Great War Lives Lost

We died 100 years ago in the War to end all War

Saturday 26 January 1918 We Lost 179

Rupert Ernest Neve

While flying in England, a pilot attempting to land loses control of his machine, which crashes to the ground from a height of about one hundred fifty feet, and bursts into flames.  Flight Sergeants Albert Edgar Warne and Horace Cannon (Royal Flying Corps) go to the rescue of the pilot at great personal risk, as one tank of petrol blows up and another is on fire; moreover, the machine is equipped with a belt of live cartridges, which they drag out of the flames.  They manage to extricate the pilot, who is strapped to the burning plane, but he dies shortly afterwards of his injuries and burns.  Both sergeants will be awarded the Albert Medal for their efforts.

  • In another accident in England Lieutenant Rupert Ernest Neve (Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed when he falls from his plane near London at age 24. He is the son of Alfred H Neve JP.

The Cunard liner Andania leaves Liverpool for New York, with only forty passengers on board, along with a crew of approximately two hundred.

HMS PC-62 rams and sinks the German submarine U-84 in St George’s Channel.  The destroyer HMS Leven depth charges and sinks the German submarine UB-35 north of Calais.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Military Chaplain
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Chaplain Arnold John Bennett MC (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies on active service in Egypt at age 34.

Friday 25 January 1918 We Lost 249

At Tafila Trans-Jordan Arabs instructed by T E Lawrence train their machine guns to spray enfilade on the advancing Turks while Lawrence swings his cavalry in a wide circle and attacks the Turks’ left wing routing them and taking two hundred prisoners and twenty-seven machine guns.

The steamship Normandy is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-90 8 miles east by north of Cape La Hague.  Fourteen crew and 13 passengers die while 6 crew and 7 passengers are rescued.  Among those drowned is

  • Lieutenant Colonel Richard Rolls Gubbins DSO (Somerset Light Infantry attached General Staff) at age 49. He is the son of the Reverend Richard Shard Gubbins Rector of Upham and a veteran of the South Africa War. The ship’s captain is among the survivors.

Flight Lieutenant (Acting Flight Commander) M J G Day (Royal Naval Air Service) will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions on this day and 2 February.  On this day he attacks, single-handed, six enemy tri-planes, one of which he shoots down.  His victory is the first combat victory for his squadron.

Though no fatal air casualties are suffered on this day, the crews from two different losses are taken prisoner, totally three men.

Today’s losses include:

  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A 17-year old whose older brother was killed in September 1914

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Walter Bridges (Army Service Corps) dies in Italy. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Bridges.
  • Rifleman Frank Leonard Roberts (London Regiment) dies on service at home at age 17. His brother was killed in September 1914.