Wednesday 9 January 1918 We Lost 391
The destroyer Racoon (Lieutenant George Levack McKay Napier) strikes rocks off the north coast of Ireland at about 02:00 during a snowstorm and subsequently founders with all one hundred and five hands on board drowning. Nine of the crew had been left behind at her last port of call, and these are the sole survivors. Seventeen bodies are recovered by patrol craft and are buried at Rathmullan. Five more bodies will wash ashore and will be buried locally.
- Stoker 1st Class John Greer is among the killed. He dies at age 25 and is ironically buried in his hometown in Belfast City Cemetery.
Commander Henry Halahan, who has previously been in charge of the Royal Navy’s siege guns supporting the army’s left flank in Flanders beginning in 1915, writes to Admiral Keyes: “If the operation for which you said you might want some of my men (Zeebrugge) is eventually undertaken, I should very much like to take part in it. I would willingly accept the same conditions, viz: that I should not expect to come back.”
HMS Cyclamen uses high-speed explosive paravane and depth charges to sink the German submarine UB69 off Bizerta.
The Sopwith Camel fighter unit 73 Squadron arrives in France.
Captain William Donald Patrick scores the last Nieuport Scout victory for 1 Squadron on this day. British air losses for the day are placed at three aircraft. All three pilots are killed along with one observer.
Today’s losses include:
- A Military Chaplain
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Christopher Joyce Postlethwaite (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother was in November 1915 on Gallipoli.
- Chaplain the Reverend Cyril Narramore Were (attached Rifle Brigade) dies on active service at age 36. He is the son of the Bishop of Stafford.
- Sergeant Reginald Bayley White (Newfoundland Regiment) dies of wounds at age 19. He is the son of the Bishop of Newfoundland.
- Private Lewis Brown (East Surrey Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in May 1916.