During a patrol, Captain Frank Belway (Royal Air Force) observes an enemy two seater calling for flares. He attacks the machine and drives it off, the enemy infantry having lit their flares, Lieutenant Belway descending to a very low altitude in the face of heavy machine gun fire, is able to obtain most accurate information as to the location of the enemy line. Second Lieutenant James Herbert Grahame (Royal Air Force) bombs the Somain railway junction and obtains two direct hits causing considerable dislocation of traffic through Somain station.
At Martinpuich during a strong counter-attack Sergeant Harold John Colley MM (Lancashire Fusiliers) company is holding an advanced position with two platoons in advance and two in support. The forward platoons are ordered to hold at all costs and Sergeant Colley goes without orders to help these two platoons. He rallies the men and then forms a defensive flank and holds it although out of the two platoons only three men remain unwounded and the sergeant himself is dangerously wounded and will die later today. His actions prevent the enemy from breaking through and for these actions he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
Today’s losses include:
- A Victoria Cross winner
- The son of a General
- The grandson of a General
- The son of a Baronet
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- A man whose two sons are killed in the Great War
- The Champion Road Cyclist of New Zealand and Australia
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Major Francis Sainthill Anderson MC (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 23. He is the son of Brigadier General ‘Sir’ Francis and Lady Anderson.
- Major Francis William Lindley Gull (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 28. He is the son of the late ‘Sir’ William Cameron Gull 2nd Baronet and son in law of ‘Sir’ Charles Bine Renshaw.
- Captain Thomas Herbert Dixon MC (Manchester Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in February 1916.
- Captain Ernest Lancelot Andrews (Royal Navy, Royal Naval Division) is killed at age 42. He is the son of the Reverend John Marshall Andrews.
- Captain Ludovic Heathcoat Amory (Royal Devon Yeomanry) dies of wounds at Bayonvillers at age 37. He is the son of ‘Sir’ John Heathcoat Amory and his sons Major Edward Fitzgerald Heathcoat Amory (Royal Artillery) will be killed in Normandy in June 1944 and Patrick Gerald Heathcoat Amory (Royal Artillery) will be killed in Libya in May 1942.
- Captain Pulteney Malcolm (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 24. He is the only son of Lieutenant Colonel P Malcolm MVO DSO and grandson of General ‘Sir’ G Malcolm GCB (who was a nephew to the three “Knights of Eskdale” as the Duke of Wellington called them).
- Second Lieutenant Cyril Doughty Naylor MC (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of Frank Naylor JP.
- Private Malcolm Ferguson (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed in action at age 23. His brother was killed in June 1917.
- Private George Fields Sunley (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 38 becoming the third Sunley brother to lose his life in the Great War.
- Rifleman Lancelot Matthew Seymour (Rifle Brigade attached London Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother died of wounds as a prisoner of war in May 1915.
- Private Harold Samuel Elphick (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend James Studwick Elphick Vicar of St Mark’s Forest Gate who lost another son in May 1918.
- Private Alexander Graham Fairley (Tanks Corps) dies of wounds at age 20. His brother died of wounds last April.
- Private John (Jack) Arnst (Canterbury Regiment) is killed at age 37. He is a champion road cyclist of New Zealand and Australia and listed in the Elite Road Racers of Australia.