Tuesday 4 June 1918 We Lost 370
At 02:30 the 10th Lancashire Fusiliers position in Beaumont Trench near the village Beaumont Hamel is subjected to a heavy artillery barrage under the cover of which the Germans launch a trench raid. Eventually the attackers are driven off.
A group of five flying boats from Felixstowe and Yarmouth set off in the afternoon to investage wireless activity possibly coming from enemy airships. One is forced to land with a broken feed pipe and about this time the patrol is attacked by a small group of enemy airplanes. These are driven off by a Curtiss H12 which is forced down in Dutch waters and the crew interned.
Today’s losses include:
- A Victoria Cross winner
- A General
- The son of the 3rd Earl Cawdor
- The brother of the actor Basil Rathbone
- An Australian Rules footballer
- The great grandson of a sailor at the Battle of Trafalgar
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Brigadier General Frederick William Lumsden VC DSO CB (General Officer Commanding 14th Brigade 32nd Division) is killed in action at Blairvill, near Arras, when he is shot through the head at age 41. Lumsden was born into a military family in Frizabad, India on 14th December 1872. At a young age he returned to Britain and attended Bristol Grammar School until he joined the Royal Marine Artillery as a junior officer. Serving in the Marine Service until 1907 he entered the Staff College in 1910. He then became the second staff officer at Singapore, not returning home until called home for war service in the months leading up to the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914. Between 3rd April and 4th April 1917 at Francilly, France, Major Lumsden undertook to bring in six captured enemy field-guns which had been left in dug-in positions 300 yards in front of the British troops. The enemy is keeping these guns under very heavy fire. Major Lumsden led four artillery teams and a party of infantry through the hostile barrage, and despite casualties they eventually got all the guns away. He himself made three journeys to the guns and then stayed there directing operations until the last gun had been taken back. This is the action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
- Lieutenant Colonel Eric Octavius Campbell DSO (Seaforth Highlanders) dies of cerebral hemorrhage at home while undergoing treatment for an illness contracted on active service at age 32. He is the son of the 3rd Earl Cawdor.
- Captain Claude Frank Lethbridge Templer (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. He was on a raid to any enemy trench in December 1914 when he was captured. He made thirteen attempts at escape before finally succeeding and after returning to England received a private audience with His Majesty the King. He is now killed while returning from a successful raid on another enemy trench.
- Captain John Ernest Vivian Rathbone (Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. He is the brother of the actor Basil Rathbone.
- Lieutenant Leslie John Primrose (Australian Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at age 28. He is a former Australian rules footballer who played with University.
- Lieutenant Brian Wilton Meadway (Northamptonshire Regiment attached Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed at home while flying at age 22. His great grandfather George Wilton was on board HMS Agamemnon at the Battle of Trafalgar.
- Private John W Cartmell (Lancaster Regiment) is killed at age 33. His brother was killed on Christmas Eve 1915.
- Private Ronald Adamson (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed at age 18. His brother died on service in Baghdad in October 1917.