Thursday 4 July 1918 We Lost 652
The Battle for Hamel is a small but very influential British attack carried out to near perfection on this day. The assault on the small village of Hamel, just south of the Somme was meant to correct a small bulge in the line of the Fourth Army, for the purposes of assisting future artillery work. Eight divisions of Australian and American troops and sixty new Mark V tanks, artillery and air support carry out the attack. The artillery bombardment began at 03:00 the infantry and tanks advancing together behind a creeping barrage. No. 9 squadron Royal Air Force had the special duty of making ammunition drops by parachute onto prearranged sites, ninety-three boxes being dropped throughout the day. This is the first time ammunition drops are used as part of a coordinated attack. No. 9 squadron suffered heavy casualties performing these duties – Lieutenants S E Harris, H H Riekie, W Knowles and Second Lieutenant D E Bell (USAS) are all killed.
In an engagement between three of our machines and seven of the enemy, Lieutenant Sydney Anderson (Royal Air Force) displays remarkable courage and determination. Wounded early in the fight and suffering great pain, he continues the action and drives down one hostile aircraft, causing it to make a very bad landing at Zeebrugge.
Today’s losses include:
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- The son of a Baronet
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant George Andrew Falconer Henderson (Gordon Highlanders attached Royal Air Force) dies of injuries received in an air collision two days prior at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Richard Henderson.
- Lieutenant Henry William Adam (Royal Air Force attached HMS Glorious) is accidentally killed at home at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend H T Adam.
- Private Francis MacDonald Miller (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 47. He is the son of the late Baronet ‘Sir Thomas Miller.