Tuesday 4 December 1917 We Lost 556
Bourlon Wood is evacuated by the British.
There are minor actions north of Jaffa and on the Jerusalem road. At El Burf when Turkish soldiers in a large number manage to crawl up within 30 yards of the British firing line and with bombs and automatic rifles are keeping down the fire of the British machine-guns, Second Lieutenant Stanley Henry Parry Boughey (Royal Scots Fusiliers) dies of wounds received three days earlier performing actions for which he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
The 11th and 14th British Corps take over from the Italians the Montello sector of the Piave River front, with the French on their left. The Montello sector acts as a hinge to the entire Italian line, joining that portion facing north from Mt. Tomba to Lake Garda with the defensive line of the Piave River covering Venice, which is held by the Third Italian Army. The British troops in this sector will not be involved in any large operations, but they will carry out continuous patrol work across the Piave River, as well as much successful counter battery work. The Piave will prove to be a very serious obstacle, especially in the wintertime, the breadth opposite the British front being considerably over 1,000 yards and the current fourteen knots. Every form of raft and boat will be used, but wading will prove to be the most successful method of crossing, in spite of the icy coldness of the water.
Today’s losses include:
- A Victoria Cross winner
- A battalion commander
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel John Maxwell MC (Rifle Brigade commanding 7th King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 36.
- Lieutenant Colonel Henry Charles Rochfort-Boyd (Royal Horse Artillery) dies of wounds received three days before near Cambrai at age 40. He is the son of Colonel C A Rochfort-Boyd CMG.
- Major Norman Cecil Ingpen (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 23. His brother died of wounds in June 1916 in East Africa.
- Captain Anthony Dalzell Clark (Essex Regiment) dies of wounds at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Harold Clark.
- Corporal Leslie Reed Langtry (Australian Light Horse) is killed in action at age 27. His brother was killed in October last year.
- Corporal James Greer Gould Fairbairn (Imperial Camel Corps) is killed near Jerussalem at age 31. He is the son of the Reverend William David Fairbairn.
- Private Frank Veasey (South Staffordshire Regiment) dies at age 20. His brother will be killed next April.
- Private Josiah Hayman (North Devonshire Yeomanry) is killed in Palestine at age 20. His brother was killed last August.