Great War Lives Lost

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

Tag: Achi Baba

Friday 6 August 1915 – We Lost 1,718

Lone Pine Cemetery

Lone Pine Cemetery

On the second day of her second patrol in the Sea of Marmora submarine E11 sinks the Turkish gunboat Berki Satvet.

During night at the same time as the British IX Corps begins landing at Suvla to the north a breakout from the Anzac sector is made by units of the New Zealand and Australian Division under the command of General Alexander Godley. Two columns of troops are directed at two peaks of the dominating ridge which are expected to be captured by dawn tomorrow. Both columns are preceded by a covering force to clear the Turkish outposts and protect the flanks of the main assaulting force. The left, or northern, column of the Australian 4th Infantry Brigade and the 29th Indian Brigade are heading for Hill 971, the highest point on the Sari Bair range. They have the furthest to travel over completely unfamiliar terrain and never get close to their objective.

The right, or southern, column is heading for Chunuk Bair. Though lower than Hill 971, this peak overlooks the north of the Anzac perimeter and is used as a base for an artillery battery. The main Sari Bair ridge extends from Chunuk Bair down into the Anzac sector via Battleship Hill and Baby 700. From Baby 700 the ridge branches towards the beach via the Nek and south to Lone Pine via the line of tenuous Anzac positions known as Quinn’s, Courtney’s and Steele’s Posts. The capture of Chunuk Bair would provide considerable relief to the Anzac sector.  The approach to the peak is made along Rhododendron Spur which runs from the beach to the peak of Chunuk Bair. The Turks have outposts along the spur at the Table Top, Destroyer Hill and nearest the beach at Old No. 3 Outpost. There is also a Turkish outpost on Bauchop’s Hill to the north. All these outposts have to be cleared by the covering force, the four regiments of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, before the main assault column can proceed up the spur to the summit. The Auckland regiment clears Old No. 3 Outpost and the Wellington regiment takes Destroyer Hill and the Table Top. The Otago and Canterbury regiments capture Bauchop’s Hill, named after the Otago regiment’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Bauchop who will die of wounds received during the attack. In all the New Zealanders lose about 100 men in clearing the outposts and while their efforts are successful, the plan is now running two hours behind schedule, making it difficult to reach the summit before first light.

The main force of the right column is the New Zealand Infantry Brigade under the command of Brigadier General Francis Johnston. The Brigade’s four battalions, reduced by sickness and battle, mustered about 2,800 men.. The advance is initially made up the valleys, on either side of Rhododendron Spur and once past the Table Top, the New Zealanders climb on to the ridge, leaving about 1,000 yards to travel to the summit.

As a diversion to the main assaults against the Sari Bair peaks of Chunuk Bair and Hill 971 the whistles blow for an assault on Lone Pine at 17:30 and the Australians of the 1st Infantry Brigade emerge yelling and shouting from underground tunnels which have been dug 50 yards beyond their own front.  They have 100 yards to dash and when they reach the Turkish front they discover the Turks have roofed over most of their advanced trenches with pine logs.  Some Australians drop their rifles and try to pry the logs away.  Others fire between the logs into the Turks below, while still others dash beyond to the communications trenches and attack the enemy rear.

A fierce close quarters battle rages as the Australians drop into the darkened passages below while the Turks, who have been sheltered from the artillery bombardment that preceded the attack, attempt to emerge from their tunnels. The Australians fight mainly with rifle and bayonet and sometimes with their hands. The preliminary attack has killed or wounded many of the Turks and the rest are either killed, driven out or captured by the Australians.

By 18:00, Lone Pine is in Australians hands. Many hours of attack and counterattack follow with the Turks eventually throwing their entire reserve into the battle.  The enemy uses close-in bomb fighting in their efforts to retake the lost positions. Many Australians catch bombs and throw them back, an audacious act, which ends when the Turks shorten the fuses on their bombs.  This results in quite a few Australians having their hands and arms blow off.

The 32nd and 33rd Brigades of the 11th Division began to come ashore at “B Beach” Suvla Bay south of Nibrunesi Point shortly before 22:00. In the first action fought by a New Army unit, two companies from the 6th Yorkshire Regiment drive the Turkish defenders off the small hill of Lala Baba which overlooks the beach. It is an inauspicious start as all but two of the Yorkshire’s officers become casualties as do one third of the men. Shortly afterwards the 34th Brigade attempts to land at “A Beach” within Suvla Bay but the landing goes awry from the start. The destroyers conveying the brigade anchor 1,000 yards too far south, facing shoal water and on the wrong side of the channel that drained the salt lake into the bay. Two lighters ground on reefs and the men have to wade ashore submerged up to their necks. The Manchester Regiment, having come ashore from the destroyer HMS Grampus has the greatest success of the landing, managing to find its way to the Kiretch Tepe ridge and fight its way some distance along it to the east with the loss of 200 casualties.

Elsewhere the landing is in chaos, having been made in the dark which results in confusion with units becoming mixed and officers unable to locate their position or their objectives. Later, when the moon rises, the British troops become targets for Turkish snipers. Attempts to capture Hill 10 fail because no one in the field knows where Hill 10 is. Shortly after dawn it is found and taken, the Turkish rearguard having withdrawn during the night.

It is agreed on this day that the Indian Expeditionary Force “D”, which in its advance inland has now reached Nasiriya, should advance on Kut.

Today’s losses include:

  • A classical actor
  • A member of the clergy
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A Gold Medal Skater
  • A Rosslyn Park Rugby footballer
  • An Australian Rules footballer
  • An Aylesbury footballer
  • The nephew of the Head Master of the South School Invercagill
  • A man whose brother and his wife’s brother will be killed in the Great War
  • A man whose son will be killed in the Royal Air Force in 1944
  • A man who will have his three brothers killed in the Great War
  • Multiple men who will have to brothers killed in the Great War
  • Multiple examples of brothers killed together
  • Multiple men who will have a brother killed in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties are:

  • Captain Edwin Gerald Venning (Suffolk Regiment) is killed by a sniper shot to the neck while observing the German lines from his own trench at age 32. The regimental history stated “All ranks deplored the loss of a very valuable, gallant and popular officer. His body was conveyed to Locre the same evening and buried in the village churchyard.” He is the son of the late Reverend Edwin James Venning, British Chaplain at Cassel, Germany and is a well known classical actor.
  • Captain Harry Burnett Stevenson (Rajput Light Infantry) is killed on Gallipoli at age 33. He is a Rosslyn Park Rugby footballer.
  • Captain Nicolas Melville Gepp (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed on Hill 12 Gallipoli. He is a veteran of the South African War and the son of the Reverend Nicolas Parker Gepp Canon of Ely and Rector of Witchingham.
  • Captain Basil Stewart Parker (Hampshire Regiment) is killed in action on Gallipoli at age 37. He is the son of the Reverend George Parker.
  • Captain Alec Vaughan Thomas (East Surrey Regiment attached Hampshire Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed one day short of two years from today.
  • Lieutenant Lancelot Botry Pigott (Hampshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 26 on Gallipoli. He is the son of the Reverend Eversfield Botry Pigott Rector of Ellisfield.
  • Lieutenant Maurice Alexander Ross Fitzmaurice (Sappers and Miners, Royal Engineers Lahore Division) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son of the late Judge of Dharwar, a scholar of Felsted School Essex and a government engineer at Bareilly, India.  He had been seriously wounded on 28th October 1914, returning to the front on 19th
  • Lieutenant Howard Field (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed on Gallipoli. His brother was killed just over two months earlier.
  • Lieutenant Amyas Leigh Goldie (Gloucestershire Regiment attached Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 36. His brother was killed in March of this year.
  • Second Lieutenant Everard Digges La Touche (Australian Infantry) dies of wounds received in the intestine at Lone Pine at age 32. He is a Clerk in the Holy Orders (Clergyman) but had been unable to obtain a position as Chaplain so he enlisted as a private in the Infantry.  His brother will be killed in action in September 1915.  He was the youngest ever to earn a Letters Degree from Trinity College, Dublin.
  • Second Lieutenant Alexander John Robertson (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 28. He played 10 Australian Rules Football games for Melbourne University in 1909.
  • Second Lieutenant Charles Hobson Whidborne (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 33 as the first of three sons of the Reverend George Ferris Whidborne who are killed in the war.
  • Second Lieutenant Christopher Moor (Hampshire Regiment) is killed on Lone Pine. He is the son of the Reverend Dr. Charles Moor Vicar of Barton on Humber & Canon of Lincoln.
  • Second Lieutenant Basil Stewart Parker (Hampshire Regiment) is killed at age 37. He is the son of the Reverend George Parker Rector of Quainton.
  • Second Lieutenant Gavin Campbell Arbuthnot (North Staffordshire Regiment) is killed on Gallipoli at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend William Arbuthnot, Vicar of Lea Marston Warks.
  • Sergeant Robert Anthony Fleming (Canterbury Mounted Rifles) is killed at age 24. His ancestors claimed to have saved the flag bearing the legend “For Christ and Covenant” from the field of Bothwell Bridge in 1688.
  • Lance Corporal Alleyne Gordon Webber (Otago Mounted Rifles) is killed at age 27. His brother will be killed in February 1917 and they are nephews of the head master of the South School Inverecagill.
  • Trooper Stanley Maris Clark (Auckland Mounted Rifles) is killed at age 35. He is a keen football player and well known in rowing circles.
  • Brothers and Privates Harold Benjamin and Edward John Victor Hennell (Australian Infantry) are killed together in the attack.
  • Trooper Alexander Forbes Hogarth (Australian Light Horse) dies of wounds in Egypt at age 27. He has two brothers who will die in the Great War, the first next year the second in March 1918.
  • Private Harold Forbes Clarke Winch (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend George Thomas Winch Vicar of OF Brompton.
  • Private Alan Gordon Till (Australian Infantry) is killed. His son will lose his life serving in the Royal Air Force in June 1944.
  • Private William Hall (Hampshire Regiment) is killed on Gallipoli. He is a member of the Aylesbury Football Club.
  • Private Frederick Henry Wright (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed. His brother will die of pneumonia in December 1917.
  • Private John Henry Tromans (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed in action on Gallipoli. His brother will be killed in January 1916 and his wife’s brother will also be killed in action.
  • Private William John Methven (Hampshire Regiment) is killed. His brother will die on service in Mesopotamia in July 1919. Driver Robert Lynn (Royal Field Artillery) is the first of four brothers who will lose their lives as a result of Great War service when he is killed at age 30.
  • Private Charles Heaton (Manchester Regiment) is killed in action at age 27 one month after his brother was also killed on Gallipoli.

Two hundred forty one members of the Essex Regiment are killed at Achi Baba, Gallipoli.

  • Lieutenant John Charles Gardom (Essex Regiment) is killed at age 31. He is a Gold Medal Skater of the National Skating Association in 1911.
  • Second Lieutenant Richard George Gabb (Essex Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed in December 1916.
  • Lance Corporal Arthur Roper (Essex Regiment) is killed at age 24 and his brother Private Frederick Roper (Essex Regiment) are killed together.
  • Private Jesse Freshwater (Essex Regiment) is killed. His brother will be killed in December 1917.
  • Privates and brothers Richard James (age 19) and Frederick Thomas Whall (age 23) are also killed.

Tuesday 13 July 1915 – We Lost 406

Memorial to Captain Baron Trevenen James

Memorial to Captain Baron Trevenen James

During operations south of Achi Baba a retreat is begun and rapidly develops which might have had very serious consequences. Major Ernest Frederick Powys Sketchley (Royal Marine Light Infantry) prevents some of these men from retiring further.  He then gathers about 40 of them and reoccupies some of the trenches. With the help of Lance Corporal J G Way he returns twice to gather more men and collecting in all about 100 they retake further trenches capturing some 40 prisoners and secure the position.  Major Sketchley will be killed in action in October 1916.

Today’s loses include: 

  • A battalion commander
  • An Otago footballer
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • The grandson of a member of the clergy
  • Two men whose brothers will also be killed in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties are:

Captain Baron Trevenen James MC (Royal Engineers attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 26.  He is killed by a shell fired at his aircraft while he is flying a solo test mission over the enemy lines. He is evaluating wireless equipment that has been largely developed by himself and Captain Donald Swain Lewis, RFC. One of his enduring achievements is the development of the ‘clock code’ that establishes the relative positions of targets for the artillery. The practice becomes widely used during the War for other applications, and is still widely used.  His younger brother Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Kenneth James also fell at age 26. He was killed on 19th May 1918 whilse serving with the 6th Border Regiment. . He is the grandson of the Reverend W Philipson, rector of Bradley, Lincolnshire.

  • Colonel Frank William Luard (commanding Portsmouth Battalion Royal Marines Royal Naval Division) is killed on Gallipoli at age 50. He is the son of the Reverend Bixby Garnham Luard Rector of Birch.
  • Sergeant Eric Oliver Allan (Otago Infantry) is killed at age 22. He is a noted footballer in Otago.
  • Trooper John Thomas Primrose (Canterbury Mounted Rifles) is killed on Gallipoli at age 22. His brother was killed in April.
  • Private Charles McCullough (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend R McCullough.

Monday 12 July 1915 – We Lost 1,135

Ayr United FC

Ayr United FC

The 1/4th and 1/7th Royal Scots move forward in reserve to the 155th and 157th Brigades early in the morning.  Later they advance in support of the 1/4th Scots Fusiliers at 12:00. They are then in action at trench E11, the objective being rushed and cleared gains being held. Lieutenant Colonel Peebles in his report of the action specially mentions the work of the machine gun team, all six men being mentioned by name and recommended for special awards.  The casualties of the composite battalion are placed at thirty-one officers and other ranks killed, seventy-five wounded and seventeen missing.

Once the two remaining brigades of the 52nd Division have landed (the 155th and 157th Brigades) Hunter-Weston plans new attack for today in the center of the line east of the Krithia Road and along Achi Baba Nullah (also known as Kanlı Dere and Bloody Valley) where the Royal Naval Division has spent most of its time at Helles and suffered so badly during the third battle of Krithia. It is expected that due to heavy Turkish losses in the previous battle, morale will be low.

The plan is for one brigade to attack in the morning and the other to attack in the afternoon so that the full weight of artillery support will be lent to each brigade. The 155th Brigade will attack at 07:35 and the 157th at 16:50. Bombardment begins 04:30 from land, sea and air. 14 Allied planes participate in softening up the Turkish defenses, one of the first such combined actions in military history.

Both attacks begin well with the capture of the first Turkish trench but descend into chaos and confusion as, in a repeat of the April and May Helles battles, the troops advance too far, lose contact and come under artillery and machine gun fire. The next morning confusion and panic will result in a disorderly retreat which will eventually be halted but Hunter-Weston orders the advance to resume and sends the battered Royal Naval Division in again. They suffered a further 600 casualties on this occasion but the line is stabilized.

An attack takes place on Bushire, the headquarters of the British Political Resident in the Persian Gulf, but is successfully repulsed by the 96th Infantry, who form the Residency guard.  The guard will then be reinforced by the 11th Rajputs.

Today’s losses include:

  • Two players for the Ayr United Football Club
  • The superintendant of the Glasgow Art Galleries and Museums
  • The son of a Writer to the Signer
  • A battalion commander
  • The son-in-law of a Victoria Cross winner
  • A man whose son was killed earlier in the Great War
  • The Secretary to the Berkhamsted and Northchurch Conservative & Unionist Association
  • The son of Baronet
  • Multiple men who will have a brother killed in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties are:

  • Lieutenant Colonel John McNeile (commanding 4th King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed. He is the son-in-law of Lieutenant Colonel John Augustus Conolly VC.
  • Captain Edward Geoffrey Chubb (West Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 46. His son was killed in April of this year serving in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He was a former member of the Berkhamsted Urban District Council and Secretary to Berkhamsted and Northchurch Conservative & Unionist Association.
  • Lieutenant Patrick Francis Considine (Royal Scots) dies of wounds in Malta at 22 received leading a bombing attack against Turkish trenches on 28th His brother will be killed in September.
  • Lieutenant Gerald Edmund Bradstreet (Royal Engineers) is killed on Gallipoli at age 25. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Edward Bradstreet 7th
  • Lieutenant Robert Henry Morris Carmichael (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed in action during the attack on Achi Baba at age 20. His older brother will be killed in April 1918.
  • Second Lieutenant James Gilbert Hamilton-Grierson (Royal Scots Fusiliers) is killed in action at Gallipoli at age 28. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Philip J. Hamilton-Grierson Kt and a Writer to the Signet.
  • Lance Corporal Gilbert Anderson Ramsay (Highland Light Infantry) is killed at age 35 on Gallipoli. He is the superintendant of the Glasgow Art Galleries and Museums
  • Private David Oag (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in October 1917.
  • Private Henry Hayward Harrison (Auckland Mounted Rifles) is killed at age 27. His brother will be killed in less than one month.

Two players for the Ayr United Football Club are killed in action on Gallipoli serving in different units.

  • Corporal John Bellringer (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed in action at age 23. He was a reserve player for the Ayr United Football Club and has a brother who will be killed in 1917.
  • Private Samuel Herbertson (Royal Scots Fusiliers) is killed at age 26. He was a goalkeeper for the club.

Sunday 11 July 1915 – We Lost 202

Illustration by Mabel Dearmer

Illustration by Mabel Dearmer

The 1/5th Royal Scots are relieved and move to “X” Beach at 16:00.  They then move to “V” Beach at 22:00 and embark for Mudros.

 Today’s losses include:

  • An actress, novelist, children’s book illustrator, playwright and theatre producer
  • A man who will have two brothers killed in the Great War
  • Multiple men who are the sons of clergy

Today’s highlighted casualties are:

Mrs. Jessie Mabel Prichard White Dearmer actress, novelist, illustrator, playwright, theatre producer, mother and vicar’s wife of British Red Cross Ambulance Chaplain who is also serving in the Ambulance dies on service at Kragujevatz Serbia. Their son Lieutenant Christopher Dearmer (Royal Naval Air Service) will die of wounds received at Suvla Bay in October of this year. Chaplain Percy Dearmer will remarry next year and a son from that marriage will be accidentally killed serving the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in April 1943. Her life and that of her son Christopher are commemorated on the war memorial fountain in Oakridge Lynch, near Stroud, Gloucestershire.

In memory of MABEL DEARMER
who went from Oakridge the place she loved best
to give help in Serbia where she died of fever
at Kragujevatz on July 11th. 1915, and of
CHRISTOPHER DEARMER
who died of wounds at Suvla Bay of Gallipoli
on October 6th 1915 aged 21

Proud of the war all glorious went the son.
Loathing the war all mournful went the mother.
Each had the same wage when the day was done.
Tell me was either braver than the other.

They slept in mire who went so comely ever

Then when you wash let the thought of them abide.
They knew the parching thirst of wounds & fever.
Here when you drink remember them who died.

  • Captain Philip Simons Picot (Sherwood Foresters attached Royal Scots) is killed at Achi Baba. He is the son in law of ‘Sir’ Thomas Putnam.
  • Lieutenant Rupert Edward Gascoyne-Cecil (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. He is one of three sons of The Right Reverend William Gascoyne-Cecil, the Bishop of Exeter and Lady Florence Cecil to be killed in the Great War.
  • Lieutenant Edward William Armstrong (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend W D H Armstrong.

Sunday 13 June 1915 – We Lost 219

The 1st/5th Royal Scots relieve the Royal Scots Fusiliers in the firing line at Gallipoli during the night.  Companies “B” and “C” 1/7th Royal Scots are landed at “V” Beach, Helles at 01:30 having been transported from Mudros on the Carron.  They immediately move into camp where they are shelled from Achi Baba.  They will be employed for the next week digging divisional dug-outs and working on reserve and communication trenches.

 Today’s losses include:

  •  Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • A nephew of Lord Haldane
  • A rugby football player
  • An amateur featherweight boxing champion

 Today’s highlighted casualty is:

  •  Captain Charles George Billing (Royal Marines Light Infantry) is shot in the head by a sniper at age 33. He is the son of the Reverend George Billing Rector of Sturry.
  • Lieutenant Cecil Gordon Salmon (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Alexander Salmon of Burma.
  • Lieutenant Robert Patrick Haldane (Black Watch) is killed in action at age 21. He is the nephew of Lord Haldane and son of ‘Sir’ William Haldane.
  • Trooper Frederick William Kerr (Canterbury Mounted Rifles) dies of wounds. He is a well known featherweight amateur boxing champion in New Zealand and played rugby football.

Friday 4 June 1915 – We Lost 1,930

Royal Naval Division

At Gallipoli the Anglo-French forces try for a third time to reach the hill of Achi Baba.  More than 30,000 British and French troops take part in the attack.  At one point the Turks have built a dummy trench. The British bombard it at 08:00 then the men advance at 12:00, only to find the real trench beyond is intact and fully manned. Nevertheless, with heavy loss, they capture it, driving the Turks out and capturing six Turkish machine guns.  Then they are shelled, deliberately by the Turks and accidentally by their own artillery, which has at last discovered the error of the dummy trench. Seeking to escape this double bombardment, the men abandon their guns and return, under continual Turkish fire, to their own lines. Most of their officers are killed.  Immediately opposite Krithia, the advance by men of the Lancashire Fusiliers is successful, and the Turks are driven back to within a half a mile of the village of Krithia.  This is the opportunity for the British commander Gen Aylmer Hunter-Weston, to exploit the Turkish weakness, but he decides instead to send his reserves to that sector of the line where the French have failed to push the Turks back, and where the Hood Battalion of the Royal Naval Division has almost been destroyed.  As a result of this decision the men who have advanced almost to Krithia have to fall back, and accept new positions only five hundred yards in front of their starting off trenches of the morning.  Between 250 and 500 yards of Turkish held trenches are captured this day, on a mile long front, but Achi Baba remains well behind the Turkish lines. To bring the British and French wounded back to the beaches for evacuation is an arduous task, under continual Turkish sniping and artillery fire.  Indian mule cart drivers, and men of the Zion Mule Corps, after bringing ammunition from the beaches to the trenches, will return with a new cargo, the wounded. The British alone suffer 4,000 casualties in this costly failure.

As for the dead, the need to consolidate the new positions means that there is no time for burials.  On the front occupied by the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, a territorial battalion arrives shortly afterwards on the peninsula and they must bury corpses as their first task on shore. When burials take place, they can be sickening.

The Hood Battalion of the Royal Naval Division loses six of its remaining ten officers (of the thirty that originally arrived on the peninsula).

  •  Lieutenant Commander Raymond S Parsons is killed. His brother Francis Newton Parson (Essex Regiment) was awarded the Victoria Cross for going to the aid of Private Ferguson on the Modder River on 15th February 1900 in South Africa and was later killed on 10th March 1900. Another brother will die of injuries after falling in March 1919 while also serving in the Royal Navy.
  • Lieutenant Oscar Freyberg, whose brother Bernard (the future 1st Baron Freyberg) is now in Cairo recovering from a stomach wound is also killed. Oscar is last seen alive in action in a Turkish trench, a pistol in both hands. His body is never found.
  • Sub Lieutenant Wendell Stacey is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend F B Stacey.
  • Stoker 1st Class Daniel Smith is killed at age 26. His brother will be killed in September of this year on the Western Front.

The Collingwood Battalion also suffers heavy casualties.

  •  Commander Alexander Young Crawshay Mainwaring Spearman (commanding Collingwood Battalion) is killed on Gallipoli at age 52. He is the son-in-law of the Reverend Cadwalladr Coker.
  • Lieutenant Commander Wallace Moir Annand is killed. His son Captain Richard Annand (Durham Light Infantry) will be awarded the Army’s first Victoria Cross in the Second World War for service in May 1940 and his brother will be killed in January 1917.
  • Lieutenant Francis Molyneaux Badham dies of wounds at age 32. He is the son of the Reverend Frederick John Badham Rector of Kilbixy.
  • Sub Lieutenant John Eric Davies is killed. He is the first of three brothers who will be killed in the next three months.
  • Sub Lieutenant Adair Grey Bagshawe is killed at age 30. He is the son of Frank T Bagshawe Commissioner of Police Madras India.
  • Sub Lieutenant Ronald Worthington Jukes is killed at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Worthington Jukes formerly of the Shobrooke Rectory.
  • Able Seaman Norman Fraser Roy is killed at age 23. His brother will die at home on service in February 1919.
  • Able Seaman Frederick William Gibbs (Howe Royal Naval Division) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in July next year.

Members of the Manchester Regiment killed today include

  •  Lieutenant Colonel William George Heys (commanding officer 1st/6th Manchester Regiment) is killed at age 48 while inspecting a captured Turkish trench.
  • Major James Herbert Staveacre (commanding 7th Battalion) is killed at age 42. He is a South African War veteran.
  • Captain Joseph Holt is killed at age 33. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Edward Holt JP 1st
  • Lieutenant George Sidney James dies of wounds at age 22. He is the first of four brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War, three of them this year including one who will be killed in September on Gallipoli. They are sons of the Reverend Charles Henry James Vicar of Haigh.
  • Second Lieutenant John Barlow Emmott is killed. He is the nephew of the Right Honorable Lord Emmott PC GCMG.
  • Second Lieutenant Humphrey Kaye Bonney Nevinson dies of wounds on board the Hospital Ship Somali off Gallipoli at age 23. He is the son of the Rector of Medbourns in Market Harborough.
  • Sergeant William Moore Bell Nanson is killed at Krithia at age 34. He is a veteran of the South Africa War who played rugby for England earning 2 caps.
  • Private Harold Buzza (Manchester Regiment) is killed in action at Krithia. His brother will die of pneumonia on service in May 1918.
  • Private Robert Leigh Redfern (Manchester Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in August next year. Private John Eardley (Manchester Regiment). He has been serving on the peninsula since the landings in April.  In civilian life he is an avid autograph collector. After his death a postcard is found in his trench which reads: “A man who goes on calmly hunting autographs with all civilization crumbling around him, and the Turkish enemy not far below the horizon, really deserves to succeed.  So here goes, G Bernard Shaw”.

Two Zeppelins raid England but are hampered by strong winds and poor visibility over the coast.  L10 bombs Gravesend, SL3 crosses the coast ten miles south of Bridlington, flies north to Flamborough Head and sets course for Hull at 00:30 the next morning.  Due to strong headwinds it abandons its raid after dropping a few bombs in open country. The raid injures eight.

 Today’s losses include:

  • An avid autograph collector
  • A pioneering embryologist
  • An author and playwright
  • The Assistant Master at the Manchester Grammar School
  • An England Rugby International
  • The son of the Commissioner of Police in Madras India
  • The brother of the future 1st Baron Freyberg
  • The father of the Army’s first Victoria Cross winner in the Second World War
  • The brother of a Victoria Cross winner in the South African War
  • The son of a Victoria Cross winner
  • Two brothers lost on service one in the South African War one in the Great War
  • Two brothers both killed today one on Gallipoli one on the Western Front
  • A man whose father was killed in the Black Mountain Expedition of 1888, who lost two uncles one in Chitral and one in Afghanistan and who had a brother killed on the Indian Frontier in 1897
  • A man whose two nephews will be killed in the Second World War
  • Multiple families that will lose two or three sons
  • A family that will lose three sons
  • Multiple members of the clergy who will lose a son
  • A son-in-law of a member of the clergy
  • Five battalion commanders
  • Multiple sons of Justices of the Peace
  • Multiple sons of Baronets
  • A nephew of Lord Emmott
  • The son of a General

 Today’s highlighted casualties are:

  •  Lieutenant Colonel John William Jessop (commanding 1st/4th Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed at age 55.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Francis Augustus Jacques (commanding 14th Sikhs) is killed on Gallipoli leading a charge at age 48. He is the son of the Reverend Canon Kinton Jacques Rector of Brindle.
  • Major Hedley Morton Battye (Gurkha Rifles) is killed on Gallipoli at age 38. His father Major Legh Richmond Battye (Gurkha Rifles) was killed in the Black Mountain Expedition on 18th June 1888 at age 43 while his brother Lieutenant Richmond Moffat Battye (Bengal Cavalry) was killed on 1st December 1897 at age 28 also serving on the Indian Frontier. He also had two uncles killed in Chitral and Afghanistan.
  • Major Ivon D’esterre Roberts (Royal Field Artillery commanding the Anson Battalion Royal Naval Division) is killed on Gallipoli at age 36.
  • Major Sydney James Sparling (Royal Marines, Royal Naval Division) is killed on Gallipoli at age 33. His brother will be killed in September of this year.
  • Captain John Wilfred Jenkinson (Worcestershire Regiment attached Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 43. He is a pioneering embryologist who worked on early development of mouse and frog embryos. He published the first English textbook on Experimental Embryology in 1909. The Jenkinson Memorial Lectures in Embryology at the University of Oxford is named after John Wilfred Jenkinson.
  • Captain Reginald Crommelin Popham-Blyth (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 38. He is the son of the Right Reverend George F Popham-Blyth Bishop of Jerusalem.
  • Captain Oscar Robert Walker (Worcestershire Regiment attached Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action at Gallipoli at age 34. He is the son of the Honorable W F Walker.
  • Captain Wynyard Keith Brown (Gurkha Rifles attached West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed on Gallipoli at age 27. He is the son of the late Colonel F D M Brown VC.
  • Captain Richard Clift Fippard (West Yorkshire Regiment attached Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed on Gallipoli. On the same day on the Western Front his brother Corporal Herbert John Fippard (London Regiment) is killed at age 29.
  • Lieutenant Horatio Nelson Ormsby (Cameronians) is killed on Gallipoli. His brother will be killed in September of next year.
  • Lieutenant Norman McRury (Black Watch attached King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend John McRury.
  • Lieutenant James Colin Grogan (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed in action on Gallipoli at age 25. He is the son of Brigadier General E G Grogan and has a brother who will be killed in January 1918.
  • Lieutenant Mauriace Francis Cromie (Hampshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. He has two brothers who will be killed one in October of this year and a second as Naval Attaché in Petrograd in August 1918.
  • Lieutenant Eric Larkin Wheadon Leake (Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed at age 19 on Gallipoli three weeks after his brother was killed on the Western Front.
  • Lieutenant Hector MacLennan Guthrie (Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed in action at Gallipoli at age 22. He had been awarded the 1st Class Honors Degree from Aberdeen University in July 1914. Lieutenant Norman Victor Holden (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed on Gallipoli at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend William Holden and was Assistant Master at the Manchester Grammar School.
  • Lieutenant John Bolton (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed on Gallipoli at age 26. He is the son of Henry Hargreaves Bolton JP.
  • Lieutenant (Acting Captain) Kenneth Nowell McKenzie (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 21 on Gallipoli. He is the son of the Reverend Donald James McKenzie Canon of Lahore.
  • Lieutenant George Leslie Calderon (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed in action on Gallipoli at age 46. He is an author and playwright, who went to France in October 1914 as an interpreter with the Royal Horse Guards. Author of The Maharani of Arakan: A Romantic Comedy in One Act Founded on the Story of Sir Rabindranath Tagore. From 1900 to 1903 his was on the library staff of the British Museum. He visited Tahiti in 1906 and wrote the book of the same name about his time there. His brother will be killed in April 1916.
  • Second Lieutenant Crewe Coles (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed in action on Gallipoli. His brother will be killed by Werner Voss in April 1917.
  • Second Lieutenant Cyril Decimus Field (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed on Gallipoli. His brother will be killed in just over 2 months.
  • Second Lieutenant William Raymond Hornby (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed in action at Gallipoli. He is the son of the Baronet and Lady Hornby.
  • Second Lieutenant Basil Cuthbert Danvers Martin (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed in action on Gallipoli at age 18. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Basil Martin Rector of Pudleston.
  • Second Lieutenant William Augustine Harper Lowry (Indian Army Reserve of Officers attached Sikhs) is killed on Gallipoli at age 25. He is the first of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War and his sisters two sons will be killed in the Second World War.
  • Second Lieutenant Sidney Vandyke Hasluck (Indian Army Reserve of Officers attached Sikhs) is killed at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend Ernest Edward Hasluck Vicar of Sixpenny Handley Dorset.
  • Second Lieutenant Gerald Thornton Prickard (South Wales Borderers) is killed on Gallipoli at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend William Edward Prickard.
  • Petty Officer Motor Mechanic Oswald New (Royal Naval Air Service) is killed on Gallipoli at age 30. His brother will be killed in April 1918. Lance Corporal Edward Milton (Sussex Regiment) dies of wounds at home at age 22. His brother will be killed in September next year.
  • Private George Gordon (Gordon Highlanders) is killed in action at age 17. His older brother will be killed in action fifteen days.
  • Private Herbert Turner (Hampshire Regiment) is killed on Gallipoli at age 20. His brother will be when the hospital ship Salta is sunk in April 1917.
  • Trooper Ernest John McIndoe (Australian Light Horse) dies of wounds. He is the son of Councillor John McIndoe. Saddler A Stittle (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 31. His brother will be killed one month before the end of the war.
  • Private Alec Boyle (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed. His two brothers were killed last year.
  • Four members of the crew of the trawler Excel lose their lives today including her Skipper Peter Moxey, Mate Frank C Moxey and Third Hand Edward Richard Moxey.

Saturday 8 May 1915 – We Lost 2,414

Cap badge of the Monmouthshire Regiment

Cap badge of the Monmouthshire Regiment

British forces abandon Frezenberg Ridge under a terrific shelling during the second battle of Ypres.  At 05.30 a violent German artillery bombardment begins on the British lines causing massive destruction – especially to 83rd Brigade in vulnerable trenches on the forward slopes of the Ridge. The subsequent German infantry assault is repelled by the surviving British battalions. A second German thrust on the ridge is held but a third assault at 10:00, pn either side of Frezenberg village, forces the remaining defenders to fall back. The German attack is stopped on the right by 80th Brigade but, to the north, 84th Brigade is almost totally destroyed in the onslaught; by afternoon a two-mile gap has been punched in the British line. Tenacious defence, hastily improvised counter-attacks and a crucial night advance of 10th Brigade restores a precarious situation.

Part of the new British line now runs in an exposed position along the front of the Frezenberg Ridge to the North West of Ypres. It falls to the 28th Division, which included the 1st Battalion of the Monmouthshire Regiment, to defend these trenches. The 1st Monmouths had reached the front line yesterday in darkness where they took over badly damaged trenches and began a desperate attempt to make repairs before dawn broke this morning. At the height of the fighting the battalion headquarters of the battalion becomes cut off from the troops of the battalion who are facing strong German attacks. In order to gain some measure of control over events the officers of the headquarters move forward to the front line. Faced with attacks from their front and from their right flank, where adjoining troops have withdrawn, the situation of the Monmouths is desperate. A particular problem was a German machine gun, located in a farm.

The Monmouths are now in danger of being overwhelmed and an attempt to provide reinforcements fails as those sent forward are decimated by shellfire. The situation is critical as the Monmouths attempt to hold off attacks from their front and deal with Germans who have taken over the trenches to their right. Captain Harold Thorne Edwards age 32 attempts to organise a flank using a communication trench, but is soon almost surrounded. Called on to surrender and uttering the phrase which becomes part of regimental history, “surrender be damned” he is last seen firing his revolver at his attackers, a scene commemorated in the painting in the entrance of Newport Civic Centre. The battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Lawson Robinson age 45, now gives the order for the Monmouths to pull back from the front line to form a flank against the German attacks from the right, after which he is shot through the neck and killed. It is now the afternoon and the situation is clearly hopeless. With no alternative before them other than annihilation, the remaining isolated groups of the Monmouths pulled back to their support trenches. Some men attempted to get back along shallow communication trenches, others run desperately over open ground; many are wounded or killed by the continuing shellfire and machine gun fire. From these reserve trenches, however, The Monmouths and the Royal Irish Rifles are able to hold off further German advances. Here the extent of the casualties suffered becomes clear that of the 23 officers and 565 other ranks that left Brielen yesterday only 3 officers and 126 other ranks returned. Lieutenant Colonel Robinson commanding officer of the 1st Monmouthshire Regiment is among those killed. He is a veteran of the South African War.

On Gallipoli the attack on Achi Baba in the second battle of Krithia, gains between four and six hundred yards, but not the high ground, from where the Turks maintain their artillery observation.  After today the attack is called off, the Allies having sustained 6,500 casualties.

 Today’s losses include:

  • Two battalion commanders
  • A New Zealand rugby international
  • The New Zealand heavyweight boxing champion
  • The Australian 1901 Long Jump Champion
  • An Australian Rules footballer
  • A son of the founder of the Yarrow Shipbuilders dynasty
  • A son of the Baroness Strathcona
  • The son of the first and last Baron Chalmers
  • An Olympic fencer
  • Son of a Baronet
  • A nephew of Lord Northclife
  • A 15-year old holder of the Royal Humane Society’s Certificate for Life Saving
  • A constable for the Vancouver Police Department
  • A man whose widow will remarry and lose her second husband when he is killed in October 1918
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Brothers killed in the same action
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons
  • Multiple families that will lose three sons
  • A family that will lose four sons

Today’s highlighted casualties are:

  •  Lieutenant Colonel Robert Gartside (commanding 7th Australian Infantry” dies of wounds received leading the charge near Tommies’ Trench at age 52.
  • Captain Herbert Humphreys Hunter (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 33. He is an Australian Rules Footballer and the Australasian Long Jump Champion of 1901.  He played 3 games for Essendon in 1900 and is killed at age 33.
  • Captain and Adjutant Edward Charles Dimsdale (Rifle Brigade attached Monmouthshire Regiment) attempts to organize an attack on the farm with the aim of silencing the machine gun and in the process is killed at age 31. His younger brother will be killed in April 1916 in the sinking of the submarine E22.
  • Also killed is the battalion’s second in command Edward Styant Williams age 39. Captain James Lancaster (Monmouthshire Regiment) and his brother Major John Cecil Lancaster (Royal Warwickshire Regiment) are both killed in action this day. John dies at age 41.
  • Captain Frederick Hugh Sasse (East Yorkshire Regiment) dies on service at age 28. His brother in law Captain Gilbert George Downes will die of wounds in August.
  • Captain Ralph Chalmers (Suffolk Regiment) is killed in action at age 24. He was a member of the 1908 Olympic fencing team and then the Aide-de-campe to the Governor of Ceylon in 1913 and 1914 and is a son of the first and last Baron Chalmers. His brother will die of wounds in less than three weeks.
  • Captain Eric Fernandez Yarrow (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 20. He is the son of shipbuilder ‘Sir’ Alfred Yarrow 1st Baronet who founded the shipbuilding dynasty Yarrow Shipbuilders.
  • Brothers Harry Stuart aged 30 and Ralph Edward McKie Dennison age 37 are both killed today. Harry dies serving as a Captain in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment) at St Eloi. Ralph is a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Sussex Regiment.
  • Lieutenant Spencer Ruscombe Westmacott (Leinster Regiment) is killed in action at age 25. His younger brother will be killed in action in July 1917 and they are sons of Canon Westmacott.
  • Lieutenant Rupert Howard Henderson (Australian Imperial Forces) is killed in action at Gallipoli less than two weeks after his brother has been killed in action. He dies at age 22.
  • Lieutenant Frederick George Smith (Australian Infantry) dies of wounds received at the Anglo-American Hospital in Cairo at age 21. He was wounded on Gallipoli on the 27 April 1915 and was the Deposition clerk in the Department of Justice at the Court House in Bathusrt New South Wales.
  • Lieutenant Walter Scott Stuart Lyon (Royal Scots) a Great War poet is killed in action near Potijze Wood after an intense shelling and bombardment at age 28. He attended Bailliol College, Oxford .His two younger brothers have both been killed in the previous year. His poetry includes Easter at Ypres: 1915 and the below.

I Tracked a Dead Man Down a Trench

I tracked a dead man down a trench.

I knew not he was dead.

They told he had gone that way,

And there his foot-marks led.

 

The trench was long and close and curved,

It seemed without an end;

And as I threaded each new bay

I thought to see my friend.

 

I went there stooping to the ground.

For, should I raise my head,

Death watched to spring; and how should then

A dead man find the dead?

 

At last I saw his back.  He crouched

As still as still could be,

And when I called his name aloud

He did not answer me.

 

The floor-way of the trench was wet

Where he was crouching dead;

The water of the pool was brown

And round him it was red.

 

I stole up softly where he stayed

With head hung down all slack,

And on his shoulders laid my hands

And drew him gently back.

 

And then, as I guessed, I saw

His head, and how the crown –

I saw then why he crouched so still,

And why his head hung down. 

  •  Lieutenant Lucas Henry St Aubyn King (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Lucas White King Kt and a nephew Lord Northcliffe.
  • Lieutenant Guy Nicholas Palmes (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend George Palmes Vicar of Naburn.
  • Second Lieutenant Sidney Hannaford Hellyer (East Yorkshire Regiment) dies of wounds received 28th April at age 25. He is the son of Charles Hellyer JP.
  • Second Lieutenant Wallace Alfred Buckworth (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers) is killed on Gallipoli at age 32. His brother will be killed in August 1917.
  • Second Lieutenant Ninian Mark Kerr Bertie (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 18. He is the son of the Reverend the Honorable Alberic Edward Rector of Gelding and Lady Bertie.
  • Second Lieutenant Charles Malin Clifton Sorby (Monmouthshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Albert Ernest Sorby Rector of Darfield.
  • Second Lieutenant “the Honorable” Robert Henry Palmer Howard (East Surrey Regiment) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of R J and Baroness Strathcona and Mount Royal.
  • Second Lieutenant Geoffrey Phipps Hornby (Suffolk Regiment) is killed in action at age 24 at Frezenberg Ridge. He is the son of the Venerable Phipps John (Archdeacon of Lancaster) and he has a brother who will be killed in October 1916.
  • Second Lieutenant Henry Thomas Ludson Couve (Australian Imperial Forces) is killed. He is a well-known soccer player with the Dandenong Club and his brother was killed two weeks ago.
  • Sergeant Frederick Ernest Bake (London Regiment) is killed. His son will lose his life on service in April 1945.
  • Lance Sergeant Henry Morgan and his brother Private Frederick William Morgan (Monmouthsire Regiment) age 19 are killed.
  • Corporal George Stanner Price Hanney (Monmouthshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the first of three brothers who will be killed over the next year.
  • Acting Corporal George Tocher (Gordon Highlanders) dies of wounds at age 21. He is the first of four brothers who are killed in the Great War.
  • Lance Corporal Charles Savory (Auckland Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at Gallipoli. He played in the Rugby Union and then transferred to the Rugby League and accepted a position in the combined New Zealand and New South Wales team that toured England. He played for Auckland and New Zealand on many subsequent occasions and his last appearance was as a member of the New Zealand team that played England in August 1914.  He was also the New Zealand heavyweight-boxing champion.
  • Lance Corporal Arthur Walker (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in December 1916.
  • Private Robert Clark (East Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother will die of wounds in April 1918.
  • Private Leslie Goldie Clark (Auckland Infantry) is killed during the Daisy Patch engagement. His brother will be killed in June 1916.
  • Private William Blackmore (Monmouthshire Regiment) is killed at age 35. His brother was killed last January.
  • Private Richard Cowper (Auckland Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Forces) is killed in action at age 26. He is one of three brothers who will lose their lives during the Great War.
  • Private Wesley Earl Varcoe (Wellington Infantry) is killed 5 days after his brother.
  • Private William Savage (Suffolk Regiment) is killed in action. His brother will be killed in May 1917.
  • Private Joseph Cornelius Green (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 19. His brother will be killed in September 1918.
  • Private John Henry Dengel (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in May 1918.
  • Private John Hopkinson (York and Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 29. His brother will be killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • Private Walter Nutter (Lancaster Regiment) is killed at age 30. His brother will be killed in August of this year on Gallipoli.
  • Gunner Walter Gaudin Mason (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed in action. His widow will marry Sergeant Charles Isidore Laugeard DCM (Hampshire Regiment) who will be killed in October 1918.
  • Private George Robertson (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) is killed. His brother will be killed in May 1917.
  • Private David Angus Morrison (Manitoba Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 27. He is a constable in the Vancouver Police Department.
  • Rifleman Percy William Arthur Philcox (London Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother will die of wounds in May 1917.
  • Private Arthur Mattocks (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 26. His brother will be killed in September 1916.
  • Private Hubert Bernard Hodson (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) is killed at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Hodson Rector of Oddington.
  • Private William Frederick Stokes (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother will die of fever in Mesopotamia in July 1916.
  • Private Jacob Key (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 30. He is the first of three brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
  • Private Michael Collins (Irish Regiment) is killed by shell fire becoming the second of four sons of Agnes Collins of Waterford to be killed in the Great War.
  • Able Seaman James Duncan (Howe Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Royal Naval Division) is killed at age 15 on Gallipoli. He is a holder of the Life Saving Certificate from the Royal Humane Society received at age 12.
  • Private Samuel Higginson (Lancaster Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in August 1916.
  • Private Christopher Fagan (Dublin Fusiliers) is killed. His brother was killed last November.

Friday 7 May 1915 – We Lost 889

RMS Lussitania

RMS Lussitania

Captain William Turner of the Lusitania upon entering what is called the danger zone of waters in which enemy submarines operate orders all lifeboats to be swung out, all the bulkhead doors to be closed, look-outs to be doubled and steam pressure to be kept high to give the ship all possible speed in case of an emergency.  At 08:00 the ships speed is reduced to eighteen knots to secure the ship’s arrival at the bar outside Liverpool at 04:00 the following morning, in order catch the high tide. At 12:40 the ship’s course is altered in order to make a better landfall. The ship is brought closer to land and the Old Head of Kinsale is sighted at 13:40.

At 14:15 as the ship is between ten and fifteen miles off the Old Head of Kinsale with weather clear and the sea smooth, Captain Turner hears the second officer shout “There is a torpedo coming, Sir”.  Immediately afterwards there is a terrific explosion on the starboard side, between the third and fourth funnels. Almost simultaneously there is a second explosion, which at the time is thought to be a second torpedo, but has since been confirmed to be an internal explosion, although the cause has never been definitely established. The stricken Lusitania immediately takes on a heavy list to starboard and in about eighteen minutes she sinks, with the loss of 1,198 lives. The ship sinks bow first, with its stern almost perpendicular out of the water. Two crewmembers will be officially recognized with the Silver & Bronze medals for Gallantry in Saving Life at Sea. Able Seaman Leslie Morton is the first to observe the approach of the torpedo and he reports it to the bridge. When the torpedo strikes the ship he is knocked off his feet, but he recovers himself quickly, and at once assists in filling and lowering several boats.  Having done all he can on board, he jumps overboard. While in the water he manages to get hold of a floating collapsible lifeboat, and with the assistance of Able Seaman Joseph Parry he rips the canvas cover off it and succeeds in drawing into it fifty to sixty passengers. Morton and Parry then row the boat some miles to a fishing smack. Having put the rescued passengers on board the smack they return to the scene of the wreck and succeed in rescuing twenty to thirty more people.

Among those lost in the sinking of RMS Lusitania

  • Justus Miles Forman. He is an American novelist and playwright. His only play, The Hyphen, appeared in 1915, but it did not receive the success Forman expected. He decided to book a first-class passage aboard the RMS Lusitania. Days before he was to board the liner, he received a mysterious phone call from a man with a thick German accent, who warned him not to board the Lusitania. He ignored the phone call and boarded the Lusitania on May 1, 1915. His body was never recovered.
  • ‘Sir’ Hugh Percy Lane was born in County Cork, Ireland in November 1875, he is best known for establishing Dublin’s Municipal Gallery of Modern Art (the first known public gallery of modern art in the world) and for his remarkable contribution to the visual arts in Ireland. He died on board the RMS Lusitania.
  • Firemen Michael Sr. and Michael Cooney Jr. are both killed in Lusitania. The elder Cooney dies at age 40 while his son is 20 years-old.
  • Fireman Edward Ryan is killed at age 44. His brother will be killed as a stoker on HMS Queen Mary at Jutland.
  • Henry St Giles Humphreys is killed. He is the son of Reverend Henry James Humphreys Vicar of Thornley who will have two others sons killed in the Great War.

U-20 sights the British cruiser Juno, but as she is zig-zagging and going at full speed, the German submarine gives up the chase.

The Tribal class destroyer HMS Maori strikes a mine off the Belgian coast and the entire crew plus those of HMS Crusader’s boat are made prisoners of war.

The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, the Royal Irish Rifles and the Cheshire Regiment attack the Zwarteleen salient at Hill 60.  The first trench is taken and crossed but shortly after this dawn breaks and it becomes evident that although the enemy has been driven out of the neck of the Salient they still hold the Salient itself.  The day passes quietly until darkness comes at 19:45 and patrols are sent out to ascertain what the results of the attack have been. The totality of the failure is reported including 22 members of the Yorkshire’s killed 124 officers and men wounded and 42 officers and men missing. Most of the missing will prove to be killed.

The 1st/5th Royal Scots attack Fir Tree Wood on Gallipoli.  They advance at 10:00 and enter the wood.  There they find many snipers situated on small wooden platforms in the branches.  The Scots are driven back after three hours fighting.  The battalion is reduced to the strength of two companies.

The operations on the Karkha River, Mesopotamia begin.  The district which contains oil fields and the pipeline is cleared of the enemy by 3 June.

‘Sir’ Edward Grey sends a message to the Ottoman Government stating that members of that government will be held personally responsible for the safety of British and French civilians transported from Constantinople to Gallipoli.

The attack on Achi Baba continues still with little progress.

Lieutenant Ernest G Boissier (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross as he behaves with gallantry in charge of a machine gun during operations south of Achi Baba and effecting the destruction of an enemy machine gun. His son will be killed in 1945 serving at a Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Navy.

Airship SS-1 is destroyed by fire after colliding with telegraph wires near Dover when her pilot mistakes the wind direction signal and lands down-wind.  Both occupants escape injury.

Today’s losses include:

  • A man killed on Lusitania will have two brothers killed later on service in the Great War
  • A man killed on Lusitania will have a brother killed on HMS Queen Mary and Jutland
  • A man whose son will be killed later in the Great War
  • A son of an Admiral
  • A son of a Baronet
  • An Antarctic Explorer
  • A man whose brother will lose his life in the Second World War
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons
  • A family that will lose three sons

 Today’s highlighted casualties are:

  •  Major Christopher Henry Hoskyns-Abrahall (Royal Marines Light Infantry) dies of wounds on Gallipoli at age 43. His son will be accidentally killed in December 1917.
  • Captain George Culme-Seymour (King’s Royal Rifle Corps and Acting Adjutant London Regiment) is killed in action at age 37. He is the son of Admiral ‘Sir’ Michael Culme-Seymour, 3rd Baronet GCB.
  • Captain Edward Frederick Robert Bage (Australian Engineers) is killed in action at age 27. He was an astronomer, assistant magnetician and recorder of tides with ‘Sir’ Douglas Mawson’s 1911 Antarctic expedition.  He was one of the six volunteers that formed the relief party that was left in the Antarctic for a second winter when Mawson and his companions failed to return to winter quarters on time.  Lieutenant Bage contributed the chapter “The Quest of the Southern Magnetic Pole” to Mawson’s book “The Chome of the Blizzard”.  He was awarded the King’s Polar Medal this year. At Trinity College Melbourne he obtained 1st Class honors in chemistry, rowed in the College Eight and was honorary secretary of the Students’ Representative Council. The “Robert Bage Memorial Scholarship” at the University of Melbourne will be founded in his honor.
  • Private Charles Alfred Fisher (King’s own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed in action. His son will lose his life in January 1944 on service.
  • Two brothers are in the trenches this morning, Private Fred age 20 and Lance Corporal James Henry ‘Harry’ Tennant age 27 (Lancashire Fusiliers). Harry is killed this morning.  Fred writes their mother: “He fell with his face to the enemy, and I am sure no man could wish for a more glorious death”. Fred will die of wounds next month.
  • Private Charles Cullinan (Leinster Regiment) is killed in action at age 41. His brother will be killed eleven days later.
  • Private Thomas Frederic Farrier (Sussex Regiment) is killed at Bethune during shelling at age 26. He is the first of three brothers who will be killed by the middle of next year.

Tuesday 4 May 1915 – We Lost 500

In the second battle of Ypres, Germans capture Zonnebeke, Westhoek and Zevenkote.

The Australian Infantry fails in raids at Gaba Tepe.

Bugler E Sillence (Royal Marines) is awarded the CGM as he behaves with distinguished gallantry during operations south of Achi, in volunteering to throw back enemy bombs into enemy lines at great personal risk, thereby saving the lives of many of his comrades.

Nigerians led by Lieutenant Colonel Haywood capture Wum Biagas. This and the previous day prove costly as there are heavy losses among the British officers and African ranks.  The Nigerians push on to attack a strong German position on the left bank of the Mbila River and succeed after an eighteen hour battle in shaking the Germans out of their entrenchments.

            Today’s losses include:

  • A member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
  • A battalion commander
  • A grandson of the 7th Baron Polwarth
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • A family that will lose three sons in the Great War
  • Multiple members of the clergy that will lose a son today

 Today’s highlighted casualties are

  •  Lieutenant Colonel George Frederick Braund (Australian Imperial Forces) is killed at Braund’s Hill at age 48. He is a member for Armidale of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. After midnight he is asked to send part of his unit to reinforce the 3rd Battalion in the line. After dispatching ‘C’ Company he sets out for brigade headquarters and instead of using the normal track he takes a short cut through the scrub. Slightly deaf, Braund fails to hear a challenge from a sentry, who shoots him dead. He will be mentioned in dispatches posthumously. Braund is the first Australian legislator to enlist for service in the Great War and the second to die in battle. He played rugby for New South Wales against England in 1888.
  • Captain and Adjutant Frederick Harold Lewis Morgan (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 29 on Gallipoli. His two brothers will be killed in the War, the first also on Gallipoli in August and the second in May 1917.
  • Captain Gerald Arthur Morton (Welsh Regiment) is killed at age 38. His brother will die of wounds after the Armistice in February 1919.
  • Captain Robert James Bannatyne Heard (Lancashire Fusiliers) dies of wounds in Alexandria at age 26. He ist he son of Prebendary Henry J Heard Rector of Caterham.
  • Second Lieutenant Frank Evered Stantial (Suffolk Regiment) is killed in action at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend A Stantial.
  • Second Lieutenant Wilfred Trevelyan (Rifle Brigade) dies of wounds at age 21. He is the son of the late ‘Sir’ Ernest John Trevelyan and his brother will die on service in March 1919.
  • Sergeant William Warrener Abbott (New Zealand Engineers) is killed in action at Gallipoli at age 33. He is the son of the late Reverend George Abbott.
  • Petty Officer Rome Birnie (Collingwood Battalion Royal Naval Division) is killed at age 25. His brother was killed last month.
  • Corporal Maurice Cameron Fergusson (Australian Infantry) is killed on Gallipoli at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend John James Foote Lumsden Fergusson.
  • Lance Corporal Alfred Ballard (Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed two months after his brother met the same fate.
  • Rifleman Cecil William Gurney (Rifle Brigade) will be killed in action at age 24. His brother will be killed in October next year.
  • Sapper Francis William Hepburne-Scott (Canadian Engineers) dies on service at age 29. He is the grandson of the 7th Baron Polwarth and his cousin will be killed in less than two weeks.
  • Private Robert William Hopton (Royal Marine Light Infantry) is killed on Gallipoli at age 21. His brother will be killed in July 1916.

Sunday 2 May 1915 – We Lost 1,344

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

A German attack is repulsed near St Julien.

Turkish forces at Gallipoli attack, while British/Franco forces counter attack.  The British forces fail in an attack at Gaba Tepe. Sergeant N Roberts (Royal Marines) is awarded the DSM during operations south of Achi Baba displaying coolness and gallantry in carrying men out of fire. The Turkish Minister of War sends British and French subjects into the danger zone at Gallipoli.  Kite balloon ship Manica directs naval gunfire towards batteries at Sin that records three direct hits.  Australians take part in the Battle of Baby 700.

The “Chessboard” is attacked by three Australian Battalions, the Otago Infantry Regiment and two battalions of Royal Marines; and on the same day a Turkish Observation Post at Lala Baba is destroyed by New Zealanders. The Canterbury Battalion, raid Nibrunesi Point, at Salt Lake, Suvla Bay capturing fifteen Turks and destroying Turkish artillery observers’ telephone wires and huts.

Private John Lynn (Lancashire Fusiliers) is awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery near Ypres.  When the Germans are advancing behind their wave of asphyxiating gas Private Lynn, although almost overcome by the deadly fumes, handles his machine gun with very great effect against the enemy, and when he cannot see them he moves his gun to higher up on the parapet, which enabled him to bring even more effective fire to bear, and eventually checks any further advance.  The great courage displayed by this soldier has a fine effect on his comrades in the very trying circumstances.  He dies the following day from the effects of gas poisoning.

Union forces occupy Otjimbingwe, German South West Africa.

A British detachment at Chahbar, on the Gulf of Oman, commanded by Lieutenant C. M. Maltby, 95th Russell’s Infantry successfully repulses a tribal attack.

Today’s losses include:

  • The man who inspired John McCrae to compose the poem In Flanders Fields
  • A brother of future Victoria Cross winner James Thomas Byford McCudden
  • The grandson of a Member of Parliament
  • A cousin of the President of Magdalen College, Oxford
  • A father and son killed together
  • A scout master
  • A school master
  • A divinity student
  • The son of a Brigadier General
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons
  • A family that will lose three sons

Today’s highlighted casualties are:

  •  Early on this morning Lieutenants Owen Carley Frederic Hague and Alexis Hannum Helmer (Canadian Field Artillery) leave their position to check on a battery whose personnel have positioned themselves on the bank of the Yser Canal near St. Julien close to the France-Belgium border. They have only gone a few yards when a six inch, high explosive canon shell burst killing them both instantly. Lieutenant Helmer is killed at age 22. He is the son of Brigadier General Richard Alexis Helmer. His death so affects John McCrae one of Alexis’ instructors at McGill University in Montreal that the next day he will vent his anguish by composing the poem In Flanders Field. Lieutenant Hague (Canadian Field Artillery) is killed at age 26. He is the son of Frederick Hague KC.
  • Lieutenant Richard Ewen Egglestone (Otago Regiment) is killed at age 26. His brother will be killed next month.
  • Lieutenant Arthur Sidney Pelham Burn (Gordon Highlanders) is killed in action at age 19. His brother will be killed in April 1917 and they are sons of the late Reverend William Pelham Burn (Archdeacon of Norfolk) and is planning to take Holy Orders having matriculated for New College, Oxford.
  • Lieutenant John Spencer Ruscombe Anstice (Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of Colonel ‘Sir’ Arthur Anstice KCB of Dymock, Glos. (Mentioned in Despatches) and is buried at Redoubt Cemetery.
  • Lieutenant Bernard Henry Herford (Royal Marines) a schoolmaster is dies of wounds at age 29 on a hospital ship off Gallipoli received 28th His brother was killed on HMS Monmouth in November 1914. They are sons of Percy Michener Heford (Canon of St Mary’s Cathedral and Rector of Christ Church, both in Edinburgh.
  • Lieutenant Charles Herbert George Martin (Monmouthshire Regiment) is killed at age 33. He is the grandson of Charles Herbert James, for some years M.P. for Merthyr Tydfil and was first cousin of the President of Magdalen College.
  • Lieutenant Malcolm Drury Campbell (Howe Battalion, Royal Naval Division Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) is killed in action on Gallipoli at age 24. He is the son of Herbert Ernest Campbell (Chancellor of Carlisle).  While leading his company he is hit in the head by a machine gun bullet.
  • Second Lieutenant Ernest Edward Glossop (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at age 19. He is the son of Canon George Henry Pownall Glossop.
  • Second Lieutenant Charles Reginald Fausset (Royal Irish Regiment) is killed on the Western Front at age 36. He is the son of the late Reverend Charles Fausset and was Captain of the Trinity College Cricket XI and the mile and quarter-mile champion of Ireland.
  • Sergeant William McCudden (Royal Flying Corps) dies of injuries received in a flying accident at home at age 24. He is giving a lesson at Gosport, near Portsmouth, when a carburetor floods, causing his Bleriot plane to lurch. He tries to clear the problem by going into a nose dive, but crashes. His two brothers will be killed in the Royal Flying Corps and Air Force in 1918 including James Thomas Byford McCudden winner of the Victoria Cross.
  • Sergeant William Pritchard age 42 and his son Private Reginald J Pritchard age 19 are killed in action together while serving in the Monmouthshire Regiment.
  • Corporal Alban Shepherd Munn (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend Joseph Shepherd Munn.
  • Lance Corporal John Henry Rose (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 24 six weeks before his younger brother will be killed serving in the same Regiment.
  • Lance Corporal John Henry Wilton (Monmouthshire Regiment) a scout master is killed at age 22.
  • Private Claude Otto Strachey (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 27. His brother will be killed in August 1917.
  • Private Robert Reid Fraser (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in August 1916.
  • Private Percy Lionel Gent (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in April 1917.
  • Private Lewis George Pescod (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 34. His brother will be killed in November also serving on Gallipoli.
  • Private Isaac Charles Gosset (Otago Regiment) is killed at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Hilgrove Gosset Archdeacon of Christchurch New Zealand.
  • Private Eric James Victor Davis (Australian Infantry) is killed. His brother will be killed in exactly one week.
  • Rifleman Harold David Vallentine (London Regiment) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed in April 1917.
  • Private Henry Charles Toombs (Monmouthshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 27. His brother died in London on active service less than one month ago.
  • Private James Henry Royle (Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in April 1918.
  • Private Peter Binks Pratt (Yorkshire Regiment) is killed.  His brother will be killed in October.