmth’s the very stuff of poesy

Oh, God, make small

The old star-eaten blank of the sky

That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.


A touch of cold in the Autumn night –

I walked abroad,

And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge

Like a red-faced farmer

I did not stop to speak, but nodded,

And round about were the wistful stars

With white faces like town children

  • Lance Corporal Edward Buckley (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 25. He is Rugby footballer who achieved national honours for Australia against the touring English team in 1910.
  • Private Frederick Payne (Yorkshire Regiment) becomes the first of three brothers to be killed within a thirty-day period when he is killed at age 22.
  • Private William Clyde Coish (Newfoundland Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in July 1916.
  • Private Paul Frederick Horton (Royal Scots) is killed at Zonnebeke at age 29. He is Assistant Minister at Fulneck Church and was notified today that he has been gazetted as a Chaplain to the Forces.
  • Private George Robert Choat (Australian Pioneers) is killed at age 38. His son will be killed in the Second World War.