Great War Lives Lost

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

Category: Royal Flying Corps

31 December 1918 We Lost 179

Image result for William Leefe Robinson VC

William Leefe Robinson VC

Captain William Leefe Robinson VC (Royal Air Force) dies at the Stanmore home of his sister, the Baroness Heyking, from the effects of the Spanish flu pandemic after his release from a prisoner of war camp. On the night of 2nd/3rd September 1916 over Cuffley, Hertfordshire, Lieutenant Robinson, flying a converted BE2c night fighter, sighted a German airship – one of 16 which had left bases in Germany on a mass raid over England. The airship was the wooden-framed Schütte-Lanz SL11 Robinson made an attack at an altitude of 11,500 ft approaching from below and, closing to within 500 ft, raked the airship with machine-gun bullets. As he was preparing for another attack, it burst into flames and crashed in a field behind the Plough Inn at Cuffley, killing the crew of 16. For his actions he was awarded the Victoria Cross. His wife’s first husband died of wounds in November 1914.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner whose wife lost her first husband to wounds in November 1914
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A man whose father died das a prisoner of war in November 1915

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Meredyth Mangin (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies in India at age 51. He is the son of the Reverend James Mangin of King’s School Canterbury.
  • Captain Alexander Ralph Abercrombie DSO MC (Royal West Surrey Regiment) dies of influenza at home at age 22. His father died of wounds as a prisoner of war in November 1915.

Tuesday 18 November 1918 We Lost 586

Reginald Oscar Schwarz MC

Major Reginald Oscar Schwarz MC (King’s Royal Rifle Corps attached Headquarters 1st Echelon) dies at Etaples of influenza at age 43.  He is a South African cricketer who was the 1908 Wisden cricketer of the year. He also an international rugby footballer who earned 3 caps playing Rugby for England against Scotland in 1899, and Wales and Ireland in 1901.  Schwarz played a handful of rugby games for Middlesex in 1901 and 1902 before emigrating to South Africa and joining Transvaal, but it was on his return to England with the South African cricket team in 1904 that he made his mark, having learned how to bowl.  Schwarz retired from regular playing after the 1912 season, though he appeared three more times for L Robinson’s XI over the next two seasons.

Today’s losses include:

  • A South Africa & England cricket and rugby International and the 1908 Widen Cricketer of the Year
  • The brother of a Victoria Cross winner killed in the Great War
  • A Military Chaplain
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Henry Thornbury Fox Russell MC (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed at age 21. He is the brother of Captain John Fox Russell (Royal Army Medical Corps) who was awarded the Victoria Cross and killed last year.
  • Chaplain Frederick William Ashton (Royal Air Force) dies of illness at age 33.
  • Private Lewis Herbert Reeve (Machine Gun Corps) dies on service at age 29. His brother was killed in April 1917.

Tuesday 22 October 1918 We Lost 1,288

Julian L’Estrange

Brigadier General Edward John Granet Commanding Royal Artillery dies of wounds at age 60.   The wounds he died of were received at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli on 13th August 1915.

Near Hoogemolen, Belgium, Lieutenant David Stuart McGregor VC (Royal Scots) conceals his guns on a limber under the bank of a sunken road, but immediately the troops advance they are subjected to such intense enfilade machine-gun fire that he realises it is impossible to get the guns carried forward without great delay. Having ordered the teams to take a safer route, he lays flat on the limber, the driver then gallops forward under the heaviest machine-gun fire to cover beyond, the guns are put into action and the advance resums. Lieutenant McGregor continues directing the fire until he is killed at age 23. For his actions he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Today’s losses include:

  • A silent screen and Broadway actor
  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • A Brigadier General
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Charles Holbrook Rosling (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at agae 36. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Douglas Rosling Rector of Caerhays.
  • Lieutenant George William Kenneth Smith (Royal Air Force) dies of wounds at age 19 having been wounded in the throat he flew 30 miles and made a perfect landing at his aerodrome.
  • Second Lieutenant Ernest Llewelyn Rees (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend D M Rees.
  • Second Lieutenant Julian L’Estrange (Royal Flying Corps) dies of pneumonia and influenza at age 38. He is a stage actor who made his debut as the cupbearer in Herod at His Majesty’s Theatre in October 1900. He also appeared as Borachio in Much Ado About Nothing at Drury Lane in The Sins of Society. He frequently appeared with his wife the actress Constance Hardy and appeared on Broadway regularly between 1908 and 1916 and in several silent films. He joined the Royal Flying Corps in Canada but as later discharged on medical reasons.
  • Corporal James Robertson (New Zealand Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 34. His brother was killed in June of last year.
  • Private Arthur Thomas William Oke (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) dies on active service in India. His brother was killed in February of this year.
  • Private James William Evans (Machine Gun Corps) dies on service at home at age 36. His brother died of wounds in France last July.
  • Private James William Evans (Machine Gun Corps) dies at home at age 36. His brother died of wounds in July.
  • Leading Signalman (Frederick Albert Habgood) HMS Victory dies at home of influenza. His brother died of wounds in July 1916.
  • Sapper Charles Edward Angus Thorburn (Royal Engineers) dies at home at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas James Thorburn.

Monday 22 July 1918 We Lost 435

Near Armentieres, Major Edward Corringham Mannock destroys an enemy tri-plane from a height of 10,000 feet.

Today’s losses include:

  • The first Indian flying ace ever and only one of the Great War
  • A 19-victory ace
  • A 15-victory ace
  • A Military Chaplain
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A suicide

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel John Henry Morris Arden DSO (Worcestershire Regiment attached Royal Air Force) commits suicide at age 43 in Cairo. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Arden a missionary author. He served in the South African War and the Sudan Campaign of 1912. He was awarded the DSO for conspicuous gallantry at Neuve Chapelle on 12th March 1915.
  • Captain Harold Thomas Mellings (Royal Air Force) is killed in action south of Ostend after recording his last two victories this morning. The fifteen victory ace dies at age 20.
  • Lieutenant Gilbert Richard Barnard (Cape Forces South African Infantry) is killed at age 19 in Jerusalem. He is the son of the Reverend Gilbert William Barnard.
  • Second Lieutenant Francois Joseph Belley MC AFC (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed at age 24. He is the son of the Honorable L G Belley KC.
  • Second Lieutenant Indra Lal Roy (Royal Air Force) is killed in action when his plane goes down in flames over Carvin during a dogfight. The only Indian ace of the Great War dies at age 19 scoring ten victories in two-week period earlier in this month.
  • Chaplain Charles Watson dies on service in the Middle East at age 51.

Monday 3 June 1918 We Lost 427

Herbert Musgrave

Major Arthur W Keen takes command of 40th squadron.

 Today’s losses include:

  • The son of the Governor of South Australia
  • A man whose son will be born after his death
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Herbert Musgrave DSO (attached Staff II Royal Engineers), son of the late ‘Sir’ Anthony Musgrave GCMG, the Governor of South Australia is killed while on a patrol behind German lines by a rifle grenade at age 42. He was one of the first 11 pilots in the Royal Flying Corps in 1912 having served in the South Africa War from 1899-1902.  His son will be born after his death.
  • Captain William Fielding McIsaac (Canadian Army Medical Corps) dies of wounds received 19th May at age 24. He is the son of the Honorable C F McIsaac.
  • Corporal Ernest Cecil Foss (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 33. He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.
  • Private Albert Edward Carpenter (Labour Corps) dies as a prisoner of war at age 32. His brother was killed in March 1917.
  • Private George Enoch James (Gloucestershire Regiment) dies on service at home at age 24. His brother was killed ten weeks ago.

Friday 26 April 1918 We Lost 1,422

Cecil Frederick Coles

Lieutenant Colonel John Ebenezar Stewart (Border Regiment attached South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 29 at Kemmel.  He is a Great War Poet.

Before Action

Over the down the road goes winding,

A ribbon of white in the corn –

The green, young corn. O, the joy of binding

The sheaves some harvest morn!

But we are called to another reaping,

A harvest that will not wait.

The sheaves will be green. O, the world of weeping

Of those without the gate!

For the road we go they may not travel,

Nor share our harvesting;

But watch and weep. O, to unravel

The riddle of this thing!

Yet over the down the white road leading

Calls; and who lage behind?

Stout are our hearts; but o, the bleeding

Of hearts we may not bind!

Today’s losses include:

  • A Great War Poet
  • A musician, composer and friend of Gustav Holst
  • A battalion commander
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A man whose son will be born in July
  • The son of a General
  • A Lancashire Cricket player
  • Multiple families that will lose two, three and four sons in the Great War
  • A man whose son was killed two years ago

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Thomas Kay Robinson (commanding the 13th Sussex Regiment) is killed in action. He is the son of the late Reverend William Kay Robinson Rector of Walwyn’s Castle.
  • Major Algernon George Parsons (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 32. He is the son of Honorable ‘Sir’ Charles A Parsons.
  • Captain Harold Faulder (York and Lancaster Regiment) is killed in action at age 33. His son will be born 5th
  • Captain Harold Godfrey Massy-Miles MC (Royal Army Medical Corps attached London Regiment) is gassed to death at age 32. He is the son of the Reverend Joseph Henry Massy-Miles Rector of Pangbourne.
  • Captain Philip Lloyd Stockley (Machine Gun Corps) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Joseph John Gabbett Stockley Rector of Wolverhampton.
  • Lieutenant James Christopher Francis Lewis (HMS Castor) drowns at age 28. He is the son of Brigadier General Bridges Lewis CB DSO.
  • Lieutenant Owen Hewett Dampier Bennett (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed at age 18. He is the son of the Reverend Owen Cyril Dampier Bennett Vicar of Abberley.
  • Lieutenant William Knowles Tyldesley (North Lancashire Regiment) is killed in action at age 30. He was a player for the Lancashire Cricket club from 1908 until 1914.
  • Sergeant and Bandmaster Cecil Frederick Coles (London Regiment) is killed as a stretcher bearer at age 29 by a sniper. He is a Scottish musician and composer and friend of Gustav Holst and dies humming Beethoven. He attended the Royal College of Music on a scholarship and also studied at Edinburgh University and Stuttgart Conservatory. After completing his studies he became assistant conductor to the Stuttgart Royal Opera and organist of St Katherine’s an English church in the city. While on active service he sent manuscripts home to Holst.
  • Lance Corporal Geoffrey Townsend (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in August 1917.
  • Lance Corporal William Wallis (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in April 1917.
  • Lance Corporal Arthur Wrench (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the middle of three brothers who are killed in the war.
  • Private George Spencer Maryon Smith (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 32. He is the final of four brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War. Private Walter Henry Crook (Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action almost two years after his son was killed.
  • Private Edgar Stooke (Sherwood Foresters) is killed in action at age 18. He is one of four brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
  • Private George Sidney Robinson (East Kent Regiment) dies of wounds at age 19. His brother was killed in November 1916.

Saturday 30 March 1918 We Lost 1,535

John Graham Antill Pockley

Lieutenant Alan Jerrard (Royal Flying Corps) flies an offensive patrol with Lieutenant Peter Carpenter and Lieutenant Harold Eycott-Martin patrol over the Austro-Hungarian Mansue aerodrome.  Lieutenant Jerrard attacks five enemy airplanes and shoots one down in flames, following it down to within one hundred feet of the ground.  He then attacks the enemy aerodrome from a height of fifty feet from the ground, and, engages single handed some nineteen machines, which are either landing or attempting to take off, succeeding in destroying one of these, which crashes on the aerodrome.  A large number of machines then attack him, and while occupied he observes that one of the pilots of his patrol is in difficulties.  He immediately goes to this pilot’s assistance, regardless of his own personal safety and destroys a third enemy machine.

Fresh enemy airplanes continue to rise from the aerodrome, which he attacks one after another, and only retreats, still engaging five enemy machines, when ordered to do so by his patrol leader.  Although wounded, this very gallant officer turns repeatedly, and attacks single-handed the pursuing machines, until he is eventually overwhelmed by numbers and driven to the ground and made a prisoner.  For his actions Lieutenant Jerrard will be awarded the Victoria Cross.

The Battle of Moreuil Wood is an engagement that takes place on the banks of the Arve River in France, when the Canadian Cavalry Brigade attacks and forces the German 23rd Saxon Division to withdraw from Moreuil Wood, a commanding position on the river bank. This defeat contributes to the halt of the German Spring Offensive.

At 08:30 General John Edward Bernard Seely and his aides travel towards the Moreuil woods from where his forces are stationed on the other side of the River Avre, with orders to cross the river and delay the enemy advance as much as possible.  At 09:30, upon reaching the wood, having received fire from German forces that are occupying it, Seely orders the Royal Canadian Dragoons to send sections to protect the village of Moreuil, while other sections are to seize the northeast corner of the wood itself.  While this was being undertaken, Lord Strathcona’s Horse is ordered to occupy the southeast face of the wood and disperse any German units found there.  The remaining squadrons of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade are ordered to enter the wood from the northwest, and sweep through it towards the eastern face where Lord Strathcona’s Horse is awaiting them.  After being driven back from their first assault by machine gun fire, the cavalry units dismount and proceed to attack a second time with fixed bayonets, driving German forces from the edge of the wood and into the center.  Hand to hand fighting breaks out in several locations with swords and pistols as Canadian forces fight through the German 101st Grenadiers, who became disorganized and demoralized.

As Canadian cavalry fight through the wood, they are driven eastwards by German machine gun fire while units of the Canadian Dragoons are forced to wheel into the woods at the north due to German attack.  This quickly became a series of separate engagements due to the nature of the battlefield, with units separated and dispersed inside the German formations, and the fact that horses are ineffective in the woodland leads to the pace of the battle slowing down considerably.  By now the remainder of the 3rd Cavalry has crossed the river and is distributed around the wood to support various Canadian forces currently engaged with German forces, many of these reinforcements are instructed to dismount before entering the battle.  At this time, units from Lord Strathcona’s Horse are formed into scouting teams of about ten men each and sent to discover details about the enemy forces and positions.

The commander of ‘C’ company Lord Strathcona’s Horse, Lieutenant Gordon Muriel Flowerdew, orders his forces to secure the northeast corner then report back to him.  Flowerdew is then ordered to cut off the German forces retreating to the east in the face of the Allied forces advancing through the wood.  During this time, the forces dispatched by Flowerdew to the northeast corner ambush and killed German forces looting a French wagon, then proceeding to dismount and entered the wood under fire.  Flowerdew arrives, assesses the situation, and decides that his unit should move to cut off the German retreat while the other section will help to drive the Germans from the wood.

By now there are six squadrons of cavalry in the wood, planes from the Royal Flying Corps are also attacking German forces from overhead, dropping 109 bombs and firing 17,000 bullets.  Cavalry forces approach the southwest corner of the woods, coming under heavy fire and suffering heavy casualties, they are forced to temporarily halt.  Flowerdew reaches high ground at the northeast corner of the wood just in time to encounter a 300 strong German force from the 101st Grenadier’s who are withdrawing.  Flowerdew orders “It’s a charge boys, it’s a charge!” however the bugler Trooper Reginald George Longley is killed at age 22 after raising his trumpet to blow the call silenced by German fire before it is sounded. During the charge nicknamed “The Last Great Cavalry Charge”, both sides are decimated, and Flowerdew is dangerously wounded through both thighs, with only 51 of his unit still alive. Tomorrow Lieutenant Flowerdew will die of wounds and he will be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his efforts on this day.

By 11:00 only the southern point of the wood is still occupied by German forces.  With reinforcements arriving for the British, Seely orders the remaining Germans to be driven away.  Seely orders British artillery fire into the wood to cease so he can operate without fear of friendly fire.  The Germans are routed from the wood, and the day ends with 305 Allied casualties but the wood was in Allied hands. This battle causes the destruction of the Moreuil Castle, an estate of the family of Rougé, inherited from the Lords of Créquy, Princes of Poix and dukes of Lesdiguières. Among those killed in the Royal Canadian Dragoons is

  • Lieutenant Albert Victor Seymour Nordheimer killed at age 33. His adopted son will be killed in the Royal Canadian Air Force on 17th August 1944 at age 20.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • Multiple sons of Baronets
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • Brothers killed together
  • A man who has two brothers-in-law killed
  • The son of the Earl of Kimberley
  • The brother of the first Australian Army officer killed in the Great War
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • A man whose adopted son will be killed in the Second World War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Edward Fairlie (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 36. He is the son of the late William Fairlie JP.
  • Major Denys Huntingford Hammonds DSO MC (Royal Engineers) is killed leading a charge at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend Prebendary Edwin Hammonds.
  • Captain Douglas Raymond Montford (Indian Infantry attached Vaughan’s Rifles) is killed in Palestine at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend Henry C Montford.
  • Captain John “Punch” Arnott MC (Hussars) is killed in action at age 32 he is the son of ‘Sir’ John Alexander Arnott the 2nd Baronet and Lady.
  • Captain Herbert Basil Hinson (Canterbury Mounted Rifles) is killed in Damascus at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Stanley Hinson Vicar of Te Ngawai Christchurch.
  • Captain James Ogilvie Grant Stuart MC (Black Watch) is killed at age 25. His brother was killed last September.
  • Lieutenant John William Church (Hertfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 39. He is the eldest son of ‘Sir’ William Selby Church Baronet KCB late President of the Royal College of Physicians, London.  He became District Commissioner on the Gold Coast in 1907.  Lieutenant Church enlisted in the Public Schools Battalion Middlesex Regiment in August 1914, and received a commission in the Hertfordshire Regiment in March 1915. He served as Acting Captain, Assistant Adjutant, and Musketry Instructor in England in 1916, and went out to France in August 1917. The Hertfordshire Regiment then formed part of the 19th Corps under Brigadier-General Congreve VC and took part in the retreat which began on 21st He is killed while leading the remnants of his battalion in one of the last counter-attacks made on the enemy. Lieutenant Angler Percy Hurd (Hertfordshire Regiment) is killed.  His brother was killed in September 1916.
  • Fleet Paymaster Bertram Howard Wodeman (HMS Benbow) drowns at Scapa Flow at age 42. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Wodeman Vicar of Peckforton.
  • Lieutenant John Graham Antill Pockley (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 26. His brother was the first Australian Officer killed in the Great War in September 1914.
  • Second Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ Edward Wodehouse MC (Lancers) is killed in action at age 19. He is the son of the 2nd Earl of Kimberley and had attended Eton. His brother will die on service in 1919.
  • Sergeant Allan Cormack (Australian Infantry) dies of wounds at the 56th Casualty Clearing Station at age 26. His two brothers-in-law will lose their lives in the Great War.
  • Trooper Norman Harold, 24, and Lance Corporal Stanley Campbell, 21, are killed while serving with the Australian Infantry attached Imperial Camel Corps near Amman. The brothers are buried in adjacent graves in Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery.
  • Private William M Dickson (Black Watch) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in May 1915.

Friday 29 March 1918 We Lost 1,306

Henry Arthur Dobson

Major General Edward Feetham CB CMG General Officer Commanding 39th Division dies of wounds at age 52.  At about 12 noon, the enemy commences a bombardment of Demuin while the General and his General Staff Officer are walking up the main street.  One shell bursts on the houses they are passing and a fragment strikes Major General Feetham in the neck. The son of the Reverend William Feetham Vicar of Penrhos dies of wounds shortly thereafter. He is a veteran of the South African War. For the second time in eleven days the 39th Division has lost a commanding officer.

Brigadier General Harry Townsend Fulton CMG DSO General Officer Commanding 3rd New Zealand Brigade New Zealand Division dies of a concussion received the previous day at age 48.  During the previous day there has been a marked increase in the enemy’s artillery as well as machine-gun fire.  In the evening an unlucky 5.9-inch shell scores a direct hit on the cellar that is the New Zealand Rifle Brigade’s headquarters at Collincamps.  The entire place is wrecked and its occupants completely buried.  General Fulton, who has arrived back the previous day, succumbs to the effects of the concussion today.  He is the son of Lieutenant General John Fulton, RA and served on the India Frontier in 1897, South Africa War in 1900 Samoa in 1914 and Egypt in 1915.

Today’s losses include:

  • Two Generals
  • An Aston Villa footballer
  • The son of a General
  • A battalion commander
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • A member of Miss Florence Harris’ Shakespearean Company
  • A man whose sister will die serving in the Voluntary Aide Detachment
  • A Military Chaplain
  • A man killed on his 21st birthday
  • A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Cecil Buckley Morgan CMG DSO (commanding 22nd Durham Light Infantry) dies of wounds received at age 58 at Proyart Somme.
  • Major Harold Frederic Barker (Royal Garrison Artillery attached 126th Battery, Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action five days after his brother met the same fate. Harold is killed at age 27
  • Major Leycester Penryn Storr DSO (Liverpool Regiment attached Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at age 38. He is the son of the Reverend John Storr and husband of the Honorable Mrs Leycester Storr.
  • Captain George Thorold Waters (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 44. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Waters Rector of Staverton.
  • Captain William Humphrey Ronald Rayson (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend William Robert Rayson Vicar of Coatham.
  • Captain Norman McConnochie MC (Hampshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 34. He is the son of the late Reverend J McConnochie.
  • Captain Alfred Cyril Parsons (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at age 25. His brother was killed in April 1917.
  • Lieutenant Walter Owen Edis (Bedfordshire Yeomanry) is killed at age 25. He is a member of Miss Florence Harris’s Shakespearean Company and his brother will be killed in August of this year.
  • Lieutenant George Muir Warnock (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 25. His sister will die on service in France in May serving in the Voluntary Aid Detachment.
  • Lieutenant Alexander Scott Harvey (Gordon Highlanders) dies of wounds at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Harvey Minister of St David’s UF Church, Edinburgh and had been wounded twice previously. After being wounded this day he is carried in after dark under conditions of great bravery and fidelity by Private J Scott.
  • Chaplain ‘the Reverend’ Edward Reginald Gibbs (attached Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 32 when a shell lands close to him as he is returning from conducting the funeral of a soldier. He is the son of the Reverend William Cobham Gibbs Rector of Clyst St George who lost another son earlier in the War.
  • Second Lieutenant Ernest Graham Humphrey (South Lancashire Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) dies of wounds at age 21 received the previous day flying low and defending a road near Amiens. He is the son of the late Reverend William John Humphrey formerly Principal of Fourah Bay College Sierra Leone.
  • Second Lieutenant Norman Bayley Wilkes (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed on his 21st He is the only son of the Reverend Thomas William Wilkes of St Peter’s Church.
  • Lance Corporal Arthur Cowley (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 33. His brother was killed in April 1918.
  • Gunner Horace Bywaters (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies of wounds received in action at age 21. He is the third brother to die in the Great War.
  • Trooper Sydney James Crozier (Australian Light Horse) is killed in action at age 23 in Mesopotamia. His brother died of wounds in August 1916.
  • Private Henry Arthur Dobson (North Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 24. He played 6 league matches for Aston Villa and also played football for Chesterton Foresters and Audley North Staffs.
  • Private Ernest Alexander Lawes (Sussex Regiment) dies of wounds at age 21. His brother was killed in October 1914.
  • Private John Kirk Adlard (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 27. His son will be killed in April 1944.

Thursday 28 March 1918 We Lost 3,749

Bernard Matthew Cassidy VC

A nine plane offensive patrol from 43rd Squadron Royal Flying Corps under the command of Captain John L Trollope is attacked at 09:30 by a flight of Albatros D.V’s in the Albert area.  Five of the Sopwith Camels of 43rd Squadron are shot down. Captain Trollope, Lieutenant Robert J Owen and Second Lieutenant W J Prier are captured, while Second Lieutenant C R Maasdorp and Second Lieutenant H T Adams are killed.  Prior to their being shot down Capt Trollope destroys a kite balloon and two enemy aircraft while Lieutenant Owen also shoots down one enemy airplane.  Captain Trollope’s wounded arm is so badly damaged that his hand will be amputated and he will be repatriated in June. Eventually his left arm will be amputated at the shoulder.

SE5a pilots of 40th squadron depart at 13:30 to patrol an area around Arras.  They find the main Arras-Cambrai road and most of the side roads full of troops and transport, with the Douai main roads similarly congested.  These targets are attacked from heights down to three hundred feet and panic and stampedes are reported.

At Arras at a time the flank of his division is in danger, Second Lieutenant Bernard Matthew Cassidy (Lancashire Fusiliers) is in command of the left company of his battalion. He is ordered to hold on to the position at all costs and he carries out his instructions to the letter.  Although the enemy attacks in overwhelming numbers he continues to rally and encourage his men under a terrible bombardment until the company is eventually surrounded and he is killed at age 25.  For his actions Second Lieutenant Cassidy will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Major (Acting Lieutenant Colonel) Oliver Cyril Spencer Watson VC DSO (Middlesex Hussars commanding 2nd/5th King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 41 at Rossignol Wood, north of Hebuterne, France. A counter-attack has been made against the enemy position which at first achieves its objective, but as they were holding out in two improvised strong-points, Lieutenant Colonel Watson sees that immediate action is necessary and he lead his remaining small reserve to the attack, organizing bombing parties and leading attacks under intense fire. Outnumbered, he finally orders his men to retire, remaining himself in a communication trench to cover the retirement. The assault he leads is at a critical moment and without doubt saves the line, but he is killed covering the withdrawal. For his actions he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. He previously served in Tirah and during the Boxer Rebellion.

Today’s losses include:

  • Multiple Victoria Cross winners
  • Multiple battalion commanders
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A member of the clergy
  • An Eton and Oxford rower
  • An Irish International cricketer
  • A man whose brother was taken prisoner in the same action
  • A Poet
  • A great grandson of Admiral ‘Sir’ Nathaniel Dance hero of the 1804 Battle of Pulo Aura
  • The brother of novelist John Barnett killed previously in the Great War
  • A grandson of the 12th Baron Petre
  • The former Headmaster of Oval Road School
  • The Intelligence Officer of the 198th Infantry Brigade

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Frederick William Robson DSO (Yorkshire Regiment commanding 6th Durham Light Infantry) is killed at age 30. His brother will be killed in less than 3 weeks.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Richard Hall Ireland MC (Leinster Regiment commanding 2nd Munster Fusiliers) is killed in action.
  • Major Walter Greville Bagot-Chester MC (Gurkha Rifles) is killed in action in Palestine at age 31. He is the son of the Reverend Algernon Stewart Mackenzie Bagot-Chester and had been severely wounded at Loos.
  • Captain George Ouvry William Willink MC (Royal Berkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 30. He rowed in the Eton eight, the Oxford trial eights and the college boat club.
  • Captain James Michael Cunningham (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 39. He is the son of William Cunningham DD.
  • Captain Arthur Cyril Bateman MC (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Cameron Highlanders) is killed at age 27. He is an Irish cricketer who played two first class matches for Ireland against Scotland. His brother will be killed next September.
  • Captain Adam Currie (Royal Scots) is killed at age 27. He is the son of Adam Currie JP. Captain John Stewart Calder MC (London Regiment) is killed in action at age 30. His brother was killed in April 1917.
  • Captain John Herbert Victor Willmott MC (Essex Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Herbert Willmott Rector of Rivenhall and his brother is taken prisoner in the same action.
  • Captain Eric Wollaston Rose (London Regiment) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Percy Wollaston Rose Vicar of Norton-by-Daventry.
  • Lieutenant Rowley Moody Nicholson Bourner (Machine Gun Corps) is killed in action at age 27. He is the great grandson of the late Admiral Sir Nathaniel Dance, a noted hero of 1804.
  • Lieutenant Basil Joseph Bernard Butler-Bowdon (Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed at age 19. He is the grandson of the 12th Baron Petre.
  • Lieutenant Walter Hugh Whetstone (Coldstream Guards) is killed at age 20 by a shell a few miles south of Arras. He is the second son of Lady Hiley. Lieutenant Whetstone was gazetted to the Coldstream Guards in December 1915 and went to the Front in the following July. He was severely wounded in the Battle of the Somme in September 1916, but returned to the Front a year later and took part in the fighting at Cambrai and the recapture of Gouzeaucourt in December 1917.
  • Lieutenant Sidney Collier (Manchester Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed while flying near Vimy at age 22. He is the son of Reverend Samuel F Collier and his brother was killed six days earlier.
  • Lieutenant Gordon Francis Collingwood (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 25. He is the son of Major General Clennell Collingwood.
  • Second Lieutenant Geoffrey Noel Storrs Fox (West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Noel Storrs Fox Rector of Holy Trinity, Yorks.
  • Second Lieutenant Sydney Beaumont MC (East Lancashire Regiment) dies of wounds received at Framerville at age 38. He is the Intelligence Officer of the 198th Infantry Brigade and former Headmaster of Oval Road School, Croydon, Surrey.
  • Second Lieutenant Kenneth D’Ombrain Husband (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend Edgar Bell Husband Vicar of St Luke’s.
  • Second Lieutenant Innes D’Auvergne Stewart Stitt (London Regiment) is killed at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend Samuel Stewart Stitt and wrote a poem called The Last Leave, which can be read in the Stretham church where his father the Reverend was Rector.
  • Second Lieutenant Harold William Stagg (Machine Gun Corps) is killed. His brother the novelist John Barnett (his pseudonym) was killed in September 1916
  • Lance Corporal Frank Jenkins (Royal Engineers) dies of wounds at age 24. His brother will die of wounds next September.
  • Lance Corporal Stanley Boon (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed in action in Palestine. His brother was killed in December of last year.
  • Private James Sutherland (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed in action at age 41 at Arras. His brother was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • Driver Thomas E Crowe (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds received in action at age 26. His brother was killed in July 1916.
  • Private Frank Wooding (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 34. His brother was killed in November 1914.
  • Private George Geary (King’s Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 29. His brother will die on active service in November of this year.
  • Private Harry Thompson (Yorkshire Regiment) is killed in action. His brother died of wounds last September.
  • Private George Whitbread (Middlesex Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in December 1916.
  • Private Ewart Leslie Andrew (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in March 1917.
  • Private Samuel Thomas Elcock (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed in April last year.
  • Bombardier Thomas Hallworth (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 29. He is the middle of three brothers who are lost in the Great War.
  • Private Patrick O’Brien (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed. His son will be killed in May 1940.
  • Rifleman Oliver Hope Robertson (London Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. He is a clergyman.
  • Private George Tolworthy (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed last October.

Wednesday 27 March 1918 We Lost 2,526

Basil Arthur Horsfall VC

Second Lieutenant Alan Arnett McLeod, while flying with his observer, Lieutenant Arthur W Hammond MC, attacks hostile formations with bombs and machine gun fire.  He is assailed at a height of 5,000 feet by eight enemy triplanes which dive at him from all directions, firing from their front guns.  By skilful maneuvering he enables his observer to fire bursts at each machine in turn, shooting three of them down out of control.  By this time Second Lieutenant McLeod has received five wounds, and while continuing the engagement a bullet penetrates his petrol tank and sets the machine afire. He then climbs out on to the left bottom plane, controlling his machine from the side of the fuselage, and by side slipping steeply keeps the flames to one side, thus enabling the observer to continue firing until the ground is reached.  The observer is wounded six times when the machine crashes in “No Man’s Land” and Second Lieutenant McLeod, notwithstanding his own wounds, drags him away from the burning wreckage at great personal risk from heavy machine gun fire from the enemy’s lines.  This very gallant pilot is again wounded by a bomb while engaged in the act of rescue, but he perseveres until he has placed Lieutenant Hammond in comparative safety, before falling himself from exhaustion and loss of blood.  For this action Lieutenant McLeod will be awarded the Victoria Cross.

Lieutenant Colonel John Stanhope Collings-Wells (Bedfordshire Regiment) VC DSO is killed in action at age 37 performing the acts that will win him the Victoria Cross.  Beginning on 22nd March during the fighting from Marcoing to Albert when the rearguard was in great danger of being captured, Lieutenant Colonel Collings-Wells calls for volunteers to remain behind and hold up the enemy for 1½ hours while the remainder of the rearguard withdraws.  During the time the colonel moved amongst his men guiding and encouraging them and even when twice wounded continues to encourage them until he is killed.

Second Lieutenant Basil Arthur Horsfall (East Lancashire Regiment) dies of wounds at Ayette at age 30 received 21st March between Moyenneville and Ablainzevelle, France performing acts for which he will be awarded the Victoria Cross. When the enemy attacked Second Lieutenant Horsfall’s center platoon, his three forward sections are driven back and he is wounded in the head by enemy fire. Ignoring the wound, he immediately reorganizes what remains of his troops and counter-attacks to regain his original position. Despite the severity of his head wound, he refuses to go to the dressing station, as the three other officers in his company have been killed. Later, he makes another counterattack, but is ordered to withdraw. The last to leave his position, he was shot soon afterwards.

Two old destroyers are mined in company off the east coast of England in the North Sea. HMS Kale (Commander Harold E Dennison) sinks while the Exe is damage losing five of her crew.

Flight Lieutenant Lea Ewart Barnes Wimbush (Royal Naval Air Service) is performing aerobatics over the assembled crowd at Berkhampstead Grammar School’s speech day when the wings of his Sopwith Triplane tear off while attempting three consecutive loops. He will die of his injuries tomorrow at age 19. His cousin will be killed in the Royal Air Force next May and due to their parents both being John and Maud Wimbush they are sometimes believed to be brothers.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Welsh Rugby International
  • A man who is both the son and father of Baronets
  • Multiple Victoria Cross Winners
  • Multiple battalion commanders
  • Multiple families that will lose two and the sons in the Great War
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple men whose sons will be killed in the Second World War
  • A medical student
  • The grandson of a member of the clergy
  • A man whose father will die on service next September
  • A Police Officer
  • The Captain of the East Grimstead Football Club

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Harry Fearnley Kirkpatrick DSO (East Kent Regiment commanding Anson Battalion Royal Naval Division) dies of wounds at age 42. He is the son of ‘Sir’ James Kirkpatrick 8th Baronet of Closeburn and the father of the 10th His brother was killed in May 1917.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Skinner Raymond Sebastian MC (commanding 5th Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry) dies of wounds received in action at Cugny on 23rd March at age 31.
  • Major Austin Hanbury Brown DSO MC (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 31. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Robert Hanbury Brown KCMG.
  • Major George Paterson Nunneley MC (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 36. He is the son of the Reverend Frederick Barham Nunneley Vicar of Rennington whose younger son was killed in October 1914.
  • Captain Percival St George Findlater (Army Service Corps) is killed at age 36. He is the son of ‘Sir’ William Findlater.
  • Captain Noel Forbes Humphreys MC (Tank Corps) dies of wounds at age 27. He is a Welsh Rugby International and member of the 1910 British Tour of South Africa Rugby team. He is the son of the Reverend Henry James Humphreys Vicar of Thornley who has previously lost two other sons in the war.
  • Captain Charles Frederick Wybrow Nash MC (Norfolk Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Barnett Nash Vicar of Watton.
  • Lieutenant Edward Treloar Smart (Royal Garrison Artillery attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action. He is the son of the Reverend John Raester Smart Chaplain of Tonbridge School.
  • Lieutenant Edmund Sydney Howells (Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed while instructing at age 19. He is the son of Canon Edmund Howells vicar of Milford Haven.
  • Lieutenant Michael William Doyle (General List attached Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed at age 24. His brother died of wounds in February 1916.
  • Lieutenant Lionel Raymond Whately (South Wales Borderers attached Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed in November 1916.
  • Lieutenant Dudley Walter Rowland Hall (Royal Marine Light Infantry) dies of wounds received in action at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Rowland Hall of Kirstead Rectory.
  • Flight Sub Lieutenant Edward Cuthbert Stocker (Royal Naval Air Service) is killed at age 18. His brother was killed in May 1915.
  • Second Lieutenant Edward White Irvine (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 20 at Morcourt. He is a medical student at Aberdeen University and the son of the Reverend John A Irvine of the South United Free Church.
  • Second Lieutenant Robert Mather (Liverpool Regiment) is killed in action at Folies. His two brothers have been killed previously in the war.
  • Second Lieutenant David Macklin (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Herbert Walter Macklin Rector of Houghton.
  • Sergeant George Henry Caton (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 22. His father will die of pneumonia on service next September.
  • Sergeant Lionel William Loveband (Australian Light Horse) is killed in the Middle East at age 29. His brother was killed in December 1914 and they are sons of the Reverend Matthew Loveband Vicar of Burrington.
  • Corporal William Henry Warren (Machine Gun Corps) is killed. His son will be killed in the Second World War in April 1942.
  • Corporal Ashley Hatchard (South African Infantry) dies of wounds as a prisoner of war. He is the son of the late Reverend Alfred Hatchard (Resident Commissioner, Mafeking) and grandson of the late Right Reverend T G Hatchard, Bishop of Mauritius.
  • Lance Corporal Thomas Woodcock VC (Irish Guards) is killed at age 29. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions last September.
  • Lance Corporal Albert Edward Joseph (Sussex Regiment) is killed in action. He is the third son of Reverend F Joseph to die in the Great War and had been the Captain of the East Grinstead football club.
  • Rifleman Frank Godfrey (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 28. His brother was killed last June.
  • Private Thomas Daniel Richard Carter (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. His brother was killed in July 1916.
  • Private Don W MacBeath (Seaforth Highlanders) dies of wounds. His two brothers have already lost their lives in the Great War.
  • Private Harold Crossley (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 26. His brother was killed on Christmas Eve December 1914.
  • Private William George Elliott (Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action. His brother was killed on Gallipoli in August 1915.
  • Private George Edward Astley (Welsh Guards) is killed at age 26. He was a police officer for the London and North Western Railway Police.
  • Private Thomas Beaumont (Machine Gun Corps) is killed in action at age 19. His only son will die in 1943 as a prisoner of the Japanese while serving in the West Yorkshire Regiment.
  • Gunner Arthur George Freeman (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies of wounds at age 33. His brother was killed in August 1916.
  • Private John Williams Bailey (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age19. His brother was killed in August 1916.