Wednesday 21 August 1918 We Lost 1,222

by greatwarliveslost

Richard John Spotswood Seddon

At 04:55 the 1st Coldstream Guards set off towards their objectives along the Boiry – Moyenneville road.  The fog is very heavy and is worsened by a smoke barrage laid down by an artillery barrage making it impossible to see any farther than 3 yards in front.  They are supported by 10 tanks of the 12th Tank Corps battalion which prove little help in the fog and smoke.  By 06:30 the battalion has covered 1,000 yards and captured their objectives.  Killed during this assault is the commander of No 4 Company

  • Captain Rupert Caldwell Butler Fellowes (Coldstream Guards) who is killed at age 24. He is the son of the late Rear Admiral ‘Sir’ Thomas and Lady Fellowes and a former member of the Bailliol Boat Club. His younger brother had been killed as a Midshipman on HMS Irresistible in 1915.

Second Lieutenant Ernest John Clark (Royal Air Force) while reconnoitering a road at low altitude, bombs with great success fourteen enemy motor transports.  On a second flight during this same night he bombs enemy horse transports, destroying eight transport wagons and their teams.  Later, with his last bomb, he obtains a direct hit on two motor lorries.  During the morning, flying in the mist at 200 feet, and subjected to heavy hostile fire, Second Lieutenant Alexander Melvin Anderson (Royal Air Force) locates our cavalry and the enemy positions.  In the afternoon he makes a most valuable and accurate report and situation map.  While on this duty his pilot is wounded and forced to land just west of our lines; Lieutenant Anderson extricates him from their machine under heavy fire and carries him to a dressing station.

At Courcelles, France, during an attack, the infantry loses their bearings in dense fog and Lieutenant Colonel Richard Annesley West (North Irish Horse attached 6th Tank Corps) at once collects any men he can find and leads them to their objective in face of heavy machine-gun fire. For his action today and on 2 September at Vaulx-Vraucourt he will be awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously. Also lost today serving in the 6th Tank Corps is

  • Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Beaumont Wood (Lancers commanding) killed at age 36.

Second Lieutenant Thomas Godwin Hobbs (Royal Air Force) performs six hours of flying.  He is twice attacked by large formations of enemy airplanes, but on each occasion, by skillful maneuver and resolute fighting he drives them off and continues his patrol, bringing back much valuable and accurate information.  Also on this day he attacks enemy transport, causing great confusion and inflicting heavy casualties.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • The son of a former Prime Minister of New Zealand
  • The son of an Admiral
  • A battalion commander
  • A member of the Bailliol Boat 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 Richard John Spotswood Seddon (New Zealand Rifle Brigade) is killed in action at age 37. He is the son of the late Right Honorable Richard, Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1893-1906.
  • Lieutenant Edward Alan Hall (Australian Infantry) dies of wounds at age 23. His brother died of wounds received on Gallipoli in November 1915.
  • Sub Lieutenant Norman Nesbitt (Anson Battalion, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) is killed in action at age 28. He is the son of the Reverend J C Nesbitt.
  • Second Lieutenant Bernard Bocking MC (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed last April and they are sons of the Reverend John Child Bocking Vicar of Gnosall.
  • Second Lieutenant Edward Harold Clayton (Royal Air Force) dies of wounds received 10 days earlier on his 20th He is the son of the Reverend Arthur Prestwood Clayton Vicar of Holy Trinity Ventnor.
  • Private Douglas Chester Forsyth (London Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in August 1916.
  • Private Joseph Stanley May (Sherwood Foresters) is killed in Italy at age 21. His brother was killed in June 1916.
  • Private Reginald H T Clifton (Manchester Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. His brother was killed in March 1917.
  • Private Gilbert Pridham Babbage (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in March 1917.
  • Private William Henry Short (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was lost in submarine G8 in January.
  • Private Patrick Kenealy (Cheshire Regiment) dies on service at home at age 26. His brother was killed in April 1917.
  • Gunner John Ambrose (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed last month.