Great War Lives Lost

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

Category: Tank Corps

26 February 1919 We Lost 320

Captain Alfred Castel Symons

Today’s losses include:

  • Families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • An organist, artist and cartographer to the Liverpool Dock Board
  • Son of ‘Sir’ Nathaniel Highmore
  • A Luton Police Officer

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Alfred Castel Symons (Royal Scots attached Tank Corps) dies on service at home at age 23. His brother was killed in April 1917.
  • Lieutenant Joseph Hall Hewitt (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve HMS Arrogant) dies at home at age 34. He is an organist, artist and cartographer to the Liverpool Dock Board.
  • Second Lieutenant Charles Bowyer Highmore (Machine Gun Corps) dies on service at age 32. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Nathaniel Highmore GBE KCB.
  • Lance Corporal James Chandler (Foot Branch, Corps of Military Police) dies on active service in Germany at age 24. He is a Luton Police Officer.
  • Private Edwin Frank Latter (Labour Corps) dies on service at age 29. He is the last of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.

Thursday 27 November 1918 We Lost 507

Today’s losses include:

  • A Military Chaplain
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Chaplain Evan Edwards dies on service at age 32.
  • Lance Corporal Edward Arthur Giles (Gloucestershire Regiment) dies as home after serving in Italy. His brother was killed in March 1918.
  • Gunner William Stevens (Royal Field Artillery attached Tank Corps) dies at home of influenza. His brother was killed in June of this year.
  • Private John Barsby (Leicestershire Regiment) dies at home at age 31, two days after his brother has died at home.
  • Air Mechanic 2nd Class John Thomas Barnes (Royal Air Force) dies at home at age 23. His brother was killed in action in February 1916.
  • Private Herbert Vickers (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies on service in Egypt at age 29. His two brothers have already lost their lives in the Great War.

Monday 28 October 1918 We Lost 1,255

Captain Robert North Chandler (Royal Air Force) attacks enemy troops with great success and silences an anti-tank gun.  Later he silences two enemy machine guns and inflicts heavy casualties on infantry in shell holes. While so engaged his machine is hit in the engine and he forced to land.  Prior this officer has destroyed three enemy aircraft and driven two others down out of control.  He has also displayed marked courage in attacking enemy troops on the ground.  When on an offensive patrol, Second Lieutenant Sydney MacGillvary Brown (Royal Air Force) in company with three other machines, attacks nine Fokkers; three of the latter being destroyed. Lieutenant Frederick Stanley Gordon (Royal Air Force) achieves two victories, his seventh and eighth, when he shoots down two enemy Fokker D.VII in the area of Wortegem.

Today’s losses include:

  • The son of the novelist Reverend Joseph Hocking
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Edward Cuthbert Hocking (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Air Force) is killed at age 22. He is the son of the novelist the Reverend Joseph Hocking.
  • Lieutenant Arthur Eustace Blomfield (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 34 in Italy. He is the son of the Reverend John Blomfield and was the foreign language master on HMS Conway before he joined the Army in 1914.
  • Lieutenant Peter Hopcraft (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed on Queen Mary at Jutland.
  • Second Lieutenant Alexander Stark Douglas (Black Watch) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Andrew Douglas United Free Church Invergordon Ross-shire.
  • Corporal Tudor Ceitho Worthington (South Wales Borderers) is killed. He is the son of David Worthington Vicar of Llangeitho.
  • Driver Robert Wooden (Canadian Field Artillery attached Tank Corps) is accidentally killed driving a tank in England at age 22. His brother will die during the influenza outbreak after serving in the forces.
  • Private John Edward Taylor (Worcestershire Regiment) dies as a prisoner of war at age 28. His brother was killed in action last month.
  • Private Dennis Lavender (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed in Baghdad. His brother was killed in September 1916.
  • Bombardier John Alfred Olivry (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 24. His brother was killed in September 1916.
  • Private George Kennington (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 36. He is the last of three brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
  • Trooper Harold Denham (Dragoon Guards) is killed at age 31. His brother was killed in March 1915.
  • Private Herbert Turley Haywood (Army Service Corps) dies of pneumonia at age 28. He is one of three brothers who lose their lives in the Great War.

Monday 2 September 1918 We Lost 3,129

Hugh McIver VC

Private Francis Turbutt Earley (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) dies of wounds received the previous day in the chest at age 19.  The young journalist wrote his last letter home the afternoon that he would later be wounded on.

My Dear Father,                                                                                                                 It is a strange feeling to me but a very real one, that every letter now that I write home to you or to the little sisters may be the last that I shall write or you read.  I do not want you to think that I am depressed; indeed on the contrary, I am very cheerful. But out here, in odd moments the realization comes to me of how close death is to us. A week ago I was talking with a man, a Catholic, from Preston, who had been out here for nearly four years, untouched. He was looking forward with certainty to going on leave soon.  And now he is dead – killed in a moment during our last advance.  Well it was God.  I say this to you because I hope that you will realize, as I do, the possibility of the like happening to myself.  I feel glad myself that I can look the fact in the face without fear or misgiving.  Much as I hope to live thro’ it all for your sakes and my little sisters!  I am quite prepared to give my life as so many have done before me.

Lieutenant James Pomeroy Cavers and Lieutenant F D Travers (Royal Air Force) share a victory over an enemy aircraft on the Balkan front.

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Annesley West (North Irish Horse commanding 6th Tank Corps) VC DSO MC is killed at Vaulx-Vraucourt at age 40.  He is a veteran of the South Africa War. He arrives at the front line when the enemy is delivering a local counter-attack. The infantry battalion has suffered heavy officer casualties and realizing the danger if they give way, and despite the enemy being almost upon them, Colonel West rides up and down in face of certain death, encouraging the men. He is eventually riddled with bullets and killed on the spot. For his actions today and previously at Courcelles he will be awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously.

At Pronville, France, Chief Petty Officer George Henry Prowse (Drake Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) leads a small party of men against an enemy strong-point, capturing it, together with 23 prisoners and 5 machine-guns. On three other occasions he displays great heroism in dealing with difficult and dangerous situations, and at one time he dashes forward and attacks and captures two machine-gun posts, killing six of the enemy and taking 13 prisoners and two machine-guns. He is the only survivor of this gallant party, but his action enabled the battalion to push forward in comparative safety. For his actions he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross as he will be killed in twenty-five days at age 32.

Private Hugh McIver VC MM (Royal Scots) is killed at age 28 near Courcelles ten days after performing acts that will result in him being awarded the Victoria Cross.  On 23rd August 1918 east of Courcelle-le Compte, France, he was employed as a company-runner and under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire carried messages regardless of his own safety. Single-handed he pursued an enemy scout into a machine-gun post and having killed six of the garrison, captured 20 prisoners and two machine-guns. Later he succeeded, at great personal risk, in stopping the fire of a British tank which was directed in error against our own troops.

Today’s losses include:

  • Multiple Victoria Cross winners
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • A Vancouver Police Department Constable
  • A 10-victory ace
  • The son of the town of Inchinman School Master
  • A Vaudeville acrobat
  • A man whose father was killed in the South Africa War
  • A young journalist

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Thomas Barker Merrick MC (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend W B Merrick.
  • Lieutenant Eric Drummond-Hay (Manitoba Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. His brother was killed less than three weeks before.
  • Lieutenant Alex Campbell-Johnston (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 18. He enlisted at age 15 and his brother will be killed tomorrow.
  • Lieutenant John Elliott (Manitoba Regiment) is killed in action at age 29. He was a constable for the Vancouver Police Department.
  • Lieutenant Alexander Wilson Milligan (British Columbia Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother was killed in March of this year.
  • Lieutenant Valentine St Barbe Collins (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 24. He is a 10 victory ace.
  • Lieutenant Walton Downing Thompson (Welsh Fusiliers attached Highland Light Infantry) dies of wounds received in action one week prior at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Frank Thompson.
  • Lieutenant Leonard Widlake Dean (New Zealand Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend Oliver Dean.
  • Second Lieutenant Ralph Frederick Talbot (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 20. His brother died of wounds in July 1915.
  • Second Lieutenant Kenneth Clark Crawford (Scots Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 35. He is the son of the School Headmaster of the town of Inchinnan.
  • Second Lieutenant Horace Walter Hill (Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 28. His brother was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • CSM Andrew Aitken (Black Watch) dies of wounds at age 39. His brother died of wounds in December of last year in Palestine.
  • Private Bertram Eldridge (Sussex Regiment, Sussex Yeomanry) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed in April of this year.
  • Private P Spivey (Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 25. His brother was killed last April.
  • Private Frederick Newland (London Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed serving on HMS Lion at Jutland.
  • Private Robert George Hassall (Saskatchewan Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Lionel George Hassall Rector of Rearsby.
  • Private Wilfred Tompkins (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is an acrobat on the vaudeville stage.
  • Private Alfred Clinton Totty (Manitoba Regiment0 is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Benjamin Totty of Moosehide Mission Dawson Yukon.
  • Private Harold Heathman (Irish Fusiliers) is killed at age 18. His brother was killed in September 1916.
  • Private Arthur Downs Sales (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 19. His father was killed serving in the Inniskilling Dragoons in the South African War.
  • Private Ernest Clough (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 31. His brother was killed in October 1916.

Thursday 29 August 1918 We Lost 1,116

Second Lieutenant Cecil Patrick Healy (Australian Infantry) is killed in an attack on a German trench at age 34.  He was an Olympic swimmer in both 1906 at Athens and 1912 at Stockholm.  The highlight of his career was being a member of the Gold medal winning 4X200-meter free style Australian swim team.  Also in 1912 he won the silver medal in the 100-meter free style race and competed in the 400-meter race.  In 1906 he won the bronze medal in the 100-meter free style race and also competed in the 400-meter race.  He will be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1981.

Captain William Henry Hubbard (Royal Air Force) brings down one enemy aircraft having fought ten minutes with several Fokker biplanes.  Captain Harold Mervyn Ireland (Royal Air Force) leads a large formation detailed for a long distance bombing raid on certain enemy docks.  A strong and adverse wind is blowing and thick clouds almost obscure the ground rendering the task of reaching such a distant object very difficult. Carefully studying the compass and making what he considers due allowances for the wind he leads his formation to a point which he judges will be in the vicinity of the objective.  A break in the clouds shows that he is correct, and the docks are effectively bombed. Captain Allan Hepburn and Second Lieutenant Horace George Eldon shoot down a Fokker D VII east of Lille.

At Fremicourt Lieutenant Cecil Harold Sewell (Royal West Kent Regiment attached Light Tank Corps) while in command of a section of Whippet light tanks gets out of his own tank and crosses open ground under heavy machine-gun fire to rescue the crew of another Whippet of his section which has side-slipped into a shell-hole overturned and caught fire.  The door of the tank became jammed against the side of the shell-hole but unaided he digs away the entrance to the door and releases the crew.  After having extricated the crew, seeing one of his own crew lying wounded behind his tank, he again dashes across the open ground to his assistance.  He is hit in doing so, but succeeds in reaching the tank when a few minutes later he is again hit, fatally, in the act of dressing his wounded driver. During the whole of this period he is within full view and short range of the enemy machine guns and rifle-pits, and throughout, by his prompt and heroic action, showed an utter disregard for his own personal safety.  Lieutenant Sewell will be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross and dies at age 23.  He is the last of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.

Today’s losses include:

  • An Olympic Gold Medal swimmer and member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame
  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • The brother of a Victoria Cross winner
  • Multiple families that will lose two, three and four sons in the Great War
  • A battalion commander
  • The son of the Sheriff Substitute for Lankarkshire
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A Great War Poet

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Edward Twelvetree Saint DSO (commanding 1st/1st Cambridgeshire Regiment) dies of wounds at #53 casualty clearing station received the previous day at age 33. He was an acting Brigadier General twice in the Great War the first time from mid-July to early August 1918 and then from the 21st to 27th of August.
  • Captain Thomas Alexander Fyfe MC (Highland Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 25. He is the son of the Sheriff Substitute of Lankarkshire and has a brother who was killed in July 1916.
  • Lieutenant Wilfred Hay Ruxton (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed at age 28. He is the son of the late Reverend F D Ruxton.
  • Second Lieutenant Henry Lamont Simpson (Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed by a sniper at Hazebrouck at age 21. He is a Great War poet.  His only collection of poetry, Moods and Tenses, will be published the year after the war ends.
  • Lance Corporal Thomas Armitage Salmon (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 20. He is one of five brothers who served three of whom fell.
  • Lance Corporal William Corcoran (South Lancashire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 20. His two brothers have already lost their lives in the Great War.
  • Private Charles William Brown (London Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in August of last year.
  • Private Raymond Courtney (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed in August 1916.
  • Private Arthur Frederick Cornwell (London Regiment) is killed at age 30. He is the brother of Victoria Cross winner John Travers Cornwell.
  • Private Alexander Taylor (Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 23. He is the last of four brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.

Sunday 25 August 1918 We Lost 1,524

During a patrol, Captain Frank Belway (Royal Air Force) observes an enemy two seater calling for flares.  He attacks the machine and drives it off, the enemy infantry having lit their flares, Lieutenant Belway descending to a very low altitude in the face of heavy machine gun fire, is able to obtain most accurate information as to the location of the enemy line.  Second Lieutenant James Herbert Grahame (Royal Air Force) bombs the Somain railway junction and obtains two direct hits causing considerable dislocation of traffic through Somain station.

At Martinpuich during a strong counter-attack Sergeant Harold John Colley MM (Lancashire Fusiliers) company is holding an advanced position with two platoons in advance and two in support.  The forward platoons are ordered to hold at all costs and Sergeant Colley goes without orders to help these two platoons.  He rallies the men and then forms a defensive flank and holds it although out of the two platoons only three men remain unwounded and the sergeant himself is dangerously wounded and will die later today.  His actions prevent the enemy from breaking through and for these actions he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • The son of a General
  • The grandson of a General
  • The son of a Baronet
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A man whose two sons are killed in the Great War
  • The Champion Road Cyclist of New Zealand and Australia

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Francis Sainthill Anderson MC (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 23. He is the son of Brigadier General ‘Sir’ Francis and Lady Anderson.
  • Major Francis William Lindley Gull (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 28. He is the son of the late ‘Sir’ William Cameron Gull 2nd Baronet and son in law of ‘Sir’ Charles Bine Renshaw.
  • Captain Thomas Herbert Dixon MC (Manchester Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in February 1916.
  • Captain Ernest Lancelot Andrews (Royal Navy, Royal Naval Division) is killed at age 42. He is the son of the Reverend John Marshall Andrews.
  • Captain Ludovic Heathcoat Amory (Royal Devon Yeomanry) dies of wounds at Bayonvillers at age 37. He is the son of ‘Sir’ John Heathcoat Amory and his sons Major Edward Fitzgerald Heathcoat Amory (Royal Artillery) will be killed in Normandy in June 1944 and Patrick Gerald Heathcoat Amory (Royal Artillery) will be killed in Libya in May 1942.
  • Captain Pulteney Malcolm (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 24. He is the only son of Lieutenant Colonel P Malcolm MVO DSO and grandson of General ‘Sir’ G Malcolm GCB (who was a nephew to the three “Knights of Eskdale” as the Duke of Wellington called them).
  • Second Lieutenant Cyril Doughty Naylor MC (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of Frank Naylor JP.
  • Private Malcolm Ferguson (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed in action at age 23. His brother was killed in June 1917.
  • Private George Fields Sunley (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 38 becoming the third Sunley brother to lose his life in the Great War.
  • Rifleman Lancelot Matthew Seymour (Rifle Brigade attached London Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother died of wounds as a prisoner of war in May 1915.
  • Private Harold Samuel Elphick (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend James Studwick Elphick Vicar of St Mark’s Forest Gate who lost another son in May 1918.
  • Private Alexander Graham Fairley (Tanks Corps) dies of wounds at age 20. His brother died of wounds last April.
  • Private John (Jack) Arnst (Canterbury Regiment) is killed at age 37. He is a champion road cyclist of New Zealand and Australia and listed in the Elite Road Racers of Australia.

Friday 23 August 1918 We Lost 2,174

Walter Lorrain Brodie VC

During the Second Battle of Albert the 1st Hertfordshire Regiment assaults and captures a railway cutting near the village of Achiet Le Grand.  Among those killed in the assault is

  • Private Edward Reuben Campkin (Hertfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 25. He has two brothers who have previously been killed.

Second Lieutenant Thomas Godwin Hobbs (Royal Air Force) though wounded by anti-aircraft fire, manages to force land on our side of the lines, thus saving the life of his observer, Lieutenant C R A Wallis, though he has use only of his left arm.  Second Lieutenant Hobbs will die of his wounds tomorrow.

  • Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Courtenay DSO MC (commanding 1st Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 30.
  • Lance Corporal James George Cade (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother died on service in August of last year.
  • Private Frank Parkins (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in April 1917.
  • Private Ernest George Diggins (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 27. His brother was killed in November 1916.
  • Private Major Wilfred Pateman (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 23. His brother was killed in August 1917.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • The brother of a Victoria Cross winner
  • The son of famous archaeologist William Howard Cunnington and great grandson of famous antiquarian William CUnnington
  • An actor with ‘Sir’ Frank Benson’s Shakespearean Company
  • Another actor
  • A top batsman for the Lenzie Cricket Club
  • Multiple Military Chaplains
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple battalion commanders
  • Multiple families that will lose two, three and four sons in the Great War
  • A man whose son will die on service in the RAFVR in August 1943

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Walter Lorrain Brodie VC MC (commanding 2nd Highland Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 33 near Moeuvres. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions near Becclaere, Belgium on 11th November 1914 when he led a charge to evict the enemy from a portion of our trenches which they had recently occupied. He bayoneted several of the enemy himself and relieved a dangerous situation in an action that killed 80 of the enemy and captured 51.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Robert Edward Frederic Shaw MC (commanding 13th London Regiment) is killed in action at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend Robert Villiers George Shaw Vicar of Langlebury.
  • Captain Edward Charles Cunnington (Royal Army Medical Corps) is killed at age 28. He is the son of Benjamin Howard Cunnington British Archaeologist famous for his work on prehistoric Wiltshire and the great grandson of the famous antiquarian William Cunnington.
  • Lieutenant Victor Gravers Cowley (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) the brother of Victoria Cross winner Lieutenant Commander Charles Henry Cowley is killed in action at age 24.
  • Lieutenant William Kelvey Stewart (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 33. He is the only son of the Reverend William Stewart.
  • Lieutenant James A Maben (Dorsetshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 32 exactly one year and one day after his brother met the same fate.
  • Lieutenant Howard West Orfeur (Essex Regiment) is killed at age 29. His brother died of injuries in July 1917.
  • Second Lieutenant Gerald Wilfred Francis Clarke (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed near London. His brother was killed in April 1917 and they are sons of ‘Sir’ Frederick W A Clarke.
  • Second Lieutenant Frank Phelps Elliott (Manchester Regiment) is killed at age 20 near Beaumont Hamel. His brother was killed in October 1916.
  • Second Lieutenant Edward Douglas Rawson (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 26. He is the son of the late Reverend E O Rawson, formerly vicar of Ince, Cheshire.
  • Second Lieutenant Harold Leslie Lakeman (Army Service Corps attached Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 29 eighteen days after his older brother has been killed. The two brothers have been considered two of the top three batsmen of the Lenzie Cricket Club prior to the Great War.
  • Second Lieutenant Harold Hargreaves (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 25. He was an actor prior to enlisting in the East Lancashire Regiment.
  • Chaplain Henry Edward Gunson dies on service at home.
  • Chaplain the Reverend Charles Henry Bell MC (attached Royal Berkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend Canon James Bell.
  • Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant Henry Lawson (New Brunswick Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 27. His brother was killed in August 1916.
  • Sergeant James Herdman Coppin MM (Australian Infantry) dies of wounds received in action at age 24. His brother was killed in June 1915 on Gallipoli.
  • Lance Corporal Rupert Love Conrick (Tank Corps) is killed at age 34 when his tank his hit three times and he and his officer are shot and killed when they exit. He has been a popular member of ‘Sir’ Frank Benson’s Shakespearian Company for four years.
  • Private George Farquhar (Auckland Infantry) becomes the fourth of four brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War when he is killed at Albert at age 35.
  • Private George Missin (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 24. His brother was killed in March of this year.
  • Private John Cheverton DCM (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 23. His brother died in England in November 1915.
  • Private John Moodie Carrington (Australian Infantry) is killed. His two brothers have been previously killed in the war.
  • Private Albert Edward Hodsen (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 18. His brother was killed in May 1915.
  • Private Mitchell MacClaren Quirie (Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in July 1917.
  • Private Arnold Jones (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed yesterday.
  • Private Francis Bickers (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed. His son will die serving in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in August 1943.

Wednesday 21 August 1918 We Lost 1,222

Richard John Spotswood Seddon

At 04:55 the 1st Coldstream Guards set off towards their objectives along the Boiry – Moyenneville road.  The fog is very heavy and is worsened by a smoke barrage laid down by an artillery barrage making it impossible to see any farther than 3 yards in front.  They are supported by 10 tanks of the 12th Tank Corps battalion which prove little help in the fog and smoke.  By 06:30 the battalion has covered 1,000 yards and captured their objectives.  Killed during this assault is the commander of No 4 Company

  • Captain Rupert Caldwell Butler Fellowes (Coldstream Guards) who is killed at age 24. He is the son of the late Rear Admiral ‘Sir’ Thomas and Lady Fellowes and a former member of the Bailliol Boat Club. His younger brother had been killed as a Midshipman on HMS Irresistible in 1915.

Second Lieutenant Ernest John Clark (Royal Air Force) while reconnoitering a road at low altitude, bombs with great success fourteen enemy motor transports.  On a second flight during this same night he bombs enemy horse transports, destroying eight transport wagons and their teams.  Later, with his last bomb, he obtains a direct hit on two motor lorries.  During the morning, flying in the mist at 200 feet, and subjected to heavy hostile fire, Second Lieutenant Alexander Melvin Anderson (Royal Air Force) locates our cavalry and the enemy positions.  In the afternoon he makes a most valuable and accurate report and situation map.  While on this duty his pilot is wounded and forced to land just west of our lines; Lieutenant Anderson extricates him from their machine under heavy fire and carries him to a dressing station.

At Courcelles, France, during an attack, the infantry loses their bearings in dense fog and Lieutenant Colonel Richard Annesley West (North Irish Horse attached 6th Tank Corps) at once collects any men he can find and leads them to their objective in face of heavy machine-gun fire. For his action today and on 2 September at Vaulx-Vraucourt he will be awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously. Also lost today serving in the 6th Tank Corps is

  • Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Beaumont Wood (Lancers commanding) killed at age 36.

Second Lieutenant Thomas Godwin Hobbs (Royal Air Force) performs six hours of flying.  He is twice attacked by large formations of enemy airplanes, but on each occasion, by skillful maneuver and resolute fighting he drives them off and continues his patrol, bringing back much valuable and accurate information.  Also on this day he attacks enemy transport, causing great confusion and inflicting heavy casualties.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • The son of a former Prime Minister of New Zealand
  • The son of an Admiral
  • A battalion commander
  • A member of the Bailliol Boat Club
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Richard John Spotswood Seddon (New Zealand Rifle Brigade) is killed in action at age 37. He is the son of the late Right Honorable Richard, Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1893-1906.
  • Lieutenant Edward Alan Hall (Australian Infantry) dies of wounds at age 23. His brother died of wounds received on Gallipoli in November 1915.
  • Sub Lieutenant Norman Nesbitt (Anson Battalion, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) is killed in action at age 28. He is the son of the Reverend J C Nesbitt.
  • Second Lieutenant Bernard Bocking MC (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed last April and they are sons of the Reverend John Child Bocking Vicar of Gnosall.
  • Second Lieutenant Edward Harold Clayton (Royal Air Force) dies of wounds received 10 days earlier on his 20th He is the son of the Reverend Arthur Prestwood Clayton Vicar of Holy Trinity Ventnor.
  • Private Douglas Chester Forsyth (London Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in August 1916.
  • Private Joseph Stanley May (Sherwood Foresters) is killed in Italy at age 21. His brother was killed in June 1916.
  • Private Reginald H T Clifton (Manchester Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. His brother was killed in March 1917.
  • Private Gilbert Pridham Babbage (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in March 1917.
  • Private William Henry Short (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was lost in submarine G8 in January.
  • Private Patrick Kenealy (Cheshire Regiment) dies on service at home at age 26. His brother was killed in April 1917.
  • Gunner John Ambrose (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed last month.

Saturday 10 August 1918 We Lost 1,502

Jean Baptiste Arthur Brilliant VC

During this morning Captain Henry John Burden (Royal Air Force) leads his patrol in three attacks and he destroys three enemy machines.  This evening he destroys two more. Captain William Roy Irwin (Royal Air Force) leads his flight down to attack fifteen Fokkers.  In the engagement that ensues he shows brilliant leadership and personal courage, accounting for two machines.

Lieutenant Jean Baptiste Arthur Brillant (Quebec Regiment) dies of wounds received over the past two days performing acts that will win him a posthumous Victoria Cross. When in charge of a company which he leads in attack during two days with absolute fearlessness and extraordinary ability and initiative, the extent of the advance being twelve miles. On the first day of operations shortly after the attack has begun, his company’s left flank is held up by an enemy machine gun. Lieutenant Brillant rushes and captures the machine-gun, personally killing two of the enemy crew. While doing this, he is wounded but refuses to leave his command. Later on the same day, his company is held up by heavy machine-gun fire. He reconnoiters the ground personally, organizes a party of two platoons and rushes straight for the machine-gun nest. Here 150 enemy and fifteen machine-guns are captured. Lieutenant Brillant personally killing five of the enemy, and being wounded a second time. He has this wound dressed immediately, and again refuses to leave his company. Subsequently this gallant officer detects a field gun firing on his men over open sights. He immediately organizes and leads a “rushing” party towards the gun. After progressing about 600 yards, he is again seriously wounded. In spite of this third wound, he continues to advance for some 200 yards more, when he falls unconscious from exhaustion and loss of blood.

The defensively armed tanker Tatarrax (Master William Read age 39) is torpedoed and sunk by UC.34 in Mediterranean off Rosetta, Egypt. Her entire crew of 61, primarily Asian merchant seamen are lost.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A six-victory ace
  • A five-victory ace
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • Multiple Australian Rules footballers
  • The Captain of the Post Office football team

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Brevet Lieutenant Colonel (Temporary Colonel) Alexander John Anderson (Army Service Corps) dies of heart failure in France at age 37. He is the son of the Reverend J H Anderson.
  • Major John Archibald Grove (Army Service Corps) dies on service at age 43. He is the son of the Reverend William Henry Grove Rector of Cliffe.
  • Captain William Otway Boger DFC (Royal Air Force) a five-victory ace is killed in action at age 23.
  • Lieutenant Alfred John Haines DFC (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 20 when his aircraft takes a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire in Italy. He is a six victory ace. Lieutenant Stephen Arthur Dawson (Royal Air Force) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend George F Dawson.
  • Lieutenant Cecil Arthur Auchterlonie (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 18. He is the third and last surviving brother to be killed in the Great War, both of his brothers being killed in 1915 on Gallipoli.
  • Lieutenant Frederick Francis Whitelaw MC (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 29. His brother was killed in June 1917.
  • Lieutenant Arthur Ryrie (Tank Corps) is killed at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend Andrew Ryrie.
  • Lieutenant Harold Collins DCM (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 26. He is an Australian rules footballer who played six games for Fitzroy.
  • Second Lieutenant Edmund John Waldegrave (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Samuel Edmund Waldegrave Rector of Osborne.
  • Battery Sergeant Major Joseph Robert Towner DCM (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 37. He is a South Africa War veteran and Captain of the Post Office Football Team.
  • Private Henry Thomas Hatton (East Kent Regiment) is killed in action at age 33 in Bulgaria. His brother was killed in September 1916.
  • Rifleman Alfred John Charles Dodson (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in September 1915.
  • Private Henry John Dowden (West Surrey Regiment) dies of wounds at age 20. His brother was killed in the first weeks of the War.
  • Private Harold Daniel MM (Australian Infantry) is killed by shellfire at age 39. He is an Australian rules footballer who played 11 matches with Carlton in the Victorian Football League.
  • Private Frederick George Yeoman (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in November 1916.
  • Trooper Walter Collett Timms (Oxford Hussars) is killed. His brother was killed in June of this year.

Thursday 8 August 1918 We Lost 2,507

Fred Fielding Aust Rules Football

The Battle of Amiens begins in a dense fog at 04:20. Under General Rawlinson’s Fourth Army, the British III Corps attacks north of the Somme, the Australian Corps to the south of the river in the center of Fourth Army’s front, and the Canadian Corps to the south of the Australians. The French 1st Army opens its preliminary bombardment at the same time and begins its advance 45 minutes later, supported by a battalion of 72 Whippet tanks. The attack is so unexpected that German forces only begin to return fire after five minutes. In the first phase, seven divisions attacked: the British 18th (Eastern) and 58th (2/1st London), the Australian 2nd and 3rd and the Canadian 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The Canadian and Australian attackers are supported by eight battalions of the Royal Tank Corps, with a paper strength of 216 Mark V and 72 Mark V tanks, with 48 unarmed tanks used as supply-carrying tractors. Parts of the American 33rd Division support the British attackers north of the Somme.

The attackers capture the first German position, advancing about 4,000 yards by about 07:30. In the center, supporting units following the leading divisions attack the second objective a further two miles on. Australian units reach their first objectives by 07:10 and by 08:20 the Australian 4th and 5th and the Canadian 4th divisions pass through the initial hole in the German line. The third phase of the attack is assigned to infantry-carrying Mark V tanks. However, the infantry is able to carry out this final step unaided. The Allies penetrate well to the rear of the German defenses and cavalry now continue the advance, one brigade in the Australian sector and two cavalry divisions in the Canadian sector. Royal Air Force and armoured car fire keeps the retreating Germans from rallying.

The Canadian and Australian forces in the center advance quickly, pushing the line 3 miles forward from its starting point by 11:00. The speed of their advance is such that a party of German officers and some divisional staff are captured while eating breakfast. A gap 15 miles long is punched in the German line south of the Somme by the end of the day. There is less success north of the river, where the British III Corps has only a single tank battalion in support, the terrain is rougher and a German incursion on two earlier disrupted some of the preparations. Although the attackers gain their first objectives, they are held up short of the Chipilly spur, a steep wooded ridge. The British Fourth Army takes 13,000 prisoners while the French capture a further 3,000. Total German losses are estimated to be 30,000 today. The Fourth Army’s casualties are approximately 8,800, exclusive of tank and air losses and their French allies.

German general Erich Ludendorff described the first day of Amiens as the “Schwarzer Tag des deutschen Heeres” (“the black day of the German Army”), not because of the ground lost to the advancing Allies, but because the morale of the German troops had sunk to the point where large numbers of troops began to capitulate. He recounted instances of retreating troops shouting “You’re prolonging the war” at officers who tried to rally them. Five German divisions have effectively been engulfed. Allied forces pushed, on average, 7 miles into enemy territory by the end of today. The Canadians gain 8 miles, Australians 7 miles, British 2 miles, and the French 5 miles.

Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Conway Macalister Farrell attacks enemy troops and transport with machine gun fire and bombs.  Having silenced a machine gun, he attacks some transport, driving off the personnel.  Later he attacks a dump and carries out a reconnaissance in an area where our cavalry is reported to be held up, rendering a most valuable report of the situation.  Eventually, in a combat with about forty scouts, he is shot down near Warfusee at 15:05.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • Multiple battalion commanders
  • Multiple families that will lose two, three and four sons in the Great War
  • A man who has two brothers killed serving the United States Army
  • A man whose brother in killed in the same battle and family receives notification within hours of each death
  • 5 and 6 victory aces
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A nephew of Baron Estcourt
  • A son of the Marquis de Roussy de Sales
  • A member of the Royal North West Mounted Police
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • An Australian Rules Footballer

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Temporary Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Bushell VC DSO (commanding 7th Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment) is killed in action at age 29 south of Morlencourt, Somme. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions west of St Quentin Canal on 23 March 1918.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Elmer Watson Jones DSO (commanding 21st Eastern Ontario Regiment) is killed in action at age 44.
  • Captain Norman MacLeod MacLean (Quebec Regiment) is killed in action at age 27. Two brothers are also killed in the Great War one Lieutenant Donald was killed in July 1917.
  • Captain Alexander Watson Baird MC (Canadian Infantry) is killed in action. He is the son of the late James Baird KC.
  • Captain Michael Edward Gonne MC (Royal Air Force) is killed at ag e19. He is a five victory ace.
  • Lieutenant Arthur Charles Sotheron Estcourt MC (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend E W Sotheron Estcourt and nephew of George Sotheron-Estcourt 1st Baron Estcourt.
  • Captain Eric Guy Brookes (Worcestershire Regiment attached Royal Air Force) is killed in action at age 24. He is a six victory ace.
  • Lieutenant Frederick George Brian Cobham (Cambridgeshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend George Henry Cobham Rector of Guisborough.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Stuart Nash (Royal Air Force) dies of wounds received during a combat with five Fokkers at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend Cecil William Nash.
  • Lieutenant Arthur Hackforth-Jones (Gloucestershire Regiment attached Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the son of F W Hacakworth-Jones JP.
  • Lieutenant Robert M Finlayson (Cameron Highlanders) is killed. One brother was killed last month serving in the Seaforth Highlanders while two more will be killed this year serving in the U S Army.
  • Lance Sergeant Count Antoine de Roussy de Sales (Lord Strathcona’s Horse and the Royal North West Mounted Police) is killed in action at age 24. His is the son of the Marquis de Roussy de Sales.
  • Sergeant Charles Henry Smith DCM (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. His brother died of wounds received in action less than six weeks before him.
  • Corporal Patrick Calder (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed in action at age 20. His two brothers have previously died in the Great War.
  • Lance Corporal John Buridge Murray (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 33. His brother was killed in September 1915.
  • Lance Corporal William Lang (Dublin Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 34 one week after his brother in law was killed. Another brother in law was killed in July 1917 and a third will die in the Auchengeich Pit mine disaster on the 17 September 1959.
  • Private Robert Savage (Dublin Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 31. His brother was killed in March1917.
  • Gunner Charles Hills (Canadian Field Artillery) is killed at Hangard Wood at age 29. His brother was killed last March.
  • Private Frank Parsons age 24 (Western Ontario Regiment) is killed on the same day his brother Private Wallace Parsons age 22 is killed in the same battle. Official notification of the two losses reaches their parents a few hours apart.
  • Private Fred Fielding (Australian Infantry) is killed at Bretonneux at age 28. He is an Australian rules footballer who scored 10 goals while playing in 18 games for South Melbourne and Collingwood.
  • Private Edmund Wallace Allen (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 23 during the capture of Marcelcave. His brother was killed in August 1917.
  • Private Albert Ballard (Quebec Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed three years and two days ago.
  • Air Mechanic C W S Robertson (Royal Air Force) dies of injuries received in a flying accident at age 22. His brother was killed in May 1917.
  • Private Frederick Samuel Jones (Western Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed in September 1916.
  • Private Frederick Key (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the last of three brothers who lost their lives in the Great War.