Sunday 29 September 1918 We Lost 3,228
Australian Corps attacks at St Quentin supported by approximately 150 tanks of the 4th and 5th tank brigades. American divisions launch the initial attack, with the Australian 3rd and 5th Divisions intended to “leapfrog” through the American forces. The inexperienced Americans do not clear German positions as effectively as they might have (due to the confusion created during the attack on 27th September). This forces the advancing Australians to fight for the ground that the Americans had planned to have already taken. In the confusion of battle, some American pockets that had been left without effective leadership willingly went along with the Australians as they advanced and there are documented accounts of soldiers from both nations fighting alongside each other in ad-hoc mixed outfits. The British 46th Division crosses the St Quentin Canal (defended by fortified machine gun positions), capturing 4,200 German prisoners (out of a total for the army of 5,300).
Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Frederick Warrington Gillet (Royal Air Force), when on a low line patrol, attacks three Fokkers, driving down one, which falls in flames. Lieutenant John Rose observes an enemy scout attacking some of our machines. He engages it, drives it down from 15,000 feet to 6,000 feet, when it falls in flames. On his return journey he attacks and destroys an enemy two-seater.
The merchant ship S S Nyanza (Master Finlay Kerr) is sunk by a German submarine torpedo fourteen miles northeast from the Maidens. Her crew of 13 is killed including her master who dies at age 54.
- Fourth Engineer Officer William Evitt is killed at age 20. His father was killed in September 1917 also serving in the Merchant Marine.
At Terhand, Belgium, when the right flank of his company was held up by enemy machine-guns, Lance-Corporal Ernest Seaman (Inniskilling Fusiliers) goes forward under heavy fire with his Lewis gun and engages the position single-handed, capturing two machine-guns and 12 prisoners, and killing one officer and two men. Later in the day he again rushes another enemy machine-gun post, capturing the gun under very heavy fire. He is killed immediately afterwards, but it was due to his gallant conduct that his company was able to push forward to its objective. For his efforts he will be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
During the attack at Bellenglise and Lehaucourt Lieutenant Colonel Bernard William Vann (commanding 1st/6th Sherwood Foresters) leads his battalion with great skill across the Canal du Nord through a very thick fog and under heavy fire from field and machine guns. On reaching the high ground above Bellenglise the whole attack is held up by fire of all descriptions from the front and right flank. Realising that everything depends on the advance going forward with the barrage Colonel Vann rushes up to the firing line and with the greatest gallantry leads the line forward. By his prompt action and absolute contempt for danger the whole situation is changed, the men are encouraged and the line swept forward. Later, he rushes a field-gun single-handed and knocks out three of the detachment. The success of the day is in no small degree due to the splendid gallantry and fine leadership displayed by this officer. He will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross as he will be killed near Ramicourt by a sniper on 3rd October when leading his battalion in attack. He is an ordained minister who played football for Northampton Town, Burton United FC and Derby County from 1906-7.
Today’s losses include:
- A Battalion commander
- A Victoria Cross winner
- An Australian Rules footballer
- Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
- A man whose father will be killed in the Great War
- A man whose uncle will be killed in the Great War
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- A church organist and music critic for the Southern Reporter
- Multiple Military Chaplains
- A schoolmaster
- A man whose son will be killed in 1942
- A member of the Vancouver Police Department
- The grandson of Chief Sitting Bull the victor over General Custer as the Battle of Little Big Horn
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Lieutenant Colonel John McDonnell (Leinster Regiment commanding 1st Inniskilling Fusiliers) is killed at age 40.
- Captain Stanley Walter Neale MC (Australian Infantry) is killed by a shell at age 24. He is an Australian rules footballer who played 28 games with University in 1913-14.
- Captain Herbert Rendell (Newfoundland Regiment) is killed at age 29. His brother was killed in July 1916.
- Lieutenant John Neville Beeman MC (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at Villers Hill near Gouzeaucourt at age 20. His uncle was killed in October 1914.
- Lieutenant Nicholson Stuart Boulton (Royal Air Force) a six-victory ace is shot down and killed at age 19 east of Caudry by German ace Josef Mai.
- Lieutenant Vernon Douglas Stuart MC (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 28. He is the son of the Reverend Canon E A Stuart.
- Lieutenant John Cuthbert Backhouse Brown (Middlesex Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Alexander Brown.
- Second Lieutenant Francis Henry May (Tank Corps) is killed in action at age 27. His brother was killed last June.
- Lieutenant John Ledge Bromley (Army Service Corps attached Royal Air Force) is killed in action at age 21. His brother was killed in September 1915.
- Second Lieutenant Alexander Crabbe Park (Machine Gun Corps) dies of wounds at age 29. He is the organist at Bowden Parish Church and the music critic for the Southern Reporter.
- Flight Cadet Hector Campbell Wright (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed at age 18. He is the grandson of the Reverend W P A Campbell Rector of Fladbury.
- Cadet John Henry MacLaurin (Royal Air Force) is killed in an accident at home. He is the son of the Reverend Canon Robert Twiss MacLaurin Rector of Killaloe.
- Chaplain Cyril Barnard Wilson Buck (attached Leicestershire Regiment) dies on active service at age 38,
- Chaplain Umberto Michael Bertini dies on active service at age 33.
- Lance Corporal Herbert William Carpenter (West Surrey Regiment) the schoolmaster of Abinger Council School is killed at age 33. His son will be killed in the Royal Air Force in May 1942.
- Private Joseph Taylor (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 19. His older brother will die as a prisoner of war next month.
- Private William Morrison (British Columbia Regiment) is killed in action at age 33. He is a member of the Vancouver Police Department.
- Private Arthur Leslie James (Norfolk Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in June 1916.
- Private Alfred Jenkins (Sussex Regiment) dies of wounds at age 33. His brother was killed earlier this year.
- Gunner Francis Sepitmus Evert (Australian Field Artillery) is killed. His brother was killed last September.
- Private Frank Ernest Sidney Cox (Gloucestershire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 22. His brother was killed in July 1916.
- Private Thomas W Ballard (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 32 just 4.5 kilometers from where his brother was killed earlier this month.
- Private Charles Carr (North Staffordshire Regiment) is killed in action. His brother will die as a result of war service in 1921.
- Private Anthony Rudd (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 25. His brother died of wounds in March of last year.
- Able Seaman William Marshall Neiass DSM (HMS Cumberland) dies on service. His brother died on service last December.
- Private Robert Wilfrid Longmore (Canadian Mounted Rifles) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed in September 1918 and they are sons of the Reverend Francis Longmore Rector of Carman Manitoba.
- Private John Charles Crane (Newfoundland Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in July 1916.
- Private Joseph Standing Buffalo (Manitoba Regiment) dies of wounds at age 20. He is the grandson of Chief Sitting Bull who led the Sioux into the Battle of the Little Big Horn and defeated George Armstrong Custer at that battle. He is the son of Chief Julius Standing Buffalo of the Lakota Sioux tribe.