Saturday 24 August 1918 We Lost 1,588
Lieutenant Louis Bennett (Royal Air Force) is shot down by anti-aircraft fire while attacking a balloon at Hantay. He crashes near Marquallas and is dragged from the wreckage, dying soon after of his injuries. His twelve victories in only twenty five sorties is perhaps the most rapid rate of scoring by any Allied pilot of the Great War.
The Cunard steamship Flavia is torpedoed twice by the German submarine U-107 thirty miles northwest by west from Tory Island, Ulster. Although the ship will remain afloat for two hours it sinks with the loss of one life.
Sergeant Samuel Forsyth (No. 3 Field Company, New Zealand Pioneers attached Auckland Infantry) is shot by a sniper and killed at age 25. On nearing the objective, his company comes under heavy machine-gun fire. Through Sergeant Forsyth’s dashing leadership and total disregard of danger, three machine-gun positions are rushed and the crews taken prisoner before they can inflict many casualties on our troops. During a subsequent advance his company comes under heavy fire from several machine guns, two of which he locates by a daring reconnaissance. In his endeavour to gain support from a tank, he is wounded, but after having the wound bandaged, he again gets in touch with the tank, which in the face of very heavy fire from machine guns and anti-tank guns he endeavours to lead with magnificent coolness to a favorable position. The tank, however, is put out of action. Sergeant Forsyth then organizes the tank crew and several of his men into a section, and leads them to a position where the machine guns can be outflanked. Always under heavy fire, he directs them into positions which brings about a retirement of the enemy machine guns and enables the advance to continue. It is at this moment he is killed by a sniper. For his actions he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
Lieutenant Colonel John Hay Maitland Hardyman DSO MC (commanding 8th Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at age 23. He is the youngest battalion commander killed in the Great War.
The mad breeze laughs the clouds along,
The young ash shouts his clean-limbed song,
Nibbling green and chocolate slopes
Silvery brown the old hedge gropes,
I with wakening nature cry,
“Why should I die?” “Why should I die?”
Out there its different: we don’t fear to die;
We kill, yet hate not, live, yet wonder why,
Till, worn with waiting, spent with ceasless strain,
With present issues each man drugs his brain;
The daily letter’s homely happenings,
Life’s three and twenty unimportant things,
The third-back dug-out’s need of strengthening,
How the deep mine is slowly lengthening,
Poor Freddie’s death, the latest hand-grenade –
Of such is life in mud-bound Flanders made.
Today’s losses include:
- Two Victoria Cross winners
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- A family that will lose four sons in the Great War
- The youngest battalion commander killed in the Great War
- The son of a former Member of Parliament
- The father of the Deputy Leader of the 1953 Mount Everest Expedition the first to conquer the mountain
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Major Richard Francis Montague Buller (Middlesex Regiment) is killed in action at age 33. He is the son of the late Reverend Richard Buller and has a brother who will be killed in September 1918.
- Captain Roger Joseph Tebbutt (Cambridgeshire Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in March 1915.
- Captain Harold Edward Pope MC (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed in action while acting as Heavy Artillery Liaison officer for the 32nd Division at age 36. He is the son of the Reverend Arthur Frederick Pope Vicar of Tring and he took first in Chemistry at New College, Oxford.
- Captain Philip Rolfe (Army Service Corps attached Norfolk Regiment) is killed at age 27. He is the son of the late Reverend George Wilkinson Rolfe.
- The fourth son of ‘the Honorable’ Mrs. Maxwell-Stuart of Dorset to die in the Great War, Lieutenant Alfred Joseph Maxwell-Stuart (Coldstream Guards) dies of wounds at age 20.
- Lieutenant Leonard Gustav Byng MC (Grenadier Guards) is killed in action at age 30. His brother was killed in May 1915.
- Second Lieutenant Robert Charles Evans (Welsh Regiment) is killed at age 36. His son with the same name will be Deputy Leader of the 1953 Mount Everest Expedition which will lead to the first conquering of the mountain by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.
- Second Lieutenant Eric Oswald Mansfield (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 25. His brother will die of wounds in October and they are sons of the former Member of Parliament for Spalding Lincolnshire.
- Second Lieutenant Edward Douglas Rawson (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed in action. He is the son of the late Reverend E O, formerly vicar of Ince, Cheshire.
- Second Lieutenant Edward Harold Clayton (Royal Air Force) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Arthur Prestwood Clayton.
- Cadet Roy Nelson Pillow (Australian Flying Corps) is accidentally killed in England at age 23. His brother was killed in action six days ago.
- Sergeant Harold Jackson VC (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 26. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for actions performed earlier this year.
- Lance Corporal Arthur Lowe (London Regiment) is killed at age 20 less than three months after his older brother was killed.
- Private Ernest White (Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in August 1918.
- Private Fred Rawnsley (Durham Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 19. His brother was killed in September 1916.
- Private Arnold Lightbound (King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment) is killed in action at age 24. His brother died on active service in November 1915.
- Private Albert E White (Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed in action. He brother was killed in August 1916.
- Private Arthur Harry Edis (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 29. His brother was killed last March.
- Private Charles Henry Morgan (Machine Gun Corps) dies of wounds at Albert. His brother died of illness in November 1915.