Tuesday 6 November 1917 We Lost 1,904

by greatwarliveslost

           John Fox Russell VC

The 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions having taken over the front, relieving the 3rd and 4th Canadian Divisions respectively begin an attack on Passchendaele. Less than three hours after the start of the assault, many units have reached their final objective lines and the town of Passchendaele has been captured.

  • Captain William Gilson (Western Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 33. His son Air Observer Edmond William John Gilson will be killed serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force on 28th August 1942.
  • Lieutenant Montague Lewis Farmar-Cotgrave (Eastern Ontario Regiment) is killed in action at age 25. His brother will be accidentally killed next month.
  • Corporal Benjamin Thomas Gunning (British Columbia Regiment) is killed at age 25. His brother was killed in April 1915.
  • Lance Corporal Walter Ralph Woods (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in September 1916.
  • Private Edwin L. Gardiner (221st Canadian Expeditionary Forces) one of two brothers of the future Premier of Saskatchewan to be killed in action dies at the battle of Passchendale.
  • Private Donald Farquharson (Manitoba Regiment) is killed in action. He is one of four brothers who are killed in the Great War.

At Passchendaele, when his platoon is held up by a machine-gun, Private James Peter Robertson (Manitoba Regiment) rushes the gun, killing four of the crew and then turns the gun on the remainder. After inflicting more casualties and carrying the captured gun, he leads his platoon to the final position and gets the gun into action, firing on the retreating enemy. During the consolidation his use of the machine-gun keeps down the enemy sniper fire. Later when two of the snipers on his own side are wounded, he goes out and carries one of them in under heavy fire but he is killed just as he returns with the second man. For his actions this day he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Chetwode attacks Sheria and wins the battle in one day, used Stokes mortars against trenches, and over the next days widens the gap in the Turkish defense lines.

  • Lieutenant Colonel Algernon Carteret Thynne DSO (commanding Royal North Devon Hussars) is killed in Palestine at age 49. He is a veteran of the South African War.
  • Captain Edward Stanley Russell MC (Herefordshire Regiment) is killed at age 34 at Beersheba. He is the son of the Reverend T R Russell and is a Great War Poet.
  • Captain Hanbury L Kekewich (Sussex Yeomanry) becomes the third and final brother to be killed when he loses his life in Palestine at age 32. His brothers were killed in September 1915 and two weeks ago.
  • Captain Cyril Mortimer Green (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Mortimer Green.
  • Captain George Manley (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) is killed in Palestine at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Jones Manley Rector of Llanbedrog.
  • Captain Evan Jones (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed at age 36. He is the son Arthur Jones JP.
  • Captain Edward William Walker DSO (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 25. He is the son of the late Reverend William Greaves Walker Rector of Knockin.
  • Captain Randolph William Creswell (Imperial Camel Corps, Australian) is killed at Beersheb. He is the son of Rear Admiral William Rooke Creswell KCMG KBE OBE who has already lost one son in the Great War.
  • Captain Walter Lionel Carver (Herefordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 34 in the Middle East. He is the son of Thomas Carver, Justice of the Peace.
  • Corporal Hiram Wilfrid Moulson (Sussex Regiment) is killed in action in Palestine at age 30. His brother will die of wounds as a prisoner of war in November 1918.
  • Private D Ellis (Herefordshire Regiment) is killed in Palestine at age 25. He is one of four sons of James and Elizabeth Ellis of Leominster to lose their lives in the Great War.

Captain John Fox Russell VC MC (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Welsh Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 24. At an early age, he passed the examination for a scholarship at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was educated for a few years before attending St. Bees School in Cumbria. While at School he was an enthusiastic member of the Officer Training Corps. He joined the Middlesex Hospital when only sixteen years of age and it was while he was in London that he joined the University of London Officers Training Corps, obtaining a commission in the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1914. He was with them in camp when war was declared. Being anxious to qualify, he was seconded in order to complete his medical studies. After obtaining his degrees, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, and was attached to a battery of the Royal Field Artillery. He later re-joined his old regiment Royal Welsh Fusiliers and went out to Egypt as medical officer. In the First Battle of Gaza he won the Military Cross. He was subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross at Tel-el-Khuwwilfeh, Palestine. Captain Russell repeatedly went out to attend the wounded under murderous fire from snipers and machine-guns, and in many cases, when no other means were at hand, carried them in himself, although almost exhausted. He showed the greatest possible degree of valour. His brother will be killed one week after the Armistice serving in the Royal Air Force.

Today’s losses include:

  • Multiple Victoria Cross winners
  • The brother of a future Premier of Saskatchewan
  • A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
  • Multiple families that will lose two, three and four sons in the Great War
  • Multiple battalion commanders
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A Great War Poet
  • Multiple sons of Justice of the Peaces
  • The son of an Admiral
  • The son of a General
  • A Rhodes scholar
  • A Gartshore United footballer

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Durham Murphy DSO MC (commanding 2nd Leinster Regiment) is killed at age 27.
  • Captain Claud William Hamilton (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed in action at age 27. He is the son of the Reverend Dr. Frederick John Hamilton, joined the Artist Rifles in 1914 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in 1915.  His brother was killed in July 1916.
  • Captain Leopold George Frederic Fawcett (Scots Fusiliers) is killed at age 28. He is the son of Lieutenant Colonel J and the Honorable Mrs Faucett.
  • Captain Alfred Terence Leatham Richardson (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend Alfred Richardson.
  • Lieutenant Gerald Charles Edward Gloster (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of Brigadier General Gerald Meade Gloster CMG.
  • Lieutenant Walter Power (South African Horse) is killed at age 28. He is a Rhodes Scholar.
  • Second Lieutenant James Allan Christie (Royal West Surrey Regiment) dies at home at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend James Allan Christie Vicar of Thornton le Moor.
  • Lance Corporal Leonard Jarvis (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed in April 1915.
  • Private Gordon Rupert Waters (Australian Army Medical Corps) is killed in action at age 20 serving as a stretcher-bearer at Dickebusch, near Ypres. His brother was killed in April 1915 on Gallipoli.
  • Private Robert Scott (Black Watch) is killed in action in Egypt at age 24. He played football for Gartshore United.
  • Private William Rippin (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 25. His brother died of appendicitis in October 1915.
  • Private Ernest Maiden (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed in Palestine. He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.