Tuesday 23 July 1918 We Lost 978

Cap badge of the Tank Corps

The 9th Tank Corps battalion is in a position near Moreuil. For the first time British tanks will co-operate with French infantry and although the action seems to be a success the loss of life is heavy.  The objective is to seize St Ribert Wood and capture the village of Aubervillers.  The battalion leaves Rosiel with 42 tanks but due to mechanical failures only 35 are able to make it to the starting point of these only 21 will see action.

After the laying of an initial barrage the tanks set off for their objective but are fired on by German artillery located in the south end of St Ribert Wood.  Several tanks are hit by direct fire and put out of actions their crews being killed or wounded.  The fighting is intense but the level of co-operation is good and the French troops soon move into the wood to assault the well entrenched German infantry where they capture the objectives. The cost is high with the tank crews sustaining 72 casualties.

Today’s losses include:

  • A member of the 1912 South African Military Rifle Olympic team
  • A member of the Penarth Rugby Club
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Ernest Albert Isaac Taylor (Royal Field Artillery) dies of multiple shell wounds at Salonika. He is the only son of the Reverend Isaac John Taylor, Vicar of Linstead, Suffolk.
  • Second Lieutenant Alexander Steven Bain Taylor (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed in action at age 22. His brother died of pneumonia in August 1917.
  • Second Lieutenant Ernest James Keeley (South African Infantry) is killed in action. He was a member of two Rifle Teams in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.  The 200 + 400 + 500 + 600 meter South African Military Rifle team finished fourth, while the Free Rifle team finished sixth.
  • Corporal Henry John Shelford (Tank Corps) is killed at age 23. His brother killed in July 1917.
  • Private Robert Cowell (Coldstream Guards) is killed in action at age 27. His brother in law was killed in October 1917.
  • Private Alfred Dyke (Herefordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 26. His brother was killed in October 1917.
  • Private George Edward Baskerville (Cheshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 26. His brother was killed in August 1917.
  • Private Ernest Taplin (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother was killed last October.
  • Private Edwin Thomas Murray (Cameron Highlanders) is killed at age 31. He is a member of the Penarth Rugby Club.
  • Private Edward Grigor Scott (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend William Scott.