Great War Lives Lost

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

Tag: King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Monday 15 February 1915 – We Lost 284

Singapore Mutiny Memorial

Singapore Mutiny Memorial

British recapture their trenches lost the previous day near St Eloi.

At 15:30 815 men of the Indian Army’s 5th Light Infantry Battalion (commanding officer Colonel E V Martin) with 100 men of the Malay States Guides Mule Battery mutiny at the Tanglin barracks in Singapore the day before they are due to leave for France.  Their command has been to serve as prison guards at the barracks.

They break out of their barracks and fire on a group of five British officers, killing three. Captain Percy Netterville Gerrard (Malay States Volunteers) is killed at age 45. His brother was killed at Ypres last November. He was a physician who published a book on the hygienic management of labor in the tropics. The other two escape and run off to get help.  They manage to get sufficient force together from other units in the barracks to drive off the mutineers. A group of 100 mutineers proceed to Tanglin Barracks where 309 Germans are interned, including members of the Emden’s crew.  The mutineers fire on the guards without warning killing all of them, but not before one brave guard manages to run across the courtyard under heavy fire to raise the alarm. The mutineers try to persuade the Germans to join them but only 17 plus 3 Dutchmen joined them. The rest refuse to have anything to do with what they consider a dishonorable act, and stay confined. Other mutineers go on a killing spree at Keppel Harbour and Pasir Panjang killing many men and women including a judge.  It is getting dark by this time and the authorities finally are getting organized. Marines and crew from HMS Cadmus come ashore and are mobilised with other garrison troops who have not mutinied. A radio message is sent to India and any allied warship for help.

In the meantime the mutineers lay siege to the bungalow of the commander, Colonel Martin, which is effectively blocking the way into Singapore. The Colonel and some men hold out all night until they are relieved at daybreak by armed volunteers and civilians. They capture a fair amount of the mutineers’ artillery. This action costs one killed and five wounded. The mutineers scatter and despite heavy sniper fire from the mutineers, the general population stays calm as the militia fights sporadic battles with the mutineers. Among the civilian casualties is Acting District Judge Cecil Venn Dyson a Cadet in the Malay States Volunteers. He is the son of the Reverend Samuel Dyson.

On the Western Front Lance Corporal (Acting Sergeant) James Henry Spanton (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) goes out during daylight hours under fire to bring in wounded men. For his actions this day and also for other consistent good work and gallant conduct he will be awarded the DCM. Lieutenant Spanton will die of wounds in July.

The merchant ship Membland (Master John Brotchie) is mined and sunk in the North Sea killing her crew of twenty.

 Today’s losses include:

  • A man who will be recommended for the Victoria Cross
  • Multiple families that will lose one, two and three more sons in the service of King and Country
  • An acting Judge
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • The son of a Baronet
  • A man whose daughter will be born after his death

 Today’s highlighted casualty is

Captain Robert Bruce Melville Wills (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 24. He will be recommended for the Victoria Cross for his actions. His daughter will be born on 16 July and his widow will suffer another personal tragedy when her fiancé will be killed in an accident when his plane collides with another on 5 June 1928.

  •  Major Vincent Robertson Hoare (London Regiment) is killed at age 41. He is the son of the Reverend Walter Marsham Hoare Rector of Colkirk and he is married to the aunt of Lord Hailsham.
  • Captain Edward Graeme Ozanne (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 32. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Edward C Ozanne KBE.
  • Captain the Reverend Lionel Fairfax Studd (London Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the son of ‘Sir’ John Edward Kynaston Studd 1st
  • Captain Alexander Norman Galbraith (Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps attached Rifle Brigade) dies of injuries suffered in an auto accident in Egypt. He is the son of the late Venerable Henry Galbraith Archdeacon of Glendalongh on his way to attend a court martial.
  • Lieutenant John William Butts Archer (East Kent Regiment) dies of wounds at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend George Archer Rector of Stilton.
  • Lieutenant John Dutton Calvert (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 23. He is the son of the Honorable Mrs. Calvert.
  • Lieutenant Charles Francis Bateman Smith (Suffolk Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. He is the son of the late Reverend Canon George Herbert Smith of Madras who will lose two more sons in the war.
  • Second Lieutenant Francis Pemberton Greener (East Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 29. His brother will be killed in April 1918.
  • Corporal Bernard Daly (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed by a sniper at age 35. His brother will be killed next July.
  • Private Julian Ashley Hall Woodhouse (Honorable Artillery Corps) becomes the third of four brothers who give their lives for their King when he is killed in action at age 24.  Three of the brothers are killed in the Great War while one was killed in 1902 in South Africa.

Thursday 14 January 1915 – We Lost 124

Great Western Railway Police Helmet Badge

Great Western Railway Police Helmet Badge

The Leinster Regiment suffers four casualties while in the trenches at St Eloi.

The German Auxiliary Cruiser Kronprinz Wilhelm captures and scuttles the merchant vessel Highland Brae and rams and sinks the sailing vessel Wilfrid M 625 miles northeast from Permanbuco, Brazil.

Union forces occupy Swakopmund, German South West Africa.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Great Western Railway Police Officer
  • A family that will lose another son in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualty is

 Private W J Holiday (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 27. He is a police constable for the Great Western Railway Police.

  • Lieutenant Maynard Henry Crawford Conybeare (Mahratta Light Infantry attached Yorkshire Regiment) dies at home at age 24. He served in the Abor Expediton and his brother will be killed in April next year.

Monday 11 January 1915 – We Lost 88

In the early morning the entire available British force on the Suez, under the command of Colonel S M Edwardes DSO, (King Edward’s Own Grenadiers), take the offensive, defeat and drive back the Arab rebels, who flee into the interior, having suffered losses estimated at over 300 killed and wounded. Colonel Edwardes brings to notice the very valuable assistance rendered by Lieutenant-Colonel R A E Benn, Political Agent Masqat.

Today’s losses include:

  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • A man who will have two of his brothers killed in the war
  • The son of a member of the clergy
  • A Hemel Hempsted cricket player

 Today’s highlighted casualty is

 Lieutenant Porticius George Chaworth-Musters (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 26.  He is the eldest son of the late J P Chaworth-Musters DL JP.  His two brothers will lose their lives in the Great War, one in 1917 and the other in October 1918. He played cricket for Hemel Hempsted.

  •  Lieutenant Harcourt John Snowden (Hertfordshire Regiment) is shot by a sniper. After seeing that the sentries are at their posts, he crosses the Rue du Bois, and in doing so is shot and killed at age 27. He is the son of the Reverend Harcount Chlares Vaux Snowden Vicar of St Peter’s Broadstairs.

Sunday 10 January 1915 – We Lost 153

cap badge of the King's Royal Rifle Corps

cap badge of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Turkish troops are reported to be advancing on the Suez Canal. Arab unrest, which has been growing in Oman for some time past, culminates on this night in an attack by some 3,000 Arab rebels against the British outpost line covering Masqat and Matrah.

Losses suffered by the King’s Royal Rifle Corps amount to almost 1/3rd of the day’s losses.

Today’s losses include:

  • The grandson of a General
  • A nephew of Admiral ‘Sir’ George Tryon
  • A grandson of the 1st Baron Lawrence
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the War
  • A Scotland Rugby International
  • The 1st son lost of a family that will lose four sons

 Today’s highlighted casualty is

Captain Richard Tryon (Rifle Brigade attached King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 46. He is the grandson of General W A Johnson MP and the nephew of Vice Admiral ‘Sir’ George Tryon KCB who drowned in the sinking of HMS Victoria on 22nd June 1893 while commanding the Mediterranean fleet.

  •  Captain Francis Campbell Norbury (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed near Bethune. He was educated at Oundle and St. John’s College, Cambridge, and was a house-master at Oundle at outbreak of war. He is 32 at the time of his death.
  • Lieutenant Malcolm Eyton Lawrence (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed. His brother was killed last year and they are grandsons of the 1st Baron Lawrence.
  • Lieutenant Frederick Harding Turner (King’s Liverpool Regiment) is killed in action while walking to the end of a trench held by his platoon, to organize the arrangement of barbed wire entanglements. He is the younger of two sons of William and Jessie Turner. He became a great Rugby football player at forward and gained a Blue at Trinity College, Oxford and was selected fifteen times to play for Scotland being named Captain in 1913. He was also a talented cricket player. His elder brother will be killed in June of this year.
  • Private A Edgar Boon (Bedfordshire Regiment) dies of wounds. His brother will be killed in October 1917.
  • Private Ernest Albert Davis (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in May 1918.
  • Private Jeremiah Lonergan (Irish Guards) is killed becoming the first of four brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War, three of them this year.

Thursday 12 November 1914 – We Lost 342

Seal of Harvard University

Seal of Harvard University

Army Order # 480 approves the addition to each Division of a motor machine gun battery to be designated a unit of the Royal Field Artillery and known as the Motor Machine Gun Service.

A reconnaissance in force from Sanniyeh inflicts losses on the Turks near Saihan. In spite of poor conditions including thick dust, mud and heat the remainder of Force D is landed.

 Today’s losses include:

  •  Victoria Cross winner
  • A General
  • Son of a General
  • Son of a Baronet
  • Stepson of the Director of the Canadian Pacific Railway
  • Grandson of clergy
  • Grandson of a Justice of the Peace
  • A man whose twin brother was killed on service last century
  • Son of the 5th Earl of Cadogan
  • Grandson of the 1st Earl of Munster
  • Nephew of a man who died of wounds in the Crimean War
  • The first graduate of an American University killed in the Great War
  • Son of the President of the Blackheath Harriers
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualty is

Brigadier General Charles FitzClarence VC General Officer commanding the 1st Guards Brigade is killed in action at age 49. He was awarded the Victoria Cross at Mafeking on the 14 October 1899 during the South African War. His twin brother was killed in 1897-8 at Abu-Hamed and they are sons of Captain ‘the Honorable’ George FitzClarence Royal Navy the 3rd son of the 1st Earl of Munster. Another son of the 1st Earl died of wounds received in the attack on Redan in the Crimea. Brigadier General FitzClarence is also the son-in-law of the 6th Duke of Marlborough. He is also the father of the 6th Earl of Munster.

  •  Major ‘the Honorable’ William George Sidney CadoganMVO (Hussars attached General Staff) is killed at age 35.  He is son of the 5th Earl Cadogan KG and served in the South African War and was Equerry to H R H Prince of Wales from 1912 to 1914 and his Aide de Campe during his India tour of 1905-6.
  • Major Thomas Philip Godman-Dorington(Dragoons) is killed at age 37. He is the son of the late Major General Richard Temple Godman and a veteran of the South African War.
  • Captain Keith Bethune Mackenzie (Seaforth Highlanders attached Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 34. A veteran of the South African War he is the grandson of the Reverend Neil Bethune.
  • Captain Duncan Collisson Willey Thomas (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 23. He is the son of A P Thomas the 1st
  • Lieutenant George Williamson (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) dies of wounds received four days prior at age 31. He is the son of Lady Skinner and stepson of ‘Sir’ Thomas Skinner Director of the Canadian Pacific Railway. A Graduate of Harvard in 1905 he is the first graduate of an American University to be killed in the War.
  • Lieutenant Denis Duncan Philby (Dublin Fusiliers attached Munster Fusiliers) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed in May 1916.
  • Second Lieutenant Charles Alexander Kenneth Anderson (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 21. He is the grandson of Charles Edward Tuck JP.
  • Second Lieutenant Francis Pepys DSO (Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 23. His brother was killed last August.
  • Private James Thomas Stanley (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in August 1918.
  • Private Bartlett Cecil Elmes (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 31. His brother will be killed next May.
  • Private Tom Crafter (London Scottish) is killed. His brother will be killed in July 1917 and they are sons of the president of the Blackheath Harriers.

Photo from wikipedia.org

Tuesday 2 November 1914 – We Lost 471

Poona Horse cap badge

Poona Horse cap badge

The 1st Irish Guards are again heavily shelled.  Due to the destruction of No. 3 Company, the Battalion is re-organized from four to three companies.  All the officers of No. 3 have been listed as casualties and only 26 men answer the roll call.  The overall casualties of the battalion for 1 November are listed as forty-four killed, two hundred five wounded and eighty-eight missing.

The village of Soupir falls into German hands though it will be held less than one week.

Private J W Chance (Lincolnshire Regiment) takes a message from the firing line under heavy fire and delivers it though wounded along the way.  For this action he will be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Captain F W Cauldfield, in HMS Fox arrives off Tanga at 07:05. With his crew at action stations and his guns pointed toward the town, he lowers a boat and sends it with a demand to see the district commissioner. Because of the August agreement between Captain Sykes of HMS Astraea and the German governor guarantying neutrality of Dar es Salaam and Tanga, Cauldfield thinks it only fair to warn the Germans that the deal is off. The German commissioner hurries aboard, stopping long enough to send a message to Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck. Cauldfield greets him with the demand that he surrender the town, which he threatens to bombard if it is not given up. Being concerned about mines he asks if the harbor is mined.  The commissioner assures him that the harbor is filled with mines and asks for an hours grace to confer with his superiors. While Cauldfield waits, von Lettow-Vorbeck with a trainload of askaris rockets down the railroad tracks towards Tanga at top speed. He needs all the time the British will give him, as there are only eight locomotives on the line and they can only field one company with its baggage or two companies without baggage in one haul. Cauldfield lingers for ten minutes after the hour before he decides that Tanga is not going to surrender. Even then he does not fire a shot.  He wires for a minesweeper and rejoins the invasion convoy. British inefficiency and sheer stupidity gives the Germans even more time. The Helmuth arrives to sweep the mines; there are none and never have been any. The Helmuth collects only floating logs and empty tin cans. Captain Meinertzhagen writes in his diary of Cauldfield: “He seems nervous, yet pompous, shifty-eyed, and not at all inclined to help. It strikes me that he is definitely afraid and is always referring to the safety of his blasted ship, ignoring the fact it is his business to protect us even if he loses his ship.”  There is further delay while Cauldfield and Aitken try to decide where the troops should be landed.  Eventually they settle on the south side of Ras Kasone, a headland about two miles from the town that guards Manza Bay from the sea and the only part of the shore free of mangroves.  The transports anchor off the landing sight and HMS Fox at last fires its six-inch guns – at some unoccupied entrenchments.  It had been intended that the troops will disembark this afternoon, but is almost 22:00 before the first troops of Tighe’s brigade, the 13th Rajputs and the 61st King George’s Own Pioneers, land on the hostile, unreconnoitred shore, and it is past midnight before both battalions are landed. None of the senior officers expect serious opposition.  When a patrol reports that is has been fired upon by two machine guns on the edge of the town, the report is “received with considerable skepticism.”

The light cruiser HMS Minerva shells the unmanned fort and puts a landing party ashore, which blows up the post office at the Turkish Red Sea port of Akaba.

The British Admiralty proclaims that the North Sea will be wholly a military area as of 5 November.

 Today’s losses include:

  •  Son of the 6th Earl of Castle Stewart
  • Son of the 6th Baron MacDonald of Slate
  • Son of the 1st Baron Bellper
  • Son-in-law of the 8th Earl of Aylesford
  • Son-in-law of the 1st and last Baron Stamfordham
  • Grandson of the 14th Earl Carnwath
  • Son of a Baronet
  • Multiple battalion commanders
  • The son of the Acting Lieutenant Governor of the United Provinces of India
  • Grandson of the founder of the Dictionary of National Biography
  • A grand nephew of Horatio ‘Lord’ Nelson
  • Multiple sons of Justices of the Peace
  • Grandson of a Justice of the Peace
  • Grandson of a Member of Parliament
  • Son of a General
  • Grandson of Generals
  • Son of an Admiral
  • Sons of Clergy
  • Grandson of Clergy
  • Two nephews killed in the Second World War
  • A man whose child will be born early next year
  • Families that will lose two and three sons
  • A man whose son will be killed later in the Great War
  • The son of a Writer to the Signer
  • A man whose brother-in-law will be killed in the war

 Today’s casualty of the day is

 Lieutenant Colonel Charles Oliver Swanston DSO (Commanding 34th Poona Horse, Indian Army) is killed near Neuve Chapelle at age 49.  He is the son of Major General William Oliver Swanston (Indian Army) who served during the Mutiny and the grand nephew of Horatio ‘Lord’ Nelson. He served in Tirah in 1897-8 and in Waziristan in 1901-2. He is the son-in-law of Bruce Johnston, writer to the Signet.

  •  Lieutenant Colonel Henry Anderson (Commanding 9th Bhopal Infantry) is killed.
  • Major Lionel Stuart Logan(Supply and Transport Corps) is accidentally killed on his way to the front at age 40.  His brother will be killed in action in September 1916 they are sons of Major General Archibald George Douglas Logan.
  • Major Eustace Crawley(Royal Lancers) is killed at age 46.  His widow is Lady Violet Crawley and the daughter of the 8th Earl of Aylesford. He served in Sierra Leone in 1898-9, commanded the Bula Expedition in 1899, the South African War and the Kano Expedition in 1902-3.
  • Captain Henry Robert Augustus Adeane(Coldstream Guards) is killed at age 32.  He is the son of Vice Admiral Edward and Lady Edith Adeane the daughter of the 14th Earl of Carnwath and the son-in-law of the 1st and last Baron Stamfordham who will lose his only son in May 1915, Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ John Neville Bigge..
  • Captain ‘Viscount’ Robert Sheffield Stuart (Scots Fusiliers) is killed in action at Neuve Chapelle at age 28. He will lose a brother in September next year.  They are sons of the 6th Earl Castle Stewart and grandson of General Arthur Stevens and the Right Reverend the Honorable Andrew Godfrey Stuart.  His two nephews, both sons of the 7th Earl will be killed in World War II.
  • Captain Cyril Francis Hawley(King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 36.  He is the son of ‘Sir’ Henry Hawley, the 5th Baronet and had served in the South African Campaign.
  • Captain Harry Vernon Gerrard (Border Regiment) is killed by a shell at Ypres. He is a South Africa War veteran and his brother will be killed during the Singapore Riots next February.
  • Captain Archibald Alastair McLeod(Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed leading an attack on a Belgian farm at age 37.  He is the son of Lieutenant General William Kelly McLeod and the nephew of Lieutenant General John McLeod. He served in the South African War and is the son-in-law of Lord Henry Fitzwarrine of Donegall.
  • Captain Thomas Humphrey Sneyd(Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed at age 31. He is the son of Major General Thomas William Sneyd. His only child a daughter will be born next April.
  • Captain Bingham Alexander TurnerDSO (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 37. He is the son of General Edmund Penrose Bingham Turner. He served in the Nile Campaign of 1898 and the South African War.
  • Lieutenant ‘The Honorable’ Geofrey Even Hugh MacDonald(Scots Guards) dies of wounds at age 35. He is the son of the 6th Baron Macdonald of Slate and had served in the South African Campaign.
  • Lieutenant Harold Clement Montague Lucas(Gurkha Rifles) is killed at age 38. He is the son of the late General H F E Lucas.
  • Lieutenant Edward Arthur Lousada (Royal Sussex Regiment) is killed. His sister’s husband will be killed in February and his brother in May of next year.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Hugh Mathews (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in October 1916.
  • Lieutenant Richard Charles Graves-Sawle (Coldstream Guards) is killed at age 26. He is the only son of Rear Admiral ‘Sir’ Charles Graves-Sawle the 4th Baronet, nephew of Colonel ‘Sir’ Francis Graves-Sawle MVO Baronet and son-in-law of Lieutenant Colonel Heaton-Ellis JP DL.
  • Lieutenant Geoffrey Dyett Abbott (Connaught Rangers) is killed at age 23. He is the grandson of Lieutenant General H D Abbott CB and Major General J C Berkeley CIE.
  • Lieutenant James Lestock Ironsdie Rew (Gurkha Rifles) is killed at age 27. He is the 1st cousin twice removed of Brigadier General Nicholson hero of Deli.
  • Lieutenant Laurence Gail Nicholson (Royal Berkshire Regiment attached Hussars) dies of wounds at home at age 32 of wounds received when he led and commanded his platoon during an attack on German positions on the Paschendaele Becelaere road which resulted in the taking of the enemy’s trenches and seventy prisoners.
  • Lieutenant Anthony Theodore Clephane Wickham (Connaught Rangers) is killed by a sniper at age 27. He is an amateur actor and the only son of the Reverend James Douglas Clephane Wickham JP.
  • Lieutenant Duncan Baillie (Gurkha Rifles) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed next year. They are sons of ‘Sir’ Duncan Colvin Baillie Acting Lieutenant Governor of the United Provinces.
  • Lieutenant Arthur George Murray-Smith(Life Guards) dies of wounds received 20th October as a prisoner of war at age 28.  He is the son-in-law of J S Ainsworth.. His younger brother will be killed in September 1915. They are grandsons of the founder of the Dictionary of National Biography the 1st Baron Belper.
  • Second Lieutenant Leslie George Hamlyn Harris(Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 19.  He is the son of the late Major General Noel H Harris (Royal Artillery).
  • Second Lieutenant Claude Joseph O’Conor Mallins (Connaught Rangers) is killed at age 20. He is the grandson of Roderick Joseph O’Conor JP.
  • Second Lieutenant William Ronald Morley Crossman (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 20. He is the son of Major Lawrence Morley Crossman JP and grandson of Major General ‘Sir’ William Crossman KCMG MP.
  • Second Lieutenant Douglas Lennox Harvey (Lancers) is killed by a shell three days after his older brother was killed serving the same regiment. They are sons of the Reverend Edward Douglas Lennox Harvey JP DL and Vice Chairman of West Sussex County Council.
  • Battery Sergeant Major John Marks Gilbert(Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 42. He was the organizing secretary to Lord Roberts in the National Service League and had served in the Army for twenty-one years.
  • Private James Healy (Connaught Rangers) is killed at age 35. His brother will die on service in October 1917.
  • Rifleman Vance Edmund Quicke (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 27. He is the son of the late Reverend A G D Quicke.
  • Drummer Charles Watts (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 30. His brother George and Will also lose their lives in the War.
  • Private James Healy (Connaught Rangers) is killed at age 35. His brother will die on service at home in October 1917.

photo from ebay.com

Monday 1 November 1914 – We Lost 2,447

HMS Good Hope 1914

HMS Good Hope 1914

Shortly after noon Cradock’s squadron is whole again, HMS Glasgow having rejoined.  The admiral signals for his ships to spread out at 25-mile intervals and sweep north to look for the enemy. Graf von Spee hopes to cut off HMS Glasgow before she can rejoin Cradock, realizing she will have to leave Coronel because of the 24-hour rule. Cradock’s ships hear a great deal of wireless traffic between German supply ships and SMS Leipzig as Graf von Spee has been using Leipzig to transmit and receive all wireless messages between his squadron and its supply ships so as not to give away the presence of the other cruisers. This works as Cradock heads north to trap the Leipzig before she can rejoin Graf von Spee. This action leads to the dramatic situation this afternoon when each admiral believes he is taking his full squadron to cut off a single enemy light cruiser. In reality the two formations are steaming towards each other at a combined speed of almost forty knots. The admirals, friends since their days on the China Station during the Boxer rebellion, are about to meet again. By late afternoon Cradock’s squadron is still fanning out and moving in a northerly direction. They are about thirty miles from Arauco Bay, where the port of Coronel is situated. The flagship is the outermost ship, close to forty miles from HMS Glasgow.  At 16:30 the light cruiser’s lookouts sight smoke on the eastern horizon. Captain Luce gives orders to turn to starboard and increase speed.  A few minutes later HMS Monmouth and HMS Good Hope turn east in support of HMS Glasgow. Very soon the lookouts are able to recognize the hull and upper works of SMS Leipzig.  As HMS Glasgow gets closer the lookouts see more patches of smoke on the horizon. These are soon identified as coming from four funneled cruisers, and HMS Glasgow turns back and signals, ‘Enemy armored cruisers in sight’.  The Glasgow’s wireless operators can hear the high pitched scream in their earphones coming from German Telefunken sets trying to jam their transmissions.  They are not certain whether the flagship has received their signal. All three British ships head at full speed toward HMS Good Hope to warn Cradock that instead of trapping a single light cruiser, he is running into Graf von Spee’s entire squadron.

SMS Leipzig identifies HMS Glasgow at about the same time and follows her.  She soon sees the smoke from the rest of Cradock’s squadron.  Leipzig reverses her direction and signals the news to Admiral Graf von Spee. The German admiral realizes that he has found the British squadron, not a single light cruiser. He orders his ships to close up and form a line-heading southwest. Cradock orders his ships to change direction to southeast by east and form a line headed by HMS Good Hope, followed by HMS Monmouth, HMS Glasgow and HMS Otranto. They complete these maneuvers by 17:45. The two squadrons are now approximately 17 miles apart and the Germans soon change course to southwest by west. This brings the battle lines into rapidly converging paths.  At this point Cradock still has time to break off contact and move south to join forces with HMS Canopus, which is about three hundred miles away.  He realizes that if he does, Graf von Spee will not have enough time to catch him before nightfall.  He could then return the next morning, strengthened with HMS Canopus, to attack the German squadron, if he can find it. Even if it slipped by him, the Admiralty has assured him that Admiral Stoddart has a strong force waiting for the Germans in the Atlantic. Cradock has to know that he has little or no chance against Graf von Spee’s superior force, but his orders are, ‘Destroy enemy cruisers’.  If he cannot do this, he might at least damage them enough that they will have to seek internment in a Chilean port, or else face the next British squadron at a disadvantage.  One or two telling hits on the German large ships might weaken Graf von Spee’s squadron so much that it is no longer a serious threat.

Cradock resolves to attack as soon as possible, while he still has the sun behind him.  Sunset is due at about 18:30.  As the sun sets lower on the horizon, its rays will be directly in the German gunners eyes.  This will make it hard for them to see Cradock’s ships in the distance, while the German ships will be clearly outlined for the British gunners. On the other hand the advantage will swing in favor of the Germans when the sun goes below the horizon.  The British ships will be silhouetted against the suns afterglow, while their ships will be difficult to see in the waning daylight. With his superior speed Graf von Spee is able to keep the distance between the two lines at 15,000 yards, well outside of gunnery range. At 18:04 Cradock gives the order to turn 45 degrees to port.  He desperately wants to close the range before the sun begins to set, but Graf von Spee orders a similar turn and keeps his distance. At 18:18 Cradock signals HMS Canopus, ‘I am going to attack the enemy’, although the German ships are 3,000 yards beyond his range at the time. Captain Grant signals back that he still has two hundred and fifty miles to go before he can reach Cradock’s position.  Graf von Spee now allows the gap between the two lines to close steadily.  By 19:00, when the sun has just dipped below the horizon, it is down to 12,300 yards.  At 19:04 the German admiral gives the order to open fire. At this range Graf von Spee’s twelve 8.2-inch guns face Cradock’s two 9.2-inch guns. SMS Scharnhorst’s first salvo lands 500 yards short of HMS Good Hope and her second 500 yards beyond, according to an observer on HMS Glasgow.  With an awful inevitability the third salvo smashed into Good Hope.  One shell strikes her forward 9.2 inch turret, which erupts in flames that shoot higher than 100 feet into the air.  At one stroke the gun crew is wiped out before they have fired a single shot.  The turret is turned into a useless, twisted mass of steel.  Cradock’s heavy guns are now reduced to one.

 

At almost the same time, SMS Gneisenau opens fire on HMS Monmouth. She obtains a similar straddling pattern with her first three salvos. A shell from the third salvo hits the Monmouth’s forward gun turret and sets it ablaze. Within minutes Good Hope and Monmouth are suffering terrible punishment. The German gunners on each ship manage to fire a broadside of 6 shells every 20 seconds. Cradock’s flagship replies with her lone 9.2-inch gun.  HMS Monmouth can use half of her 6-inch guns, which are at the limit of their range. The ships are now heading into the teeth of a Force 6 wind. It is approaching gale conditions, and heavy seas are breaking over their bows and sweeping their forward decks. The British main deck guns cannot be used because of the danger of flooding the casemates. Also their range finders have become so encrusted with salt from the sea spray that they are useless.  No hits are registered on the two German cruisers. By this time SMS Leipzig has begun to engage Glasgow, which fires back with her 6-inch guns. SMS Dresden opens fire on HMS Otranto.  After one salvo, which falls short, the armed merchant cruiser pulls out of line toward the open sea. She is a large vulnerable target and can only help the Germans find an accurate range on the British line. Captain Edwards signals Cradock, suggesting that he keep the Otranto out of range.  The reply is not completed.  “There is danger; proceed at your utmost speed…” Edwards is not sure what the admiral intends, so he keeps on a course parallel to the squadron, just outside the Dresden’s range.

Ten minutes after Graf von Spee’s order to open fire, the battle of Coronel is as good as over. Cradock keeps closing range until it is down to 5,500 yards.  This only makes the firing by SMS Scharnhorst and SMS Gneisenau more devastating, as they are now able to use their 5.9-inch guns also. By 19:30 the Good Hope has been hit between 30 and 40 times.  She is heavily damaged in the forward part of the ship, especially the bridge and foretop area where Cradock is directing his squadron. A hail of shells have smashed through her decks and started fires in the interior of the ship. In what may have been a last desperate attempt to inflict some damage on her tormentors, the crippled flagship slides out of line toward the enemy, some of its guns still firing.  Graf von Spee, fearing that she is going to fire torpedoes, orders his ships to turn away. According one of HMS Glasgow’s officers, ‘At 19:50, there was a terrible explosion between her main mast and her funnel, the flames reaching a height of over two hundred feet’.  The forward magazine must have been ignited by one of the many fires blazing on the ship. HMS Good Hope drifts off into the gloom and smoke and neither side sees her again. No one actually sees her sink, but she could not have stayed afloat for very long in her stricken condition, and must have gone down around 20:00. She takes the admiral with her into the icy depths, drowning all the men and boys who were still alive out of a crew of nine hundred. Because the battle is still raging, no one, British or German, can stop to look for possible survivors.

HMS Monmouth is in almost as much distress, having been hit in excess of thirty times.  The ship is ablaze and listing to port, although some of her six-inch guns are still firing sporadically.  For another twenty minutes SMS Gneisenau pounds her at short range with both 8.2 and 5.9 inch shells, until she yaws out of line to starboard, away from the German onslaught, sinking by the head. Captain Luce of HMS Glasgow cannot tell in the semi-darkness how bad her condition is and signals to Monmouth at 20:15, ‘Are you all right?’ Captain Brandt replies, ‘I want to get stern to sea.  I am making water badly forward’. Through a break in the smoke, Luce sees three ships approaching in the moonlight and signals to Brandt again, ‘Can you steer northwest?  The enemy are following us astern.’  There is no reply. When the Glasgow draws nearer, it is obvious that the Monmouth is in desperate straits. The captain of the Glasgow has no choice but to save his ship. The Good Hope and Monmouth are both finished as fighting ships, and the Otranto has fled to the west at 19:45 when her captain sees that the flagship is doomed. The Germans are left with the light cruiser as their only target. She has led a charmed life so far, with only four of her crew wounded, but now every time she fires her guns, the flashes light up the darkness and attract fire from all four German ships. Luce knows that just one 8.2-inch salvo from Scharnhorst or Gneisenau would blow his ship apart, and he gives the order to cease-fire. He has already taken five hits from the Leipzig and the Dresden, which has concentrated on the Glasgow after the Otranto pulled out of line. Although three of the shells fail to explode, one has caused a large hole just above the waterline. Luce can do nothing to help the Monmouth, so he gives the order to head west at full speed.  He wants to find the Otranto and heads south to warn the Canopus to turn back. Monmouth’s ordeal is not yet over. SMS Nurnberg finally catches up with the German squadron at 21:00 and comes upon the helpless cruiser, which she identifies by searchlight. The Monmouth is listing so badly that her guns can not be trained on the Nurnberg. The Monmouth’s White Ensign is still flying, so the captain of the Nurnberg gives the order to fire at point blank range, as she gives no sign of surrender. The battered ship finally rolls over on her beam-ends and disappears bow first beneath the waves. No one out of her crew of approximately seven hundred survives. Because of the high seas and the wind blowing at thirty knots, it would be dangerous and probably futile to lower boats to look for survivors in the darkness. The British later agree that the Germans could have done nothing to save any of the Monmouth’s crew who may have still been alive.

In the space of two hours the Royal Navy has suffered the loss of two heavy cruisers and nearly sixteen hundred men and boys. This is the first serious British naval defeat for one hundred years since the budding United States navy defeated a British fleet on Lake Champlain in 1814.

 Today’s losses both on land and sea include:

  •  A Rear Admiral
  • Sons of Admirals
  • Sons of Generals
  • Grandson of a General
  • A Naval Chaplain
  • Sons of Clergy
  • Son of the Artist William Lionel Wyllie
  • Son of a Judge of the High Court of Madras
  • Son of the 5th Baron Forester
  • The son of the 2nd Baron Dunleath
  • The son of the 1st Earl of Ancaster
  • Grandson of the 4th Earl of Radnor
  • Son-in-law of the 5th Earl of Strafford
  • Godson of the 1st Lord Iddlesleigh
  • Brother of a Baronet
  • Multiple sons of Baronets
  • Grandson of a Baronet
  • Multiple sons-in-law of Baronets
  • A Member of the Victorian Order (MVO)
  • A man whose son will be killed in the Great War
  • A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
  • A man whose father will be killed later in the War
  • Multiple men who will have children born after their death
  • Twins killed together
  • Brothers killed together
  • Families that will lose two, three and four sons in this war and in the South African War
  • Winner of the 1909 Open Singles Championship at Salisbury Lawn Tennis Club
  • Scottish Rugby International
  • Member of the Foresters Cricket Club
  • Champion Boxer of the 13th Hussars
  • Son of a Writer to the Signet
  • Son of the former Editor of the Clevedon Mercury
  • Sons of Justices of the Peace
  • A Schoolmaster
  • An Aide-de-camp to the Viceroy of India from 1910-12
  • A Battalion commander
  • Great Grandson of a man who died from effects of wounds he received in the Peninsula War
  • Son of the Inspector General of Police in Berar

 Today’s highlighted casualty is

Private Robert Theodore Morrison Wyllie (London Scottish) is killed on the Western Front at age 26. His brother will be killed in July 1916 and they are sons of William Lionel Wyllie artist in oils and water colors of maritime themes. Wyllie painted HMS Good Hope in 1901 the year it was launched.

 HMS Good Hope 1901HMS Good Hope 1901

 HMS Good Hope casualties include:

  •  Rear Admiral ‘Sir’ Christopher George CradockCB KCVO the 4th son of the late Christopher Cradock, Esquire.
  • Her Captain is Philip Francklin MVO who is the son-in-law of ‘Sir’ Baldwin W Walter the Baronet.
  • Commander Arthur Tudor Darley is killed at age 38. His son will be born 15th His brother will be killed commanding 4th Hussars in March 1918.
  • Lieutenant Commander Percival Van Straubenzeeis killed at age 33.  He is the son of Major General T Van Straubenzee.
  • Lieutenant Commander Godfrey Berkeley John Benyon is killed in the sinking of the ship at age 31. He leaves a widow with a son and a daughter who will be born on Christmas Day.
  • Lieutenant Commander Gerald Bruce Gaskell is killed. His brother will be killed in Africa in August 1917 and they are sons of the Reverend Thomas Kynaston Gaskell rector of Longthorpe.
  • Captain Charles Burnett Partridge (Royal Marines Light Infantry) is killed at age 34. His brother will be killed on the Western Front in two days.
  • Lieutenant Douglas Courtenay Tudorthe son of Admiral Tudor is killed at age 23.
  • Lieutenant John Maurice Haig Fisher is killed at age 22. He is the son of Brigadier General J Fisher CB.
  • Sub Lieutenant Francis John Anson Cotterkilled age 20. He is the son of Major General F G Cotter.
  • Fleet Surgeon James Joseph Walsh is killed at age 51. His son will be killed next August.
  • Paymaster George Bolster Owens is killed at age 29. He has twice been mentioned for exceptional services rendered while Secretary to Rear Admiral Cradock during the disturbances in Mexico.
  • Midshipman Geoffrey Marischal Dowdingis killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Dowding Rector of Tichborne.
  • Chaplain Arthur Henry John Pittis also killed.
  • Petty Officer James Walsh is killed. His brother will be killed in July 1916.
  • Petty Officer Edwin Stewart Thomas Parsons is killed at age 28. His brother will die of illness on service in the Royal Navy in 1918.
  • Chief Engine Room Artificer Francs Thomas Cox drowns at age 44. His son will be killed in the Second World War.
  • Twin brothers Edward and Harry Turner are killed together while serving as Stokers First Class on HMS Good Hope. The 33-year olds have 8 children between them.
  • Able Seaman Frank Bateman is killed at age 29. His brother will be killed next March.
  • Plumber Henry Russell is killed. His brother will be killed in April 1917.
  • Stoker 1st Class Thomas Booth is killed at age 22. His brother will be lost on HMS Indefatigable at Jutland.

 HMS Monmouth casualties include:

  •  The Captain of HMS Monmouth, Frank Brandt, is killed. He is the son of a Judge of the High Court of Madras and is 42-years old.
  • Captain Geoffrey Maurice Ivan Herford(Royal Marine Light Infantry) is killed at age 32. He is the son of the Reverend Percy Michener Herford (Rector of Christ Church, Trinity Road, Leith and Canon of St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh) who will lose another son in May 1915.
  • Commander Spencer Dundas Forbes is killed at age 40 sixteen days before his only child a son is born.
  • Lieutenant Commander ‘the Honorable’ Peter Robert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughbyis killed at age 29.  He is the son of the 1st Earl of Ancaster and grandson of Brigadier General ‘Sir’ Walter Ross.
  • Lieutenant Wilfred Dixon Stirling is killed. He is the first of three sons of Brigadier General J W Stirling CB CMG DL to be killed in the Great War and dies at age 28.
  • Midshipman Christopher Musgraveage 15. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Richard Musgrave, the 12th
  • Midshipman John Richardson Le Geyet Pullenis also lost on HMS Monmouth at age 15. He is the son of the late Paymaster Rear Admiral W Pullen.
  • Midshipman George Watson Muirwho is also 15 is also killed.  He is the son of Andrew Gray Muir a writer to the Signet.
  • Midshipman Gervase Ronald Bruce is lost at age 15. He is the grandson of ‘Sir’ Hervey Juckes Lloyd Bruce 4th
  • Clerk Basil St Merryn Cardewis killed at age 19.  He is the son of the Reverend William Berry Cardew Vicar of Perlethorpe.
  • Chief Petty Officer Frederick Sercombe is killed at age 51. He is the son of the former Editor of the Clevedon Mercury.
  • Stoker 2nd class John Fairbankis killed at at age 20. His brother will be killed on the Western Front in May 1917.
  • Leading Boatman George Neal is killed. Three months later his four year old son will die of illness.
  • Sixteen year old signal boy Alfred Stanley Appleby is also killed. His older brother will die on service at home next November.
  • Plumber Reginald Arthur Pigott is killed at age 36. His brother will die of illness on service in September 1917.
  • Sailmaker Daniel Murphy is killed at age 37. His brother will be killed when submarine H10 is sunk in January 1918.
  • Leading Seaman John Cyril Lock is killed at age 24. His brother was killed last September.
  • Able Seaman John Walter Beer is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed next March.
  • Able Seaman Joseph Davis is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in May 1915.
  • Ordinary Seaman Charles Gaggbloom is lost at age 19. His father will be lost when the Steamship Lodaner is torpedoed in April 1918.

Captain Sidney Drury-Lowe takes HMS Chatham, making skillful use of the tide in the Rufiji River in East Africa moves as close to shore as possible to gain range on SMS Konigsberg. He fires several rounds from Chatham’s 6-inch guns but the shells land well short of the Somali and even farther short of Konigsberg which is anchored about a mile beyond Somali. Drury-Lowe orders some of Chatham’s tanks to be flooded to give the ship a five-degree list, to increase the elevation of the guns, but this still is not enough to reach the German ships.  As a result of this action Konigsberg moves another two miles upstream.

Two British destroyers HMS Scorpion (Captain Andrew B Cunningham) and HMS Wolverine (Captain Osmond J Prentice who will be killed on 28 April 1915 in the Dardanelles) attack a Turkish yacht, supposedly acting as a minelayer in Smyrna harbor.  She is set afire by her own crew and blows up.

A convoy of 36 ships sets out from Albany on the southwest tip of Australia transporting the New Zealand and Australian Expeditionary Forces. This 8-mile long convoy is protected by the heavy cruiser HMS Minotaur (Captain E B Kiddle) and HMAS Melbourne (Captain Mortimer Silver) and HMAS Sydney a matching pair of light cruisers and the Japanese battle cruiser Ibuki. From Freemantle on the southwest coast of Australia two more transports join the convoy, which heads for Colombo at a speed of 9½ knots.

The British lines are pierced at Neuve Chapelle, which the Germans reoccupy. By the light of a blazing fire at a windmill the Germans again attack Wytschaete Ridge.  For more than an hour they are held at bay but around 02:00 they rush again pressing home the attack with bayonets.  Sheer weight of numbers forces the London Scottish back over the road and the ridge is captured by the German forces.  The London Scottish retire and concentrate at Kemmel.

  •  Lieutenant John Charles Lancelot Farquharson (London Scottish) is killed at age 33. His brother will die of wounds in March 1918 commanding the 2nd Royal Marines Battalion.
  • Lance Corporal James Roy Hamilton (London Scottish) is killed at age 25. He is the son of James Hamilton JP.
  • Brothers and Privates Ashford and Leslie Francis Walford are killed together while serving in the London Scottish. Ashford dies at age 24 while Leslie is 23.
  • Private James Ross (London Scottish) is killed in action at age 34. He earned 5 caps as a Scottish Rugby International.
  • Private Albert Brian Colin Sarll (London Scottish) is killed at age 23. He is a schoolmaster at Gopsall Street LCC School and a member of Roehampton and Mitcham Football and Cricket Clubs.

A company of the Irish Guards is attacked by German Artillery where it is linked with the French on the fringe of Zillebeke Wood. In the course of the fighting every man, whether officer, orderly, batman or cook, who is able to fight, takes up a rifle and helps hold the line. Of the more than 400 men in the battalion more than 130 are killed, 88 of them when their trench is blown in by shell fire.

  • Captain ‘The Honorable’ Andrew Edward Somerset Mulholland(Irish Guards) is killed in this action at age 32. He is the son of the 2nd Baron Dunleath JP High Sheriff 1884 MP and the son-in-law of 5th Earl of Strafford and his only daughter will be born in March 1915.
  • Second Lieutenant Graham Macdowall Maitland (Irish Guards) is a rower who won the Silver Goblets at Henley Royal Regatta in 1900. He rowed for Cambridge in the Boat Race in 1901. He is killed at age 35. His brother was killed during the relief of Ladysmith in February 1900.

During the night near Le Gheer, Belgium, when his officer, the platoon sergeant and a number of men have been struck down, Drummer Spencer John Bent (East Lancashire Regiment) takes command of the platoon and succeeds in holding the position.  For his actions this day and other days prior and later he will be awarded the Victoria Cross.

At Tsing-tau the Bismarck forts are silenced. HMS Triumph assists the Japanese bombardment.

The British ambassador leaves Constantinople.

  • Major John Frederick Loder-Symonds (commanding 1st South Staffordshire Regiment) dies of wounds received nine days prior at age 40. He is the son of Frederick Cleave Loder-Symonds JP and the first of four brothers who will be killed in the Great War. He is the son-in-law of ‘Sir’ William Vavasour the 3rd
  • Major (Brevet Lieutenant Colonel) Robert Page (Lancashire Fusiliers attached #7 General Base Depot) dies on service in France at age 57. He is the son of the Reverend and Mrs. J Page.
  • Major (Brigade Major 3rd Division Royal Artillery) Francis Julian Audley Mackworth(Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 38. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Arthur William Mackworth, the 6th Baronet who had another son killed at Ladysmith 6 January 1900 in the South Africa War while another will die on service in November 1917.
  • Major ‘the Honorable’ Arthur Orlando Wolstan Cecil Weld-ForesterMVO (commanding 1st Grenadier Guards) dies of wounds at King Edward VII Hospital received 29 October at age 37. He is the son of the 5th Baron Forester, grandson of ‘Sir’ Willoughby Wolstan Dixie 8th Baronet and served at the Aide de Camp to Lord Hardinge Viceroy of India from 1910 to 1912.
  • Major Charles Napier North (Royal Engineers) is killed by a sniper at age 41. His great grandfather Captain Roger North fought in the Peninsula and died after his retirement from of the effects of wounds he received in that campaign. His daughter will be born next March.
  • Captain Hugh Seymour Blane (Lancers) dies of wounds received the previous day at age 29. He is the nephew of the 3rd Baronet Blane and brother of the 4th His brother will be killed at Jutland as a Royal Naval Commander on HMS Queen Mary.
  • Captain Gerard Gloag Sadler(Dragoon Guards) dies of wounds received the previous day at age 33. He is the son of the late ‘Sir’ Samuel Sadler Kt and served in the South African War.
  • Captain Hugh Stafford Northcote Wright (Gurkha Rifles) is killed at age 37. He is the son of Frederick Wright, Inspector General of Police in Berar and god son and name sake of the 1st Lord Iddlesleigh to whom he was related. He served in the South African War and is a tennis player who won the Open Singles Championship at Salisbury Lawn Tennis Club in 1909.
  • Captain Charles Paget O’Brien Butler (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies of wounds at age 33 while attempting to aid wounded. His two brothers are also killed in the service of King and Country the first in South Africa in January 1902 and the other in June 1917.
  • Captain Leo de Orellana Tollemache (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed at age 34. He is the son of the Reverend Ralph William Lyonel Tollmache-Tollemache JP Vicar of South Witham Lincolnshire who will lose another son in February 1917.
  • Captain Robert Giffard(Royal Field Artillery and ADC General Lomax) dies of wounds received the previous day by a shell burst at Divisional Headquarters at age 30.  He has two brothers who will be killed during the Great War and is a member of the Foresters Cricket Club.
  • Lieutenant William Beresford Gosset (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Honorable Beresford Smyly Gosset.
  • Lieutenant Anthony Theodore Clephane Wickham(Connaught Rangers) is killed in action at age 27. He is the son of the Reverend James Douglas Clephane Wickham.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Edward Lawson-Smith(Hussars) is killed at age 25 ten days after his younger brother has been killed.
  • Lieutenant William Hugh Holbech (Scots Guards) is killed at age 32. He is the grandson of ‘Sir’ John Walrond 1st
  • Lieutenant Jacob Edward Pleydell-Bouverie (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) dies of wounds received the previous day at age 27. He is the son of the ‘Honorable’ Duncombe Pleydell-Bouverie, the grandson of the 4th Earl of Radnor and son-in-law of ‘Sir’ Edward Hulse 5th
  • Lieutenant Arthur Gilliat Smith (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 26. He is related to ‘Sir’ Edmund Bainbridge KCB.
  • Lieutenant Maurice Aden Ley (East Kent Regiment attached Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in March 1918 and they are sons of ‘Sir’ Francis Ley the 1st
  • Second Lieutenant Eric Barnes(Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed in at age 20.  His brother will be killed in October 1917.
  • Drummer Frederick Whittingham (West Surrey Regiment) dies of wounds at age 23. His brother will be killed in July 1916.
  • Private William Murray (Hussars) is killed at age 26. He is the champion boxer of the 13th

Photos from wikipedia.org

 

Saturday 31 October 1914 – We Lost 1,178

Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross

The outcome of the Battle of Ypres now hinges around the village of Gheluvelt.  Lying on a forward spur of the low ridge that covers the town of Ypres, Gheluvelt is the last point retained in British hands from which the enemy’s line can be dominated.  By noon the West Surrey, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Welsh and the King’s Royal Rifles have been overwhelmed, while on the right the South Wales Borderers have been rolled back.  Gheluvelt has been lost and a serious gap has been made in the British line. So serious is the situation that unless the gap can be closed, a breakthrough can not be avoided. Indeed orders have already been prepared for artillery to move back in preparation for a general retreat. At 13:00 hours the 2nd Worcestershire Regiment receives an order from Brigadier General Charles Fitzclarence VC to attack and retake Gheluvelt.  Captain A. F. Thorne of the Grenadier Guards is to act as a guide.  From Polygon Wood, the chateau which dominates the village can not be seen but the nearby church tower rising amidst the smoke is visible. All around are wounded and stragglers coming to the rear and batteries can be seen limbering up and moving back. The Worcestershires alone are moving towards the enemy. The ridge is littered with dead and wounded, and along the crest, German shells are falling fast. Major E B Hankey decides that the only way to cross this dangerous area is at the double.  As the leading men reach the ridge, they come in view of the German guns whose high explosive shells are quickly directed on the charging soldiers. Over 100 of the Battalion are killed or wounded but the rest push on and, increasing their speed as they come to the downward slope in sight of Gheluvelt, make the final charge through hedges and on to the Chateau grounds.  Here they meet the remnants of the South Wales Borderers who have made a heroic stand. The meeting is unexpected as the Worcestershires believe no British soldiers are left on the grounds.  The 2nd Worcestershires have gone into this action with about 370 men of whom 187 are killed or wounded.  Gheluvelt is saved and the line restored.  It is rare that the action of one unit can exert such a profound influence as did this famous counter attack.

The town of Messines is held by British infantry with fighting in the streets and the front running north of town roughly parallel to and about 100 yards east of the road and is held by the 4th and 6th Dragoon Guards forming the right of the 4th Cavalry Brigade which holds the line towards Wytschaete. The 57th Wilde’s Rifles has been sent in to assist the Cavalry yesterday but suffers heavy casualties and is forced to withdraw.  The London Scottish is sent in today to fill the dangerous gap and help the Carabiniers to hold the right center of the line.   When the 1st Battalion comes under heavy fire and is pinned down upon reaching the ridge they dig in. They become the 1st Territorial Battalion to come under fire in the Great War. Fierce exchanges of fire continue all day. At about 21:00 the Germans attempt their first attack on the ridge. The attack is beaten off and the bombardment of the ridge by the Germans begins again and continues until after midnight.

Britain, France and Russia declare war on Turkey.

The final bombardment of Tsing-tau begins as the Japanese commence shelling of the fort and the city.

Captain Sydney Drury-Lowe discovers Konigsberg hiding at Salale (which had been prominently ringed in pencil on the freighter Prasident’s charts) up the Rufiji Delta. Dawn is breaking as HMS Chatham anchors off the delta. An armed raiding party goes ashore in Chatham’s steam cutter.  They learn from the natives of Kiomboni village that that the German lookouts have just left to go back to their base for breakfast. The village headman and two other men are taken back to the cutter for questioning. All three confirm that the Konigsberg, the collier Somali and three small vessels are anchored upriver from the Sima Uranga mouth of the Rufiji at Salala, some nine miles inland. The cooperative local headman shows Drury-Lowe the deep-water channels that lead up river from the Kiomboni and Simba Uganda entrances. And as the Chatham follows the coastline northward, her lookouts soon spot Konigsberg’s mastheads standing above the tree line. Chatham fires a few shells in the general direction, but all fall short.  Drury-Lowe signals HMS Weymouth and HMS Dartmouth to leave their patrol areas and join him of the Rufiji River.  While waiting for them, he shells the German wireless station at Mafia Island hoping to disrupt Konigsberg’s communications.

The steamship Karmala carrying Major General Arthur Edward Aitken’s force docks at Mombasa. Aitken and his staff meet with military authorities ashore to discuss the impending attack on Tanga in German East Africa. Lieutenant Colonel Bertram Robert Graham (Queen Victoria’s Corps of Guides attached and commander of the 3rd King’s Africa Rifles), offers Aitken some of his British led askaris who are familiar with the area, but Aitken declines the assistance. Additionally, in spite of his ship having engine trouble, the Captain of the battleship HMS Goliath offers to escort the invasion force to Tanga and lend fire support. Again Aitken refuses the offer. A staff officer, Major Frederick Keen tries to persuade Aitken to put his troops ashore for a few days after their miserable voyage and long confinement aboard ship, he is told that he is making an unnecessary fuss. The list of errors in judgment by Aitken is by now very long. Finally, failure to allow his troops time to recondition is probably Aitken’s worst mistake.  His plan for the attack on Tanga is simple, but he neglects the details.  He ignores local advice and fails to learn all that he can about his enemy and about the terrain where he proposes to land. He also neglects security. Secrecy is almost nonexistent.  Crates in Bombay have been marked “Indian Expeditionary Force ‘B’, Mombasa, East Africa.”  Newspapers in British East Africa even write of the intended attack.

The cruiser HMS Hermes (Captain Charles Laverock Lambe) is torpedoed and sunk by U27 in the Straits of Dover while engaged in transporting aircraft to France.  The first torpedo strikes from a range of about 300 yards and as she is sinking by the stern a second torpedo hits and she quickly sinks.  There are twenty-two fatalities while four hundred survivors are picked up.

HMS Otranto rejoins Cradock’s squadron without having been able to obtain any information. HMS Glasgow signals from Coronel that German supply ships have been frequently sailing in and out of that port and that she has intercepted several transmissions between SMS Leipzig and one of her colliers.  Cradock orders HMS Glasgow to leave Coronel immediately and meet him the next day fifty miles west of Arauco Bay.

The 129th Baluchis come under heavy fire at Hollebeke. With the British officer in charge of his detachment having been wounded and another machine gun put out of action by a shell, Sepoy Khudadad Kahn though wounded himself remains working his gun until all other five men of his detachment have been killed. Naik Sair Amir shows conspicuous gallantry in the same action as he continues to fire his machine as the other guns are put out of action. Sepoy Khan will be awarded the Victoria Cross while Naik Amir will be rewarded with the Indian Order of Merit for their actions today.

Major General Samuel H Lomax (1st Division) is mortally wounded (he will die next April) and Major General Charles C Monro (2nd Division) is badly stunned when a German shell strikes as they are meeting close to the front at Hooge Chateau shortly after midday.

 Today’s casualties include:

  •  The winningest jockey in Ireland in 1907
  • The lightweight boxing champion of India
  • A member of the Marylebone Cricket Club
  • A football player for Linfield Swifts and South End Rangers
  • A Show Horse Jumper
  • An Assistant Boy Scout Master
  • The son of a family that will lose four more sons in the Great War
  • The son of multiple families that will lose three sons between this war and the South African War
  • Multiple examples of a man who will have a brother killed in the war
  • A man whose brother-in-law will be killed
  • A man whose brother was killed in the South African War
  • Multiple men whose children will be born after their death
  • Multiple sons of clergy
  • Multiple grandsons of clergy
  • Multiple Justices of the Peace
  • Multiple sons of Justices of the Peace
  • The son-in-law of a Justice of the Peace
  • The nephew of a Justice of the Peace
  • The son of a General
  • The stepson of a General
  • Multiple grandsons of Generals
  • The nephew of a General
  • The son of an Admiral
  • The Grandson of an Admiral
  • The son of a Victoria Cross winner
  • The half brother of a Member of Parliament
  • A member of the first class of Military Cross winners
  • Multiple battalion commanders
  • The son of the 4th Earl of Erne and father of the 5th Earl who will be killed in the next war
  • The son of the 6th Baron MacDonald of Armadale and the father of the 7th Baron
  • The son of the 1st Baron St Levan
  • The son of a Countess of the Holy Roman Empire
  • The son-in-law of the Duke of Westminster
  • The grandson of the 4th Marquess Townsend
  • The great grandson of the 2nd Earl of Ducie
  • The great grandson of the 17th Baron Dunboyne
  • A cousin of a Baronet

 Today’s highlighted casualty is

Captain Charles Paget O’Brien-Butler (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Irish Lancers) is killed attempting to reach wounded comrades at age 33. He is an outstanding amateur jockey who while riding for His Majesty the late King Edward VII was the winningest rider in Ireland in 1907 and he finished fifth in the Grand National in 1913. His brother-in-law will be killed in less than two months and his brother will be killed in June 1917 while another brother an Irish International Rugby player died of dysentery during the South African War. Finally he is the great grandson of Edmund Butler the 17th Baron Dunboyne.

  •  Colonel Frederick Walter KerrDSO (Gordon Highlanders, staff 1st Divisional Headquarters) is killed at age 47 when the Divisional Headquarters in Hooge Chateau is hit by shellfire. He is the son of Admiral Lord Frederic Kerr and the grandson of General ‘Sir’ Peregrine Maitland GCB. He served in Chitral 1895, Tirah 1897-8 and the South African War.
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander Browning (commanding 2nd Dragoon Guards) is killed at Messines at age 36.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bernard Morland (commanding 2nd Welsh Regiment) dies of wounds at age 47. He is a veteran of the South African War.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Walter Edwin Venour(Commanding 58th Vaughan’s Rifles, Indian Army) is killed by a sniper’s bullet to the head at age 50. He is the son of Lieutenant General Edwin Venour and he has previously seen action in Chin-Luchai 1889-90, Miranzai 1891 and the North West Frontier of India 1897-8 being wounded at Tirah.
  • Major (Temporary Lieutenant Colonel) Arthur Jex Blake Percival DSO (Northumberland Fusiliers and General Staff) is killed at age 43. He served in the Nile 1898 and the South African War and is the son of the Bishop of Hereford.
  • Major (Brevet Lieutenant Colonel) Henry William CrichtonDSO MVO (Royal Horse Guards) is killed at Wytschaete at age 42.  He is the Viscount Crichton and son of the 4th Earl of Erne. He is the son-in-law of the 1st Duke of Westminster and his widow will become Lady Mary Stanley and his son the 5th Earl of Erne will be killed in the Second World War. His brother-in-law was killed yesterday.
  • Major George Paley (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 42. He is the grandson of Canon Nepean Chaplain in Ordinary to her late Majesty Queen Victoria and he served in Soudan 1898 and in the South African War.
  • Major Neil MacPherson(2nd in command 2nd Gurkha Rifles) is killed at age 45. He is the son of the late General ‘Sir’ Herbert Taylor MacPherson VC KCB.  He served in the Isazai Expedition in 1892, the NorthWest Frontier of India, Samana and Tirah in 1897-8, the South African Campaign of 1900-02 and the Abor Expedition 1911-12. He is the grandson of Lieutenant General Eckford CB.
  • Major Robert MacGregor Stewart Gardner(Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 44 at Gheluvelt.  He is a South African War veteran, a nephew of General ‘Sir’ Robert Stewart GCB and his daughter will be born in February 1915.
  • Major Edward Egerton Barwell (Wilde’s Rifles) is killed at age 42. He is the son of General Charles Arthur Barwell CB. He served in Waziristan 1894-5, the Northwest Frontier 1897-8 and China in 1900.
  • Major Francis Maxwell Chenevix Trench (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 36. His brother was killed in the South African War in April 1902 and they are grandsons of the Most Reverend and Right Honorable Richard Chenevix Trench.
  • Major Walter Gabriel Home(Dragoon Guards) dies of wounds at age 41.  He is the son of the late Reverend Robert Home and is a South African War veteran.
  • Captain and Adjutant William McMillan Black (Vaughan’s Rifles) is killed at age 31. He is the son of the Reverend William McMillan Black.
  • Captain William Joseph Wickham(Scots Guards) is killed at age 39. He is the son of Captain Henry Lampugh and ‘the Honorable’ Mrs Teresa Mary Wickham Countess of the Holy Roman Empire and the eldest daughter and co-heiress of the 11th Lord Arundell. His brother will die of wounds next January.
  • Captain John Edmund Simpson(King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 41.  He is the son of the late Reverend John Curwen Simpson.
  • Captain Leslie Sedgwick Whitchurch (Indian Army Cavalry attached Dragoon Guards) is killed at age 34. He is the son the Reverend Walter Beaumont Gurney Whitchurch Rector of Spixworth Norfolk. He served on the North West Frontier 1902.
  • Captain John Spottiswoode (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 40. He is the grandson of the Reverend ‘Sir’ St Vincent Love Hammick and nephew of William Spottiswood (former President of the Royal Society, the London Mathmatical Society and the British Association). He is the son-in-law of Dr. Christian David Gisnburg JP and his second son will be born next year.
  • Captain Mervyn Crawshay (Dragoon Guards) a Show Horse Jumper is killed. He has represented the military in tournaments in America in 1913.
  • Captain Albert Alexander Stephen DSO (Scots Guards) is killed at age 35. His brother was killed last month and they are grandsons of Admiral ‘Sir’ Cornwallis Ricketts 2nd
  • Captain Geoffrey Wilmot Herringham (Dragoons) is killed at Messines at age 31. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Wilmot Herringham.
  • Captain and Adjutant Walter Hughes Ferrar (Welsh Regiment) is killed at Gheluvelt at age 38. He is a veteran of the South African War and son of A M Ferrar DL.
  • Captain Frederick William Hunt (Lancers Indian Army) is killed at age 33. He is the son of the Reverend William Cornish Hunt of Odell Rectory Bedfordshire.
  • Captain Edward Hugh Bagot Stack (Gurkha Rifles) is killed atage 29. He is the great nephew of the late Right Reverend Charles Maurice Stack Bishop of Cloghern Clones Ireland.
  • Captain Graham Percival Shedden (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies of wounds at age 28. He is the son of George Shedden JP.
  • Captain Richard Vincent Barker (Welsh Fusiliers) is killed when shot in the chest. He is a South African War veteran and son of the Reverend Frederick Barker Rector of Wimborne St Giles.
  • Captain Hugh Clervaux Chaytor (Light Cavalry Indian Army attachded Hussars) is killed at Messines at age 30. He is the cousin of ‘Sir’ Edmund Chaytor Baronet.
  • Lieutenant Donald Godrid Campbell Thomson (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. He is the nephew of Captain G C Karran JP and has a brother who will be killed in October 1917.
  • Lieutenant Edmund Elgood Punchard(Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed by a shot to the head at age 24. He is the son of the late Reverend Elgood George Punchard, Honorary Canon of Ely, DD and Vicar of Ely St Mary’s. His brother will be killed in March 1917.
  • Lieutenant Arthur Knight Nicholson (Hussars) is killed by a sniper at age 21. He is the only son of Herbert Nicholson JP.
  • Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ Godfrey Evan Hugh Bosville MacDonald JP (Scots Guards) dies of wounds at age 35. He is the son of the 6th Baron MacDonald of Armadale Castle who has lost one son at Krugersdorp South Africa in April 1901 and another son will be killed in October 1918. His son will become the 7th
  • Lieutenant Spencer Julian Wilfred Railston (Lancers, Indian Army attached Dragoon Guards) the one time lightweight boxing champion of India is killed at age 25. He dies attempting to bring in a wounded peasant woman on the field of fire. He is the grandson of the Reverend C E Oakley and great grandson of the 2nd Earl of Ducie.
  • Lieutenant Alan Randall Aufrere Leggett(North Staffordshire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 21.  He is the first of three sons of Colonel Leggett to be killed in the Great War.  His older brothers will be killed on different days in July 1916.  The memory of the three sons is kept alive in the Chancel’s Screen and Memorial Cross in St Martin’s Church, Cheriton.
  • Lieutenant Langton Sacheverell Coke(Irish Guards) is killed at age 36.  He is the son of the late Colonel W L Coke JP DL.
  • Lieutenant Philip Walter Rudolph Doll(Liverpool Regiment) is killed at age 24.  He is the son of Charles FitzRoy Doll JP (London and Hertford) and was the winner of Lord Robert’s Gold Cup at Aldershot in 1914 with his guns. He was also a member of the MCC since 1911.
  • Lieutenant George Archer-Shee(South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 19 as a result of an order to withdraw not reaching his platoon. As a 13-year old cadet at Royal Navy College at Osborne he was accused of stealing a five shilling postal note from the locker of a fellow cadet in 1908. The college asserted that he signed his name to a postal order and cashed it and despite the young boy’s claims of innocence he was expelled. A trial in 1910 vindicated him completely. He is the half-brother of Major Martin Archer-Shee MP.
  • Lieutenant Algernon Lindsay Eric Smith (Life Guards) is killed at age 22. He is among the 1st group of officers to be awarded the Military Cross.
  • Lieutenant and Quartermaster ‘the Honorable’ Edmund WilkinsonDCM (North Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 43. His daughter will be born next January and he was a South African War veteran.
  • Second Lieutenant Reginald William Fletcher(Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 22. He rowed with the Oxford University VIII in 1914. His brother will be killed in March 1915.
  • Second Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ Piers Stewart St Aubyn JP(King’s Royal Rifle Corps) dies of wounds at age 43. He is the son of the 1st Baron and Lady St Levan and grandson of 4th Marquess Townsend and a veteran of the South African War. His brother will be killed in December 1915 serving as a King’s Messenger when SS Persia is sunk.
  • Second Lieutenant Gerald Gordon Clement Elrington (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at Festubert at age 20. He is the stepson of General Miles.
  • Second Lieutenant Arnold Septimus Jarvis (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the first of five brothers who will be killed in the war.
  • Sergeant Edward Charters White (Black Watch) is killed at age 32. He is the Assistant Scout Master of the Baden Powell Scouts at Fort William Calcutta.
  • Lance Corporal Thomas Alfred Tompkins (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 27. His brother Wesley will also lose his life in the Great War.
  • Private Leslie Houston (Inniskilling Fusiliers) dies of wounds. He played football for the Linfield Swifts and South-End Rangers.
  • Private Robert Clive Forrest (London Scottish) is killed at age 18. He is the only son of Robert Forrest JP DL.
  • Gunner Frederick Blackwell (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 24. His brother will be killed next August.
  • Private Thomas Richard Dawes (Dragoon Guards) is killed the day after his brother met the same fate.
  • Private Albert Charles Love (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in May 1917.
  • Private Charles Philip Libretto (West Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 18. His brother will be killed in September 1917.
  • Private William Perrin (West Surrey Regiment) is killed. His brother will be killed in June 1917.
  • Private W Curtis (West Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 30. His brother will be killed next January.
  • Private Basil Thomas Freffry (West Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed in August 1917.
  • Henry William and Joseph Batchelor are killed together serving as privates in the Dragoon Guards. Henry is killed at age 28, while Joseph is one year older.
  • Private William Ayres (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 28. He has two brothers who will be killed over the next two years.

Tuesday 27 October 1914 – We Lost 568

Prince Maurice of Battenberg

Prince Maurice of Battenberg

The Germans take Neuve Chapelle.

Gas is first used by the Germans when they fire a prototype of modern tear gas from artillery near Ypres.

A German wireless message is intercepted giving 05:30 two days later as the time and date for an attack on the Ypres sector.

Louis Botha is at Commissie Drift, near Rustenburg, South Africa and defeats the rebel Beyers.

A BE2a of 6 Squadron is shot down while on a reconnaisance patrol over Lille. The crew Lieutenant K Rawson-Shaw and Lieutenant H G L Mayne are taken prisoner becoming the first crew lost by this squadron.

At 09:00 the Second Battle Squadron is in line ahead formation twenty miles north-east of Tory Island when the battle ship HMS Audacious, third in line and in the process of turning starboard, strikes a mine. The mine explodes on the port side aft and the rolling of the ship causes a boat stowed on the quarter deck to break loose from its lashings, and as it thrashes back and forth it knocks the tops off the ventilators on the deck. As a result more and more water finds its way below, helped by a fractured waste pipe in the captain’s quarters below.  This extra flooding is outside of the area of subdivision enclosed by armored citadel and so it is virtually impossible to control.  Attempts to take her in tow by the liner Olympic and the collier Thornhill, meet with no success as she is almost unmanageable in the heavy swells. The crew is finally taken off by the Olympic and at 21:00 twelve hours after being mined she is shaken by an internal explosion and sinks.  Despite the fact that the Olympic, packed with British and American passengers, has seen the Audacious in critical condition the decision is made to ban all mention of the incident from the newspapers and it remains an official secret until after the war.  For four years the name Audacious appears in all official returns, even the most secret lists of day to day strength. Since virtually everyone in the Grand Fleet knows the truth, the only effect of this is to discredit the Admiralty. For a time the newspapers content themselves with using phrases such as ‘the audacious sinking of this ship”, and “another audacious loss”, etc.

 Today’s losses include:

  • Prince Maurice of Battenberg a Grandson of Queen Victoria
  • A nephew of the Irish Unionist politician, barrister and judge Edward Carson
  • Brother of a future Member of Parliament
  • Brother of the Captain of HMS Hood who will be killed when his ship is sunk by the Bismarck in 1941
  • Son of a man who died on service during the Ashanti War in 1896
  • A Battalion commander
  • The son of an Admiral
  • The great grandson of a General
  • The uncle of a man killed in the Second World War
  • A man married to the grand-daughter of a Baronet
  • The grandson of a man who fought the French in the West Indies in 1804
  • A man whose great great grandfather was killed at Quatre Bras
  • Son of clergy
  • Multiple examples of families that will lose two and three sons

 Today’s highlighted casualty is

 Prince Maurice Victor Donald Battenberg KCVO a Lieutenant in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps and a grandson, like the King, the Kaiser and the Tsar, of Queen Victoria dies of wounds at age 23.  He is the youngest grandson and names Victor to honor the late queen and Donald to Honor Scotland. His mother is the 5th daughter and youngest child of Victoria and Albert the Prince Consort. His father died of malaria at age 38 contracted while fighting in the Gold Coast in the Ashanti War in 1896.  He is leading his battalion across an open space when a shell explodes near him. Wishing his men good bye, he is taken by stretcher towards a field dressing station but dies before reaching it.

  •  Major Matthew Perceval BuckleDSO (commanding 1st Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 45. He is the son of Admiral C E Buckle and he served in the South African War where he was wounded.
  • Captain Walter Neave Wells (East Kent Regiment) is killed at age 32. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Richard Wells KCB and he served in the South African War.
  • Captain Henry Ouseley Davis (Irish Rifles) is killed by shrapnel at age 30. He is the great grandson of Major General ‘Sir’ Ralph Ouseley.
  • Captain Edward Spread Mulcahy Morgan (Irish Rifles) dies of wounds. His brother will be killed in September 1916 and their nephew will be killed serving in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve ion 4 January 1945.
  • Captain Frederick William Stoddart (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 43. His wife is the granddaughter of ‘Sir’ Robert Williams Baronet.
  • Lieutenant Alec Arthur Crichton Maitland-Addison(Cheshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. He will have two brothers killed later in the Great War.
  • Lieutenant Christopher Leather (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 31. He is the first of three brothers to lose their lives in the Great War.
  • Lieutenant Victor Harriott Hardy (York and Lancs Regiment) is killed at age 27. His grandfather was one of a small body of Englishmen who held the Fort of Roseau Dominica West Indies in 1804 when the French landed until relived by the British fleet under Nelson.
  • Lieutenant Francis Edward Robinson (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 19 leading an attack. He is the nephew of ‘Sir’ Edward Carson the Irish Unionist Politician, barrister and judge who represented the Marquess of Queensberry in his libel case with Oscar Wilde and who defended George Archer-Shee in 1911.
  • Lieutenant Edmund Swetenham (Durham Light Infantry) becomes the second of only two Swetenham’s to be killed in the war at age 24. His cousin was killed less than two months ago.
  • Second Lieutenant Robert Francis McLean Gee (Wiltshire Regiment) dies of wounds in England at age 20. He is the great great grandson of Captain William Buckley Royal Scots who was killed at Quatre Bras.
  • Second Lieutenant Owen William Eugene Herbert(Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 21. He is the brother of Alan Patrick Herbert a Member of Parliament for the University of Oxford for fifteen years from 1935 to 1950. Another brother, Captain Sidney Jasper Herbert (Royal Navy) will be the Captain of HMS Hood and is killed when that ship is sunk by the Bismark on 24 May 1941.
  • Sergeant Frank Goodman Line (Border Regiment) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed next May.
  • Lance Sergeant Sidney Barnard Thompson (Lancers) is killed at age 34. His brother will be killed tomorrow.
  • Private William Campbell(Black Watch) is killed at age 30. His younger brother will die of dysentery while serving at Salonica in 1917.
  • Private Ernest Condick (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 26. In 1916 his two brothers will both be killed serving in the same regiment.
  • Private George Edwin Swain (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother Henry William will also be killed in the war.
  • Rifleman Frederick McCracken (Irish Rifles) is killed. His brother will be killed in the explosion of HMS Vanguard in July 1917.
  • Lieutenant General ‘Sir’ William Edmund FranklynKCB (3rd Division) dies at home at age 58.  He is the son of the Reverend J E Franklyn.

 

Sunday 28th June 1914

The Archduke and his wife

The Archduke and his wife

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie is said to be the spark that finally triggered the Great War. It happened 100 years ago today. This blog is dedicated to and will tell the story of the men and women of Great Britain and her colonies and other Commonwealth countries who gave their lives fighting for freedom in the Great War of 1914 to 1918.

"The Chain of Friendship", an American cartoon from 1914 depicting the web of alliances, captioned, "If Austria attacks Serbia, Russia will fall upon Austria, Germany upon Russia, and France and England upon Germany."

“The Chain of Friendship”, an American cartoon from 1914 depicting the web of alliances, captioned, “If Austria attacks Serbia, Russia will fall upon Austria, Germany upon Russia, and France and England upon Germany.”

Three cousins were the leaders of major combatant countries at the beginning of war. Two would abdicate and one of them would  would be dead by the end of it.

Two are grandsons of Queen Victoria while the third is married to her favorite granddaughter.

These two had this picture taken in Berlin the year before the war.

 King George V on the Right, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia on the left and Kaiser Wilhelm II not pictured

George V King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India on the right, Nicholas II the last Emperor of Russia is on the left and Kaiser Wilhelm II Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia. The three cousins will have another cousin killed serving in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps of the British Army in October 1914. Details of his life and death will be published on the 100th anniversary of his death.

photos from Wikipedia.org