Great War Lives Lost

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

Tag: Royal Field Artillery

Thursday 10 September 1914 – We Lost 125

East Lancashire Regiment

East Lancashire Division

Men who joined the Territorial Force before the war are not obliged to serve overseas.  When the Great War broke out many Territorial battalions volunteered to serve overseas.  90% of the East Lancashire Division (later to be designated the 42nd) – sign up and by this day they have mobilized, moved to Southampton and embark for Egypt.

Today’s losses include:

  • The first British General killed in the Great War
  • The first volunteer to be killed
  • sons of Generals
  • Sons of Justice of the Peace office holders
  • Grandsons of Baronets
  • The grandson of an Admiral
  • More examples of the first son of a family that will lose two

 Today’s highlighted casualty

Brigadier General Neil Douglas Findlay CB, commanding Royal Artillery is killed in action at age 55 becoming the first British General to be killed in the Great War.  He is selecting a position for his artillery at Courchamps-Priez-Nevill St Front, when, by pure chance, some British infantry pass by near him and draw on themselves and him, heavy German shellfire.  He was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1878 and saw service with the Hazara Expedition of 1888 and served in the South African War from 1899 to 1900.

  • Captain Douglas Clinton Leslie (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 37. His brother will be killed next month and they are grandsons of Admiral ‘Sir’ Cornwallis Ricketts 2nd
  • Captain Beauchamp Henry Selby (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed at age 31. He is the son of Beauchamp Prideaux Selby JP.
  • Captain William Henry Joseph Barber-Starkey (Royal Field Artillery) dies of wounds received 26th August at age 34. He is the son of William Joseph Barber-Starkey JP and grandson of ‘Sir’ George Kinloch the 1st
  • Lieutenant Wilfred John McKenzie Hadfield (South Lancashire Regiment) dies of wounds as a prisoner of war he received 4 days before. He is the son of Major General Charles Arthur Hadfield.
  • Lieutenant Dougal Clifford Campbell Sewell (Royal West Kent Regiment) dies of wounds received 23 August at age 20. He is the son of William Sewell JP.
  • Lieutenant and Adjutant Arthur Hennis Perrott (Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 29. He is the son of Major General ‘Sir’ T Perrott KCB.
  • Second Lieutenant Julian Martin Smith (Intelligence Corps attached Lancers) dies of wounds received 7 September. He is the first volunteer to be killed in the war and at Eton was the keeper of the field and of the racquets. He played golf at Cambridge with a two handicap. He is related to the Marquess of Lincolnshire.
  • Corporal William Griffin (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 25. His brother will be killed next April.
  • Private George Russell Mason (Royal Scots) dies on service at age 20. His brother John will also be killed in the war.

Wednesday 9 September 1914 – We Lost 106 (Plus 1)

The British Naval Mission to Turkey is withdrawn.

Maurice Farman Shorthorn

Maurice Farman Shorthorn

The Allied counter attack from the west finally stops the German advance on the Western Front. British forces move forward with tremendous determination, crucially aided by the detailed intelligence proved by the Royal Flying Corps. The remaining “C” flight of 4th Squadron arrives in France.  Its Maurice Farman Shorthorns are fitted with machine guns making them the first armed British machines to arrive in France.  In the area of the Nogent the Royal Artillery fire on British cavalry wounding eighteen.

Captain Douglas Reynolds (Royal Field Artillery) reconnoiters German positions at Pisseloup, discovers a battery holding up the advance and silences it. This action along with one performed on 26th August will win him the Victoria Cross.

At 03:00 the siege of Abercorn is reinforced by one hundred men under Major H M Sennett, who comes up by forced marches, covering ninety-nine miles in seventy-two hours. Three hours later the Germans launch an all-out attack, which is repulsed.

Today’s losses include

  • Son of clergy
  • Son of a father of will die on service during the war
  • The son in a family that will lose another son this month

 Today’s highlighted casualty

 Among those killed at Abercorn is Lieutenant John Leslie Caldecott (Royal Garrison Artillery) at age 28.  He is the son of the Reverend Andrew Caldecott Rector of West Chiltington and the Aide de Camp to the Governor of Nyasaland.

  • Private Arthur Jordan (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at age 25. His father will die on service in July 1918 in Mesopotamia.
  • Private Sidney Perkins Rooth (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed in fifteen days.

The Plus 1 

  • Carl Heinrich Gobler age 29 the coxswain for the Germania Ruder Club Hamburg which won the Gold Medal in the Coxed fours at the 1900 Olympics. He was the youngest participant in those Olympic games.

Tuesday 25 August 1914 – We Lost 77 plus 1

British troops continue their retreat from Mons in the heat and dust towards the French frontiers. Northwest of Landrecies this evening the Coldstream Guards acting as rear-guard to 4th Guards Brigade, fights its first action since it was formed in 1897. Throughout the night, they fight off fierce German attacks until ordered to retire. During this action, a haystack is set on fire, disclosing the British positions to the enemy and enabling them to fire at point blank range with a field gun.  Private George Harry Wyatt twice goes out to extinguish the blaze under heavy fire, and will later be awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry. Sergeant J A J Fox will be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry in helping to serve his machine gun at Landrecies throughout this night and repairing the gun under fire in the firing line.  He will be killed in action after serving through almost the entire war on 27th August 1918.

Today’s highlighted casualty is

Lieutenant ‘The Honorable’ Archer Windsor-Clive is killed at age 23 along with twenty-two comrades in the Coldstream Guards defending Landrecies. He is the third son of the 1st Earl and Countess of Plymouth and had played cricket while attending Cambridge where he was considered a good batsman and a useful medium-paced left-handed bowler, though he did not earn his blue.

Coldstream Guards Badge

Coldstream Guards Badge

  • A son of the Earl of Plymouth
  • A Baronet and the son of a Baronet
  • Sons of Generals
  • Grandson of an Earl
  • Great grandson of an Earl
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • Sons of families that will lose two and three sons

 

  • Major Granville Joseph Chetwynd Stapylton (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 42. He is the son of Lieutenant General Granville Charles and Lady Barbara Stapylton and had served in the South African War. He is also the grandson of the 4th Earl of Milltown.
  • Captain ‘Sir’ Francis Ernest Waller 4th Baronet (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 34.  He is the son of Major General ‘Sir’ George Henry Waller the 3rd Baronet served in the South African War and is the High Sheriff and Deputy Lieutenant of Warwick.
  • Second Lieutenant Vincent Uzielli Bloor (Durham Light Infantry) dies at home at age 19. His brother will die on service in 1918.
  • Second Lieutenant John Denys Shine (Irish Regiment) dies of wounds at age 19. He is the first of three brothers who will lose their lives in the Great War.
  • Second Lieutenant Robert Humphrey Medlicott Vereker (Grenadier Guards) is killed at age 21. He is he great grandson of 3rd Viscount Gort.

The column attacking northern Cameroon finds the Germans in an almost impregnable position at Mora.  Tepe, Cameroon is occupied by the Allies.

  • Lieutenant (Acting Captain) Thomas Strange Wickham DSO (Manchester Regiment attached Nigeria Regiment) is killed at Tepe ate 36. He is the son of T T Wickham JP and served in the South African War.

The plus one:

  • Chef de Batallion Felix Lucien Roger Debax is killed in action at age 49. He finish fourth in the final individual foils fencing event in the 1900 Olympics for France.

Photo wikipedia

Monday 24 August 1914 – We Lost 406

Today’s losses are the highest in any one day of the war so far and bring the total losses in the Empire’s forces to over one thousand.

Included in those losses today are:

  •  Son and grandson of General
  • Families that lost two and three sons
  • Sons and grandsons of clergy
  • A man whose stepson will be killed later in the Great War
  • A man whose son will be born after his death

The Fifth Division finds itself in a very tight position and Cavalry is sent to its assistance the 2nd Cavalry Brigade reaching the scene of the action first. The Germans are advancing in heavy numbers, so near the village of Audregnies, General De Lisle orders his men to dismount and open fire on them.  This they do but the enemy continues to advance in good order. The General then decides on a charge, and for this he chose the 9th Lancers who mount their horses and ride steadily at the enemy.  In the face of a torrent of shot and shell from guns and rifles, they dash on until they find themselves against two lines of barbed wire, where men and horses fall over in all directions. This ends the charge. The survivors are ordered to return to shelter, and out of more than four hundred who have ridden out, only seventy-two at first answer their names.  Later, some two hundred others turn up, but the regiment has lost heavily. Lieutenant Charles William North Garstin of the 9th Lancers is killed during these operations at age 20. He is the son of Major General ‘Sir’ William Garstin GCMG CBE. Captain Douglas Keith Lucas-Tooth (Lancers) will be awarded the Distinguished Service Order for gallantry in this action. He will be killed in action in less than one month.

Still the Lancers have not finished their day’s work.  When the survivors arrive at a railway embankment near Doubon, they find themselves in the company of some artillerymen who have been driven from their guns with heavy loss. Captain Francis Octavius Grenfell now the senior officer of the Lancers, who had been wounded in the original charge but has managed to keep his squadron together, goes out into the open and finds a way to help save the guns. He has his men follow him and leaving their horses they rush out, reach the abandoned guns and assist in saving the guns of the 119th Battery, Royal Field Artillery. For his actions on this day Captain Grenfell will be awarded the Victoria Cross as will the commander of the 119th Battery Major Ernest Wright Alexander. This is part of an action when the Lancers charge a battery of eleven German guns posted in Compiegne Wood.  The guns have been causing terrible loss to the British infantry.  According to the press account published at the time, the 9th make a furious charge, reach the battery, and cut down all the gunners and put the guns out of action. After this charge, the survivors volunteer to a man to save the British guns whose teams have all been killed. Captain Grenfell will be hit in both legs and has two fingers shot off during this action. The action is successful but Grenfell is so badly wounded he is taken by his friend, the Duke of Westminster, in his Rolls Royce to the nearby town of Bavai where he will be treated by French nuns in a convent hospital. Major Alexander will go on to achieve the rank of Major General, while Captain Grenfell will be killed on 24 May 1915.

Francis Octavius Grenfell

Francis Grenfell

  • Major Charles George Pack-Beresford (Royal West Kent Regiment) killed at age 45. He is the son of Denis William Pack-Beresford MP JP DL and he served on the North West Frontier in 1897 and 1898 and during the South African War. He is the grandson of Major General ‘Sir’ Denis Pack KCB.
  • Major Percy Belcher Strafford (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) is killed at age 41. He served in the South African War and played cricket for the Yorkshire Gentlemen. His wife is the daughter of Major General Hamilton Chapman.
  • Captain and Adjutant Cyril Oswald Denman-Jubb (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) is killed at age 38. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Denman-Jubb.
  • Captain Walter Richard Augustus Aston Dawes (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 36. His son will be born in December.
  • Captain and Adjutant Francis Joseph Cresswell (Norfolk Regiment) is killed carrying a message at age 31. He married the niece of ‘Sir’ W H B Ffolkes Baronet and he served in the South African War.
  • Captain Ernest Felix Victor Briard (Norfolk Regiment) is killed at age 25. His fourteen year old brother will be killed in 5 years serving as a Second Lieutenant in a Sikh Regiment of the Indian Army fighting in the Khyber Pass.
  • Lieutenant Charles Esmond Redlin Albrecht (South Lancashire Regiment) killed at age 21. His brother will be killed in August 1917.
  • Lieutenant Eric Llewellyn Welchman (Lincolnshire Regiment) dies of wounds received in action at age 21. He is the son of the Venerable Canon W Welchman Archdeacon of Bristol. Lieutenant Leslie Montagu Buller (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed at age 28.  He was educated at Eton where he was in his House Cricket XI when they won the House Cup in 1904. He is the grandson of the Reverend Richard Buller.
  • Lieutenant Lawrence Edward Russell (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in May of next year.
  • Sergeant Frederick Davison (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) is killed at age 23.  His brother will be killed on the 1st day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • Private Lawrence R Foster (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in 1916.
  • Private John Mann (Norfolk Regiment) is killed he is the step-father of Private Percy Rudd (Suffolk Regiment) who will be killed in September 1915.
  • Private Percy Frederick Ashton (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed in September 1916. Private Francis James Heffernan (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of John Heffernan a foreign correspondent.
  • Private William Barnard (Norfolk Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the first of three brothers who will be killed in the Great War.

Photo wikipedia

Sunday 23 August 1914 – We Lost 293

Today marks the first battle between the British and German Armies on what was to become the Western Front of the Great War. By the morning the British Expeditionary Force is deployed along a 20-mile front, II Corps to the west of Mons and I Corps to the east. Opposing them from the north is the entire German First Army. The British force numbers 70,000 men and 300 guns while the German numbers doubled that. Early in the morning German artillery begins massive barrages followed by infantry attacks. The British troops dug in along the canal and among the slag heaps and mining villages defend with sustained rifle fire. The German attacks continue until the afternoon with little success due to the strength and rapid British rifle fire which is so heavy the Germans believe they are facing many machine guns when in fact each battalion has only two.

At 05:30 Field Marshall French meets with Generals Douglas Haig, Edmund Allenby and Horace Smith-Dorrien at his advanced headquarters at a chateau in Sars-la-Bruyere, where he orders the outpost line on the canal to be strengthened and the bridges at the Mons canal to be prepared for demolition. They recognize that the British position is not a good one, as the canal turn is very exposed on three sides.

Lieutenant Colonel Norman Reginald McMahon commander of the 4th Royal Fusiliers gives his battalion the order to retire from Nimy. Colonel McMahon will be killed in less than three months serving as a Brigadier General.

 Today’s casualties include:

  • The first posthumous Victoria Cross recipient
  • The first British officer killed with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF)
  • The son of the 7th Earl of Granard
  • Son of a future Member of Parliament
  • Inventor of the Marsden Band Trestle bridge
  • Grandson of a Governor of Jamaica
  • Great grandfather of the singer James Blount
  • Sons and/or grandsons Clergy, Justice’s of the Peace, Judges and Generals
  • Members of families that will lose two or three sons

 Today’s highlighted casualty is Lieutenant Maurice James Dease

 The bridges at Nimy are defended by the Royal Fusiliers. While in command of his machine gun unit at Nimy Bridge, Mons Lieutenant Maurice James Dease is wounded in the neck. In spite of being told to “lie still and don’t move”, he stands up and is hit again.  He continues to struggle up to handle one of his guns himself and is hit once more, this time seriously.  He still crawls to the right-hand gun and drags a wounded gunner away. He then begins to fire the gun himself and rolls the wounded man down an embankment, no doubt saving the man’s life.  Dease is exposed to murderous rifle, machine gun and artillery fire and still keeps calling for gunners to take the place of the men who have been killed or wounded in the fight.  Eventually he is shot again and he dies of his wounds at around 15:30. Lieutenant Dease is the son of Edmund Fitzlaurance Dease JP, author of “History of the Westmeath Hunt” and grandson of James Arthur Dease JP DL, the Vice-Lieutenant of Cavan and he dies at age 24.  He will become the first posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross in the Great War.

  • There are some early exchanges between German cavalry and British infantry outposts around 06:30, near Obourg, Nimy and Ville Pommeroeul. The morning has broken with mist and rain, which clears about 10:00. Near Abourgear, Mons a group of German soldiers is seen emerging from a wood by troops of the Middlesex Regiment. The commanding of the British company, Major William Henry Abell is killed, shot through the head, the first British officer killed with the British Expeditionary Force. As the rifle fire continues his second in command, Captain Jonathan Edward Knowles is also killed. After a prolonged exchange of fire, with many deaths on both sides, the British troops withdraw.
  • Major John Southern Maidlow (commanding 49th Battery Royal Field Artillery) dies wounds riding forward to take up a new position for his guns at age 39. His wife is the niece of ‘Sir’ Edward and ‘Sir’ Frederick Lugard.
  • Captain Oswald Bethell Walker(Hussars) killed at age 39. One brother of his will be killed in October of this year while another will die of wounds two days after the Armistice in 1918. They are grandsons of ‘Sir James Walker Baronet.
  • Captain ‘The Honorable’ Fergus George Arthur Forbes (Irish Regiment) dies of wounds at age 32. He is the son of the 7th Earl of Granard.
  • Captain John Penrice Benson (East Surrey Regiment) dies of wounds at age 36. He is a South Africa War veteran and the son of Judge William Denman Benson and the grandson of General H R Benson whose son Lieutenant Colonel Richard Erle Benson will be killed next month commanding the 1st East Yorkshire Regiment.
  • Captain Kenneth James Roy (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 37. He is the son of the Reverend James Roy Rector of Stockton-on-Forest Yorkshire.
  • Captain Walton Mellor (Irish Regiment) dies of wounds at age 36. His brother in law Captain Cyril Gerald Valerian Wellesley will die of wounds in March next year.
  • Captain Greville Hubert Robins Blount (Royal Artillery) dies of wounds at age 31. His father died of fever during the South Africa War and his wife is the daughter of the Reverend Canon Wilson. He is the great grandfather of singer James Blount. He has two brothers both will be accidentally killed serving in the Royal Air Force the first in 1918 while the other will be killed in 1940 as an Air Vice Marshall.
  • Captain Charles Harold Bass (Lancashire Fusiliers) dies of wounds at Cambrai at age 24. He is the only child of the Reverend Charles Bass of Steeple Claydon Vicarage.
  • Lieutenant Colin Knox Anderson (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 26. His brother will be killed in December 1917 and they are sons of George Knox Anderson JP MP.
  • Lieutenant Everard Cecil Smith (Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 29.  He is the son of the Reverend Cecil Evan Smith, Rector of Titsey and grandson of Charles Rushworth, Governor of Jamaica,
  • Lieutenant John Rothes Marlow Wilkinson (Middlesex Regiment) killed at age 26.  He is the son of the Reverend Henry Marlow Wilkinson Vicar of Milford-on-Sea.
  • Second Lieutenant Neville Lascelles Ward (East Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the grandson of General Lascelles of the Court of George IV and the grandson of a judge in India.
  • Second Lieutenant John Pepys (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 23. His younger brother will be killed in November.
  • 2nd Corporal Edwin Marsden (Royal Engineers) is killed at age 27. He was the inventor of an improved trestle for bridge building accepted by the war office and known as the Marsden Band Trestle.
  • Private Edwin John Bywaters(Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 21.  His two brothers will die in the service of their King later in the Great War.
  • Private William Streeter (East Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in July 1916.
  • Private Eric Fennell Trevor Morgan (Manchester Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Henry Morgan Rector of Holy Trinity Newport.

Wednesday 5 August 1914 – We lost 9

Reservists of the Irish Guards begin coming into Wellington Barracks.  The first to report is Private John Sales, who will be killed in action at a sergeant on 18th May 1915 at age 27.

Airship HMA #4 carries out the first war patrol over the Thames Estuary, flying from Kentish Knock to Barrow Deep.  Returning early in the morning, it is fired upon by Territorial forces, in spite of her flying the White Ensign.  The War Office is also plagued with reports of a German Zeppelin ‘flying up the Thames’.

The first shot of the Great War by any Allied army is perhaps fired from Point Nepean fort at Port Phillip Heads, Victoria Australia. The target is a German steamer Pfalz which is attempting to leave the port.

The lost include a member of the Liverpool Rugby Football Club and two families who lose multiple sons in the Great War.

  •  Second Lieutenant Edward Molyneux Cohan who is 25 and serving in the Royal Field Artillery is killed when his horse is startled by a steam engine while he is being mobilized at Salibury Plain and throws him cracking his skull. He is an active member of the Liverpool Rugby Football Club. His brother will die on service in Ceylon in August 1919 make these lost two men, brothers who die with the greatest time in between their deaths in the Great War.

Edward Cohan

  • Private Alfred Abdey of the Berkshire Regiment dies on service at home at age 20. His brother will be killed in October 1915.

Photo merseysiderollofhonour