Great War Lives Lost

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

Tag: Neuve Chapelle

Sunday 9 May 1915 – We Lost 4,330

Anthony Frederick Wilding

Anthony Frederick Wilding

The British attack opposite Fromelles and La Bassee in an attempt to capture the Aubers Ridge.  In the crucial preliminary bombardment fewer than eight percent of the artillery shells fired are high explosives, and the total time during which a sustained artillery barrage is possible is only forty minutes, severely limiting the amount of damage that will be done to the German barbed wire and trench defences.  Many of the shells are too light to do serious damage to the German earthworks.  As a result of the failures of the preliminary bombardment, when the British soldiers attack the German defences are relatively undamaged.  After the failure of the first assault, British troops running back to the safety of their own lines are fired on by the Germans as they run, but as they have with them a number of German prisoners, they are thought by the troops in the British trenches to be an enemy attack, and are fired on from the British side also.  Few survive the cross fire.  In an attempt to restore order Brigadier General Arthur Willoughby George Lowry-Cole CB DSO General Officer Commanding 25th Brigade 8th Division stands on the parapet of a British trench, where as he is exhorting the retreating men to make a stand, he is shot dead by enemy machine gun fire at age 54.  This afternoon General Haig orders a second attack, despite reports from air force reconnaissance of the steady forward movement of German reinforcements.  The commander of the Indian Corps, General Wilcocks protests at the order to attack again, as he had protested earlier and successfully at Neuve Chapelle. General Gough, commanding the Seventh Division also reports to Haig that, after a personal reconnaissance of the ground, he is convinced of the certainty of any further attempt to attack by daylight being a failure.  Only General Haking, commanding the First Division, has confidence in a further assault, Haig accepts Haking’s judgment.  Led by the kilted pipers of the 1st Black Watch, playing their bagpipes, the British forces attack again.  They are savaged by German machine gun fire.  When Haig orders the attack to be pushed in with bayonet at dusk, the commanders on the spot make it known that they regard such orders as a mistake. Haig cancels the orders, and tells the commanders that they must succeed on the following day.  The losses on this day, the first and as it emerges the only day of the Battle of Aubers Ridge are 458 officers and 11,161 men including 461 members of the Northamptonshire Regiment killed.  The Gloucestershire Regiment and the South Wales Borderers go over the top at 16:00 and are devastated by machine gun fire. Between then they will lose 495 men.

For the attack at Aubers Ridge (in support of the French in Artois) three radio equipped aircraft are detailed to report the progress of the infantry who are to display white linen strips, seven feet long by two feet wide, as they reach successive lines in the German defenses.  Unfortunately, the infantry does not reach those lines, and the airmen, in the smoke and dust of battle, find the tiny earth-colored figures of friend and foe beneath them impossible to distinguish.  The aircraft send 42 messages, but they are of little value.  This is the first such air scout report used to aid ground troops.  Soon “wireless” reports from aircraft become an essential element in artillery programs, and bad visibility is to be regarded as virtually fatal to chances of  success.

The first men of Kitchener’s New Army leave for active service in France. The first to embark is the Ninth (Scottish) Division one of the many New Army volunteer Divisions that were recruited during the previous nine months with great zeal all over Britain.  The Ninth Division is followed within two weeks by the Twelfth (Eastern) Division which also goes to the Western Front.  Three more New Army Divisions are being made ready for Gallipoli.

Corporal Charles Sharpe (Lincolnshire Regiment) is awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery near Rouges Bancs.  When in charge of a blocking party sent forward to take a portion of the German trench he is the first to reach the enemy’s position and using bombs with great determination and effect, he himself clears them out of a trench fifty yards long.  By this time all his party has fallen and he is then joined by four other men with whom he attacks the enemy again with bombs and captures a further trench two hundred yards long.  Corporal James Upton (Sherwood Foresters) is also awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery near Rouges Bancs.  During the whole of this day Corporal Upton displays the greatest courage in rescuing the wounded while exposed to very heavy rifle and artillery fire, going close to the enemy’s parapet regardless of his own personal safety.  One wounded man is killed by a shell whilst this NCO is carrying him.  When Corporal Upton is not actually carrying in the wounded he is engaged in bandaging and dressing the serious cases in front of our parapet, exposed to the enemy’s fire.

Corporal John Ripley (Black Watch) is awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery at Rue du Bois.  When leading his section on the right of the right platoon in the assault, he is the first man of the battalion to ascend the enemy’s parapet and from there he directs those following him to the gaps in the German wire entanglements.  He then leads his section through a breach in the parapet to a second line of trench, which had previously been decided upon as the final objective in this part of our line.  In that position Corporal Ripley, with seven or eight men, establishes himself, blocking both flanks and arranging a fire position, which he continues to defend until all his men have fallen and he himself has been badly wounded in the head.  Lance Corporal David Finlay (Black Watch) is also awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty near Rue du Bois when he leads a bombing party of twelve men with the greatest gallantry in the attack until ten of them have fallen.  Lance Corporal Finlay then orders the two survivors to crawl back, and he himself goes to the assistance of a wounded man and carries him over a distance of one hundred yards of fire swept ground into cover, quite regardless of his own personal safety.

The 9th (Scottish) Division begins to detrain at Saint-Omer becoming the first New Army Division to go overseas.

General Louis Botha captures Windhoek, SW Africa the territorial objective of the campaign without a fight.  The negotiations for surrender are carried on by telephone from Karibib.

 Today’s losses include:

  • A seven time (including 4 singles in a row) Wimbledon tennis champion
  • A member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame
  • An Olympic Silver medalist
  • Multiple Olympic Bronze medal winners
  • A Davis Cup champion
  • A solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand
  • Seven battalion commanders
  • The son of poet and playwright Oscar Wilde
  • The father of writer Christopher Isherwood whose best known work The Berlin Stories will be adapted into the musical Cabaret
  • A son of Alice Liddell Hargreaves who was the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • Multiple families that will lose three sons in the Great War
  • Multiple families that will lose four sons in the Great War
  • Multiple brothers killed together
  • Multiple sons of Justices of the Peace
  • The son of the High Sheriff of Devon
  • The son of an Alderman
  • The son of a Judge of the High Court
  • The son of a former Member of Parliament
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • An original Boy Scout
  • Multiple actors
  • The son of a member of the Editorial Staff of The Times
  • A man killed by a lion on service
  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • The brother of a Victoria Cross winner
  • A brother of Lawrence of Arabia
  • A General
  • Multiple sons of Generals
  • The grandson of a General
  • The Master of Harrow
  • An Aide de Camp to the Governor of Victoria and the Governor of Australia
  • The Principal Cellist of the Royal Albert Hall Orchestra
  • The Founder and Conductor of the Edward Mason Choir and member of his wife’s Grimson String Quartet
  • A member of St Mary’s Fife and Drum Band
  • A member of the Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral
  • A First Class English cricketer
  • A member of the Marylebone Cricket Club
  • An England rugby International
  • A rugby player for Newtown
  • A Rosslyn Park rugby footballer
  • A man who will have a brother and a brother-in-law killed later in the war
  • A man whose brother will die as a prisoner of war in the Second World War
  • A man whose nephew and namesake will be killed in 1944
  • A man whose son will be killed in the Second World War
  • A man whose father will be killed later in the Great War
  • A man whose father was killed in the South African War
  • A man whose father was killed on service in 1897
  • A man whose brother will die on service as a Brigadier in 1945
  • The son of the 11th Earl of Galloway
  • The son of the 9th Earl of Harrington
  • The son of the 7th Lord Rodney
  • The son of the 3rd Viscount Hardinge
  • The son of the 4th Viscount Templetown
  • Multiple sons of Baronets
  • A grandson of Lord Leigh
  • A grandson of the Earl of Winchelsea nd Nottingham
  • A grandson of a Baronet
  • Nephew of a Baronet

 Today’s highlighted casualties are:

 One of the greatest tennis players of the era and member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame is killed in action while serving as a Captain in the Armored Car Division, Royal Marines at age 31. Anthony Frederick Wilding is a former Wimbledon Champion, 1907 (Doubles), 1908 (Doubles), 1910 (Singles and Doubles), 1911 (Singles), 1912 (Singles) & 1913 (Singles). He also won the 1912 Olympic Indoor Singles Bronze Medal.  He was a member of the All England Lawn Tennis Club and was a qualified Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand.  He was ranked #3 in the world when he went to fight the Great War. He was in the process of being on the winning Australian Davis Cup team in August 1914 when war was declared and one week earlier he and his teammate swept the German team of Oscar Kreuzer and Otto Fratzheim who will both be captured returning to Germany from the United States and made prisoners for the remainder of the Great War.

  • Lieutenant Colonel Francis Edward Bradshaw Isherwood (York and Lancaster Regiment commanding 1st battalion) is killed at age 45. He is the son of John Bradshaw Isherwood JP and he served in the South African Campaign. His son is the writer Christopher Isherwood his best known work The Berlin Stories will be adapted as the musical
  • Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Charles France-Hayhurst (commanding 4th Royal Welsh Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 43. He played cricket at Eton in 1891 and his brother died while serving in the Royal Navy in February.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Marshall Finch DSO (commanding 2nd Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 48. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Ross Finch and a veteran of the South African War.
  • Lieutenant Colonel William Leigh Maxwell (Royal Marines) is killed on Gallipoli at age 37. Lieutenant Colonel Victor George Howard Rickard (commanding 2nd Munster Fusiliers) is killed at age 40. He is the son-in-law of the Reverend Courtenay Moroe.
  • Lieutenant Colonel George Swinton Tulloh (commanding 2nd Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 48. He is a veteran of the South African War.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Osbert Clinton Baker (commanding 1st Irish Rifles) is killed at age 47. He is a veteran of the South African War.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Aylmer Richard Sancton Martin (commanding 2nd Royal Lancaster Regiment) is killed at age 44. He is the son of the Reverend H Martin Vicar of Thatcham and a South African War Veteran.
  • Major Leonard Russell (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 42. He is the son of John Russell JP.
  • Major Giles Rooke (Gurkha Rifles) is killed at age 40. He is the son of the late Major General W Rooke.
  • Captain Arthur Reginald French and his brother Lieutenant ‘Honorable’ George Philip French (South Wales Borderers) killed in action at ages 35 and 25. Arthur is the 5th Baron De Freyne and had succeeded to the title in 1913 and they are two of four sons of the 4th Baron to be killed in the Great War. Lord de Freyne served as an enlisted man in the United States Army in the Philippines.
  • Captain Charles Augustus Werner (Rifle Brigade) the Master of Harrow is killed at age 38.
  • Captain Wilfred John Hutton Curwen (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 32. He previously served as Aide de Campe to ‘Sir’ John Fuller Governor of Victoria and the Right Honorable Lord Denman Governor of Australia. He played Association football for Oxford and was a member of MCC.
  • Captain Alan Knyveton Hargreaves DSO (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 33. His mother is Alice Liddell Hargreaves the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. His brother will be killed next September.
  • Captain Charles Mylne Mullaly (Gurkha Rifles) is killed at age 30. He is the first of three sons of Major General ‘Sir’ Herbert Mullaly who will lose their lives as a result of war service.
  • Captain Paul Adrian Kennedy (Rifle Brigade) is killed by a sniper while leading his Company in an attack on Aubers Ridge, near Fromelles at age 28. He is the second of three sons of ‘Sir’ John Gordon Kennedy KCMG of HM Diplomatic Service to be killed in the war. Captain Kennedy was gazetted to the Rifle Brigade in 1906. He served with his Regiment in Malta, Egypt, and India, and was at home on leave when the War broke out. He went to France the following month and was wounded in the Battle of the Aisne and invalided home. In December 1914 he was offered two Staff appointments, which he refused. He returned to the Front in March 1915 and is killed by a sniper.
  • Captain Christopher York Pease (Yorkshire Hussars Yeomanry) is killed at age 32. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Alfred Pease the Baronet.
  • Captain and Adjutant George Ernest Weatherhead (Royal Lancaster Regiment) is killed in action at age 39. He is the son of the Reverend Canon Robert Johnston Weatherhead Vicar of Seacombe.
  • Captain Montagu Hill Clephane Wickham (Connaught Rangers) is killed age 36. He is the son of Lieutenant Colonel Edmund Hill Wickham and The Princess Eugenie Paleologue. He served in the South Africa War and with the West Africa Frontier Force from 1908 to 1914.
  • Captain David Dudley (Punjabi Light Infantry attached Jat Light Infantry) is killed at Aubers Ridge at age 34. He is the son of the Reverend Francis Dudley Vicar of Overmunnow and he is a veteran of the South Africa War.
  • Captain and Adjutant ‘the Honorable’ Eric Edward Montagu John Upton (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 30. He is the son of Henry Upton the 4th Viscount Templetoown and grandson of Earl of Winchelsea and Nottingham.
  • Captain Duncan Hamlyn Davidson (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 37 at Neuve Chapelle. He is the elder son of Duncan Davidson DL JP and of Flora Frances Davidson eldest daughter of ‘Sir’ Francis Burdett Baronet. At the outbreak of the South African War Captain Davidson after having served with the Gordon Militia, obtained a commission, through the late King, in the Seaforth Highlanders, although he was over age at the time. He served with his Regiment in Egypt and India, and was then posted to the Adjutancy of the 4th Seaforth Territorial Battalion which he gave up in 1913. He was stationed at Agra when orders came for the Indian Force to proceed to France, where he arrived in October 1914. He was severely wounded on 17th December and invalided home. He returned to his Battalion on 28 March 1915.
  • Captain Frederick William Grantham (Munster Fusiliers) is killed leading his men in a charge at Richebourg at age 44. He is the second son of ‘Sir’ William Grantham Judge of the High Court, MP for East Surrey 1874-85, and for Croydon in 1885-6 and is a veteran of the South Africa War.  His elder son will be killed next month on Gallipoli while his younger son will lose his life serving as a Pilot Instructor in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in June 1942.  He is a great traveler in the Far East and an authority on Eastern philosophy. He made many journeys on foot in the interior of China and walked with Buddhist monks from Siam to Burma. Captain Grantham served in the South African War receiving the King’s Medal. On the outbreak of the War he rejoined the Royal Munster Fusiliers, with whom he had served in South Africa, and left for the Front in September 1914. He served continuously with his Regiment through the winter of 1914-15.
  • Captain Cyril Holland (Royal Field Artillery) is shot and killed at age 29 when involved in a dual with a German sniper while sniping himself. He is the eldest son of playwright and poet Oscar Wilde and Constance Lloyd Wilde. After this father’s imprisonment in 1895, his mother changed their name to Holland, which was an old family name. He was considered pompous and intolerant by his brother officers.
  • Captain Alan Geoffrey Fox (Royal Engineers attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in an aerial combat at age 27. He is one of the first five officers in the Army taught to fly.
  • Captain Reginald Baird Trotter (Cameron Highlanders) is killed at age 41. He is the son of Major General ‘Sir’ Henry and the Honorable Lady Trotter 11th of Mortonhall and 2nd of Charterhall.
  • Captain Walter Fairfax Richardson (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 41. He is the son of Major General Richardson CB.
  • Captain John Edmund Valentine Isaac DSO (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 35. He played first team Cricket for the Orange Free State 1906-7 and for Worcester 1907-8. He is the son of John Swinton Isaac DL and grandson of Major General R H Crofton RA. His brother will be killed in July 1916.  He was an English cricketer a right-handed batsmen who played ten first-class matches in South Africa and England between 1906 and 1908.  Isaac’s first-class debut came for the South Africa Army cricket team in the only match of that standard they ever played, when they met MCC at Thara Tswane, Pretoria in January 1906. In 1906-07 he played four times for Orange Free State in the Currie Cup.  In 1907 and 1908, Isaac made five appearances for Worcestershire County Cricket Club.  He rode in various races, winning the Cairo Grand National in 1911, on a horse trained and partly owned by him. Captain Isaac was gazetted to the Northumberland Fusiliers in 1900 and in June of that year joined his Regiment on active service in South Africa. He was dangerously wounded at Nooitgedacht and received the King’s Medal and three clasps. He was gazetted to the Rifle Brigade in 1908 and served with them in Malta and Egypt. He left the Regiment in 1911, and went to Vancouver, engaging in real estate. He hunted and shot on the Yukon and played polo in California. On the rumor of war Captain Isaac at once started for England and rejoined his Regiment. In October 1914 he went to the Front as ADC and Camp Commandant to Major-General ‘Sir’ Thompson Capper, commanding 7th He was wounded at the 1st Battle of Ypres and received the DSO for “conspicuous gallantry” on that occasion, besides being twice mentioned in Despatches. He returned to the Front in December 1914 but in the spring, after his General was wounded, he resigned his appointment on the Staff and joined his Regiment, reaching them three days before today’s action on the Aubers-Fromelles Ridge.
  • Lieutenant Charles Selwyn Cowley (Northamptonshire Regiment) killed at age 21. He is the son of John Selwyn Cowley JP.
  • Lieutenant Noel Price James Turner (South Wales Borderers) is killed at age 36. He is the son of the Reverend John James Turner Vicar of Pentreheglin.
  • Lieutenant Charles Stirling Walter Greenland (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is initially wounded and is on his way back to a dressing station when he is killed by a random shell. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Albert Greenland.
  • Lieutenant Henry Mills Goldsmith (Devonshire Regiment attached Lincolnshire Regiment) won a Bronze Medal as a member of the 1908 eight-oared shell with coxswain team. He is 29 years old.
  • Lieutenant Edward Henry Leigh (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 26. He is the second son of the Honorable ‘Sir’ E Chandos Leigh KCB KC to be killed in the war and grandson of Lord Leigh. Lieutenant Leigh received his Commission in 1911 when he joined the Rifle Brigade in India, being promoted Lieutenant in 1913. He went to the Front with his Regiment in November 1914 and took part in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, his Battalion gaining the distinction of being the first actually to enter and capture that village.
  • Lieutenant Talbot FitzRoy Eden Stanhope (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 18. He is the son of the 9th Earl of Harrington.
  • Lieutenant Robert Larmour Neill (Irish Rifles) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed on the first day of the battle of the Somme.
  • Lieutenant Kenneth Herbert Clayton Woodroffe (Rifle Brigade attached Welsh Regiment) is killed at age 22. He was a cricketer for Hampshire and Sussex from 1912 to 1914. His two brothers, including Second Lieutenant Sidney Clayton Woodroffe VC, will be killed in the next 13 months.
  • Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ Keith Anthony Stewart (Black Watch) is killed leading his men in the charge from Bois du Biez towards the Aubers Ridge at age 20. He is the younger son of Randolph, 11th Earl of Galloway. Lieutenant Stewart was gazetted to the Black Watch in August 1914 and went to the Front in the following December. He served at the Battles of Givenchy, Neuve Chapelle, and Festubert.
  • Lieutenant Robert Lamour Neill (Irish Rifles) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed on the first day of the battle of the Somme.
  • Lieutenant James Augustus Stewart (Royal Munster Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 20. He is a nephew of the late ‘Sir’ Augustus A J Stewart, 9th Baronet of Fort Stewart.
  • Lieutenant Edward Phillips Jackson (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend William Edward Jackson Rector of Loughton.
  • Lieutenant Wilfrid Stanley Bird (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed. He is the son of the Reverend George Bird Rector of Newdigate.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Roland Juckes (Sussex Regiment) is killed in the Battle of Aubers Ridge at age 19. His brother will be killed in July of this year.
  • Lieutenant Bertie Charles Lousada (York and Lancaster Regiment) is killed at age 26. His brother was killed in November 1914 and his brother-in-law last February.
  • Lieutenant Lionel Edward Mapletoft Atkinson (Berkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 24. He is the son of Major General John Richard Breeks Atkinson who has already had one son killed in the Great War.
  • Lieutenant Reginald John Legard (West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of Colonel ‘Sir’ James Legard KCB.
  • Lieutenant George Robert Murray Crofts (Welsh Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the late Reverend J Crofts Vicar of Dalton Wigan Christ’s Hospital 1903-1911. He was also the Senior Grecian Scholar of Jesus College, Oxford.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Lenthall Loder-Symonds (Cameronians) is killed in action at age 22. He is one of four brothers who will die in the Great War and they are sons of Captain Frederick Cleave Loder-Symonds JP.
  • Second Lieutenant Henry Ralph Hardinge (Rifle Brigade) is killed in action at age 19. He is the son of the 3rd
  • Second Lieutenant Edward Mason (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 36. He was for seventeen years on the Music Staff at Eton College, the principal Cellist of the Royal Albert Hall Orchestra and founder and conductor of the Edward Mason Choir. His wife was a violinist who performed professionally as Jessie Grimson of the Grimson String Quartet which included her husband.
  • Second Lieutenant William Patrick Heffernan (Irish Regiment attached Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 28. He was a prize winning athlete at boxing and running at Dublin University and was the son of Dr W K Heffernan JP.
  • Second Lieutenant Robert Swayne Pearce (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 20. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Edward C Pearce.
  • Second Lieutenant Frank Stewart Waddington (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 22. His father Major F S W Raikes was killed in action in 1897 and his brother will die on service as a Brigadier in April 1945.
  • Second Lieutenant ‘Sir’ William Graham Hoste 4th Baronet (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 19. He is the only son of the 3rd Baronet the late ‘Sir’ William H C Hoste Baronet. Lieutenant Hoste left for France in March 1915.
  • Second Lieutenant George Pickersgill Cable (Rifle Brigade) is killed while leading his platoon in the attack at age 23. He is the only son of ‘Sir’ Ernest Cable, High Sheriff of Devon and ex-President of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce.  Lieutenant Cable obtained a commission in the Rifle Brigade on the outbreak of the War in August 1914 and went to the Front in March 1915.
  • Second Lieutenant Richard Henry Powell (Royal Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 31. He is the son of a member the Editorial Staff of “The Times”.
  • Second Lieutenant Kenneth Rose Dennys (Munster Fusiliers) is killed at age 25. He is a young actor who appeared in Maeterlinck’s Blue Bird and was Private Secretary to Monsignor R H Benson.
  • Second Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ William Francis Rodney (Rifle Brigade attached Royal Flying Corps) dies of wounds received in action at the end of a long and continuous ranging of guns which have silenced several German batteries. He was an original Boy Scout and the son of the 7th Lord Rodney.
  • Second Lieutenant Herbert George Ferguson-Davie (Portsmouth Battalion, Royal Marines) is also killed. He is the son of Lieutenant Colonel ‘Sir’ Arthur Francis Ferguson-Davie Baronet CIE DSO who will be killed next year in Mesopotamia.
  • Second Lieutenant Herbert Cecil Brian (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 23. His brother will die of wounds in October 1917.
  • Second Lieutenant Francis Russell Eagar (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds at age 21. His brother will be killed in September 1918 and their father Captain Edward Boaz Eagar (Northumberland Fusiliers) was killed during the South African War.
  • Second Lieutenant William Lionel Brownlow (Black Watch) is killed in action at age 18. He is the son of Brigadier General D’Arcy Charles Brownlow.
  • Second Lieutenant Cecil Banes-Walker (Devonshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 26. He played five matches for the Somerset Cricket Club in 1914. He also played rugby for the Clifton Rugby Football Club and hockey for Gloucestershire. The Devonshire Regiment are not involved in the initial assault but are ordered into the front British trenches in support. As they are moving up, they come under heavy German artillery and machine-gun fire, and between 18:45 and 19:30 Banes-Walker is killed His brother will be killed in November 1917.
  • Second Lieutenant Maurice Day (Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in July 1916 and they are sons of the Reverend Benjamin William Day Rector of St Peter’s Sandwich.
  • Second Lieutenant James Ingleby Farmer (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the late Reverend James Farmer.
  • Second Lieutenant Jasper Moore Mayne (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in February 1916.
  • Second Lieutenant Robert Ellis Cunliffe (Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. He is the brother of ‘Sir’ Cyril Henley Cunliffe the 8th
  • Second Lieutenant Kenneth Henry Anderson (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 20 at Quinn’s Post. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Hudson Anderson.
  • Second Lieutenant Roy Fazan (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is a Rosslyn Park rugby footballer and his nephew and namesake will be killed in the same regiment in 1944.
  • Second Lieutenant Frank Helier Lawrence (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 22. He is the brother of Thomas Edward Lawrence “of Arabia”
  • Sergeant Major James Sharp Armour DCM is killed. His brother will die of illness in April 1919.
  • Sergeant Walter Fellowes and his brother Private Albert Edward Fellowes age 20 are killed together.
  • Sergeant Norman Baird (Black Watch) is killed at age 25. His son will lose his life in July 1944 serving in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
  • Sergeant Henry William Sheppard (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in December 1917.
  • Sergeant Robert Watson (Australian Infantry) dies of wounds in Alexandria. His brother will be killed in November 1917 and they are nephews of the Bishop of St David’s.
  • The actor Corporal Robert Vincent (Australian Imperial Forces) is killed in action at Gallipoli.
  • Lance Corporal Alfred Tame age 28 and his brother Acting Corporal William George Tame (Berkshire Regiment) are killed together. Another brother will be killed in August 1917.
  • Corporal Henry Berry (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 32. He is an English International Rugby player who earned four caps and scored in two games in the Five Nations tournament of 1910.  After service in the South African War as a guard on St Helena, he played rugby for the Regiment from 1902 until his discharge in 1909.  He then played for Gloucester between 1909 and 1913.  In 1909 he was selected as a reserve for the England team.  He is one of one hundred eleven international rugby players who will lose their lives in the Great War including three other members of that 1910 England team, L Haigh, R H M Hands and E R Mobbs.
  • Corporal Joseph Oxby (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at Aubers Ridge at age 28. His brother will be killed in July 1916.
  • Lance Corporal James Henry Hunt (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed in November 1916.
  • Lance Corporal William Wright is killed. His brother will die of wounds in October 1918.
  • Lance Corporal Charles Pridham (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 25. His younger brother will be killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • Private James Brawn (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed. His brother will die as a prisoner of war of the Japanese in May 1944.
  • Brothers and Privates Frederick age 19 and George Clarke age 21 are killed serving in the Northamptonshire Regiment.
  • Private Jack Deans (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in June 1916.
  • Private Jack Anker is killed at age 19 four months after his brother met the same fate.
  • Private Harold Robert Burchnell is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in two years.
  • Private Joseph Garside is killed. His brother will die of pneumonia on service next December.
  • Private Ernest Burrough Lock is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in September.
  • Private Samuel Woodcock is killed at age 27. His brother will die of wounds in August 1917.
  • Private James Simmons is killed. His brother will die at home from gas poisoning and shell shock in December 1918.
  • Albert age 19 and Harry Hughes age 18 are killed serving as Privates with the ‘A’ Company 2nd Gloucestershire Regiment in action neaer Sanctuary Wood, Zillebeke.
  • Private Henry George Cooke (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed in August.
  • Sapper Fred Grubb (Royal Engineers) is killed in action at age 23. The silver medalist in both the Road Race (Cycling) and the Team Time Trial at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics,
  • Rifleman Paul Frederick Hebert (Rifle Brigade) is killed at Ypres. He is the son of Alderman H F Hebert.
  • Rifleman Frederick Kennard (Rifle Brigade) is killed near Ypres at age 26. His brother will die of wounds in the same general vicinity in December.
  • Private Joseph Hancock (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed. His brother will be killed in April 1917.
  • Private James Bain (Black Watch) is killed in action at age 28. His brother will be killed in September 1915 serving in the Royal Naval Reserve.
  • Private Harold Arthur Croxford (London Regiment) is killed in action. He was a member of the choir of St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • Private George Henry Gaston (Sussex Regiment) is killed at Richebourg at age 24. His brother will be killed in April 1918.
  • Private Wilfred Johns (Welsh Regiment) is killed at age 31. His brother will be killed in Mesopotamia in December 1916.
  • Private Edward Shadwell (Canterbury Regiment) is killed at age 39. His brother will be killed in September 1918.
  • Private Sidney Ames Trout (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brothers were killed last year.
  • Private Arthur Maurice Tweed Newman (London Regiment) is killed at age 18. He is the son of the Reverend Arthur Edwin Tweed Newman Vicar of St Andrew’s Whittlesey.
  • Private Richard Roy Davis (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed exactly one week before.
  • Driver James Edward Clifford Williams (Australian Army Service Corps) dies of injuries in Egypt at age 27. He played Rugby for Newtown in 1908.
  • Private Arthur Henry Coppack (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed. He is the first of three brothers who will be killed in the Great War.
  • Private William Johns (Welsh Regiment) is killed at age 31. His brother will be killed in December 1916 in Mesopotamia.
  • Private James Harper Shepherd (Royal Sussex Regiment) is killed near Richebourg L’Avoue at age 18. His brother will be killed in August 1917.
  • Private Joseph M Adamson (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 25. His brother will die of wounds in March 1918.
  • Private John McNamara (Munster Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 35. He is the second of three members of the St Mary’s Fife and Drum Band who will be killed in the first year of the Great War.
  • Private Percy Etherington (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in July 1918.
  • Private Reuben Wheatley (Sherwood Foresters) is killed at age 21. His brother was killed in the explosion of HMS Bulwark last November.
  • Private Frederick Wadey (Queens West Surrey Regiment) is killed at Festubert. He is the first of three brothers to be killed in the Great War.
  • Private Randle Newcombe Griffin (Central Ontario Regiment) is killed at age 30. His brother will be killed in December 1917 and they are sons of the Reverend Horatio John Griffin Rector of Broxholme.
  • Private Thomas Edwin Lyons (East Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in November 1916.
  • Private Edward Kavanagh (Irish Regiment) is killed. He is the middle of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
  • Private Harry Fletcher (Sherwood Foresters) is killed one month after his brother was killed.
  • Private William Francis Elmes (Sussex Regiment) a veteran of the South African War is killed at age 34. His brother was killed last November.
  • Private William Joseph Bull (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at Frezenburg Ridge. His brother died of wounds in September 1914.
  • Private William Monaghan (Royal Scots) is killed in action at age 27. His brother Frank was killed in February 1915. Private Donald Royan DCM (Cameron Highlanders) is killed at age 30. He is the first of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.
  • Three sets of brothers serving in the London Regiment, Privates Dudley Graham Millington age 29 and Arthur Gordon Millington age 30. Privates Charles Albert and George Harry Heaver and Corporal William Henry and Private Walter Sydney Belsten are killed side by side at Aubers Ridge.
  • At least two other sets of brothers will be killed today serving together. Lance Corporal Aubrey age 25 and Private Jack Brooks age 26 and Albert age 20 and William Hawkins age 24 are killed serving in the Sussex Regiment.
  • Scout Norman Sinclair (Northern Rhodesia Police) is killed by a lion on active service on the Rhodesian frontier.

Saturday 13 March 1915 – We Lost 662

Distinguished Service Order

Distinguished Service Order

The battle of Neuve Chapelle ends.  The British have penetrated 1,200 yards on a front of 4,000 yards.  Their casualties for the whole battle are 583 officers and 12,309 other ranks.  German losses are estimated at about 12,000, of whom 30 officers and 1,637 other ranks are taken prisoner.

A determined attempt to clear mines from the Dardanelles Straits, involving six trawlers and the cruiser Amethyst, ends when all but two of the trawlers are put out of action by shore batteries.  Lieutenant Commander John Beauchamp Waterlow will be awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his actions this night as he carried the attack through an area illuminated by six powerful searchlights and covered by the of forts as well as numerous light guns. Commander Waterlow will be killed serving on HMS Black Prince at Jutland.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Baronet
  • Two battalion commanders
  • Multiple sons of Justices of the Peace
  • The son of the Consul of Adelaide, Australia
  • Multiple sons of clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose another son in the Great War
  • A family that will lose two more sons
  • A family that will lose three more sons

 Today’s highlighted casualties are

 Captain ‘Sir’ Edward Hamilton Westrow Hulse (Scots Guards) the 7th Baronet is killed in action at age 25 trying to aid Major Paynter his commanding officer.

  •  Lieutenant Colonel Laurence Rowe Fisher-Rowe (commanding 1st Grenadier Guards) dies of wounds received the previous day at Neuve Chapelle at age 48. He is South Africa War veteran.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Henry Percy Uniacke CB (commanding 2nd Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 52. He was wounded in Tirah in 1898.
  • Captain and Adjutant Allan O’Halloran (Irish Rifles) is killed in action at age 28. He is the son of the late Frederick O’Halloran JP Consul of Adelaide, Australia and had served in the South Africa War.
  • Captain Henry Owen Bridgecourt Becher (Cameronians) is killed in action at age 25. He is the son of the Reverend Harry Becher Rector of Rosscarberry.
  • Captain Maurice Kirkman Hodgson (Sherwood Foresters) is killed in action at age 34. He is the son of Robert Kirkman Hodgson JP and Lay Honora Janet and he has a brother who will be killed in action four days later.
  • Lieutenant William Louis Tate (Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 24. He was an Honor student at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Brooke Benson (Royal Scots Fusiliers) is killed at age 30. He is the son of the late Reverend Riou George Benson.
  • Lieutenant Marlborough E B Crosse (Yorkshire Regiment) is killed. His brother will be killed in May of this year.
  • Lance Sergeant Alec Chapman Atlay (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 27. His brother will be killed next month.
  • Private Alfred O’Hare (East Lancashire Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 16. His brother will be killed in July 1916.
  • Private Ernest Hall (Leicestershire Regiment) is killed. His brother will be killed in July of this year.
  • Private William Lewis Gratton (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 40. He is the first of four brothers to be killed in the Great War.
  • Private Harry Shipp (Grenadier Guards) is killed in action. His brother was killed in October 1914.
  • Private Philip George Cogan (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed. His two brothers were killed last November together serving as Sergeants in the same Regiment.

Friday 12 March 1915 – We Lost 1,262

Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross

The British repel a German counter-attack at Neuve Chapelle in the morning and then launch their own attack just after midday.  This effort is forced to a halt within two hours, many units having been wiped out.  General Haig looks, however to troops who have not yet seen action to carry the day.  “Information indicates that enemy on our front are much demoralized” he informs them. “Indian Corps and the Fourth Corps will push through the barrage of fire regardless of loss using reserves if required.”  When this order reaches those who will have to put it into effect this evening, there is some dismay. Brigadier General Egerton, informs his superior, General Wilcocks, “that the attack ordered is not likely to succeed.”  Wilcocks cancels the attack, telling Haig, who has just arrived at Indian Corps headquarters, that “he did not consider it feasible to make an attack with such a large body of troops by night over unreconnoitered ground.”  General Haig accepts Wilcocks’ decision, but it is by then too late to stop units of Fourth Corps from moving forward further north.  The confusion is heightened by exhaustion of the men who, after three days and nights under fire, have fallen asleep and can only be aroused by the use of force – a process made very lengthy by the fact that the battlefield is covered with British and German dead, who, in the dark, are indistinguishable from the sleepers.

The Cameronians are hit by shrapnel during a preliminary bombardment of the German trenches.  The second in command of B Company, Captain John P Kennedy is killed by a piece of shrapnel from a British shell while other men are wounded, a few severely. The Cameronians advance along with men from the Middlesex Regiment, but as they approach an area marked “Ruined House’ on their maps, they come close to being shattered by British artillery. The gunners have exceeded their own fire plan and are firing into an area that has not been designated theirs in the planning. Only one officer, Major George Carter-Campbell is wounded. This proves to be the first example of what will become a much more common occurrence during the war, artillery accidentally bombing its own troops. At Neuve Chapelle when the battalion on his right are driven from the trenches Captain John Henry Arden (Worcestershire Regiment) forms his company under a heavy fire to a flank counter attack upon the German right and with great determination drives the Germans back enabling the battalion to  reoccupy their trenches.  For his actions on this day Arden will be awarded the Distinguished Service Order.  He will lose his life on active service in July 1918.

Private Edward Barber (Grenadier Guards) is awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous gallantry at Neuve Chapelle, where he runs speedily in front of the grenade company to which he belongs and throws bombs on the enemy with such effectiveness that a very great number of them at once surrender. When the grenade party reaches Private Barber they find him quite alone and unsupported with the enemy surrendering all about him. He is killed shortly afterwards at age 21. His younger brother will die of wounds received in the Great War in September 1920. Lance Corporal Wilfred Dolby Fuller (Grenadier Guards) is awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery at Neuve Chapelle. While seeing a party of the enemy endeavoring to escape  along a communication trench he runs towards them and kills the leading man with a bomb the remainder (nearly fifty) finding no means of evading his bombs surrender to him.

Corporal William Anderson (Yorkshire Regiment) is awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery at Neuve Chapelle when he leads three men with bombs against a large party of the enemy who have entered our trenches and by his prompt and determined action saves what might otherwise have become a serious situation. Corporal Anderson first throws his own bombs then those in possession of his three men (who have been wounded) among the Germans after which he opens rapid fire upon them with great effect and not withstanding that he is at the time quite alone. Corporal Anderson will die of wounds tomorrow at age 29.

Private Jacob Rivers (Sherwood Foresters) is awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery at Neuve Chapelle when on his own initiative he creeps to within a few yards of a very large number of the enemy who are massed on the flank of an advanced company of his battalion and hurls bombs on them.  His action causes the enemy to retire and relieves the situation.  Private Rivers performs a second act of great bravery later today similar to the first mentioned, again causing the enemy to retire. He is killed on this occasion.

CSM Harry Daniels and Acting Corporal Cecil Reginald Noble (Rifle Brigade) are both awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery at Neuve Chapelle. When their battalion is impeded in the advance to the attack by wire entanglements and subjected to a very severe machine gun fire these two men voluntarily rush in front and succeed in cutting the wires. They are both wounded at once and Corporal Noble dies of his wounds tomorrow at age 23.

Lieutenant Cyril Gordon Martin (Royal Engineers) is awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery at Spanbroek Molen when in command of a grenade throwing party of six rank and file. Although wounded early in the action, he leads his party into the enemy trenches and holds back their reinforcements for nearly two and a half hours, until evacuation of the captured trench is ordered.

General Ian Hamilton is appointed to command the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.

Today’s losses include:

  • Four battalion commanders
  • Multiple sons of clergy
  • Multiple sons of Generals
  • The grandson of General
  • The son of a Member of Parliament
  • The grandson of a Member of Parliament
  • The son of a Baronet
  • A man who played cricket for Worcestershire
  • Multiple families that will lose another son in the Great War
  • A family that will lose a total of three sons in the war
  • A family that will lose four sons in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties are

 Second Lieutenant John Hewitt Sutton Moxly (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 23. He is the son the Reverend J H Moxly Principal Chaplain to His Majesties Forces and the poet Robert Sterling (who will be killed next month) dedicated the following poem to him.

O Brother, I have sung no dirge for thee:

Nor for all time to come

Can song reveal my grief’s infinity:

The menace of the silence made me dumb

  • Lieutenant Colonel George Brenton Laurie (commanding 1st Royal Irish Rifles) is killed at age 47. His brother was killed near Philippolis in the South African War on 12 April 1901 and they are sons of Lieutenant General J W Laurie. Lieutenant Colonel Laurie had written an account of the Christmas truce and how he had crossed to the German trenches on Christmas Day armed only with a three-day-old copy of the Daily Telegraph and spoke with a number of German officers.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Charles Forbes Wodehouse DSO (commanding 1st Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 43. He is a South African War Veteran.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Percy Clare Eliott-Lockhart DSO (commanding 59th Scinde Rifles Field Force) is killed at age 47.
  • Lieutenant Colonel David Coley Young (commanding 1st Gurkha Rifles) is killed at age 45.
  • Major William Cotton French (Gurkha Rifles) is killed in action at age 44. He is the son of the Reverend Frederic French.
  • Captain Arthur George Coningsby Capell (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 35. He is a South African War veteran and the son of the Reverend George Marie Capell Rector of Passenham.
  • Captain Alexander Moultrie Wallace (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 33. He is the son of the Reverend Walter Edward Wallace and his brother will be killed 4 days short of one year from today.
  • Captain Leslie John Robinson (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 31. He is the son of the Reverend W Robinson Vicar of east Haddon.
  • Captain James Isidore Wood-Martin (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 40. His brother was killed last month.
  • Captain Eric Chasemore Gates (London Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the son of Percy Gates MP.
  • Captain Reginald Cholmondeley (Rifle Brigade attached Royal Flying Corps) and seven members of the ground crew are killed in an accident when loading a bomb at Choques aerodrome. Captain Cholmondeley dies at age 26.
  • Lieutenant Cyril Henry Cameron (Royal Horse Artillery) is killed in action at age 23. He is the grandson of the late General W T Hughes.
  • Lieutenant Oliver John Calley (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend John Henry Calley Vicar of Figheldean.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Percy Pilcher (Rifle Brigade) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of Major General Thomas David Pilcher.
  • Lieutenant Eric Gilbey (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 27. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Walter Gilbey the 2nd
  • Lieutenant William Archibald MacLean (Highland Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 28. He is the son of the Reverend E Maclean.
  • Lieutenant Frederick Bonham Burr (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 27. He played cricket for Worcestershire.  He was the son of the Reverend George Frederick Burr and has a brother who will be killed in March 1918.
  • Second Lieutenant Carleton Lumley St Clair Clery (Liverpool Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the son of Major General Carleton B L Clery.
  • Second Lieutenant John Philip De Buriatte (East Surrey Regiment) is killed in action at age 27. His elder brother will die at home three and a half years later.
  • Second Lieutenant William Hamilton Clarke (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of Lieutenant Colonel ‘Sir’ Edward Henry, CMG, DSO the 4th Baronet and his brother was killed in September of last year.
  • Second Lieutenant Gordon Jacob Wilson (Northamptonshire Yeomanry) is killed at age 32. He is the son of the late ‘Sir’ Jacob and Lady Wilson KCVO.
  • Second Lieutenant Edmund Morton Mansel-Pleydell (Dorsetshire Regiment attached Worcestershire) is killed at age 29. His brother will be killed in May of next year. They are grandsons of ‘Sir’ Thomas Fraser Grove MP 1st
  • Sergeant W Noble (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 28. He is the middle of three brothers who are killed in the war.
  • Private Nicholas Hixson (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed in action at age 36. His brother will be killed in action in September 1918.
  • Private Frederick Richard Nicholas (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 34. His brother will die of wounds in May 1916.
  • Rifleman Reginald Buss (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in July.
  • Able Seaman Conran de Courcy Stretton (HMAS Australian) dies at home at age 24. He is the first of four brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.

Thursday 11 March 1915 – We Lost 892

Military Cross

Military Cross

A British attack shortly after midday at Neuve Chapelle takes place five minutes after the supporting artillery fire has stopped, leading to heavy casualties. General Haig orders a frontal attack, and almost all those who take part in it are killed. This evening he gives the order for a renewed advance on the following day. Some British forces do make progress occupying the village of l’Epinette.

Captain John William Mapplebeck (Liverpool Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) and Lieutenant Alastair St John Munro Warrand (Black Watch attached) carryout the first night bombing raid of the Great War.  Each aircraft carries two 100-lb bombs on carriers designed and built by the squadron.  Preparations include fitting the cockpits with electric lights and, to direct the crews, two signaling lamps are placed on the ground, five miles apart.  They depart for Lille at 04:45.  Both aircraft are shot down and though Captain Mapplebeck is able to make it back to the British lines, Lieutenant Warrand will die of his wounds in eight days.

With intelligence concerning Turkish ammunition shortages Churchill and the Admiralty order Admiral Carden to shift from his methodical bombardment of the Dardanelles forts to an attack to obtain victory. The results to be gained are enough to justify loss of ships and men if success cannot be obtained without. Efforts to sweep the Kephez minefields at night with trawler minesweepers continue to be unsuccessful when the warships are unable to knock out the searchlights which expose the trawlers to the deadly fire of the batteries protecting the minefields. Carden and his staff concludes that the only method to succeed will be a daylight attack to silence the forts at the Narrows as well as the batteries protecting the Kephez minefields.  The trawlers can then clear a channel at night and permit the fleet to destroy the Narrows forts at short range the following day. This, in turn, will permit the trawlers to sweep the Narrows minefields and open the way into the Sea of Marmara.

British Cavalry make a reconnaissance to Nakaila, west of Basra.

The Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Bayano (Commander Henry Cecil Carr) is sunk by the submarine U27 ten miles west of Corsewell Point off the River Clyde.  There are one hundred ninety-five casualties including her commanding officer along with twenty-six survivors.

Britain announces a blockade of German ports.

Third Squadron Royal Naval Air Service sails for the Dardanelles.

Captain Trevor Howard Beves (Border Regiment) is awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and exceptionally good work performed at Neuve Chapelle.  He leads his men with great ability in the attack and is wounded twice.  Captain Beves will be killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Today’s losses include:

  • The son of the Duke of Stacpoole
  • The 3rd Baron Brabourne
  • The son of the 2nd Baron Penrhyn
  • Multiple families that will lose another son in the Great War
  • A family that will lose two more sons in the Great War
  • The son of a Baronet
  • An International Cricket player
  • A man who was awarded the Military Cross in the first class in January 1915
  • A son of a Justice of the Peace
  • A man whose father was killed in the South African War
  • A son of a member of the clergy
  • A brother of a man who will be awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously in the war
  • The Captain of the 1st football eleven at Leys School Cambridge

 Today’s highlighted casualties are

 Major Charles Ernest Higginbotham (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 48. He played three cricket matches for the Straits Settlements against Hong Kong between 1890 and 1891 and two first class matches and served in the South African War.

  • Captain Rupert Auriol Conant Murray (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed in action at age 32. His brother was killed on 30 November 1914.  He is the son-in-law of ‘Sir’ Henry Edwrd Dering 10th Baronet
  • Captain John Rowley Lunell Heyland (Gurkha Rifles) is killed at age 28. He was awarded the Military Cross in the first group awarded that award. His brother will be killed in May of this year.
  • Captain Wyndham Wentworth Knatchbull-Hugessen (Grenadier Guards), 3rd Baron Brabourne is killed in action at age 29. His cousin once removed the 6th Baron will be killed serving as Lieutenant Norton Cecil Michael Knatchbull on 15th September 1943 while serving in the Grenadier Guards.
  • Captain ‘the Honorable’ George Henry Douglas-Pennant (Grenadier Guards) at age 38. He is the second and last surviving son of the 2nd Baron Penrhyn to be killed in the Great War.
  • Lieutenant Archibald Charles Edward Alexander (Royal Scots Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 26. He is the son of W R E Alexander JP.
  • Second Lieutenant Henry Scott Turner (Black Watch) dies of pneumonia at age 18. He is the son of Major Scott Turner (Black Watch) who was killed in the South African War.
  • Second Lieutenant Roderick Algernon Anthony De Stacpoole (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Horse Artillery) is killed in action at age 19. He is the son of the 4th Duke and Duchess of Stacpoole and has a brother who was killed in September 1914 and a nephew who will be killed in 1944.
  • Second Lieutenant Robert Sanderson Paterson (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Horse Artillery) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the Very Reverend W P Paterson DD Professor of Divinity at University of Edinburgh.
  • Sergeant George Reay (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 26. His brother will be killed in February of next year.
  • Private Archibald Ware (Wiltshire Regiment) is the first of three brothers to lose his life in the Great War. The other two will lose their lives in 1916 the first Corporal Sidney William Ware will die of wounds in April of that year less than two weeks after performing deeds that will win him the Victoria Cross.
  • Private William Fane Dalzell Dalrymple-Sewell (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed by a shell in front of Bois de Blez at age 18. He is the grandson of Colonel Henry Fane Haylell Sewell, great grandson of General ‘Sir’ William Henry Sewell and great great grandson of ‘Sir’ Thomas Sewell.
  • Private John Leslie Elmslie (Honorable Artillery Company) is killed at age 18. He was the best swimmer and Captain of the 1st football eleven at Leys School Cambridge.

Wednesday 10 March 1915 – We Lost 1,427

Garwhals at Neuve Chapelle

Garwhals at Neuve Chapelle

The first British offensive battle worthy of the name will illustrate the repeated experience of the next three years. Neuve Chapelle a relatively minor affair, by comparison with what will happen in the years to come. The attack is to be carried out by IV Corps (Lieutenant General ‘Sir’ Henry Rawlinson of the First Army).  Tactically, strategically, and psychologically there are good reasons for attacking at Neuve Chapelle, sufficient to outweigh in the mind of Field Marshall ‘Sir’ John French the reasons for not doing so.  The First Army’s line runs through the water logged meadows of the Lys valley, dominated to the east by the Aubers Ridge, only 40 feet high, but nevertheless offering drier ground and observation over the flat lands for many miles in all directions. The village of Neuve Chapelle, captured by the Germans in October 1914, lays in a salient about 2,000 yards across, giving the opportunity of converging fire; the Ridge lays only a mile beyond the village.  The temptations are obvious and only a little further lays the strategic prize of Lille. Finally, there is the psychological bait; the very evident facts that the Germans have an undoubted sense of superiority on the British front (following disastrous attempts to advance without proper equipment or preparations in December) and that the French clearly regard the BEF as ‘second class citizens’ for all offensive purposes. The combination of these arguments overbear the critical circumstances that even with a better flow of equipment (especially artillery) the BEF still has no capacity for a sustained offensive effort without French help, and that such help will not be forthcoming.

So Neuve Chapelle will be a British battle a test of British ability to wage offensive war and the British still have a great deal to learn. Haig has two ideas firmly in mind from the start. The essential need for surprise and, as he tells Rawlinson, that ‘success depends upon methodical preparation’.  Such is the British ignorance of these matters at this stage that even from an officer who will later play as distinguished a part in the war as Rawlinson, he has great difficulty in extracting a plan at all.  And when one does appear, it proposes to take two days to capture of Neuve Chapelle, which means, as Haig remarks, that ‘there would be no element of surprise on the second day, but the enemy would be ready for us’.  Bit by bit, however, a plan is worked out. The surprise element (which also has the advantage of being economical of still scarce ammunition: is a ‘hurricane’ bombardment of only 35 minutes duration, using the unprecedented number of 66 heavy guns more than the whole BEF possessed in the first battle of Ypres. Still over two years off are such deployments as the Second Army’s 819 heavy guns and howitzers at the battle of Messines, or the Fifth Army’s 752 for ‘Third Ypres’.

Nevertheless, the artillery contribution to Neuve Chapelle offers a strong hint of things to come as does many other things.  Haig insists that every man must know exactly what his duty is, accordingly, officers familiarize themselves with the ground over which they will attack and the assaulting infantry are rehearsed in their tasks standard drill later, but this is the first time. ‘Forming up trenches’ are dug, and dummy trenches for deception; advanced ammunition and supply depots (dumps) are established; roads are improved for battle traffic and a light railway laid down. All these are ‘firsts’.  So too is the issuing of artillery timetables, giving each battery its exact targets for each stage of the action, a most important innovation. Gun platforms are devised to give stability in the soft muddy ground.  Aerial photographs build a map showing the network of German trenches the novelty of this is indicated by the fact that efficient air cameras did not arrive until February.  Each of the two corps involved receives 1,500 copies of this map. Secrecy is carefully preserved in all the preparations. To exploit a success, five divisions of cavalry are brought up behind the offensive front; this also will continue to be standard procedure.

The British bombardment opens, with an exhilarating crash at 07:30 from three hundred forty-two guns on the German trenches, the artillery fire being directed in part by eighty-five reconnaissance aircraft.  More shells are fired in this short opening barrage than in the entire South African War, an indication of the terrifying transformation of the nature of war within a period of fifteen years. At 08:05 the British and Indian divisions attack along an 8,300 yard front thousands of the advancing troops carrying maps of the terrain they are advancing over created from information provided by the Royal Flying Corps. The Royal Flying Corps order of battle for Neuve Chapelle lists eleven types of aircraft, but among these only two are rudimentary scouts. The Martinsyde Scout’s and SE2’s perform this function along with a single Vickers FB5 fighter.  The British air units that have been assembled are 2nd, 3rd and 16th Squadron of 1st Wing; 5th and 6th Squadron of 2nd Wing and 1st and 4th Squadron of 3rd Wing. One aircraft of 6th Squadron attacks a German troop train at Courtrai railway station. Captain Louis Arbon Strange silences a sentry at the station with a hand grenade and then kills or wounds seventy-five Germans when he bombs the train.

At the center of the attack, after three hours of often hand to hand fighting, Neuve Chapelle is captured and four lines of German trenches over run. Only on the flanks are there serious difficulties.  In the northern sector, nearest to Aubers, a 400 yard length of German front line is not bombarded. The guns allocated to this sector have not reached the front in time to take part in the attack. The men who advance in this sector in three successive waves cross No-Man’s Land towards an intact German wire. It is first thought that the attack succeeds in reaching the German trenches as no one behind can see and not a man returns. In fact, almost every one of the attackers, almost a thousand men, has been killed. The chain of command during the battle of Neuve Chapelle is such that considerable time was taken to ascertain what should be done at each stage of the fighting. Telephone lines having been cut by German shell-fire, messages, often long winded and sometimes unclear have to be sent by messenger. Sometimes crucial messages cross in mid-journey, requiring new messages and creating an added muddle. Errors in intelligence are made: the initial German strength is overrated, and the German position in certain areas is exaggerated.  The battle will continue for three days, but almost all the ground is won in the first three hours of this day.

The Germans first use gas shells on the western front at Neuve Chapelle, but in the smoke and general stench it is not noticed.

Private William Buckingham (Leicestershire Regiment) is awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous acts of bravery and devotion to duty in rescuing and rendering aid to the wounded while exposed to heavy fire especially at Neuve Chapelle today and the next two days.

Rifleman Gobar Singh Negi (Garwhal Rifles) is awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery at Neuve Chapelle.  During our attack on the German position he is one of a bayonet party with bombs who enters their main trench and is the first man to go round each traverse driving back the enemy until they are eventually forced to surrender.  He is killed during this engagement.

Captain F P Nosworthy (Sappers & Miners) is awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous ability and gallantry during the campaign especially at Neuve Chapelle on this and the following two days, when he shows marked coolness and initiative under heavy close range fire while constructing barricades.

The German submarine U-12 is rammed and sunk by the destroyer HMS Ariel off the Aberdeen coast.

The Dardanelles bombardment is renewed as the weather improves.  Roger Keyes calls for volunteers from the regular Navy, and offers the civilian crews of minesweepers a bonus if they will go in this night. Keyes himself goes in with the front flotilla under the cover of darkness.  Five searchlights burst out at them directly as they enter the straits and the battleship Canopus, following behind, opens fire. Turkish fire proves too much for the minesweepers.  Four of the six pass over the minefield below Chanak without getting their kites down and one of the remaining two strikes a mine and blows up. For a time a tremendous fire pours down on the survivors, and it is astonishing thing that, with so many mines cut loose and drifting about in the darkness, only two men are wounded before the flotilla gets away.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross Winner
  • The Vice President of the Berkemsted Cricket Club
  • A battalion commander
  • The son of a General
  • The son of an Admiral
  • Multiple families that will lose a total or 2 or 3 sons in the Great War
  • Two sons of Barons
  • Multiple sons of clergy
  • The son of a jurist

 Today’s highlighted casualties are

  •  Lieutenant Colonel Wilfrid Marryat Bliss (commanding 2nd Cameronians) is killed at age 49.
  • Major Ernest De Lannoy Hayes (Cameronians) is killed in action at age 45. He is the son of the late Admiral Montagu Hayes.
  • Major Percy George Rigby (British Columbia Regiment) is killed at age 43. He is the son of Major General Christopher Palmer Rigby.
  • Captain Cecil Gerald Wyatt Peake (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 23. He has two brothers who will be killed later in the Great War.
  • Captain and Adjutant Walter Bruce Gray-Buchanan (Cameronians) is killed in action at age 29. His brother will be killed in May of this year.
  • Captain Eric Piers Shakerley (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 30. He is the first of three sons of Geoffrey Joseph to be killed in the Great War.
  • Captain Henry Leslie Homan (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 36. He is the son of the Reverend Canon Homan.
  • Captain Harry Robert Sauve Pulman (London Regiment) is killed at age 47 when he is shot three times during a bayonet charge. He is a Vice President of Berkhamsted Cricket Club.
  • Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ John De Blaquiere (Cameronians) is killed in action at age 25. He is the son of the 6th Baron and dies two years before his younger brother is killed in action in 1917.
  • Lieutenant John Patrick Bibby (Cameronians) is killed in action at age 22. His younger brother will be killed in July 1916 serving in the same regiment.
  • Lieutenant Arthur William Wylie (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Right Honorable Mr. Justice Wylie.
  • Lieutenant Arthur Carr-Glyn Lonsdale (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son of the Reverend J H Lonsdale, a scholar at Eton and Radley and an undergraduate of Trinity College.
  • Lieutenant ‘the Honorable’ Howard Carew Stonor (Bedfordshire Regiment attached South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. He is the son of the 4th Baron Camoys.
  • Lieutenant Thomas Hylton Madden (Liverpool Regiment) is killed at age 18. He is the son of the Venerable Archdeacon Thomas John Madden of Liverpool.
  • Lieutenant H G Mathieson (London Regiment) is killed on his 27th Second Lieutenant Mark Gillham Windsor (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at a dressing station by a shell after being wounded at age 24. His brother will be killed in June.
  • Second Lieutenant Maurice Victor Beningfield (Worcestershire Regiment) is killed at age 17. His brother will die of wounds next month.
  • Second Lieutenant Evan Amyas Alfred Hare (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 27. His brother will be killed next September.
  • Sergeant Wilfred Henry Denham (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 26. His brother will be killed in October 1918.
  • Sergeant Michael Fagan (Liverpool Regiment) is killed at age 32. He is the first of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
  • Sergeant Alick Cowper (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 21. He has two brothers who will be killed later in the Great War.
  • Lance Corporal Alex McAdie (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed at age 19. His brother will die of wounds in January 1917.
  • Private William Murray (Gordon Highlanders) is killed. His brother will be killed in less than one month.
  • Private Alec Frederick Conroy (Liverpool Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in September of this year.
  • Private Sidney Francis Harry Gigg (Devonshire Regiment) is killed. His brother will be killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • Private William Henry Beer (Devonshire Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed on HMS Monmouth last year.
  • Private Bartlett William Heath (Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 27. His brother was killed in November 1914.

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

 

Wednesday 28 October 1914 – We Lost 599

Admiral Louis Alexander of Battenberg

Admiral Louis Alexander of Battenberg

Admiral Louis Alexander of Battenberg resigns as First Sea Lord the day after his nephew dies of wounds on the Western Front.  His resignation letter includes “I have lately been driven to the painful conclusion that at this juncture my birth and parentage have the effect of impairing…my usefulness to the Board of the Admiralty. I feel it is my duty to resign”. His German ancestry, titles, property and even his accent made him a target of the popular press and letters to the editor looking for a scapegoat for the Royal Navy’s lack of success to this point in the war.  The First Sea Lord’s wife is even the sister-in-law of Prince Heinrich of Prussia, the Kaiser’s brother and grand admiral of the German Navy.

Indian troops attack into Neuve Chapelle village, fighting house to house and hand to hand.  Within hours a sustained German counter attack drives the Sikhs from the village.  Of the two hundred eighty-nine men who manage to extricate themselves from Neuve Chapelle, only sixty-eight reach the road from which the attack has started. For his courage during the retreat Subadar Malla Singh will be awarded the Military Cross, the first Indian officer to be awarded the medal.  In the ensuing six days of fighting, more than twenty-five British officers and five hundred Indian officers and men will be killed, and 1,455 wounded.

The British force fighting its way along the railroad from Yapona reaches Edea, Cameroon two days after the French have occupied the town.  Meanwhile Lieutenant Colonel Haywood with the 2nd Nigeria Regiment successfully fights his way up the Northern Railway and captures Susa.

At 07:00 SMS Emden stops the British steamer Glen Turret after raiding Penang harbor.  The Glen Turret is carrying explosives but instead of being sunk she is used as a messenger by Emden.  The German captain apologizes to the survivors of a Russian light cruiser that he sank, for not picking them up. He also apologizes to the crew of a pilot boat for unintentionally firing on their unarmed vessel.

 Today’s losses include:

  •  One of four brothers who lose their lives in the service of their King and Country
  • The son of an author of religious pamphlets
  • Son of the 13th Baron Lovat
  • Aide de campe to the Viceroy of India from 1910-1913
  • Great grandson of the 1st Earl of Cawdor
  • Son of an Admrial
  • Son of a Baronet
  • Hockey player
  • Son of the late Governor of the Windward Islands
  • Grandson of a Baronet
  • Grandson of the 3rd Marquess of Cholmondeley
  • An International high hurdler
  • Nephew of the 2nd Baron Aldenham
  • Father of wildlife documentary filmmaker Denis Holdsworth Michaela
  • An anthropologist
  • Two brothers killed together
  • Son of clergy
  • Families that will lose two and three sons
  • Sons and grandson of Generals
  • Sons of Justice’s of the Peace

 Today’s highlighted casualty is

 Major John Stanley Richardson (commanding 21st Company Sappers and Miners, Indian Army) is killed at age 31.  He is the son of ‘Sir’ Thomas and Lady Anna Constance Richardson and was a King Edward’s Gold Medal (1902) and King George’s Durbar Medal (1911) winner. He is one of five brothers who will lose their lives in the service of their King and Country four in the Great War after one was lost in a submarine accident in 1912. His mother is an author of religious pamphlets Prayers for Family Worship and Parish Meetings and A Simple Message to God’s Word.

  • Major William Lynn Allen DSO (Border Regiment) is killed at age 43. He is a South African War veteran and son of Bulkeley Allen JP.
  • Major ‘the Honorable’ Hugh Joseph Fraser MVO(Scots Guards) is killed at age 40. He is the son of Simon Fraser MVO, the 13th Baron Lovat and he served as the ADC to the Viceroy of India from 1910-1913.
  • Captain Rowland Latimer Almond (Sappers and Miners, Indian Army) is killed at age 27. He is the first and youngest of three brothers who will be killed.
  • Captain Robert Frederick Balfour (Scots Guards) is killed at Gheluvelt at age 31. He is the son of Edward Balfour JP DL and great grandson of the 1st Earl of Cawdor and his brother will be killed in March 1918.
  • Captain Edgar Wilmer Walker (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 39. He is the son of Admiral C F Walker and grandson of ‘Sir’ James Walker Baronet.
  • Captain Robert Jim McCleverty (Sikhs) is killed at age 32. He is the grandson of General W A McCleverty and Surgeon General H H Massy CB. He fought in the South African War and is a hockey player.
  • Captain Eric May Battersby (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 30. He is the son of Worsley Battersby JP.
  • Captain Edwin John Berkeley Hayes-Sadler (Royal Engineers) is killed two days before his brother is killed. They are sons of Lieutenant Colonel ‘Sir’ James Hayes Sadler KCMG CB late Governor of the Windward Islands.
  • Captain Alexander Kennedy(Royal Irish Rifles) dies of wounds received four days earlier. He is the son of the late General H F Kennedy (King’s Royal Rifle Corps). His wife is the cousin of ‘Sir’ Aylmer Hunter Weston KCB DSO.
  • Captain Bertram Lawrence (East Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 37 when he is shot by a sniper. He is the grandson of General Henry Lawrence and a veteran of the South African War.
  • Captain Charles Almeric John Cholmondeley(Border Regiment) is killed at age 34. He is the son of the late Lord and Lady Cholmondeley and the grandson of the 3rd Marquess of Cholmondeley.
  • Captain John Mounsey Lambert(Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 30.  He is the only son of the late Major General G C Lambert.
  • Lieutenant James Booker Brough Warren (Border Regiment) is killed at age 25. He is an international caliber high hurdler.
  • Second Lieutenant Ronald Charles Melbourne Gibbs (Scots Guards) is also killed at age 21. He is the son of the late ‘Honorable’ Henry Gibbs, grandson of General Charles Crutchley and nephew of the 2nd Baron Aldenham.
  • Second Lieutenant Clarence Leslie Bentley(Manchester Regiment) is killed at age 20 when he is shot in the head by a sniper. He is the son of the late Alderman William Bentley JP.  He passed out of Sandhurst as war was declared.
  • Second Lieutenant Richard Mary Snead-Cox(Royal Scots) is killed 8 days after his brother has been killed when he is shot in the chest while another brother will be killed at the Battle of Jutland.
  • CQMS Ernest John Thompson (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 30. His brother was killed yesterday.
  • Sergeant Major Sydney Barnard Thompson (Lancers) is killed at Messines a day before his brother will be killed at Ypres.
  • Lance Corporal Edward Alexander Guess (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the middle of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.
  • Brothers Jim and Tom Pumfrey are killed in action while serving as privates in the South Staffordshire Regiment.
  • Private Arthur Holdssworth (East Yorkshire Regiment) an archaeologist is killed in action. He is the father of wildlife documentary filmmaker Michaela Holdsworth Denis.
  • Private Frank Lawes (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 18. His brother will die of wounds in March 1918.
  • Private Richard Banks (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed one week after his brother met the same fate.
  • Private John Haines (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed at age 26. His brother William will also lose his life in the war.
  • Colonel Bertram Charles Percival Heywood(Manchester Regiment) dies at home at age 49.  He is the son of ‘Sir’ Thomas Percival Heywood, the 2nd  He served in the South African Campaign.

A British Naval Flotilla continues to support the Allies left, and since the morning of the 27th the fire of 12in. guns has been brought to bear upon the German positions and batteries. The reports received from shore testify to the effect and accuracy of the fire, and its strong results. The flank is thus thoroughly protected. The enemy brings up heavy guns and replies vigorously to the fire from Admiral Hood’s ships. The vessels receive no structural damage. The casualties are slight throughout, but one shell explodes on the destroyer HMS Falcon killing her commander along with seven other men.

  • Lieutenant Hubert Osmond Wauton is the son of the Reverend Atherton E Wauton age 29.
  • Able Stoker Petty Officer Charles Arthur Beaney killed at age 38. His brother was killed last month in the sinking of HMS Hogue.
  • Able Seaman William Skye is killed at age 24. His brother will die on service as a leading aircraftman in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1946.

The fishing vessel Our Tom (Skipper Albert R Larkins) is sunk by a mine 45 miles southeast from Southwold.  Her skipper and two crew men are killed.

photo from wikipedia.org

 

 

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.