Saturday 28 September 1918 We Lost 1,992

by greatwarliveslost

During the advance to Piccadilly Farm near Wytschaete, Sergeant Louis McGuffie (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) single-handedly enters several enemy dugouts and takes many prisoners.  During subsequent operations he deals similarly with dugout after dugout forcing one officer and twenty-five other ranks to surrender. During the subsequent consolidation of the first objective he pursues and brings back several of the enemy who are slipping away and he is also instrumental in rescuing some of our own soldiers who are being led off as prisoners. Later in the day, while commanding his platoon he leads them in capturing many prisoners.  Sergeant McGuffie will be killed in less than a week during a shelling. For his actions Sergeant will be awarded the Victoria Cross

Captain G B Bailey and Lieutenant Joseph William Greig Clark (Royal Air Force) are detailed to watch and report on progress made by the 57th Division in its advance towards the Schelde Canal.  They reconnoiter the area in front of the infantry from a height of 400 feet and discover that the enemy has withdrawn to the east of the canal.  Realizing that the infantry might advance more rapidly, they drop a message on the advancing men, urging them to press on at once as they will find no opposition. The aircrew then returns to the Division Headquarters and drop a message informing them of their action. On returning to the infantry they notice that they are all advancing hurriedly towards the canal, on reaching which the infantry are able to seize the crossings.  In spite of this the enemy has been able to get into a trench line east of the canal.

Lieutenant Robert Allan Caldwell dives down to 400 feet over Catteniers – then seven to eight miles over the line which he observes to be congested with lorries, guns and limbers.  Flying the streets he drops four bombs separately, each with great affect. He then fires 350 rounds in all at assemblies of troops near Catteniers and on roads westwards. Seeing our troops advancing and skirmishing west of Noyelles, he five times attacks the enemy holding the bridgehead at Noyelles from 100 feet, greatly encouraging our New Zealand troops who are engaged and assisting them to discover the line held by the enemy.

Lieutenant Archie Buchanan (Royal Air Force) in an engagement with fifteen Fokker biplanes, owing to engine trouble is compelled to remain under his flight; he nevertheless accounts for two enemy machines, attacking one under its tail, causing it to crash, and driving another down out of control. Captain Allan Hepburn and Lieutenant Marshall shoot down a Fokker V II near Leuze-Ath.

A German air raid on an allied aerodrome just outside Boulogne scores a direct hit on a dormitory killing 85 men.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Battalion commander
  • A Cambridge football blue
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A son of the late Deputy Inspector General of Police in Jamaica
  • A man killed one day after the 18th anniversary of the day his brother was killed in front of him in the South Africa War
  • A man whose father was killed in the South Africa War
  • The son of Writer to the Signet
  • The brother of a man who was awarded a posthumous Albert Medal for his action last year during the Halifax Explosion
  • A Military Chaplain
  • A former child actor

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Charles James Townshend Stewart DSO (commanding Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) is killed at age 44.
  • Major William James Gordon Burns DSO (Canadian Field Artillery) is killed by a shell splinter while on a recon at age 28. He is the son of the Reverend Robert N Burns. The James Burns award is presented annually to a student with overall A standing in a Second Year which included 3.0 Science courses at the University of Toronto.
  • Major Denis St George Knox Boswell (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) dies of influenza in Greece at age 24. He is a former Cambridge Football Blue.
  • Major Percival Thomas Priestley (Royal Army Medical Corps) is killed on Salonika at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Priestley Vicar of Albrighton.
  • Captain Francis Dobree McCrea (Royal Canadian Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the son of J McCrea, late Deputy Inspector General of Police, Jamaica.
  • Captain Richard Crawshay Bailey Partridge MC (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed in action near Havrincourt Wood at age 42. Ironically, one day short of the eighteenth anniversary of the death in action of his brother during a skirmish with the Boers in the South African War in the presence of his brother.
  • Lieutenant John Prosser (Black Watch) is killed at age 29. He is the son of ‘Sir’ John Prosser Writer to the Signet Edinburgh.
  • Lieutenant Wesley Williams Irvine (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend S O Irvine.
  • Lieutenant John Noble (Cameron Highlanders attached Machine Gun Corps) is killed in action at age 30. He is a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Science at Glasgow University.
  • Lieutenant George Harvey Rochester MC (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed in action at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend W M Rochester DD.
  • Lieutenant Guy Triggs (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) dies on service at home at age 29. His brother was killed in the Halifax explosion of December last year performing acts that won him the Albert Medal.
  • Second Lieutenant Henry Augustine Buckmaster (North Lancashire Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Charles John Buckmaster Vicar of Hindley.
  • Second Lieutenant Denis Godfrey Eagar (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in May 1915 and they are sons of Captain Edward Boaz Eagar who was killed on 23rd November 1899 at Belmont South Africa.
  • Chaplain William Henry Tomkins attached South Staffordshire Regiment is killed.
  • Private John Walsh (Scots Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 21 one day after his brother has been killed.
  • Private David John Stanley Hixson (Cheshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. His brother was killed in March 1915.
  • Private Francis Haraold Van Schepdael (Alberta Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. His brother was killed in April 1915.
  • Private Albert Arthur Taylor (East Kent Regiment) dies of wounds received near Peronne at age 19. His brother was killed in June 1916.
  • Private Oswald Gilbert Darling (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) is killed at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Charles B Darling.
  • Private John Nicholls (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 36. He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.
  • Private John Herbert Carr (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 33. His brother was killed last December.
  • Private Herbert Smith Peters (Alberta Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed in June 1916.
  • Private Maurice Pollack (Dorset Yeomanry) dies of wounds in Damascus at age 33. He is an accomplished child actor, best known for his performance at Little Lord Fauntleroy in which he first appeared at the Grand Birmingham. His biography will be written by Peter Farrar.