Friday 1 November 1918 We Lost 1,568
Before Valenciennes a platoon of the Saskatchewan Regiment has a machine-gun open up on it. Without hesitation Sergeant Hugh Cairns DCM seizes a Lewis gun and single-handed in the face of direct fire he rushes the post killing the crew of five and capturing the gun. Later when the line is held up by machine gun fire he again rushes forward killing 12 enemy and capturing 18 and two guns. Subsequently when the advance is held up by more machine guns and field guns, although wounded, he leads a small party to outflank them, killing many, forcing about 50 to surrender and capturing all the guns. After consolidation he accompanies a battle patrol to exploit Marly and forces 60 of the enemy to surrender. While disarming this party he is severely wounded. Nevertheless, he opens fire and inflicts heavy losses. Finally he is rushed by about ten enemy and collapses from weakness and loss of blood. He will be awarded the last Canadian Victoria Cross earned in the war and will die of his wounds tomorrow.
Captain Alexander Beck (60 Royal Air Force) scores his squadrons last victory of the war, shooting down a Fokker D.VII.
The submarine G7 (Lieutenant Charles Arthur Campbell Russell) is reported lost when she fails to arrive at her base at Blyth, Northumberland. The last communication with the boat was on 23rd October. Her entire crew of 31 is lost.
Today’s losses include:
- The son of Arthur Conan Doyle
- A man fatally wounded winning the Victoria Cross
- Multiple Military Chaplains
- Multiple sons of members of the clergy
- Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
- A professor of English at the University of Bristol
- An Australian Rules footballer
Today’s highlighted casualties include:
- Captain Charles Henry Vernon Smith (Canadian Army Medical Corps) dies of pneumonia at age 32. He is the son of the Reverend William Smith.
- Captain Alleyne Kingsley Conan Doyle (Hampshire Regiment) dies of influenza at home aggravated by wounds received in action at age 24. He is the son of the Arthur Conan Doyle.
- Lieutenant Arthur Rowland Skemp (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 36 at Le Cateau. He is a professor of English at the University of Bristol and the son of the Reverend T R Skemp.
- Lieutenant William Holmes St John Lyons (Middlesex Regiment) dies in England at age 29. He is the son of the late Right Honorable W H H Lyons.
- Chaplain 4th Class the Reverend Harold William Wood (attached Royal Garrison Artillery) dies of pneumonia as a result of influenza at age 31. He is the Vicar of Norton and son of the Reverend Arthur Wood Rector of St John’s Clerkenwell.
- Chaplain Basil Robert Streeten (Lancashire Fusiliers) dies on service.
- Driver Samuel Hainsworth (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 28. His brother was killed in April.
- Driver Albert Woodey (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 18. His brother was killed in the Navy in July 1918.
- Private Arthur Moulson (Machine Gun Corps) dies of wounds as a prisoner of war at age 28. He was taken prisoner on 27th May at Crayonne, on the Chemin des Dames. His brother was killed in action in November 1917.
- Private Albert O’Connell (Australian Infantry) dies of wounds in Wales received on service two months earlier. He is a former Australian rules footballer who played with St Kilda.
- Private Leonard John Redler (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in July 1916.
- Private Edwin Burchett (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 40. He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the war.
- Private Peter Downs (South Wales Borderers) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in September 1916.