Great War Lives Lost

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

Tag: Heligoland Bight

Sunday 18 October 1914 – We Lost 318

Huddersfield Town FC

Huddersfield Town FC

Ypres is recaptured by the Germans.

Enemy shells set alight two ricks at Beaupuits, the flames clearly showing to the enemy the position of our trenches.  Under heavy fire from machine guns, Lance Corporal W H Stoneman (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) endeavors to extinguish the flames for which he will be award the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

The first destruction of a submarine by another submarine occurs when E3 (Lieutenant Commander George Francis Cholmley age 32) wanders too far into the Western Ems looking for likely targets on the third day of a patrol in the area off Borkum in Heligoland Bight.  It is sighted on the surface at 10:25 by the German U27 which fires a torpedo from a range of 300 yards that cuts E3 in half sending both halves to the bottom. There are no survivors among the 28 members of the crew. ERA Charles Ellman Blake is lost at age 28. He has two brothers-in-law who will lose their lives later in the war, Thomas Gawn in 1915 and Arthur James Woodford in 1918.

British monitors under Admiral Horace Lambert Alexander Hood aid the Belgians in the battle of Yser.  Admiral Hood will be killed at the Battle of Jutland.

SMS Emden finds three more victims. Number one is the cargo liner Troilus on her maiden voyage. The master, Captain George Long, is furious with the naval intelligence officer in Colombo who has told him that if he passes thirty miles north of Minicoy he will be safe.  Her cargo is rubber, copper, tin and other items. The 10,000 tons in her holds and her own value make this ship the most valuable catch of Emden’s career. The loss represents probably an excess of one million pounds sterling, which in the monetary values of the period is enough to build three light cruisers.  Shortly thereafter the St. Egbert carrying 6,600 tons to the United States is captured. This ship is used to carry away the crews of previously captured ships and she is released to do so.  Finally at about midnight the collier Exford laden with 5,500 tons of the best Cardiff coal, destined for the Royal Navy is captured.  A prize crew is put aboard and she goes into tow. SMS Emden captures her final British merchant ship, S S Chilkana with a valuable cargo of piece goods on her way to Calcutta from Britain, and is immediately sunk.

Today’s losses include:

  • Son of the Earl of Glasgow
  • Huddersfield Town Football player
  • Olympic Silver Medalist
  • British Isles Rugby International
  • Three uncles lost in the Crimean War
  • Two brothers-in-law
  • Two sons will be killed on service (one pre-World War II and one in that war)
  • Families that will lose two and three sons
  • Son of a Justice of the Peace

 Today’s highlighted casualty is

Captain Seymour Frederick Auckland Albert Hurt (Scots Fusiliers) is killed on his thirty-fifth birthday. He is the son of Albert Frederick Hurt JP DL. Two paternal uncles were killed in the Crimea while a maternal uncle died of wounds received at Inkerman.

  • Captain ‘the Honorable’ James Boyle(Royal Scots Fusiliers) is killed at Chateau Warneton at age 34.  He is the son of the 7th Earl and Countess of Glasgow.  His widow will marry ‘Sir’ Hugh Trenchard.
  • Lieutenant Frederick Longman (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 24. He is the grandson of ‘Sir’ John Evans.
  • Lieutenant Villiers Chernocke Downes(Bedfordshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 23.  His two sons will be killed on service, the first serving as a Lieutenant in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers will be killed in an airplane accident in 1938 while the other will be killed in action serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers at Anzio on 27 May 1944 also dying at age 34. His brother will be killed next month.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Cunningham Gillespie (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed in September 1915. He won a Silver Medal at the 1912 Olympics as a member of the New College Rowing Eight team.
  • Lieutenant Edwin Maurice Bishop (Dorsetshire Regiment attached King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed. His brother will die at home on service in April 1915.
  • Corporal Sidney Nelson Crowther (Royal Engineers) is killed in action at age 39. A medical doctor, he served and was killed as a motor cycle dispatch rider. He earned four caps in Rugbyfor the British Isles in the 1904 tour of Australia and New Zealand.
  • Lance Corporal Harold Whitehorn Ahern (East Kent Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in March next year.
  • Lance Corporal Larrett Roebuck (York and Lancaster Regiment) is killed at age 25. He played 17 football games for Huddersfield Town last season.
  • Private Percy A Shorter (East Kent Regiment) is killed at Ploegsteert. His two brothers will be killed in the Great War.
  • Private George Frederick White (Lancers) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed in September 1918.
  • Private Samuel Reuben Hibbert (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 32. His brother will be killed in May 1916.
  • Private Percy Turner (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 21. His brother Henry will lose life in the Great War.

Photos from

Friday 28 August 1914 – We Lost 98

The first significant naval battle of the Great War takes place at Heligoland Bight.  Commander Reginald Tyrwhitt is charged with leading the Harwich Force in a raid on German shipping located close to the German naval base at Heligoland. Tyrwhitt begins the action by sinking two German torpedo boats at around 07:00.  The Germans then deploy six light cruisers in response.  Finding himself outgunned Tyrwhitt calls to Vice Admiral Beatty for assistance at 11:25.  Beatty, with the First Battle Cruiser Squadron arrives at 12:40 and sinks three German cruisers and damages three others. The battle is portrayed in the press at home as a major victory, the Royal Navy having sunk three cruisers and 2 destroyers for no British ships lost. A total of thirty-fire British sailors are killed while forty are wounded. Seven hundred Germans are killed and two hundred rescued and made prisoners while another three hundred are wounded.

The first recorded effective British bombing attack is carried out by Lieutenant Louis Arbon Strange of 5th Squadron Royal Flying Corps.  He drops a home-made petrol bomb on a German truck near Mons. The vehicle swerves off the road and catches fire. The blazing petrol also catches the following truck on fire.  Lieutenant Norman Channing Spratt carrying a few steel darts as makeshift armament succeeds in forcing down an enemy aircraft by circling around it in mock attacks.

Today’s losses include:

  • 3rd Baronet Barttelot
  • Son of a Member of Parliament
  • Son of the Consul General at Petrograd
  • First of two sons a family loses in the Great War
  • Son-in-law of clergy
  • Child born posthumously

 Today’s Highlighted casualty is:

Captain Malcolm Leckie DSO (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Northumberland Fusiliers) dies of wounds received in action five days earlier at Mons at age 34. He is the brother-in-law of ‘Sir’ Arthur Conan Doyle and is the first of nine hundred three medical officers to die in the Great War. He is a descendant of the Leckies of the Baroney of Leckie and one ancestor ‘Sir’ Walter Leckie commanded the Scottish troops at the battle of Lagny on 10 August 1432 when they were defeated by Joan of Arc. He is a member of the Blackheath Hockey Club and Captain of Guy’s Hockey Club. He represented England versus France and played for the Kent Hockey Club.

  • Lieutenant Commander Nigel Kenneth Walter Barttelot (HMS Liberty) the brother of 3rd Baronet is killed in the Battle of Heligoland Bight at age 31. His brother will be killed in Teheran in 1918 while his nephew, the 4th Baronet will be killed in action in August 1944.
  • Major Foster Swetenham (Dragoons) is killed at age 38. He is the son of Edmund Swetenham MP and he served in the South African War. He is also the son-in-law of Colonel J W Chapman VP CB. He is the first of only two Swetenham’s to be killed in the Great War, both are cousins and both will be killed within two months of each other.
  • Captain Reginald Walter Morton Stevens (Irish Rifles) Brigade Major (9th Infantry Brigade) dies of wounds received two days before at age 39. He is the son in law of the Reverend J C Mace and his daughter will be born a fortnight after his death.
  • Captain John Colloyrean Michell (Lancers) is killed at age 42. He is the son of John Michell Consul General at Petrograd and served previously at Matabele in 189 and the South African War.
  • Captain Guy Maxwell Shipway (Gloucestershire Regiment) dies of wounds received three days earlier at age 37. He is the son of Lieutenant Colonel R W Shipway JP and he served in the South African War where he was severely wounded during the relief of Kimberly.