Monday 13 May 1918 We Lost 399

by greatwarliveslost

HMT Balfour

The armed trawler HMT Balfour is escorting the Lancs & Yorks Railway owned steamer Nidd to Dieppe. At 21:45 the master of the Nidd suddenly feels a large shock from beneath and immediately wonders what he has hit. A few minutes later a lookout shouts “submarine astern about 400 yards”.  It is obvious that the submarine has been forced to surface by the collision with Nidd’s keel.  The Captain orders the engine to full ahead and passes word to the gunners to fire at will. Their firsts shot appear to hit the submarine. On the Balfour the Captain puts his ship hard to starboard to enable an attack on the submarine. Men rush to their quarters, guns are manned and depth charges brought to the ready.  In fact so much attention is paid to the submarine that no thought is given to where the steamer Nidd is.  By the time a member of the Nidd’s crew first notices the approaching Balfour there is not enough time to take evasive action.  A moment later the Nidd’s bows are embedded in the port side of the Balfour and she is pushed through the water by Nidd. The steamer recoils but her master puts the engines ahead to plug the hole and allow the men of the Balfour to climb about the Nidd.  The Balfour sinks quickly with no loss of life.

H M Trawler Loch Naver (Skipper Edmund Artis Butler, Royal Naval Reserve) is sunk by a mine near Mandili Point in the Aegean Sea.  Her skipper is killed at age 45.

Today’s losses include:

  • The son of a Count
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Gerald Robert Spencer (Royal Defence Corps) dies in England at age 63. He is the son of the Honorable Robert and Lady Spencer.  He retired twenty years prior but rejoined at the outbreak of the war.
  • Lieutenant Louis Paul Bryant D’Etchegoyen (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 21. His is the son of Count Paul D’Etchegoyen of Mayenne, France.
  • Private Alexander Redford McIntosh (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) dies of wounds received in action at age 31. His brother will die of influenza in 1919.
  • Private Eldred Waite (Labour Corps) dies of wounds at age 37. His younger brother was killed in November 1914.