Wednesday 24 July 1918 We Lost 562
During ‘surprise’ operations it is necessary to destroy an impassable wire block. Sergeant Richard Charles Travis DCM MM (Otago Regiment) regardless of personal danger, volunteers for this duty. Before zero hour, in broad daylight and in close proximity to enemy posts he crawls out and successfully destroys the block with bombs, thus enabling the attacking parties to pass through. A few minutes later a bombing party on the right of the attack is held up by two enemy machine guns, and the success of the whole operation is in danger. Perceiving this Sergeant Travis with great gallantry and utter disregard of danger, rushes the position, killing the crews and capturing the guns. An enemy officer and three men immediately rush at him from a bend in the trench and attempt to retake the guns. These four he kills single handed, thus allowing the bombing party on which much depends to advance. For his actions this day he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria as he will be killed tomorrow.
Today’s losses include:
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- The son of a member of the clergy
- The godson of a member of the clergy
- A 12-victory ace
- An 11-victory ace
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Major Richard Francis Montague Buller (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 33. His brother will die on service in September in Palestine.
- Captain Robert Kenneth Drummond MC (Cameron Highlanders) dies of wounds received in action at Buzancy the previous day at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Robert J Drummond DD (Minister of Lothian Road United Free Church, Edinburgh) who lost another son in July 1916.
- Captain Philip Scott Burge MC MM (Royal Air Force) is shot down and killed west of Seclin. He is an 11-victory ace.
- Captain John Steele Ralston (Royal Air Force) MC DFC a 12 victory ace is killed in action at age 31.
- Lieutenant John Perkins Sworder (Royal West Surrey Regiment attached Herefordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. His brother was killed in July 1917.
- Lieutenant Colin Blomfield Frost (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 28. He is the godson of the late Reverend Blomfield Jackson.
- Lieutenant Leonard Gustav Byng MC (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 30. His brother was killed in May 1915.
- Flight Cadet Duncan Garden (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed in England at age 19. He is the middle of three brothers who will be killed in the war, the last also a Cadet in the Royal Air Force in less three months.
- Private Charles Cameron Ross (Black Watch) is killed at age 23. His brother was killed in July 1917.
- Private Jack Miller (Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in January 1916.