Saturday 14 September 1918 We Lost 584

Alexander George Boteville Thynne MC

While on a bombing raid Second Lieutenant James Gordon Dennis is engaged in a formation, which is attacked by twenty of the enemy, and during the ensuing fight he is severely wounded.  He at once signals his observer, Lieutenant H G Ramsey to take charge of their machine, but the observer has also been wounded and is unable to comply.  Lieutenant Dennis decides that his duty demands that he should remain with the formation to the end of the battle, and does this, notwithstanding the loss of blood from his wounds. He succeeds in bringing his machine back to our lines – a distance of over forty miles – a feat that surprised even his commanding officer.

The steamer S S Gibel Hamam is torpedoed and sunk by UB-103 while on a voyage from Swansea to France with a cargo of coal.  Twenty-one including the master are killed.

Before dawn a Turkish artillery barrage strikes everywhere along the 14-mile long front at Baku.  Eight to 10 Turkish battalions cross the railroad tracks and roll over the Russian defenders gaining control of the cliffs overlooking Baku.  The 39th Brigade rushes to stem the tide but lack the strength to thrown the Turks from the heights. Lieutenants McKay and Pope finding their Martinsydes unserviceable so burn them and join the infantry.  With scattered artillery fire pounding Baku and his last line of defenses breached, Dunsterville decides that further resistance is futile and accordingly he orders the Royal Navy to prepare to evacuate the Dunsterforce and with Baku lit by flames and its streets beginning to ring with the din of combat the force heads out to sea.  The mission to Baku has cost Dunsterforce 180 men dead, wounded and missing.  The Turkish casualties are put at 2,000.

Today’s losses include:

  • A General
  • Multiple battalion commanders
  • A Member of Parliament and son of a Marquis
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two, three and four sons in the Great War
  • A family that will lose a son and a daughter in the Great War
  • The man who scored the first goal ever for the Ayr United club

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Brigadier General Lumley Owen Williamses Jones DSO commanding officer 13rth Brigade 5th Division dies on service at age 41.
  • Lieutenant Colonel F H A Wollaston DSO (Rifle Brigade commanding 1st/5th Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 39.
  • Major (Temporary Lieutenant Colonel) ‘Lord’ Alexander George Boteville Thynne DSO (Wiltshire Regiment commanding 6th Wiltshire Yeomanry) a Member of Parliament for Bath, is killed in action at age 45. He is the son of the Marquis and Marchioness of Bath. He is a veteran of the South Africa War and Somali 1903-4.
  • Captain Eric Minot Spinks (North Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Edmund Spink Vicar of Bakewell.
  • Lieutenant Harold Archibald Smith MC (Canadian Mounted Rifles) dies at age 25 in England. He had been a theological student before he enlisted at a stretcher-bearer in January 1915.
  • Lance Corporal Edgar Birch (North Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 26. He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the war, the other two being killed last year.
  • Lance Corporal Clifton Lionel Williams (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 19 becoming the youngest and last of four brothers who lose their lives in the Great War.
  • Lance Corporal Adolphus Jenner (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in June 1916.
  • Driver Archibald Campbell (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds to his back and shoulder received in action at age 38. He played football for the Carlisle United, Ayr United and Albion Rovers clubs. He scored the first league goal ever for Ayr United in 1910.
  • Dursley War Worker Doris Mary Wyatt dies at age 23. Her brother will die of wounds next month.
  • Private Henry Bertram Clapperton (West Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 30. His brother died of wounds in May 1917.