Sunday 24 March 1918 We Lost 3,071
The enemy advance continues. They overcome the defences of Monchy and converge on the old Somme battlefields from Bapaume to Peronne. Peronne is lost while Ham and Chauny are evacuated. South of Peronne the Germans cross the River Somme while north of the city attack along the River Tortille.
Captain John L Trollope (Royal Flying Corps) becomes the first man to shoot down six enemy aircraft in two engagements in the same day. The total air fighting claims by the Royal Flying Corps are twenty-four shot down on the Third Army front and seventeen on the Fifth Army front.
British aircraft drop a ton of bombs on the railway station at Thionville. A moving train is derailed and a fire started.
Brigadier General Randle Barnett Barker General Officer Commanding 99th Brigade 2nd Division is killed in action at age 47 along with his Staff Captain Edward Inkerman Jordan Bell MC (Middlesex Regiment) grandson of a Victoria Cross winner in the Crimea War who is a professional football player for Crystal Palace, Southampton and Portsmouth and who dies at age 32. .
Today’s losses include:
- Multiple battalion commanders
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- A man whose sister died in the VAD
- A man whose brother-in-law is killed
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- The grandson of a member of the clergy
- Nephew of a member of the clergy
- Multiple sons of Justices of the Peace
- A Victoria Cross winner
- A man recommended for the Victoria Cross
- A General
- The son of a General
- An England Rugby International
- A Crystal Palace, Southampton and Portsmouth footballer
- An International tennis player
- The son of Baron Ashcombe
- The son of a Baronet
- Uncle of a Baronet who will be killed in the Second World War
- A Great War Poet
- The brother of a future Admiral and future General
- An Assistant Master at Sir Walter St John’s School
- A Great War Poet
- The son of an Admiral
- An author and song writer
- A 14-victory ace
- A Military Chaplain
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mark Tuite (Munster Fusiliers commanding 26th Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 30.
- Lieutenant Colonel George Kendall Priaulx DSO (commanding 11th King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at Voyennes in the St. Quentin offensive, being first shot through the shoulder and then killed by a shell at age 40. Lieutenant Colonel Priaulx received his Commission in 1898, and joined the 60th He served throughout the South African War, being present at the Battles of Colenso, Spion Kop, Tugela Heights, Laing’s Nek, and at the Relief of Ladysmith. He was mentioned in Despatches and in 1900 was promoted Captain. After peace was declared he went to India. He left for France in August 1914 with the 1st Division and was dangerously wounded on the Marne in September. The following year he was again severely wounded at Loos. In 1916, while commanding the 9th Battalion, which captured the village of Metz, he was present at the operations near Langemarck, Crevecoeur, and Cambrai.
- Lieutenant Colonel Henry Sydney Charles Peyton MC (commanding 2nd Rifle Brigade) is killed in action at age 26. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Algernon the 6th Baronet and has a nephew, a son of the 7th Baronet who will be killed in action on 13th April 1945 at age 26.
- Lieutenant Colonel Reginald Henry Napier Settle DSO MC (Hussars commanding 21st Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 26 while making a last stand with a small group of officers and men. He is the only son of Lieutenant General ‘Sir’ Henry Settle KCB DSO.
- Lieutenant Colonel Charles Walter Blackall (East Kent Regiment commanding 4th South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 42. He served in the South Africa War, is an actor in both England and the United States and is a Great War poet.
The Company Sergeant-Major
And the Company Q.M.S.
Have the snuggest little dug-out
And a most superior mess.
And if anything you’re needing,
It’s always to be found
In their handy little, sandy little
- Lieutenant Colonel Frank Henry Heal DSO (commanding 1st South African Infantry) is killed at age 37.
- Major Hugh Nares Davenport (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed at age 32. He is the grandson of James Clutterbuck Vicar of Long Wittenham and his brothers will go on to become Vice Admiral Robert Clutterbuck Davenport RN and Brigadier James Salter Davenport. His brother died of wounds in September 1916.
- Major Frank Eardley Cochran DSO (South African Infantry) an international tennis player is killed in action at age 35.
- Major Home Peel DSO MC (London Regiment) is killed in action. His sister has previously died serving with the VAD in December 1917.
- Major Horace Armytage Jameson MC (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action. He is the son of the Reverend T E Jameson.
- Major Charles Selwyn Awdry DSO (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed. He is the nephew of the late Reverend William Awdry Bishop of Tokyo (Second Master 1868-73).
- Captain Theodore Cecil Ormond Williams MC (Sherwood Foresters) dies of wounds at Clery at age 33. He is the son of the Reverend Theodore Williams.
- Captain Thomas Ainsworth Townsend MC (Royal Army Medical Corps) is killed in action. He is the son of T S Townsend JP.
- Captain Kearsley Mathwin Drummond MC (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 32. He is the son of ‘Sir’ David and Lady Drummond.
- Captain Charles William Tone Barker (Durham Light Infantry) is killed in action five days before his brother is killed in the same battle.
- Captain William Henry Madden (Royal Irish Rifles) dies of wounds at age 33. He is the son of the Very Reverend Samuel Owen Madden (Dean of Cork).
- Captain Harold Augustus Hodges (Monmouthshire Regiment attached South Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 32 after he entered a small factory on a road between Ham and Eppeville hope to make contact with a British battalion. He instead encountered enemy troops and was shot dead. He earned two rugby caps for in England in 1906 and played first class cricket for Nottinghamshire and is the son of William A Hodges JP.
- Captain Albert Frank Robson (West Surrey Regiment) is killed in action at age 25. He is the Assistant Master at ‘Sir’ Walter St John’s School and his brother in law was killed in August of last year.
- Assistant Commandant Charles Ernest Wynn Molesworth (Burma Military Police) is killed in action during the Chin Hill operations at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend E H Molesworth.
- Lieutenant George Berry Milligan (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at Royelles at age 29. He will be recommended for the Victoria Cross for his actions this day and his brother will be killed in September.
- Lieutenant ‘the Honorable” William Hugh Cubitt (Dragoons) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of Henry Cubitt, the 2nd Baron Ashcombe, who has previously lost two others sons during the Great War.
- Lieutenant Richard Brereton Marriott-Watson MC (Irish Rifles) is killed in action. He is one of the Great War poets, his most well known work is entitled “Kismet”. He is the son of the poet Graham R Tomson the pseudonem of Rosamund Bell.
- Lieutenant Paul Douglas Farmer (South African Infantry) is killed in action at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend Canon E Farmer.
- Lieutenant Noel Graham Lake (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son of the late Admiral Atwell Lake.
- Second Lieutenant Charles Harry Bovill (Coldstream Guards) the author of many popular reviews dies of wounds at age 39 received in action three days prior when a shell bursts while he is leading rehearsal for a revue he is putting on. As a songwriter he collaborated with future Academy Award winner Jerome Kern in 1908 for the Broadway musical Fluffy Ruffles. This is one of six Broadway productions which he contributed musical lyrics.
- Second Lieutenant Maurice Edmund Mealing MC (Shropshire Light Infantry attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 24. His is a 14 victory ace.
- Second Lieutenant Reginald Teesdale Dent (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in April of last year.
- Second Lieutenant Marcus Ernest Young (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in less than two months.
- Second Lieutenant Alastair Mackenzie (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed in action at age 24. He is a teacher of Hygiene and Physical Culture.
- Second Lieutenant Ernest Thomson Caird (Royal Scots) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend David Caird Minister of Morningside Congregational Church Edinburgh.
- Second Lieutenant William Erskine Watson (Liverpool Regiment) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend J M Watson
- Second Lieutenant Philp Bevan Tree (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 23. He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the war.
- Cadet George Robinson Johnston (Australian Flying Corps) is accidentally killed in England at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Robert Johnston.
- Chaplain the Reverend Henry Heaton Lawson (attached Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 29.
- Sergeant Alexander Edwards VC (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed in action at age 32. He was awarded the Victoria Cross last year.
- Lance Sergeant Fred Barlow (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 31. His brother was killed in August 1916.
- Private Arnold James Goudie (South African Infantry) is killed at age 35. His brother died of wounds in December 1916 in Macedonia.
- Private George Alexander Clarke (Dublin Fusiliers) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in November 1916.
- Able Seaman Charels Biggs (Royal Marine Light Infantry) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed last July.
- Private Francis Spencer Byard (Liverpool Regiment) dies of wounds. His brother died of wounds last December.
- Private John Arthur Hurdley (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed in action at age 21. His brother was killed in January 1915.
- Private Thomas Nicholls (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 28. He is the middle of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.