Great War Lives Lost

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

Category: Rhodes Scholar

Thursday 1 August 1918 We Lost 691

Haddo Reginald Drummond-Fraser

Today’s losses include:

  • A battalion commander
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A member of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A direct descendant of an ally of Robert the Bruce
  • A Rhodes scholar
  • A schoolmaster and artist
  • A man who dies on his wedding day

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Charles Leslie Barlow DSO (West Yorkshire Regiment commanding 1st/5th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed.
  • Major Augustine George Richard Whitehouse MC (Herefordshire Regiment) is killed at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend George Whitehouse Vicar of Sellack.
  • Captain Haddo Reginald Drummond-Fraser (Cheshire Regiment attached Herefordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. He is the second son of ‘Sir’ Drummond and Lady Drummond-Fraser to be killed in the Great War.
  • Captain John Champain Tanner (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed while instructing at home at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Maurice Tanner Rector of Eversley.
  • Lieutenant Findlay Macfadyen Ross MC (Royal Scots) is killed in action at age 25. He is the son of the late Reverend John Ross DD, Missionary U F Church, Manchuria.
  • Lieutenant George Frederick Glaister (Tank Corps) is killed in action at age 28. He is a direct descendant of ‘Sir’ Richard de Glasserith who fought under Bruce in the 13th Century and he rowed crew for Cambridge.
  • Lieutenant George Gordon Carmichael (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed at age 22. He is the son of Robert Carmichael JP.
  • Lieutenant the Reverend Frank W Saunders (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 37. He is the Minister of the Parish of Anworth.
  • Second Lieutenant Henry Stokes Richards (Essex Regiment attached Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed while instructing at home at age 24. He was the first Rhodes Scholar at Canterbury College New Zealand and the fourth New Zealand Rhodes scholar to lose his life in the Great War.
  • Second Lieutenant Gerard Croft Hoare (Rifle Brigade) dies of wounds received in action at home at age 19. He is the son of Captain Geoffrey de M G Hoare JP.
  • Second Lieutenant James Crosby Jackson (Royal Scots) is killed at age 23. He is the son of Reverend George Walker Jackson.
  • Private James McIntosh (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed in action at age 25. One brother was killed in action in July 1917 another will be killed as a miner in the Auchengeich Pit disaster on 17th September 1959, while their brother in law will be killed one week after James.
  • Private Frederick Owen Werndly (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 23. His brother will be killed next month.
  • Private Cyril Cuthbert Agar (West Yorkshire Regiment) dies of wounds received in action as a prisoner of war at age 19. His brother was killed in action in October 1917.
  • Private Alfred Edmund Watson (Yorkshire Regiment) dies while a prisoner of war at age 32. He is a schoolmaster and artist.
  • Air Mechanic 2nd class David Jones (Royal Air Force) dies at home on his wedding day.

Saturday 18 May 1918 We Lost 416

G E A A F Hamilton

Today’s losses include:

  • Viscount Glentworth
  • The son of the 4th Earl of Limerick
  • The son of a Baronet
  • The great grandson of the late Duke of Cambridge
  • A Rhodes Scholar
  • A man whose brother was also killed in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Percy Spurgeon (Army Service Corps attached West Surrey Regiment) dies of wounds at home at age 27. He is the only surviving son of ‘Sir’ Arthur Spurgeon.
  • Captain Edmond William Claude Gerard De Vere Pery (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed in France at age 24. He is the Viscount Glentworth and son of the 4th Earl of Limerick.
  • Second Lieutenant George Edward Archibald FitzGeorge Hamilton (Grenadier Guards) is also killed in action today. He is the only son of ‘Sir’ Archibald Hamilton the Baronet and a great grandson of the late Duke of Cambridge. He is 19 years old.
  • Second Lieutenant William Alexander Fleet (Grenadier Guards) is killed in action at age 34. He is the son of the late superintendent of Culver Military Academy, Indiana, USA, a Rhodes Scholar at Magdalen College Oxford and instructor in Classics at Princeton.
  • Private Maurice Lumb (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. His brother was killed in October 1917.

Saturday 20 April 1918 We Lost 823

Reginald Harry Myburgh Hands

Major Richard Raymond Barker MC (Royal Air Force) is killed in action at age 23 near Bois de Hamel when his Sopwith Camel is shot down by Manfred von Richthofen.  He is the Red Baron’s 79th victim and his body will never be found.  He is a 6-victory ace.

Skipper George Hillam (HM Trawler Numitor, Royal Naval Reserve) is killed when his ship is sunk by a mine off Orfordness at age 52.  His son had been killed in April 1915 while service in HMS Cornwallis at age 16.

Today’s losses include:

  • A 6-victory ace killed by the Red Baron
  • A man whose 16 year old son was killed in 1915 on HMS Cornwallis
  • A Rhodes Scholar
  • A Rugby International
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • A man whose twin was killed five days earlier
  • A family that will lose five sons in the Great War
  • A footballer who played with three different clubs

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Reginald Harry Myburgh Hands (South African Heavy Artillery attached Royal Garrison Artillery) a Rhodes Scholar and international rugby football player dies of wounds at age 29. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Harry Hands KBE.
  • Captain Eric Tatton (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend D Tatton.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Alington Royds (General List attached Royal Air Force is killed at age 33. He is the son of the Reverend Nathaniel Royds Rector of Little Barford.
  • Corporal Eustace Godfrey Kenny (Australian Machine Gun Corps) is killed in action. He is the son of the Reverend Robet Kenny York Peninsula Mission South Australian.
  • Lance Corporal Charles Sydney Flatt (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 27. His brother was killed in April 1915.
  • Private Archibald Buchanan McMillan (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed in action at age 25. He was a football player of class repute having played outside left with Croy Celtic, Rob Roy Celtic and Ayr United.
  • Private Alfred Souls (Cheshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 31, five days before his twin brother will meet the same fate. Three others brothers are also killed in the Great War.
  • Private Joseph Allen (Machine Gun Corps) dies of wounds at age 22. His brother was killed last month.

Tuesday 26 February 1918 We Lost 400

The hospital ship Glenart Castle (Lieutenant Commander Bernard Burt Royal Naval Reserve retired) is torpedoed by UC-56 at 03:47 en route to Brest to load wounded and sinks in about seven minutes off Lundy Island.  There are only thirty-eight survivors from the 206 on board. Among the dead is her commander who is killed at age 55.

  • Chaplain Frank Harrison Edinger is killed at age 33. He is the former curate of St Mary’s Church Ashford Kent and the son of the Reverend Philip Edinger former Vicar of Mersham.
  • Chaplain lost is the Reverend John Joseph McIlvaine (attached Sherwood Foresters) is lost at age 39.
  • Matron Katy Beaufoy (Queen Alexandria’s Imperial Military Nursing Service) drowns. She is a veteran of the South Africa war and had been on board the hospital ship Dover Castle due to illness when it was torpedoed and sunk by UB-67 in May 1917 off the coast of Bona, Algeria.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Naval Chaplain
  • A Military Chaplain
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A Nursing Matron
  • The grandson of a Member of Parliament
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • A #RhodesScholar

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Frederick Raymond Milholland (Yorkshire Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 22. He was the 1916 Jamaican Rhodes Scholar.
  • Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Moore (Royal Naval Air Service) is killed at age 23. He is the grandson of Samuel Storey former MP for Sunderland.
  • Second Lieutenant Robert Cecil Doughty (Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 28. His brother was killed last August.
  • Second Lieutenant Ronald William St George Cartwright (General List attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 23. His brother was killed in August 1916.
  • Second Lieutenant Ernest Twiss Prescott (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds received in action at age 34. He is the son of the Reverend Peter Precott.
  • Sergeant William Cowper (Highland Light Infantry) dies on service in Glasgow at age 41. His brother was killed in September 1915.
  • Sergeant Louis Charles Higgins (Hussars attached Supply and Transport) dies on service in India. His two brothers will also lose their lives in the Great War.

Saturday 10 November 1917 We Lost 1,121

William Earle Villiers

The Canadian Corps launches a final action to gain control of the remaining high ground north of the village of Passchendaele, in the vicinity of Hill 52. This attack will bring an end to the long drawn-out battle.

Today’s losses include:

  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A grandson of a member of the clergy
  • Multiple men whose sons will be killed in the Secord World War
  • A man whose cousin was killed last February
  • A Rhodes scholar
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Frederick Eckersall Nixon-Eckersall (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 48. He is the son of Canon Nixon Eckersall.
  • Major Walter Leonard MacLean (Canadian Army Medical Corps) is killed in action at age 32. He is the son of the Reverend John MacLean.
  • Major George Worthington-Jones MC (Royal Horse Artillery) is killed in action at age 31. His son will be killed serving in Italy in September 1943.
  • Captain William Earle Villiers (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 20. His cousin was killed in February and they are grandsons of the Reverend Henry Montagu Villiers.
  • Lieutenant John Seymour Denison Clarke (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 22. He is a Rhodes Scholar.
  • Second Lieutenant Gilbert Lloyd Vawdre (Welsh Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Llewelyn Brookes Vawdrey Vicar of Tushingham.
  • Second Lieutenant Cyril Gordon Phillips (South Wales Borderers) is killed at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Phillips Vicar of Kerry.
  • Second Lieutenant Allan James Ballantyne (Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed in France at age 19. His older brother was killed on HMS Viknor.
  • Second Lieutenant Harry Harding Davies (South Wales Borderers) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed in December 1915.
  • Lance Corporal Albert Walter Screech (Coldstream Guards) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed next August.
  • Private Hugh G Calder (48th Highlanders of Canada) is killed in action in Gaza. His brother will be lost at sea in March 1918 when the ship he is the Captain of is sunk.
  • Acting Bombardier David Downie (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds received in action at age 25. His brother was killed less than one month earlier.
  • Private John Stephenson (British Columbia Regiment) is killed at age 32. His son will be killed in September 1944.
  • Private Patrick Murphy DCM (South Wales Borders) is killed at age 47. His brother was killed in December 1914.

Wednesday 7 November 1917 We Lost 752

      Walter Sterndale Bennett

Abu Hareira is about midway on the road from Beersheba to Gaza, in front of the Wadi el Sheria.  The Turkish lines here are attacked and captured by the 10th, 60th (London) and 74th (Yeomanry) Divisions. British forces finally captured the deserted and ruined city of Gaza after two previous unsuccessful attempts.

At Sheria, Palestine, under most difficult conditions, in darkness and in an unknown country, Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Drummond Borton (London Regiment) deploys his battalion for attack and at dawn leads his attacking companies against a strongly held position.  When the leading company waves were checked by withering fire, he moves freely up and down the line under heavy fire and then leads his men forward, capturing the position.  At a later stage he leads a party of volunteers against a battery of field guns in action at point-blank range, capturing the guns and the detachments.  For his actions this day he will be awarded the Victoria Cross.

The Allied Supreme War Council is created at Rapollo, Italy.

Today’s losses include:

  • A grandson of the composer ‘Sir’ William Sterndale Bennett
  • A man whose brother will die on service in the Second World War
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A Military Chaplain

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Commander Walter Sterrndale-Bennett DSO (Drake Battalion, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) dies of wounds received in action three days before at age 24. His brother will die on service in 1941 at age 51 in the East Kent Regiment. They are great grandsons of the composer ‘Sir’ William Sterndale Bennett.
  • Captain Harry Cormac Walshe (Royal Field Artillery) is killed. His brother died of wounds in November 1914 and they are sons of Edward Cormac Walshe JP DL.
  • Lieutenant George Walpole Winthrop Denman-Dean (Royal Marines) is dies of wounds at age 21. He is the only son of the Reverend Richard Denman-Dean Rector of Woodbridge.
  • Second Lieutenant Andrew Reid Muir (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds. He is the son of the Reverend J Muir.
  • Second Lieutenant Bernard Robert Hadow Carter (Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 19 in an accident at home. He is the son of the Reverend James Octavius Holderness Carter Rector of Slymbridge.
  • Battery Sergeant Major Nelson Godfrey (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies on service at age 36. His brother died on service on the last day of last month.
  • Private W O Reece (Nova Scotia Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in October 1916.
  • Trooper John Stanley Friend (Imperial Camel Corps) dies of wounds in Palestine at age 21. His brother George also fell.
  • Chaplain the Reverend William James Dunbar (attached Australian Light Horse) is killed in Palestine at age 37.

Tuesday 6 November 1917 We Lost 1,904

           John Fox Russell VC

The 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions having taken over the front, relieving the 3rd and 4th Canadian Divisions respectively begin an attack on Passchendaele. Less than three hours after the start of the assault, many units have reached their final objective lines and the town of Passchendaele has been captured.

  • Captain William Gilson (Western Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 33. His son Air Observer Edmond William John Gilson will be killed serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force on 28th August 1942.
  • Lieutenant Montague Lewis Farmar-Cotgrave (Eastern Ontario Regiment) is killed in action at age 25. His brother will be accidentally killed next month.
  • Corporal Benjamin Thomas Gunning (British Columbia Regiment) is killed at age 25. His brother was killed in April 1915.
  • Lance Corporal Walter Ralph Woods (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in September 1916.
  • Private Edwin L. Gardiner (221st Canadian Expeditionary Forces) one of two brothers of the future Premier of Saskatchewan to be killed in action dies at the battle of Passchendale.
  • Private Donald Farquharson (Manitoba Regiment) is killed in action. He is one of four brothers who are killed in the Great War.

At Passchendaele, when his platoon is held up by a machine-gun, Private James Peter Robertson (Manitoba Regiment) rushes the gun, killing four of the crew and then turns the gun on the remainder. After inflicting more casualties and carrying the captured gun, he leads his platoon to the final position and gets the gun into action, firing on the retreating enemy. During the consolidation his use of the machine-gun keeps down the enemy sniper fire. Later when two of the snipers on his own side are wounded, he goes out and carries one of them in under heavy fire but he is killed just as he returns with the second man. For his actions this day he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Chetwode attacks Sheria and wins the battle in one day, used Stokes mortars against trenches, and over the next days widens the gap in the Turkish defense lines.

  • Lieutenant Colonel Algernon Carteret Thynne DSO (commanding Royal North Devon Hussars) is killed in Palestine at age 49. He is a veteran of the South African War.
  • Captain Edward Stanley Russell MC (Herefordshire Regiment) is killed at age 34 at Beersheba. He is the son of the Reverend T R Russell and is a Great War Poet.
  • Captain Hanbury L Kekewich (Sussex Yeomanry) becomes the third and final brother to be killed when he loses his life in Palestine at age 32. His brothers were killed in September 1915 and two weeks ago.
  • Captain Cyril Mortimer Green (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Mortimer Green.
  • Captain George Manley (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) is killed in Palestine at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Jones Manley Rector of Llanbedrog.
  • Captain Evan Jones (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed at age 36. He is the son Arthur Jones JP.
  • Captain Edward William Walker DSO (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 25. He is the son of the late Reverend William Greaves Walker Rector of Knockin.
  • Captain Randolph William Creswell (Imperial Camel Corps, Australian) is killed at Beersheb. He is the son of Rear Admiral William Rooke Creswell KCMG KBE OBE who has already lost one son in the Great War.
  • Captain Walter Lionel Carver (Herefordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 34 in the Middle East. He is the son of Thomas Carver, Justice of the Peace.
  • Corporal Hiram Wilfrid Moulson (Sussex Regiment) is killed in action in Palestine at age 30. His brother will die of wounds as a prisoner of war in November 1918.
  • Private D Ellis (Herefordshire Regiment) is killed in Palestine at age 25. He is one of four sons of James and Elizabeth Ellis of Leominster to lose their lives in the Great War.

Captain John Fox Russell VC MC (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Welsh Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 24. At an early age, he passed the examination for a scholarship at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was educated for a few years before attending St. Bees School in Cumbria. While at School he was an enthusiastic member of the Officer Training Corps. He joined the Middlesex Hospital when only sixteen years of age and it was while he was in London that he joined the University of London Officers Training Corps, obtaining a commission in the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1914. He was with them in camp when war was declared. Being anxious to qualify, he was seconded in order to complete his medical studies. After obtaining his degrees, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, and was attached to a battery of the Royal Field Artillery. He later re-joined his old regiment Royal Welsh Fusiliers and went out to Egypt as medical officer. In the First Battle of Gaza he won the Military Cross. He was subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross at Tel-el-Khuwwilfeh, Palestine. Captain Russell repeatedly went out to attend the wounded under murderous fire from snipers and machine-guns, and in many cases, when no other means were at hand, carried them in himself, although almost exhausted. He showed the greatest possible degree of valour. His brother will be killed one week after the Armistice serving in the Royal Air Force.

Today’s losses include:

  • Multiple Victoria Cross winners
  • The brother of a future Premier of Saskatchewan
  • A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
  • Multiple families that will lose two, three and four sons in the Great War
  • Multiple battalion commanders
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A Great War Poet
  • Multiple sons of Justice of the Peaces
  • The son of an Admiral
  • The son of a General
  • A Rhodes scholar
  • A Gartshore United footballer

 Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Durham Murphy DSO MC (commanding 2nd Leinster Regiment) is killed at age 27.
  • Captain Claud William Hamilton (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed in action at age 27. He is the son of the Reverend Dr. Frederick John Hamilton, joined the Artist Rifles in 1914 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in 1915.  His brother was killed in July 1916.
  • Captain Leopold George Frederic Fawcett (Scots Fusiliers) is killed at age 28. He is the son of Lieutenant Colonel J and the Honorable Mrs Faucett.
  • Captain Alfred Terence Leatham Richardson (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend Alfred Richardson.
  • Lieutenant Gerald Charles Edward Gloster (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of Brigadier General Gerald Meade Gloster CMG.
  • Lieutenant Walter Power (South African Horse) is killed at age 28. He is a Rhodes Scholar.
  • Second Lieutenant James Allan Christie (Royal West Surrey Regiment) dies at home at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend James Allan Christie Vicar of Thornton le Moor.
  • Lance Corporal Leonard Jarvis (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed in April 1915.
  • Private Gordon Rupert Waters (Australian Army Medical Corps) is killed in action at age 20 serving as a stretcher-bearer at Dickebusch, near Ypres. His brother was killed in April 1915 on Gallipoli.
  • Private Robert Scott (Black Watch) is killed in action in Egypt at age 24. He played football for Gartshore United.
  • Private William Rippin (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 25. His brother died of appendicitis in October 1915.
  • Private Ernest Maiden (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed in Palestine. He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.

Wednesday 31 October 1917 We Lost 963

General Allenby’s forces entrenched on the Gaza-Beersheba line, behind the road and the towns, the XXth Corps (10th, 53rd, 60th and 74th Divisions) of the west, and the Desert Mounted Corps on the East.  This evening, the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade charges over the Turkish trenches and into the town of Beersheba.  The 4th Australian Light Horse led by General W. Grant charges and takes Beersheba and its valuable water wells, a charge that reminds many of the Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854. The Light Horse force of 800 loses only 31 killed and 36 wounded most casualties from hand-to-hand combat in the trenches, not from the cavalry charge.

The 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade, in three lines about 400 yards apart, crest the ridge four miles south of the town. The men ride with bayonets drawn.  Commencing at a trot, the lines spread out until there is a space of about five yards between each trooper.  The Turkish guns immediately open fire, and some casualties are taken. Suddenly it is noticed that the Australians are under the range of the Turkish artillery. The Turks have their guns set at long range and the Light Horsemen are charging faster than the ranges can be reset. When they reach the trenches they do not stop. They jump over, reign up and dismount.  The Light Horse is not considered cavalry they are actually mounted infantry and while they may ride into battle, they dismount to fight.  They then go to work with both bayonet and rifle.

The Turks are totally dismayed at what has happened. Morale is broken and many flee. Several Australian squadrons find that they are able to go straight through the defenses and on into the town itself.

  • Lieutenant Alaric Pinder Boor (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry attached Royal Flying Corps) dies of wounds at Beersheba at age 25. He is a Rhodes Scholar.
  • Trooper Albert Cotter (Australian Light Horse) who is killed at age 33. He is an Australian cricketer who played in 21 Tests between 1904 and 1912 along with 113 first class matches. While regarded as the fastest of his era in Australia (his pace saw him nicknamed “Terror’ Cotter” by English fans) he did not always have the control to back it up. He took eight or more wickets in a match four times from his 21 Tests and his strike rate of 52 ranks up with the best. Cotter joined the AIF in April 1915. The enlistment of a former sporting champion was seen as powerful publicity for the AIF recruiting campaign. Despite having no great riding ability, he was accepted into the Australian Light Horse and he took a late part in the Gallipoli campaign. Cotter is at Beersheba as a stretcher-bearer. At the end of the charge, as troops dismount to engage the enemy, a Turk shot Cotter dead at close range while serving as a stretcher bearer.

Beginning at 05:50 the Bedfordshire Regiment is involved in an attack near Westrozebeke, northwest of Ypres but the movement goes bad due to the depth of the mud as deep as up to men’s knees.  To make matters worse the Germans are anticipating the attack and once it commences they bring heavy shelling to bear on the advancing British troops. Those who are not caught in the barrage cannot move and are shot by German snipers while stuck in the mud.

Today’s losses include:

  • Two Rhodes Scholars
  • An Australian cricketer
  • A man whose father will die on service in 1919
  • A man whose father was killed in January 1916 as a battalion commander
  • The grandson of a Baronet
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • Two Military Chaplain
  • The on only lost of a family that supplied seven sons to service
  • A man whose twin was killed earlier this year
  • A holder of the Indian Royal Humane Society Medal for life saving
  • The son of a member of the clergy

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Acting Major Stewart Athur Rodney-Ricketts MC (Royal Field Artillery) becomes the second Rhodes Scholar killed today when he is lost at age 23.
  • Captain Percy James Belcher (Alberta Regiment) is killed at age 27. His father will die on service in February 1919.
  • Lieutenant Dering John Jasper Radcliffe (Grenadier Guards) is killed in action at age 22. He had been wounded in the head in 1915 at Neuve Chapelle and lost an eye yet returned to fight at the front when medically released. His father was killed commanding the 10th Essex Regiment in January 1916.
  • Lieutenant Philip Gregory Hickman (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the grandson of ‘Sir’ Alfred Hickman 1st
  • Lieutenant William Lefevre Oxley Parker (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed at age 22. He is the grandson of ‘Sir’ William Farrer.
  • Lieutenant Walter de Courcey Dodd (Munster Fusiliers attached Royal Flying Corps) dies of wounds received this day as a prisoner of war at age 21. He has two brothers that also lose their lives in the Great War, the first in November 1916 the second one year to the day from this day.
  • Lieutenant James Douglas Godfrey (HMS Attentive) dies on service at age 39. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for “coolness under fire” while serving on HMS Arethusa in 1914.
  • Chaplain the Reverend Cecil Langdon (attached Border Regiment) is killed in action at age 35.
  • Chaplain Wilfroid John Harding MC (attached Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) is killed at age 31.
  • Corporal Ernest Douglas Jenkins (Royal Army Medical Corps) is killed at age 20. He is the youngest of seven brothers who served.
  • Corporal C H Underhill (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. His brother was killed in August 1916.
  • Private James Tolworthy (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in March 1918.
  • Gunner Arthur John Bodley (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 26. His brother was killed in February.
  • Private Ernest John Flynn (Gloucestershire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 22. His twin brother was killed in June of this year.
  • Private Albert Rhodes (Canadian Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 36. He is the first of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.
  • Gunner Frank Summerville Liles (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 37. His brother will be killed in May 1918.
  • Private Thomas Ellery (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed at age 20 in Mesopotamia. He was awarded the Indian Royal Humane Society Medal for life saving on the Tigris River.
  • Private Maurice Patrick Walther (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 27. His brother will be killed in June next year.
  • Gunner Lawrence Tremaine Wilkinson (Canadian Field Artillery) is killed at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend William James Wilkinson.

Thursday 12 April 1917 – We Lost 1,532

By today the Canadians are firmly in control of Vimy Ridge. Forced to the bottom of the hill, the Germans are unable to launch a successful counterattack. This night, under the cover of darkness, the Germans withdraw from the area.

When in command of a Lewis Gun section on the most exposed flank of an attack Corporal John Cunningham’s (Leinster Regiment) section comes under heavy enfilade fire and suffers severely. Although wounded he succeeds almost alone in reaching his objective with his gun, which he gets into action in spite of much opposition. When counter-attacked by a party of twenty of the enemy he exhausts his ammunition against them, then, standing in full view, he commences throwing bombs. He is wounded again, and falls, but picks himself up and continues to fight single-handed with the enemy until his bombs are exhausted. He then makes his way back to our lines with a fractured arm and other wounds. For his actions Corporal Cunningham will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross as he will die in hospital from the effects of his wounds at age 26.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • A General
  • The son of a General
  • The son of the 1st Baron Ailwyn
  • A grandson of the 2nd Baron Hylton (a survivor of The Charge of the Light Brigade)
  • The second husband of a woman whose first husband was killed in January 1915
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • A battalion commander
  • The son of the Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
  • A Rhodes scholar
  • The son of Member of Parliament
  • A Military Chaplain
  • The son of an Alderman
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A South African Rugby International

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Brigadier General Charles Gosling CMG General Officer Commanding 10th Brigade 4th Division is killed in action at age 48. A shell kills him shortly after a sniper has shot and killed his
  • Brigade Major Hedworth George Ailwyn Fellowes MC (Lancers, Indian Army Probyn’s Horse) at age 25. He is the son of the 1st Baron and Lady Ailwyn and grandson of Hedworth Hylton Joliffe 2nd Baron Hylton who survived the charge of the light Brigade at Balaclava. His three brothers become in succession the 2nd, 3rd and 4th His widow was widowed earlier in the war when Captain Maurice Howard Helyar was killed in January 1915.
  • Major Charleton William Gordon-Steward (Northumberland Fusiliers, Staff Brigade Major 198th Infantry Brigade) is killed in action at age 40. His Brigadier is wounded and will die of those wounds tomorrow. He is the son of Brigadier General C Steward Gordon-Steward.

Forty-eight men of the Bedfordshire Regiment are killed in the capture of La Folie Ferme and the village of La Bergere during the attack on Monchy-Le-Preux.

  • Sergeant Walter Reginald Norris who dies of wounds at age 28. His brother will be killed next December.
  • Lance Sergeant Frank John Benger is also killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in October.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Sidney Goss Mullock (commanding 2nd Essex Regiment) is killed in action.
  • Captain (Acting Major) William Hammond Smith (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at Athies, near Roeux in the Battle of Arras at age 31. He is the son of the late Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, was an exceedingly promising artist and student of the Royal Academy London.  He was also a keen athlete and rowed crew for at his college. A large shell bursts close to his battery and a splinter enters his head rendering his unconscious and he dies before reaching the dressing station.
  • Lieutenant John Clarkson Tredgold MC (Royal Scots) a Rhodes Scholar is killed at age 21.
  • Second Lieutenant Arthur Max Spencer (Rifle Brigade) is killed in action at age 19. He is the son of Herbert Spencer MP.
  • Chaplain the Reverend Thomas Glasfryn Jones (attached South Wales Borderers) dies of wounds at home at age 33.
  • Chaplain John Charles Edmunds-Davies (Welsh Fusiliers) dies of wounds received three days earlier at age 23. He is the son of Alderman Walter Davies.
  • Second Lieutenant Bertram Warner (London Regiment) is killed at age 28. He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the war.
  • Second Lieutenant Charles Arthur Boileau Elliott (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Lister Boileau Elliott Rector of Tattingstone.
  • Sergeant Septimus Heynes Ledger (South African Infantry) is killed at Arras at age 26. He took part in the 1912-13 South Africa rugby tour and was awarded four caps for his country.
  • Corporal John Harrington (Border Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed a year ago.
  • Corporal William H Mossop (South African Infantry) is killed in action. His brother died of wounds in East Africa in March 1916.
  • Corporal Walter Edmiston Broadbent (South African Infantry) is killed in action at age 27. He has two brothers who will be killed later in the Great War, the first in January 1918 the second in June 1918.
  • Private Percy James Robins (South African Infantry) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in 1918.
  • Private John Richard Siggee (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 27. His brothers were killed together in September 1915 serving in the same battalion.
  • Private William Henry Lee (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed in September next year.
  • Private G Dick (Saskatchewan Regiment) dies of wounds at age 19. His brother will be killed in October 1918.
  • Private Alfred Edgar Hoper (Leinster Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother was killed in May 1915.

Monday 9 April 1917 – We Lost 7,149

Battle of Vimy Ridge

Comprising a famed attack upon the heights which crucially overlooks the plains of Artois the Battle of Vimy Ridge sees the Canadian Corps sweep away firmly entrenched German defenders.

Some 12km northeast of Arras Vimy Ridge gained early importance during the war on account of the heights which overlooked the Allied-held town.  German forces seized control of the ridge in September 1914 and promptly constructed deep defensive positions comprising bunkers, caves, passages and artillery-proof trenches, heavily protected by concrete machine gun emplacements.

With such formidable defensive precautions in place the German army rapidly set about the steady destruction of Arras, pounding the town with heavy artillery – apparently with impunity.  French attempts to grab control of the ridge throughout 1915 were bloodily repulsed with the loss of some 150,000 French casualties.  Although the British relieved French operations in March 1916 they were pushed back along a 2km front before they could commence aggressive measures.

There matters lay pending the wide-scale Arras offensive scheduled for the spring of 1917. As part of this offensive the Canadian Corps, operating under British General Julian Byng, are tasked with the decisive recapture of Vimy Ridge.  In preparation for this the Canadians construct miles of tunnels through which troops can pass in readiness for the opening of the attack without coming under shellfire.  Aerial reconnaissance using observation balloons ensures accurate news of German movements.

At dawn this morning of Easter Monday the Canadians attack comprising four divisions begins following a heavy three-week British artillery barrage which is supported by a well-devised creeping barrage.

Within thirty minutes the Canadian 1st Division, under Arthur Currie, has succeeded in capturing German front line positions in spite of a snowstorm and within a further half hour the second line has also been taken by the Canadian.

With the entire ridge wholly under Allied control by 12 April (when Hill 145, the highest feature on the ridge, falls) the operation is judged a spectacular success, the single most successful Allied advance on the Western Front to date.  The ridge will remain in Allied hands for the remainder of the war. It does not come without cost however: 10,602 Canadians are wounded during the attack, and 3,598 killed.  The opposing German force suffers even more heavily with 20,000 casualties.

Private William Johnstone Milne (Manitoba Regiment) near Thelus observes an enemy machine gun firing on our advancing troops. Crawling on hands and knees, he succeeds in reaching the gun, killing the crew with bombs, and capturing the gun. On the line re-forming, he again locates a machine gun in the support line, and stalking this second gun as he had done the first, he succeeds in putting the crew out of action and capturing the gun. His wonderful bravery and resource on these two occasions undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his comrades. Private Milne is killed shortly after capturing the second gun at age 24. He will be awarded the posthumous Victoria Cross for his actions this day.                                                                                               At Neuville-St.-Vaast, France during an attack on enemy trenches, Lance-Sergeant Ellis Westwood Sifton’s company of the Western Ontario Regiment is held up by machine-gunners who have survived the artillery barrage by taking refuge in concrete shelters. As the Canadians move forward, the enemy’s machine guns sweep the battlefield, causing heavy casualties. Sifton sees the enemy’s machine gun nest first. He jumps up, rushes forward and leaps into the trench. He then charges into the enemy gun crew and knocks the gun over before turning on the gunners with his bayonet, killing each man. More Canadians rush forward but a small German party moves down the trench towards Sifton. He uses his bayonet and his rifle as a club to fight them off until help arrives. Despite these efforts, Sifton is killed during the fight. For his actions on this day Sergeant Sifton will awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

The steamer S S Torrington is sunk by U-55 with the loss of her entire crew including firemen Joe (age 31) and John (29) Johnson. They are both born in Sierra Leone.

Today’s losses include:

  • Multiple Victoria Cross winners
  • A Humane Society Medal holder
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • Multiple brothers killed together
  • A son of the 6th Prime Minister of Canada
  • The son of a member of Parliament
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple men whose father will lose his life on service
  • A man show son will be killed in the Second World War
  • Multiple battalion commanders
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • A Great War Poet and novelist
  • The brother of a Great War Poet
  • A Rhodes scholar
  • A military chaplain
  • The Superintendant of Police in Assam
  • A grandson of the founder of Thomas Nelson Publishing
  • A Scottish Rugby International
  • The son of a General
  • A Derbyshire cricketer
  • A Rangers footballer
  • The son of a Councillor
  • A Huddersfield Town and Hartlepool United footballer
  • A Sheffield and Chesterton footballer
  • A center forward for Brechin City FC

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

Manitoba Regiment casualties:

  • Major Gordon Ruthven Heron (Manitoba Regiment) is killed in action at age 33. He had been awarded the Humane Society Medal at the age of 15 for saving five lives.
  • Captain Daniel Gordon Campbell (Manitoba Regiment) is killed in action at age 29. His brother was killed in August 1915.
  • Captain Victor Gordon Tupper MC (Manitoba Regiment) is killed in action at aged 21. He is the son of the 6th Prime Minister of Canada ‘the Honorable’ Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper KCMG and Lady Tupper.
  • Private Charles Gentle (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed next September.
  • Private Herbert Charles Benstead (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother was killed in November 1916.
  • Private John Noel Steadman (Manitoba Regiment) is killed in action at age 21. His brother will die in October of this year. They are sons of the Reverend W Steadman.
  • Private John McCluny (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother will die on service in Germany in May 1919.

Other Canadian Casualties:

  • Major John Hales Sweet (British Columbia Regiment) is killed at age 38. He is the son of the Venerable Archdeacon J H S Sweet.
  • Major Walter Eyre Curry (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 26. He is the son of James Walter Curry KC MP.
  • Captain Walter Willett Pickup (Quebec Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Honorable S S S Pickup.
  • Lieutenant John Douglas Armstrong (Canadian Engineers) is killed at age 28. He is the son of the late Reverend W D Armstrong PhD DD.
  • Lieutenant Joseph Rodolhe Alexandre La Violette (Quebec Regiment) is killed at age 22. His father will die on service in August of this year.
  • Lieutenant Murray McKay Winchester (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend A B Winchester.
  • Sergeant David Ainslie Hunter (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend James Hunter.
  • Sergeant Herbert Ward (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed in action at age 26. His brother will be killed in November 1917.
  • Corporal Frank Le Breton MM (Canadian Field Artillery) is killed at age 31. His son with the same name will lose his life at the end of the Second World War.
  • Corporal Hamish Kinnear Maitland-Dougall (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. His older brother will die less than one year later in the loss of the submarine D3.
  • Lance Corporal William Stewart Telfer (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) is killed at age 27. His twin brother was killed last July.
  • Private Stanley Tom Stokes (Western Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 16. His father will be killed serving in the same regiment in September.
  • Private Max Harris (Quebec Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. His stepbrother will be killed in November of this year.
  • Brothers Oliver, 27, and Wilfred Chenier, 28, Privates in the Royal Canadian Regiment are killed during the attack on Vimy Ridge. They are buried in adjacent graves in Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery.
  • Arthur, 28, and Bill West, 26, of the Quebec Regiment are killed together and then buried in adjacent graves in Nine Elms Cemetery, Thelus. A third brother will be killed in September.
  • Private E Cecil Short (Quebec Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother died of wounds in July 1916 on the Somme.
  • Private William McCallum (Quebec Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in December 1916.
  • Private Archie Hook (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed two weeks after his brother was killed with the Royal West Kent Regiment.
  • Private James Oliver (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in April 1915.
  • Private William Henry Lloyd (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed less than two miles from the spot where William falls in two weeks.

Also lost:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Edward William Hermon DSO (King Edward’s Horse commanding 24th Tyneside Irish) is killed at age 38. His last words to his adjutant are “go on”. His letters home will be published as For Love and Courage will be published by his granddaughter in 1991.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Harold Underhill Hatton Thorne (Berkshire Regiment commanding 12th Royal Scots) is killed. His brother was killed last month.
  • Brevet Major (Temporary Lieutenant Colonel) Charles James Burke DSO (Royal Irish Regiment commanding 1st East Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 35. He is a veteran of the South African War.
  • Major William John Brooke (King’s Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 42. He is the son of Lady Wilhelmina Brooke who also lost a son in May 1915.
  • Captain Eric Fitzgerald Clarke (London Regiment) is killed in action at Neuville Vitasse at age 23. His brother will be killed in August 1918 and they are sons of ‘Sir’ Frederick W A Clark and Lady Clark.
  • Captain R G K Money (East Kent Regiment) is killed at age 18. He is one of three brothers all of whom will be killed in the Great War.
  • Captain Geoffrey Laird Jackson (Rifle Brigade) dies of wounds by a shell at age 23. He played cricket for Derbyshire from 1912 to 1914 including the county championship in 1914 and is the son of Brigadier General Geoffrey Meinerthagen Jackson.
  • Captain Arthur Evelyn Dent (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed near Arras at age 20. His brother will be killed next March.
  • Captain the Reverend John Spence Grant MC (Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 27.
  • Lieutenant Kenneth John Wharton Mowbray (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend John Wharton Mowbray Rector of Toppesfield.
  • Lieutenant Maurice Edward Pelham Burn (Black Watch) is killed in action. His brother was killed in May 1915. They are sons of the Venerable William Pelham Burn the Archdeacon of Norfolk.
  • Lieutenant Charles Arthur Robinson (Inniskilling Fusiliers attached Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Canon Charles Albert Robinson.
  • Lieutenant Alastair Ebenezer Buchan (Scots Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend John Buchan.
  • Lieutenant Arthur David Flett (Royal Scots) is killed. His two brothers were killed previously in the war.
  • Lieutenant Arthur Stanley Mack (Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • Lieutenant Samuel Reginald Parsons (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in March 1918.
  • Second Lieutenant John Douglas Blakely (Gordon Highlanders) is killed in action at age 22. He is the third grandson of the late Reverend Doctor Blakely to be killed in the Great War.
  • Second Lieutenant Charles Henry Merriman (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son of Reverend Canon Charles Victor Merriman of St Mary’s Rectory, Hulme Manchester.
  • Second Lieutenant Harry Erskine Tyser (Black Watch) is killed at age 43. He was the donator of 3,000 pounds sterling in December 1915 and January 1916 of two gifts to the Council for the provision of guns and machine guns wishing that his name not be associated with the gifts.
  • Second Lieutenant William Percival Ferguson (Royal Scots) is killed at age 21. He is the son of Thomas Ferguson JP.
  • Second Lieutenant Owen Bennett Goold Johnson (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother, a Great War Poet, was killed last July.
  • Second Lieutenant John Hastings Folliott Scott (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Richard Curtis Rector of Hulcote and has a brother who was killed in March 1916.
  • Second Lieutenant Frederick Ashcroft (Liverpool Regiment) is killed at age 31 in action at Arras. Two of his brothers will lose their lives next year.
  • Second Lieutenant Hubert Victor Day (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend John Day.
  • Second Lieutenant Walter Josiah Pearse MC (Royal Horse Artillery) is killed at age 26. He is a Rhodes Scholar.
  • Chaplain Herbert John Collins (attached Black Watch) dies on active service at age 35.
  • Second George Lothian Stewart (Royal Scots) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed in June 1915 on Gallipoli.
  • Second Lieutenant John Stein Ronaldson (Cameron Highlanders) is killed. His brother will be killed next December.
  • Second Lieutenant Alfred Chalmers Hay (Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 36. He is the Superintendent of Police in Assam.
  • Second Lieutenant Edwin Relfe Barrett Middleton (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 27. His brother was killed in June 1915.
  • Second Lieutenant Clement Barrington Furmstron (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Samuel C Furmston Rector of Blackwell.
  • Second Lieutenant John Wulstan Bolland (Norfolk Regiment) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend William Ernest Bolland Rector of Denton.
  • Second Lieutenant Arthur Pelham Webb (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 32. He leaves a volume of poetry to Sedbergh School.
  • Sergeant David Glen (Royal Scots) MM is killed at age 36. He is a center forward for the Brechin City football club.
  • Lance Sergeant George MacGregor (South African Infantry) is killed. His two brothers have been killed previously in the Great War.
  • Lance Corporal James W Revill (Royal Engineers) is killed. He played football for Sheffield United and Chesterton.
  • Lance Corporal Edward Bolton (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 38. He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the war.
  • Lance Corporal George Thomas Clover (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 23. His older half-brother died of wounds in September 1914.
  • Lance Corporal Sidney James (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 26. He played football for Huddersfield Town and Hartlepool United.
  • Lance Corporal Leonard Farrar (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 34. His brother will drown in January 1918.
  • Lance Corporal John Telfer Kay (Royal Scots) is killed. His brother will die on service September 1919.
  • Lance Corporal T Smith (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed in action. He is the middle of three brothers who lose their lives in the Great War.
  • Lance Corporal Christopher Grice (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 31. His brother died of illness on service in February 1916.
  • Lance Corporal Don Cameron (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 28. His brother was killed in July 1916.
  • Private Benjamin Swanson (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed in action at Arras. His brother was killed in November 1916.
  • Private Cecil Christopher Betts (Essex Regiment) is killed in action at age 33. His brother will die of wounds in October 1917.
  • Private John Connor (Gordon Highlanders) is killed in action. His two brothers were killed in September 1915.
  • Private Alexander Calder (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed in action at age 22. He is one of three brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
  • Private Alfred Moorhouse (Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of Councillor Moorhouse.
  • Private Alfred Henry James (Royal West Kent Regiment) dies of wounds. His brother was killed in September 1915.
  • Private George Albert Gates (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in May 1915.
  • Private Harry Gildea (Black Watch) is killed. He played for the Rangers Football Club.
  • Private Peter Campbell (Royal Scots) is killed at age 38. His brother will die of wounds in September of this year.
  • Private Herbert Middleton (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed exactly five months before his brother meets the same fate.
  • Robert Anderson is killed in action. His brothers were killed together in October 1915.
  • Private Fred Smith (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 36. His younger brother was killed in May 1916.
  • Private Matthew Muir Liddell (Royal Scots) is killed at age 22. He is the middle of three brothers who will lose their lives the in the Great War. The first was killed in September 1915 while the final will be killed in August 1918.
  • Private Walter Willie Goodger (Norfolk Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in July of this year.
  • Gunner Cyril Ralph Vane Smith De Heriz (Royal Horse Artillery) is killed at age 31. He is the son of the Reverend Lionel Forbes Van Smith de Heriz, who will lose two other sons in the Great War.
  • Private James Inglis (West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in July 1916.
  • Private Arthur Walker (York and Lancs Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the middle of three brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
  • Private Alexander Murray (Royal Scots) is killed at age 23 as the middle of three brothers who are killed in consecutive years serving in the same regiment.
  • Private Alexander Calder (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed. He is the first of three brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
  • Private W Elcock (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed in March 1918.
  • Private Thomas Hall (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed. His brother will be killed in August.
  • Private Frederick William Crofts (East Kent Regiment) is killed in action. His brother will be killed in August 1918.
  • Private Edgar Wilkinson Jones (York and Lancaster Regiment) is killed at age 27. His brother was killed in February 1915 and they are sons of Canon Thomas Jones. Private James Twidell (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 26. His brother will die on service in April 1918.
  • Private William Gorton (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed last July.
  • Private Matthew Acrid (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 25. His brother Edwin will also lose his life in the Great War.
  • Private Albert John Pendrick (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 27. He is the first of three brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
  • Private Stephen Leonard Dawson (Seaforth Highlanders of Canada) is killed in action. He is the son of the Reverend Leonard Dawson.
  • Private Norman Douglas Tatton (Canadian Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 34. His brother will be killed in April 1918 and they are sons of the Reverend Dan Hatton.
  • Private William Graysmark (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 36. He is the middle of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.
  • Bombardier Oliver Cromwell Dubois DCM (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 28 two days after his brother met the same fate.
  • Private F Witherow (Canadian Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 31. His brother was killed in October 1915.
  • Private Robert James Boyd (Seaforth Highlanders of Canada) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed in June 1916.
  • Private Dene Barrett Frey (Australian Infantry) is killed. His brother was killed last August.
  • Captain Thomas Arthur Nelson III (Lothian and Border Horse attached Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 40. He was a Scottish rugby union player who capped for Scotland in 1898. John Buchan, author of the novel The Thirty Nine Steps who was later to become Lord Tweedsmuir and Governor General of Canada, knew him at Oxford and later described him as “in some ways the most conspicuous figure of our academic generation.” ”His death left an aching sense of bereavement in a great multitude not only of friends but of slight and casual acquaintances. He had his roots so deep and far spread that his loss made a bigger hole in the life of Scotland than would have been the case perhaps with any other man of his years.” He was the grandson of the founder of the publishing firm Thomas Nelson Publishing.
  • Second Lieutenant Philip Edward Thomas (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed by an exploding shell at Arras. The son of a civil servant from Wales, Thomas was born in London on 3 March 1878.  After his education at St Paul’s School and Lincoln College, Oxford, he became a writer of reviews and topographical works.  In 1909 Thomas published a biography of Richard Jeffries, the writer and naturalist.  This work is followed by the novel “The Happy-Go-Lucky Morgans” (1913). In spite of the fact that he is married and has two children in the summer of 1915 Thomas enlists as a private in the Artist Rifles. The following year he is made a junior officer in the Royal Artillery.  Lieutenant Thomas began writing war poetry in 1915 after receiving encouragement from his friend Robert Frost but only a few of these are published before he is killed include No One Cares Less Than I, This is No Case of Petty Right or Wrong, The Cherry Trees, Old Man and A Private.

Rain

Rain, midnight rain, nothing but wild rain

On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me

Remembering again that I shall die

And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks

For washing me cleaner than I have been

Since I was born into this solitude.

Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:

But I hear I pray that none who once I loved

Is dying tonight of lying still awake

Solitary, listening to the rain, Either in pain or thus in sympathy

Helpless among the living and the dead,

Like a cold water among broken reeds

Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,

Like me who have no love which this wild rain

Has not dissolved exept the love of death,

If love it be towards what is perfect and

Cannot, the tempest tell em, disappoint.

  • Second Lieutenant Robert Ernest Vernede (Rifle Brigade) dies of wounds received in action at age 41. He is a noted Great War Poet and novelist. His “War Poems” will be published in 1918. He was educated at St Paul’s School and at St John’s College, Oxford.  On leaving college he became a professional writer, producing several novels and two books of travel sketches, one dealing with India, the other with Canada.  He is also the author of a number of poems. At the outbreak of the war he enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers later being commissioned in the Rifle Brigade in May 1915. He went to France in November 1915 and was wounded during the Battle of the Somme in September 1916 returning to the front in December. His poems include: A Listening Post, Before the Assault, The Sergeant and At Delville.

To C.H.V.

What shall I bring to you, wife of mine,
When I come back from the war?
A ribbon your dear brown hair to twine?
A shawl from a Berlin store?
Say, shall I choose you some Prussian hack
When the Uhlans we o’erwhelm?
Shall I bring you a Potsdam goblet back
And the crest from a Prince’s helm?

Little you’d care what I laid at your feet,
Ribbon or crest or shawl –
What if I bring you nothing, sweet,
Nor maybe come home at all?
Ah, but you’ll know, Brave Heart, you’ll know
Two things I’ll have kept to send;
Mine honour for which you bade me go
And my love – my love to the end.

Second Lieutenant Walter Lightowler Wilkinson (Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at Vimy Ridge at age 19.  He wrote the following poem.

The Wayside Burial

Their bringing in their recent dead – their recent dead!
I see the shoulder badge: a “Southern crush.”
How small he looks – (O damn that singing thrush!)
Not five foot five from boots to battered head!…
Give him a kindly burial, my friends, –
So much is due, when some such loyal life ends!
“For Country! …. Ay, and so our brave do die:
Comrade unknown, God rest to you! – Good-bye!

Its reeded: he is buried!
Comrade, sleep!
A wooden cross at your brave head will stand.
A cross of wood? A Calvary! – The Land
For whose sake you laid down sweet life, will keep
Watch, lad, and ward that none may bring to shame
That Name for which you died!…”What’s in a name”? –
England shall answer! you will hear her cry :
“Well done, my own! my son – God rest: Good-bye!”

Sergeant Charles Stewart MacKenzie (Seaforth Highlanders) is purportedly bayoneted to death at age 35, while defending one of his badly injured colleagues in the hand to hand fighting of the trenches. Years later his grandson will write the following poem in his honor. As a song the poem was featured in the Hollywood movie, “We Were Soldiers” directed by Randall Wallace & starring Mel Gibson.

Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone
Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone

When they come I will stand my ground
Stand my ground I’ll not be afraid

Thoughts of home take away my fear
Sweat and blood hide my veil of tears

Once a year say a prayer for me
Close your eyes and remember me

Never more shall I see the sun
For I fell to a Germans gun

Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone
Lay me down in the cold cold ground
Where before many more have gone
Where before many more have gone