Wednesday 2 January 1918 We Lost 284
Flight Commander Guy William Price (Royal Naval Air Service) will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in recognition of the gallantry and determination displayed by him in leading offensive patrols, which have constantly engaged and driven away enemy aircraft patrols. Today he observes seven Albatross scouts, and, crossing the lines in the clouds, he attacks one, which falls vertically, bursting into flames, and crashes to the ground. Commander Price will be killed in action at age 22 while strafing enemy positions on 18th February as a 12-victory ace.
The Air Ministry is formed. Members appointed being Lord Rothermere, Major General Hugh Trenchard, Rear Admiral Mark Kerr, Commodore Godfrey Paine, Major General William Sefton Brancker, ‘Sir’ William Weir, ‘Sir’ John Hunter, Major John L Baird and Lieutenant General David Henderson.
Two members of the Royal Flying Corps, Lieutenant John Reginald Nickson age 25, pilot and a Canadian, and Lieutenant W S Ely, are accidentally killed while flying at Wytham near Oxford.
Today’s losses include:
- An Australian Rules footballer
- Three men whose brothers were all killed last October
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain Malcolm Stuart Kennedy (Australian Division) dies of wounds at age 24. He is an Australian rules footballer who played 17 games for Melbourne.
- Lieutenant Harold Thomas Bowen (British Columbia Regiment) is killed in action at age 27.
- Private William A Merryweather (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 39.
- Private Charles William Willett (Leicestershire Regiment) is killed. All three men had brothers who lost their lives serving their King last October.
- Private Robert Reid Gordon (Hawke Royal Naval Division) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in April.
- Private Edward Oliver Harrop (Lancashire Fusiliers) dies of wounds at home at age 23. His brother will die of wounds in March.