Thursday 23 May 1918 We Lost 373
The Armed Mercantile Cruiser Moldavia (acting Captain A H Smyth) is torpedoed and during the morning in the Channel when making for a British port. Although a careful lookout is being kept, the submarine is not sighted and the first intimation of an attack is a violent explosion amidships. Arrangements are made to transfer all the survivors to British destroyers and other vessels, the transfer being safely accomplished and all on board are saved with the exception of 56 American soldiers, who were on the lower decks.
When his squadron is charging a strong enemy position on the west bank of the River Jordan, Ressaidar Badlu Singh (Lancers, Indian Army) realizes that heavy casualties are being inflicted from a small hill occupied by machine-guns and two hundred infantry. Without any hesitation he collects six other ranks and with entire disregard of danger he charges and captures the position. He is mortally wounded on the very top of the hill when capturing one of the machine guns single handed, but all the guns and infantry surrender to him before he dies. For his actions on this day he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Thomas Frederick Le Mesurier DSC (Royal Air Force) in spite of bad weather successfully drops bombs on the Ostend docks from a height of 800 feet amidst very intense anti-aircraft and machine-gun fire. He also makes valuable observations.
Today’s losses include:
- A Victoria Cross winner
- A General
- The son of a member of the Canadian Senate
- A 21-victory ace
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- The grandson of a member of the clergy
- A man whose cousin was killed last March
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Brigadier General Duncan Sayre MacInnes CMG DSO (Royal Engineers) the Inspector of Mines, GHQ France dies of accidental injuries at age 47. He had been previously wounded in November 1914 and is the son of Donald MacInnes, a member of the Canadian Senate and he served in the Ashanti War 1895-6 and in South Africa.
- Captain George Edwin Thomson DSO MC (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed flying cross-country in England. He is a twenty-one-victory ace and dies before his twenty-first birthday.
- Captain Audubon Eric Palfreyman (Royal Air Force) is killed in action at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend I H Palfreyman.
- Second Lieutenant George Edward Ffrench (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed while on a bombing operation when the engine of his DH9 falls out of the aircraft. The 18-year old is the son of the Reverend Lebel Holbrooke Edward Ffrench Incumbent of Kilconnell.
- Lieutenant Ewart Austin Bouchier Wimbush DFC (Royal Air Force) is killed in action in an air duel over Turkey on his twenty-first birthday. His parents are first cousins and he is the grandson of the Reverend Samuel Wimbush. His cousin was killed in March of this year and they are often confused as brothers as their parents are both John and Maud Wimbush.
- Gunner William Gathercole (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 27. His brother will die on service less than one week after the Armistice.
- Gunner Arthur Henry Snook (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 28. His brother died at home in December 1915.