Sunday 30 September 1917 We Lost 803
The enemy bomb British positions between Tower Hamlets and Polygon Wood and launch three attacks all of which are repulsed. The first attack is south of the Routelbeek, the second and third along the Ypres-Menin Road.
During an enemy air raid on St Omer on this night at a hospital base three bombs are dropped in the camp at 22:40, (2 on marquees for patients and 1 in the nurse’s compound). Of the two bombs which drop on the marquees, one strikes a marquee which is unoccupied while the other strikes a marquee occupied by patients and two nurses on duty. The bomb which falls in the nurse’s compound strikes a bell tent which is unoccupied as the nurses who sleep in the tent are on night duty. The casualties which have resulted are – nurses killed three, wounded three (one dangerously). Other ranks – killed 16, wounded 60. Of the other ranks wounded 14 are transferred to other hospitals and one of these will die. There is much damage to canvas and equipment. 54 marquees are damaged (two absolutely demolished, while the damage to the others varies from almost complete destruction to mere riddling). 21 bell tents are damaged (one completely destroyed by a bomb and 20 have been riddled). Many pieces of iron pierce the new corrugated iron sleeping hut for sisters. One piece pierces iron and three pieces of asbestos boarding. Numerous panes of glass are broken in the permanent buildings. One of the ablution houses has been damaged.
While flying over the enemy lines taking photographs Lieutenant Edward Horace Pember (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps) is attacked by four enemy scout machines, which come down on him from a cloud. He and his observer are killed when they are shot down over Gavrelle. The 19-year old is the son of ‘The Honorable’ Margaret Pember and a Mathematical Exhibitioner of Balliol College. Lieutenant Pember obtained a Commission in the Royal Field Artillery in July 191 5. He trained at Ipswich and left England 5th November 1915 for Suvla Bay, where he served until the evacuation. He then served in Egypt until the autumn of 1916, when he volunteered for the Royal Flying Corps. He returned to England in November 1916 and trained at Oxford, Netheravon, and Dover. Having obtained his wings in May 1917 he was sent to France as a pilot.
Today’s losses include:
- A battalion commander
- A battery commander
- The son-in-law of a Baronet
- The son of a member of the clergy
- Multiple grandsons of members of the clergy
- A Military Chaplain
- A man whose brother-in-law will be killed
- A man whose nephew and name sake will be killed in 1943
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel Robert Westbrooke Hewitt DSO (commanding 14th Hussars) dies in Baghdad at age 37.
- Captain Alexander Boswell Campbell (Sussex Yeomanry) is killed in action. He is the son-in-law of ‘Sir’ Frederick Hardying Anson Hamilton Silverton the 7th
- Lieutenant Frederick Arthur Airey (Otago Regiment) is killed in action at age 25. He is the grandson of the late Reverend Robert Airey, vicar of Santon.
- Lieutenant Thomas Butler Butler-Storey (Irish Guards) dies of wounds at home at age 42. He is the grandson of the Reverend Charles Kemble and his nephew and name sake will be killed in April 1943 at age 22.
- Chaplain Walter E A Chadwick (East African Frontier Force) dies on service. He is the Venerable Archdeacon of Kavirando. He is the son of the Rt. Rev. George Alexander Chadwick, Bishop of Derry and Raphoe.
- Driver Arthur Slorance (Army Service Corps) dies of wounds at age 35. His brother died on service in August 1916 while his brother in law died of wounds two days after his brother.