Great War Lives Lost

We died 100 years ago in the War to end all War

Category: Easter Rising

Tuesday 6 June 1916 – We Lost 546

After a three hour bombardment at 16:00 the Germans explode four mines beneath trenches occupied by the 6th Canadian Brigade during the Battle of Mount Sorrel while re-taking Hooge.

Captain John Bowen-Colthurst (North Staffordshire Regiment) is court-martialed for ordering the execution of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington during the Easter Rising.  He is found guilty but insane and incarcerated in Broadmoor Criminal Asylum where he will spend 20 months before being released and immigrating to Canada.

Today’s losses include:

  • A prospective Unionist candidate for Parliament
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • The nephew of a member of the clergy
  • The son-in-law of a General
  • A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
  • Multiple families that will two and three sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant John Windsor Lewis (Welsh Guards) is killed in action at age 39. He was for three years the prospective Unionist candidate to Parliament for North Somerset, a nephew of the Bishop of Asaph, a veteran of the South African War and the son-in-law of General Charles Frederick Gregorie.
  • Lieutenant Alfred Reginald Bewes Chapman (North Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Alfred Chapman Bishop of Colchester.
  • Corporal John Scott Cavanagh (Saskatchewan Regiment) is killed at age 32. His son will be killed in the Second World War.
  • Lance Corporal J F B Condon (Alberta Regiment) is killed at age 29. He is the nephew of ‘the Honorable’ W Beehan.
  • Rifleman Percy Chance (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed next August.
  • Private Wilfred Deans (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in May 1915.
  • Private Edward Charles Hamshire (Essex Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother died on service in November 1914 at age 16.
  • Private Thomas Walter Boyd (Saskatchewan Regiment) is killed at age 32. His brother will be killed in April 1917.
  • Rifleman John Marriott (Rifle Brigade) is killed by a German mine explosion at age 23. He is the middle of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.
  • Midshipman Humphrey Mercer Lancelot Durrant (HMS Queen Mary) dies of wounds including a smashed thigh, burns and scalds received at the ship sinks at Jutland. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Aubrey Durrant Vicar of Weatherby.

Monday 1 May 1916 – We Lost 323

Eastern Suburbs RUFC

Casualties during the Dublin rising are put at 124 military and constabulary killed, 397 wounded and missing, 180 civilians killed and 614 total wounded.

Today’s losses include:

  • An Eastern Suburbs Rugby Union Football Club player
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A man who will have two brothers killed in the Great War
  • A man who will have three cousins killed in the Great War
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Christopher Wilkinson Brown (Royal Scots Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend C V Brown and he had been wounded twice in 1915.
  • Captain Neville Wallach MC (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 21 when a shell burst sends a splinter through his head as his officers are sitting down to eat. He is a member of the Eastern Suburbs Rugby Union Football club and his brother will be killed in April 1918.
  • Lieutenant Harry Morton Ellis Adie (Central Ontario Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) dies of wounds at age 29. His three cousins will be killed in the Great War.
  • Private Patrick Pender (Munster Fusiliers) dies at home in Dover. His brother was killed in July 1915.
  • Private Victor Herbert Nicholas (Machine Gun Corps) dies of wounds at age 23. His brother was killed in March 1915.
  • Private James Potts (Lancaster Regiment) dies on service in Mesopotamia at age 17. He is the first of three brothers who will lose their lives in the war.
  • Private W Bussell (Quebec Regiment) is killed at age 30. His brother was killed in April 1915.

Sunday 30 April 1916 – We Lost 472

Bernard Pitt

Bernard Pitt

A Germans attack from Messines Ridge is defeated by artillery.

The Easter Rising continues to take the lives of members of the British Military.

  • Second Lieutenant Montague Bernard Browne (Sherwood Foresters) dies of wounds received two days earlier at age 39. He is the son of the late Reverend S B Browne Rector of Plumtree Notts. His brother was killed on Gallipoli last August.
  • Corporal Henry Meyrick Hewett (King Edward’s Horse) dies of wounds received in the Easter Rising in Ireland at age 42. He is the son of Lieutenant General E O Hewett CMG.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Great War poet
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Two brothers killed together
  • The son of a general
  • An Assistant Surveyor to the Geological Survey of Ireland
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Second Lieutenant Bernard Pitt (Border Regiment attached Trench Mortar Battery) is killed in action at age 34. He is a Great War poet whose poems include February in the Firing Line which ends with line “Oh! How can I be out of England when Spring is Here?”  

“Do you wonder that, reading Wordsworth this afternoon
in a clearing of the unpolluted woodlands,
and marking the lovely faded colours on the wings of hibernating butterflies,
and their soft motions,
I felt a disgust, even to sickness, of the appalling wickedness of war.”

  • Brothers Cyril, 19, and Horace Hill, 22, are killed with the 24th Canadian Infantry when they take shelter from a German artillery barrage in the garden of a local estaminet in the village of Dickebusch. A shell lands outside the entrance of the dugout and twelve soldiers die, while only one gets away unscathed.  The brothers are among the dead. They are now buried side by side in Dickebusch New Military Cemetery.
  • Lieutenant Robert Lepper Valentine (Dublin Fusiliers) dies of wounds at age 26. He is the inventory of a quick-firing improvement to the Lewis Machine Gun and assistant surveyor to the Geological Survey of Ireland.

Saturday 29 April 1916 – We Lost 566

Kut el Amara

Kut el Amara falls. Nearly 12,000 British and Indian soldiers and followers, weak and ill, are taken prisoner, and more than 4,000 of these will die in enemy hands.  The garrison has suffered 3,776 casualties, including 1,800 dead, prior to the surrender.

On the last day of the Battle of Hulluch the Germans attack with gas again, but this time the wind blows the gas back upon their own troops, crippling a great number.  Hulluch is one of the most heavily-concentrated gas attacks of the war.  In the three days of the battle British losses are 538 dead and 1,590 wounded.

At Hulloch Private John Naylor (Dublin Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 36. His wife Margaret Naylor will be shot today during the Easter Rebellion while crossing the Ringsend Drawbridge in Dublin with her three children. She will die of her wounds on 1 May.

Martial law in Ireland is lifted and the rebellion is officially over with the surrender of Irish nationalists to British authorities in Dublin. Second Lieutenant Algernon Lucas (King Edward’s Horse) is found at the Guinness brewery by Sergeant Robert Flood (Dublin Fusiliers). After a brief interrogation he is discovered to be wearing civilian clothing under his British officers tunic and his ‘strong American accent aroused further suspicions. He and a civilian employee of Guinness discovered with Lucas are executed by Sergeant Flood who is convinced his position is about to be attacked. Flood is court-martialed and cleared murder charges. Sergeant Flood will be killed on active service in Salonika in May 1917.

Today’s losses include:

  • A member of the clergy
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A man who will have two brothers killed in the Great War
  • Multiple families that will lose two son in the Great War
  • A man whose brother will be killed in 1943 in the Blitz

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Patrol Officer the Reverend Robert Dorrien Kirby (KIAP) dies of wounds inflicted by cannibals in the Kikori River area of Papua New Guinea at age 33. He is leading a patrol sent to arrest someone wanted for tribal killings that is fired upon by villagers when he is struck in the sternum and dies four days later after being take to the Roman Catholic Mission on Yule Island. His brother will die on service in Scotland in February 1918 and they are sons of the Reverend Augustus George Kirby Vicar of South Weald York.
  • Private Neil McGlade (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) dies of wounds as a prisoner of war in Mesopotamia. His two brothers will also die in the Great War, one at Gallipoli the other in France.
  • Private Reginald Jack Honiatt (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in November.
  • Private Michael O’Neill (Dublin Fusiliers) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed as a Fire Guard in 1943 during the blitz.

Wednesday 26 April 1916 – We Lost 449

Francis Sheehy-Skeffington

Francis Sheehy-Skeffington

During the Easter Rising well-known pacifist writer, ardent supporter of women’s rights and a bit of an ‘eccentric’ Francis Sheehy-Skeffington is shot by firing squad at Portobello Barracks ordered by a mentally unstable British officer, Captain Bowen-Colthurst.  Sheehy-Skeffington took no part in the rising, but was ordered shot by Bowen-Colthurst who is carrying on his own private campaign against “Sinn Feiners”.  At first the British attempt to cover up Colthurst’s actions but continued protests lead to his formal court-martial on 6th June.

The British gunboat Helga bombards Dublin destroying Liberty Hall headquarters of the Labour Party and other buildings.  Shells from Helga and British artillery kill civilians and start fires in the city.  British troops land at Kingstown and march towards Dublin.

The last attempt to raise the siege of Kut is abandoned, after more than 23,000 officers and men have become casualties.

Flying an unarmed BE2c, Captain Donald Alastair Davidson (Royal Flying Corps) is badly wounded in a fight with a Fokker while dropping supplies to besieged Kut el Amara.  In spite of the fact that his machine is heavily damaged, the controls being shot away, and he is wounded in three places he succeeds in reaching his aerodrome and landing safely, after which he is lifted out of his aircraft and carried to the hospital.

Today’s losses include:

  • A man whose fourth child and only son was born four days earlier
  • A family that will lose four sons in the Great War
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Claude Burrard Lewes Dashwood (Northumberland Fusiliers) dies of wounds at age 33 four days after his fourth child and only son is born. He is the son of the Reverend Robert Lewes Dashwood Rector of Stanford on Soar.
  • Captain Thomas Lewis Blatchford (Canadian Infantry) is killed at age 31. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas W Blatchford and his brother will be killed in August 1918.
  • Lieutenant Edmund Joseph Maxwell-Stuart (Royal Engineers) is killed in action at age 23. He is one of four sons of Mrs. “The Honorable” Maxwell-Stuart to die in the Great War.
  • Lieutenant John Howe (Quebec Regiment) is killed in action at age 25. He is the grandnephew of the late Honorable Joseph Howe.
  • Lieutenant Robert Bertram Taylor (Eastern Ontario Regiment) is killed in action at age 29. He was the son of the Reverend R E Taylor Vicar of Cresswell, Northumberland.
  • Second Lieutenant Alexander Keith Gorrie (Highland Light Infantry) is killed at age 32. His brother will die of pneumonia in October 1918.
  • Private David George Melrose Watt (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies of illness at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend William Watt.
  • Private Percy Eve (Essex Regiment) is killed at age 22 one year to the day after his older brother was killed.

Tuesday 25 April 1916 – We Lost 388

Ian Ross

In an effort to support the Easter Rebellion German ships bombard Lowestoft and Yarmouth until they are chased away by the Royal Navy.

The submarine E22 (Lieutenant Reginald Thomas Dimsdale) is struck by a torpedo just after 11:50 fired by the German submarine UB-18 while on the surface sending her immediately to the bottom.  Of the crew of 33 only two survive to be picked up by UB-18 and taken as prisoners of war.  The German submarine will be lost off Zeebrugge possibly when it becomes caught in explosive nets laid by HM Drifter Gleaner of the Sea and HMS Afridi. Her commanding officer is the son of Charles Dimsdale, 7th Baron of the Russian Empire and his brother was killed in May 1915.

The Kings Liverpool Regiment is hit with heavy enemy shelling and rifle grenades.  Lieutenant William Murray Hutchison MC is wounded and will die of those wounds in two days.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Brigadier General
  • A Scottish International footballer
  • A son of the 7th Baron of the Russian Empire
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Brigadier General (Irish Command & General Staff) Richard Menteith Greenfield CB dies on service at home.
  • Captain John Ian Edgar Ross (Liverpool Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 23. He was a keen football player, playing for Liverpool and Lancashire and was a reserve for the Scottish XV.
  • Captain Thomas Mewburn Chetwoode Lloyd (Hampshire Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in February of this year.
  • Lieutenant Warren Colclough Pemberton (Canadian Pioneers attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in August 1917.
  • Second Lieutenant Aubrey Herbert Bower Webster (Northamptonshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 27. He is the son the Reverend J Webster.
  • Lance Corporal Harold Keith de Warrenne Harvey (Australian Infantry) is killed in action. His brother Second Lieutenant Ralph de Warrene Harvey (Dorsetshsire Regiment) will die of wounds in June of this year.
  • Private Colin Arthur Maddison (Royal Canadian Regiment) is killed in action at age 23. His brother will die on active service in January of next year.
  • Private Herbert George Mayes (Essex Regiment) dies of wounds at home at age 35. His brother will be killed serving in the Essex Regiment in April 1917.
  • Private Ernest Henry Huntington (Australian Infantry) dies of illness. He is the son of the Reverend H E Huntington of Malvern College.

Monday 24 April 1916 – We Lost 380

Guy Vickery Pinfield

Guy Vickery Pinfield

The first day of the Easter Rising sees some 1,200 insurgents of the Irish Volunteers take over positions in the centre of Dublin, launching the week-long rebellion known as the Easter Rising. The Irish Rugby Union Football Corps headed by Lieutenant Francis Henry Browning is returning to Dublin from a route march and drill practice with drums beating and standards held a loft and march straight into the maelstrom that is the Rising, totally unaware of the momentous events that are unfurling around them. The Corps in civilian clothes with arm-bands are carrying rifles but not ammunition and in the ensuing encounter with the “Rebels” seven members of the Corps are wounded, four fatally including Browning who will die of his wounds two days. Browning is an international Irish cricketer and President of the Irish Rugby Football Union. Second Lieutenant Guy Vickery Pinfield (Hussars) becomes the first officer killed during the Easter Rising. He is a Rosslyn Park Rugby footballer.

At 20:00 with a crew from the Royal Navy under Lieutenant Humphrey Osbaldston Brooke Firman (Royal Navy) assisted by Lieutenant Commander Charles Henry Cowley (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) S S Julnar carrying two hundred seventy tons of supplies leaves Falahiyah in an attempt to reach Kut-el-Amara.  Her departure is covered by all artillery and machine gun fire that can be brought to bear in the hope of distracting the enemy’s attention.  She is however discovered and shelled on her passage up the river. At 01:00 on the following morning General Townshend reports that she has not arrived and that at midnight a burst of heavy firing has been heard at Magasis, some nine miles from Kut by river, which had suddenly stopped. Lieutenant Firman and Lieutenant Commander Cowley are killed and the remainder of their crew, including five wounded is taken prisoner.  Both officers will be awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for their efforts to re-provision the force besieged in Kut. Lieutenant Firman is the son of H B Firman, JP and dies at age 29 while Commander Cowley dies at age 44. His brother will be killed in July 1918.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria winer
  • A Rosslyn Park Rugby footballer
  • A Brigadier General
  • A Battalion commander
  • The son of a General
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • A man whose brother will be killed in 1918

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Brigadier General Augustus de Segur McKerrell CB (Commanding Tay Defence Garrison) dies at home at age 53.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Edward Bourryau Luard DSO (commanding 1st Shropshire Light Infantry) dies of wounds at age 45. He was the Judge Advocate at the murder trial of Corporal Alexander Chisholm last year and the son of Lieutenant General Richard George Amhurst Luard General Commanding Officer of the Militia of Canada.
  • Major Henry Humphreston Scott Vaughan (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 39. He is the son and heir of Henry Francis John Vaughan the Lord of the Manor of Humphreston Salop.
  • Second Lieutenant John Murray Bell (Highland Light Infantry) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend Benjamin Bell former Minister of Withington Presbyterian Church.

Thursday 20 April 1916 – We Lost 383

Ernest Codrington

The disguised German warship Aud is scuttled while trying to land arms on the Irish coast.

British forces again attack the Turks at Sannaiyat but again fail.

Today’s losses include:

  • A battalion commander
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Codrington (commanding 120th Rajputana Infantry) is killed in the attack at age 49. He is the son of the Reverend Richard Gibson Codrington.
  • Lieutenant Isaac Harvey Hodgson (Border Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed last June.
  • Second Lieutenant Richard Arthur Maurice Lutener (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend C Lutener Vicar of Clun.
  • Sergeant Edward William Stephens (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 24 and Private Harry Sallabanks (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. Both will have brothers killed later in the war Stephens in September 1917 and Sallabanks in June 1918.

Wednesday 12 April 1916 – We Lost 278

F A Hoghton

During operations Subadar Sundar Singh (36th Sikhs) is severely wounded while leading two sections forward under heavy rifle and machine gun fire in Mesopotamia.  Although in great pain from a shattered thigh he continues to encourage and hold together his remaining men, who have been severely tried by heavy losses and are still subjected to a heavy fire.

Australian troops break up a Turkish camp at Jifjaffa in the Sinai Peninsula.

British forces occupy Kothersheim in German East Africa.

‘Sir’ Roger Casement lands in Ireland.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Brigadier General
  • A battalion commander
  • A man whose son was killed last year on Gallipoli
  • A Baronet
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Brigadier General Frederick Aubrey Hoghton (commanding 17th Brigade, 6th Indian Division) dies of food poisoning during the siege of Kut el Amara at age 52. He is the son of the Reverend E Houghton Vicar of Woodhouse Eaves.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Francis Ferguson-Davie CIE DSO (commanding 51st Sikhs Field Force) is killed in Mesopotamia at age 48. He is the 5th Baronet and his son was killed in May 1915 on Gallipoli.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Henry Norrington Packard DSO (46th Brigade Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 46. Major Nevill Swire Mann (North Lancashire Regiment) is killed in action in Mesopotamia. His two brothers were both killed in action on Gallipoli on 10th August 1915.
  • Private William Christopher Kewley (Nova Scotia Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend William Kewley Vicar of Millom.

Saturday 25 March 1916 – We Lost 213

Cap badge of the Sherwood Foresters

Cap badge of the Sherwood Foresters

Seaplanes bomb Sylt and coast of Schleswit-Holstein.

The destroyer HMS Medusa founders after being rammed by HMS Laverock in the North Sea.

The Military Medal is instituted and awarded to NCOs and men of the Army for individual or associated acts of bravery not of sufficient heroism as to merit the DCM.  In June 1916 it will be extended to women, two of the earliest awards being to civilian ladies for their conduct during the Easter Rising in Dublin this year.

Just after midnight the Germans fire a mine in front of a trench being held by the the Sherwood Foresters. The Germans then occupy the crater. The Foresters counter-attack at 20:00 the same evening with a party of bombers (grenadiers) with a Lewis gun covering them from the right. This was a ‘small’ action from which neither side gains anything but it cost the Sherwood Foresters 11 men killed, 5 missing and 51 wounded.

  • Captain Stewart John Aldous (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 38.  He is the son of the Reverend John Clement Primrose Aldous Rector of Sywell who will lose another son in July.

Today’s losses include:

  • A man who was in the first class of those awarded the Military Cross
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A man whose brother will be killed in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Geoffrey Spencer Bull MC (Vaughan’s Rifles) is killed at age 35. He was among those who were awarded the first Military Cross.
  • Captain George Edward Ram (North Staffordshire Regiment) dies on service at age 37. He is the son of the Reverend Prebendary Robert Digby Ram Vicar of Hampton Middlesex and Prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • Lance Corporal Harold D Cansfield (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed last month.