Wednesday 10 October 1917 We Lost 1,212
During an enemy raid on London, one bomb falls on two adjoining houses, killing ten people and imprisoning eighteen under the wreckage. When help arrives it is found that some of the people who are imprisoned in basement of one of the houses are alive, but the work of rescue is exceedingly dangerous, as escaping gas in the basement becomes ignited and sets fire the debris above. Inspector Frederick Wright (Metropolitan Police), with an axe, makes a small opening in the floor over the basement, which is in a slanted and tottering condition, the joints which support it being broken, and through this opening, though much difficulty, thirteen people are rescued. It is then ascertained that two children are left in the basement and Inspector Wright, with Police Constables Robert Melton and Jesse Christmas, drops into the basement through the opening and searches for the children under very dangerous conditions. In addition to the fumes from the escaping gas, which are suffocating and the fire raging above there is a possibility of a further movement of the wreckage, which might prove fatal to all below. The space is so confined that they are barely able to reach the back of the premises. The children are found dead. Inspector Wright, on reaching the open air, collapses, overcome by the fumes and by his exertions, but, after medical care, he recovers sufficiently to be sent home. He returns to the scene of the disaster shortly after, and continues his work of rescue throughout the night.
HM Trawler Waltham (Skipper James Mair) goes missing off the Isle of Man. Her crew of 12 is lost.
Today’s losses include:
- A battalion commander
- A Medical Corps Ambulance commander
- A Henley Rowing champion
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple grandsons of members of the clergy
- The son of the 9th Baron Barnard and son-in-law of the 13th Earl of Westmorland
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- A man whose uncle and nephew are both killed in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel George Everard Hope MC (Grenadier Guards commanding 1st/8th Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 30. He is a former Oxford rower vs. Cambridge and a Henley championship rower.
- Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Ward Fortescue Sayres (commanding 2nd/1st Wessex Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps) dies of wounds at age 50 received 17th He is the son of the Reverend Edward Sayres.
- Captain (Temporary Major) the Honorable Henry Cecil Vane (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 35. He is the son and heir of the 9th Baron Barnard and son-in-law of the 13th Earl of Westmorland.
- Lieutenant Colin Gernon Palmer Campbell MC (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed in January of this year.
- Lieutenant Stanley C Goodyear MC (Newfoundland Regiment) is killed in action at age 31. His two younger brothers will also be killed in action during the Great War, one in 1916 and one in 1918.
- Lieutenant Alexander William Hewson Lillie (HMS Pretoria Royal Naval Reserve) dies on service at Mauritius at age 44. He is the son of the Reverend Gordon Lillie.
- Lieutenant Richard Gilbert Trevor Meade (Hussars) dies of wounds at age 22. He is the grandson of the Reverend George Digby Newbolt.
- Second Lieutenant Samuel Raymond Thickness (Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed in action at the Battle of Poelcapelle at age 27. He is the grandson of the Right Reverend Francis Henry Coldwell, Bishop of Leicester and Canon of Peterborough. He has an uncle who is killed in July 1916 and a cousin who will die of wounds in nine days.
- Second Lieutenant Christopher Frank Kirshaw Pierson (General List attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 18. He is the son of the Reverend Kirshaw Thomson Pierson Vicar of Chertsey.
- Private William John Dale (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 21 becoming the first of three brothers who will be killed in a six month period.
- Private David Johnson (Suffolk Regiment) dies of wounds received in action. His brother was killed in October 1916.
- Private Reginald V Stevens (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 29. His older brother will be killed next June.
- Driver Frederick J Busbridge (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds. His brother was killed last November.
- Private Gilbert Edwards Hildersley (Essex Regiment) is killed in action. His brother was killed in September 1916.
- Trooper Leonard Richard Webb (Household Battalion) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed in July 1916.
- Sapper Francis Pettitt (Royal Engineers) dies at home in Glasgow. His brother was killed last November.