Tuesday 12 March 1918 We Lost 315
The French airship AT-0 is patrolling in the English Channel when at 14:20 a vessel is spotted to her north east. The airship draws close for recognition purposes and according to her commander, the submarine fires rockets at her. Four 52-kilo bombs are dropped by the airship and the submarine D3 (Lieutenant William McKinstry Maitland-Dougall age 23) disappears and several minutes later men are seen in the water. Attempts are made by the airship to rescue the men but it proves impossible. The airship withdraws to seek help but all 29 of the men drown before help arrives. The identifications rockets fired by D3 are mistaken for aggressive gunfire causing the error off Fechamp. The commander’s brother was killed in April 1917 serving in the Central Ontario Regiment.
Captain Richard James Tipton (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps) dies of wounds received three days earlier at age 25. In June 1916 while on a bombing raid on El Arish he was forced down in enemy territory where he burned his machine before being taken prisoners by the Turks. After fourteen months as a prisoner while being moved to another prison he and two other officers escaped and after forty-nine days journey including recapture and rescue by bandits he reaches Russia and is sent back to England where he rejoined the Royal Flying Corps.
Today’s losses include:
- A battalion commander
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- A man who escaped after 14 months as a prisoner of war and made it back to England
- A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
- A man killed by friendly fire
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel St Barbe Russell Sladen (commanding 1st Royal West Surrey Regiment) is killed on Passchendaele Ridge at age 45.
- Major Eric James Tyson DSO MC (Royal Flying Corps) dies of wounds received the previous day at age 24. His son Flying Officer Hampson John Philip Tyson (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) will be killed in North Africa on 19th December 1942.
- Lieutenant Archibald Hamilton Fitzmaurice (Royal Flying Corps) is killed in a dogfight with four enemy aircraft at age 23. He is the son of the late Honorable F O B Fitzmaurice and his brother was killed in May 1915.
- Lieutenant Edward Lloyd Cheney MC (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 25. His brother was killed last April.
- Gunner Henry John Smith (South African Heavy Artillery) is killed. His brother died of wounds in November 1916.
- Private James Robert Watts (Monmouthshire Regiment) is killed at age 18. His brother will be killed in November.
- Private Albert Edward Tingley (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 22. He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.