Tuesday 13 August 1918 We Lost 514
Lieutenant (Acting Captain) Eugene Seeley Coler and Second Lieutenant C W Gladman (Royal Air Force) while on escort duty dive on a formation of twenty enemy airplanes. In the engagement that follows the pilot destroys three and his observer two, making a total of five machines destroyed in this fight.
During an enemy counter-attack, Sergeant Robert Spall’s (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) platoon is isolated. There upon Sergeant Spall takes a Lewis gun and, standing on the parapet, fires upon the advancing enemy, inflicting very severe casualties. He then comes down the trench directing the men into a sap seventy-five yards from the enemy. Picking up another Lewis gun, this gallant NCO again climbs the parapet, and by his fire holds up the enemy. While holding up the enemy at this point that he is killed. For his actions this day Sergeant Spall will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
Today’s losses include:
- A Victoria Cross winner
- A 29-victory ace
- The son of a member of the clergy
- The son of the Comte and Comtesse de Folle
- The father of the man who will be the Head of the Home Civil Service 1974-77
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Major Charles Dawson Booker (Royal Air Force) dies of wounds received at age 21. He is a 29-victory ace.
- Lieutenant Richard Daunteshey Colnett (Essex Regiment attached Punjabi) is killed in Palestine at age 24. He is the son of the Rector of Willingale Spain, Essex.
- Private William James De Tolle-Swain (Vicomte De Tolle) (London Regiment) dies of injuries received in rescuing three men from drowning at age 19. He is the only son of the Comte and Comtesse de Folle.
- Private Albert John Allen (Sussex Regiment) is killed in action. He is the father of Douglas Albert Vivian Allen a politician and civil servant and Head of the Home Civil Service from 1974 to 1977.