Great War Lives Lost

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

Tag: Somme

23 December 1918 We Lost 233

Image result for Captain William John Decent

Capt William John Decent

Captain William John Decent (S S Gitano) is killed at age 57 when his ship is lost probably after striking a mine off the coast of Denmark. Her entire crew of 38 is lost.

Today’s losses include:

  • Families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Albert Victor Hawker (Gloucestershire Regiment) dies of influenza at age 26. His brother died of wounds during the Somme offensive in July 1916.
  • Private Alistair Cameron (Gordon Highlanders) dies on service. He is the last of three brothers who lose their lives as a result the Great War.

Monday 17 November 1918 We Lost 634

George William Edendale Whitehead

Today’s losses include:

  • The son of a Baronet
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant George William Edendale Whitehead (Royal Field Artillery attached Royal Air Force) dies on service at age 23. His brother will die on service next March.  They are sons of ‘Sir’ George Hugh Whitehead 2nd Baronet.
  • Second Lieutenant B N Parfitt (York and Lancaster Regiment) dies at home at age 23. His brother died in October of this year.
  • 2nd Corporal Archibald Walter Gush MM (Royal Engineers) dies on service at age 25. His brother died on service in August 1916.
  • Private J Reay MM (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed on the first day of the battle of the Somme.

Saturday 9 November 1918 We Lost 1,015

The last day of the Great War with over a thousand fatalities.

Second Lieutenant John Carlos Deremo (Royal Air Force) engages a large body of troops and transports from the air, and while doing this is heavily engaged by machine gun fire.  His rudder control is shot away and tanks pierced.  He lands about two miles on the enemy side of the lines and hides in a wooded area until dusk when he makes his way to our lines.  He brings in a most valuable report as to the enemy’s movements and intentions, part of which information has been gleaned from civilians in the vicinity of his hiding place.

Captain Frank Clifton Gorringe (Royal Air Force) locates enemy troops dug in and attacks them from fifty feet, causing numerous casualties.  He then lands close behind our infantry and informs them of the enemy’s position.

The battleship HMS Britannia is torpedoed off Cape Trafalgar by the German U boat UB-50 while on her approach to Gibraltar.  UB-50 fires three torpedoes, two of which strike the battleship causing her to sink in just over three hours after attempts by the destroyer HMS Rocksand and the sloop HMS Coreopsis to tow her to Gibraltar.  There are over fifty killed including

  • Surgeon Lieutenant Dundas Simpson Macknight (Royal Navy) killed at age 43. He is the son of the Reverend John Macknight.
  • Bugler James Peel (Royal Marine Artillery) is killed at age 15.

Today’s losses include:

  • A 15-year old Royal Marine bugler
  • The 5th Marquis of Conyngham
  • The son of a Baronet
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Victor George Henry Francis Conyngham (Irish Regiment) dies on service at home at age 35. He is the 5th Marquis of Conyngham.
  • Lance Corporal Horace Hills (Suffolk Regiment) dies of complication from wounds as a prisoner of war that he received at the Somme. He is the last of three brothers who die in service in the Great War.
  • Rifleman William Kelland Le Fleming (New Zealand Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 31. He is the son of ‘Sir’ William Hudleston Le Fleming the 9th Baronet.
  • Private John Duroe (Norfolk Yeomanry) is killed in action at age 26. His brother was killed in September 1917.
  • Private William James Ellis (Durham Light Infantry) dies of wounds received in action at age 22. His brother was killed in action in May 1915.
  • Private E W Thackray (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) is killed at age 29. He is the son of Reverend W W Thackray.

Monday 4 November 1918 We Lost 2,767 – Highest loss before the war’s end

Lieutenant Wilfred Edward Salter Owen MC (London Regiment attached Manchester Regiment) the world renown war poet is caught in a German machine gun attack and killed at the Olse Canal, north of Ors, France age 25. He is on the Continent teaching until he visits a hospital for the wounded and is deeply affected by this and decides then and there, in September 1915, to return to England and enlist. Owen describes his decision to enlist in the following “I came out in order to help these boys – directly by leading them as well as an officer can; indirectly, by watching their sufferings that I may speak of them as well as a pleader can. I have done the first”. Owen is injured in March 1917 and sent home and when he is deemed fit for duty returns to the front in August of this year. His poems include The Dead Beat, Dulce Et Docorum Est, The Sentry, Anthem for the Doomed Young, Exposure, The Parable of the Young Man and the Old and Strange Meeting. The bells will be ringing on 11 November in Shrewsbury to celebrate the Armistice when the doorbell rings at his parent’s home bringing them the telegram telling them he has been killed.

Asleep

Uder his helmet, up against his pack,

After so many days of work and waking,

Sleep took him by the brow and laid him back.

There, in the happy no-time of his sleeping,

Death took him by the heart. There heaved a quaking

Of the aborted life within him leaping,

Then chest and sleepy arms once more fell slack.

And soon the slow, stray blood, came creeping

From the intruding lead, like ants on track.

Whether his deeper sleep lies shaded by the shaking

Of geat wings, and the thoughts that hung the stars,

High-pillowed on calm pillows of Gods making,

Above these clouds, these rains, these sleets of lead,

And this winds’ scimitars,

-Or whether yet his thin and sodden head

Confuses more and more with the low mould,

His hair being one with the grey grass

Of finished fields, and wire-scraggs rusty-old,

Who knows? Who hopes? Who troubles? Let it pass!

He sleeps. He sleeps less tremulous, less cold,

Than we who wake, and waking say Alas!

Killed along side Owen this day is Lieutenant James Kirk of the same regiment who will later be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his actions today while attempting to bridge the Oise Canal. To cover the bridging of the canal Lieutenant Kirk took a Lewis gun, and, under intense machine-gun fire, he paddles across the canal on a raft, and at a range of ten yards expends all his ammunition. Further ammunition is paddled across to him and he continuously maintains a covering fire for the bridging party from a most exposed position till he is killed at his gun.

Another Victoria Cross winner Lieutenant (Acting Lieutenant Colonel) James Neville Marshall (Irish Guards commanding 16th Lancashire Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 31. He will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery, determination and leadership in the attack on the Sambre-Oise Canal, near Catillon. When a partly constructed bridge comes under concentrated fire and is broken before the advanced troops of his battalion can cross Lieutenant Colonel Marshall goes forward and organizes parties to repair the bridge. The first party are soon killed or wounded, but by personal example he inspires his command, and volunteers are instantly forthcoming. Under intense fire and with complete disregard of his own safety, he stands on the bank encouraging his men and assisting in the work, and when the bridge is repaired he attempts to rush across at the head of his battalion and is killed while so doing.

Captain Allen Hepburn and his observer Alexander Tranter (Royal Air Force) score their last two victories of the Great War when they destroy two Pfalz DIII in the Mainvault-Faucaumont area.

The Battle of Vittoria-Veneto ends with the Armistice on the Italian Front.  During the battle, the 14th British Corps has captured over 28,000 prisoners and two hundred nineteen guns.

  • Captain Thomas Charles Richmond Baker DFC MM (Australian Flying Corps) is killed in action at age 21. He is a twelve-victory ace.
  • Captain the Reverend George William Jones (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed at age 39.
  • Lieutenant Henry Michael de Bathe (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed at Sleaford at age 29. He is the grandson of the late General ‘Sir’ Henry de Bathe Baronet KCB.
  • Second Lieutenant John Douglas Lightbody (Royal Air Force) a five-victory ace is killed in action at age 19.
  • Cadet Geoffrey William Auden (Royal Air Force) dies at home at age 18 of pneumonia. He is the son of the Reverend Alfred Auden, Church Broughton Vicarage.

 

  • Captain Adam Francis Burdett (South African Service Corps) dies on service in South Africa at age 36. He took part in the 1906-7 South Africa rugby union tour, the original ‘Springbok’ tour. He was awarded two caps for South Africa.
  • Captain Burleigh Leycester Muir (Army Service Corps attached III Corps Headquarters) is killed in action. He is the son of Sir Richard and Lady Muir.
  • Private John William Moulds (Army Service Corps) dies of illness at Woolwich. His brother was killed in July 1916.
  • Private Stephen Owbridge Parish (Army Service Corps) dies on service in Egypt at age 36. His son will be killed 16 September 1942 at Khartoum Airfield in the Sudan attempting to save the life of a passenger on a crashed aircraft and will be posthumously awarded the George Cross for his efforts.

Today’s losses include:

  • A world renown Great War Poet
  • Multiple Victoria Cross winners
  • A Battalion Commander
  • Flying ace
    • 12-victory ace
    • 5-victory ace
  • A member of the clergy
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Grandson of a General and Baronet
  • A member of the original South African Rugby ‘Springbok’ tour
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • A man whose father died on service and whose brother was killed
  • A man whose son was previously killed
  • A man whose son will be killed in September 1942 performing deeds which will win him a George Cross
  • A man whose son will be killed in 1944
  • A well known cricketer

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Edward Frank Harrison CMG DSO (Royal Engineers, Control of Chemical Warfare) dies at home at age 49. His son was killed in July 1916.
  • Major Cyril D’Albini Sykes-Banks MC (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies of illness at home at age 29. His father died of illness on service in February 1916 and his brother was killed in April 1917.
  • Captain Robert Colvill-Jones MC (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 22. His brother died of wounds as a prisoner of war in May.
  • Captain Francis Jones-Bateman (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) is killed in action two and half years after his older brother has been killed in France. He dies at age 22.
  • Captain Rupert Ayrton Hawdon (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed in action at age 24. He is the middle of three brothers to die in the war the first in 1916 the second later this month.
  • Lieutenant Robert Evelyn Sandford Poole (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 22. His brother died of pneumonia in January 1917.
  • Second Lieutenant George Augustus Hughes MC (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) is killed at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend William Hughes of Hawnby Rectory, York who has already lost a son in the war and will lose another later this month.
  • Second Lieutenant John McNair Lamb (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend John Lamb.
  • Second Lieutenant Robert Stewart White (Royal Field Artillery dies of wounds at age 20 at home. He is the son of the Right Reverend William Charles White Bishop of Honan China.
  • Private Martin Leslie Johnson (Essex Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. His brother was killed in October 1917.
  • Private Albert Charles Wilson (Labour Corps) dies on service at age 29. His brother was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • Private Robert Heaford Dempster (Sherwood Foresters) is killed in action at age 19. His brother was killed in April 1917.
  • Private Robert Moody (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) is killed at age 23. His brother was killed in March of this year.
  • Private Frederick Ernest Barker (Royal Sussex Regiment). He was a well-known cricketer. Munitions Worker at the Aeroplane Works Richard Sutton Staines dies at home. His brother died of wounds in October of last year.
  • Private Percy W Billings (Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in July 1917.
  • Private Birkett Stuart (Border Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the final of three brothers who lost their lives in the Great War.
  • Private James Sallis (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 32. His brother was killed last month.
  • Private Arthur Edmund Potts (Sherwood Foresters) dies on service at home at age 18. His brother was killed two months ago.
  • Private Percy Albert Russell (South Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 34. His brother was killed in May of this year.
  • Private Richard Leadbeater (South Wales Borderers) is killed. His brother was killed in October 1916.
  • Gunner Alexander Francis Lyall Houison (Canadian Field Artillery) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in September 1917.
  • Private Lewis George Ellis (Sherwood Foresters) is killed in action. His son will be killed in the Second World War in April 1944.
  • Private Samuel Needham VC (Bedfordshire Regiment) is accidentally killed by a gunshot at age 33 in Egypt. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions last September at Kefr Kasim, Palestine.

Thursday 24 October 1918 We Lost 1,823

son of Colin Archibald Mungo Park

40th squadron moves from Bryas to Aniche on the Douai-Denain road.

Lance Corporal Colin Archibald Mungo Park (Royal Sussex Regiment) is killed in action at age 31. He is the son of the Reverend Mungo Park. In June 1941 his son, a World War II Royal Air Force ace will be shot down and killed by German Lufwaffe ace Wilhelm Balthasar who will die in combat less than one week later. Both of the younger men lost their fathers serving in their respective armies in the Great War.

Today’s losses include:

  • A man whose son an RAF ace will be shot down and killed by German ace who will be killed within a week in June 1941 who also lost his father in the Great War
  • Multiple families that will lose two, three and four sons in the Great War
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • A member of the Penarth Rugby Football Club
  • Two Military Chaplains
  • A man who son will be killed in December 1940
  • A man whose brother was killed in the Great War and his son will be killed in the Second World War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Captain Gordon Gordon-Smith (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in December 1915.
  • Captain Victor Hubert Thornton (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 31. He is the son of the Reverend Edward Thornton, late Vicar of Ancroft.
  • Lieutenant William Bannister Augustus Pickop (Royal Fusiliers) dies of wounds at age 22. His brother died of wounds in June 1917 and they are sons of the Reverend Canon Pickop Vicar of Hatcliffe.
  • Second Lieutenant Rowland Hurst Bourne (Sussex Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. He is the son of Rowland Manlove Bourne JP.
  • Second Lieutenant Cyril de Clare Yeld (Indian Army Reserve of Officers attached Supply and Transport Corps) dies on service in India. He is a member of the Penarth Rugby Club.
  • Second Lieutenant Horace Burnaby Cooper (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Horace Rowsell Cooper Vicar of Thornton.
  • Chaplains William Edgar Jones (attached Yorkshire Regiment) age 30 and Richard William Dugdale MC (Norfolk Regiment) die on active service He is the son of the Reverend Sydney Dugdale Rector of Whitchurch.
  • Lance Corporal Ben Mingay (Suffolk Regiment) is killed at age 33. His son will be killed in December 1940.
  • Private George Arthur Ginns (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 35. His brother was killed in December 1916 and his son will be killed on 28th May 1943 while serving with the Norfolk Regiment.
  • Pioneer Hubert William Duncan Brewster (Royal Engineers) dies of illness at age 42. His brother died of wounds in January 1917.
  • Private Harry Desborough (Machine Gun Company) is killed at age 29. His brother was killed in October 1916.
  • Private John William Lance Slee (Warwickshire Regiment) dies of illness at age 18. His brother died of illness in November 1914.
  • Private Frederick Arthur (Hampshire Regiment) dies of malaria on Salonika having been released after three years as a prisoner of war in Bulgaria.
  • Private Bertie Atkiss (West Surrey Regiment) is killed in action at age 20. His brother was killed in July 1916.
  • Private Aubrey Henry Simmonds (Warwickshire Regiment) is killed near Haussy, Cambrai at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Charles S Simmonds Vicar of Exhall.
  • Gunner Thomas Lang (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 33. His brother will die on service in the Royal Navy next July.
  • Private Wilfred Simpson (Royal Marines HMS Hussar) dies in Italy. He is the third of four brothers who lose their lives in the Great War.
  • Private Joseph Robert Calder-Smith (Army Pay Corps) dies on service at age 42. His brother was killed on the first day of the battle of the Somme.
  • Private Charles Horace Dunkley (Sherwood Foresters) is killed. His brother was killed in November 1915 on Gallipoli.
  • Private Thomas Wortley Raitt (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) is killed at age 23. His twin brother was killed last May.
  • Private William Ernest Haynes (Somerset Light Infantry) is killed at age 25. His is one of three brothers who lose their lives in the Great War.

Wednesday 23 October 1918 We Lost 2,367

The 1st Middlesex Regiment is ordered to assault German positions near Montay located in the forest.  They capture 200 German prisoners but suffer heavy casualties themselves.

  • Lieutenant Alexander Charles Thomas Kroenig-Ryan (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Alexander Solomon Kroenig-Ryan Vicar of Parkeston.
  • Sergeant Alfred John Emery (Middlesex Regiment) is killed at age 31. His brother was killed in April 1915.

The 2nd Bedfordshire Regiment in position at Le Cateau is ordered to attack an objective known as Richemont Hill.  The attack made across high ground causing many casualties in the battalion.

  • Private Augustus Webb (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 29. His brother was killed in November 1916.
  • Private James Knibbs (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 29. His brother was killed in April 1917.
  • Private Robert Christopher Prentice (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed. His brother died of wounds in March 1917.

Captain Roy Edward Dodds (Royal Air Force) successfully leads a bombing formation home intact from Leuze in failing light while under attack from ten Fokker biplanes, three of which his formation brings down.  Second Lieutenant James Herbert Grahame (Royal Air Force) while on a bombing raid to Hirson railway junction, although late in the afternoon with the visibility very poor through heavy ground mist, obtains two direct hits on the railway, one of which causes a very large fire.

Communications are lost with the submarine G7 (Lieutenant Commander Arthur Campbell Russell) during a North Sea patrol.  A week later she is declared lost.

The “Passage of the Piave” during the final Battle of Vittoria-Veneto begins.  It will end with the Armistice of 4th November.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Baronet whose brother was the first officer killed in the Great War, whose father was killed in the South Africa War and whose son will be killed in the Second World War
  • Aces
    • 8-victory
    • 5-victory
  • The son of another Baronet
  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • A man whose mother will be killed during the blitz in March 1941
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • Multiple families who will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • A man whose twin has been previously killed
  • A woman whose brother was killed in the Great War

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Major Walter Balfour Barttelot DSO (Coldstream Guards) the 3rd Baronet and former military attaché at Teheran is murdered in his bed by a jealous husband in Tehran Persia at age 28. His brother has been the first Royal Navy officer killed in war in August 1914.  He succeeded to the title of 3rd Baronet Barttelot, on 23rd July 1900, after his father, ‘Sir’ Walter George Barttelot, 2nd Baronet, was killed in action during the South Africa War and his son will be killed in action as a Brigadier on 16th August 1944.
  • Captain Thomas Walter Nash DFC (Royal Air Force) is killed at age 26. He is an 8-victory ace.
  • Captain Frank Oswald Spensley (Royal Army Medical Corps) dies at home at age 39. He is the son of the Reverend James Spensley.
  • Captain Hector Charles Seymour Munro MC (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed in action at age 23. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Hector Munro, the 11th Baronet.
  • Captain Eric Victor Morse MC (West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 26. His twin brother was killed on 7th December 1917.
  • Lieutenant Alfred James Baddeley (Sussex Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the brother of the Reverend Walter H Baddeley.
  • Captain Kenneth Carlyle Gill MC (Cambridgeshire Regiment attached Royal Air Force) dies of injuries received as a result of a flying accident the previous day at age 28. He is the son of the Reverend Arthur Tidman Gill.
  • Lieutenant William Huntriss (Duke of Wellington’s Regiment attached Gold Coast Regiment) is killed in Ghana at age 32. His brother was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • Lieutenant William Norman Stubbs (Cheshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Frederick William Stubbs Vicar of Arbury.
  • Lieutenant H W Trelawny (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Frank E Trelawny.
  • Lieutenant Osborne John Orr (Royal Air Force) a five-victory ace is killed in action at age 23.
  • Sergeant Henry James Nicholas VC MM (Canterbury Regiment) is killed near Beaudigniesa when a German patrol charges into his post on a flank guarding a bridge over the River Ecaillon. He is killed by heavy gun fire at age 27. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for actions performed on 3rd December 1917.
  • Corporal Harry Francis Gully (South Staffordshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 21. His brother was killed in November 1917.
  • Private Percy Benwell (Welsh Regiment) is killed in action at age 24. His older brother was killed in March 1917.
  • Private Charles D B Mowat (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) dies of wounds at Selle. His brother was killed in August of last year.
  • Driver Patrick Ahern (Royal Engineers) dies on service at Ramleh. His mother will die of wounds received 31st March 1941 during an air raid on Stirling at age 80.
  • Worker Rose Cotton (Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps) dies on service at age 26. Her brother was killed in action in 1916.
  • Rifleman Bernard William King (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 30. He is the son of the Reverend William Templeton King Vicar of Christ Church Ealing London.
  • Private Ernest Harold Lane (Shropshire Light Infantry) is killed in action. His brother was killed earlier this year.
  • Private James Murray (Royal Scots) is killed at age 22. He is the last of three brothers who are killed over a three-year time frame.
  • Gunner Arnold Alexander Macully (Australian Field Artillery) is killed at age 24. He is the son of the Reverend Alexander Macully Vicar of Brighton South Australia.

Sunday 20 October 1918 We Lost 1,732

Francis Granger Quigley

The monitor M21 strikes two mines off Ostend killing five.  She manages to steam to Dover but sinks there.

Today’s losses include:

  • A battalion commander
  • 33-victory ace
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • The son of an Alderman and Justice of the Peace
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • A Liverpool City Police officer

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Bryan John Jones DSO (Leinster Regiment commanding 15th Irish Rifles) is killed at age 44.
  • Captain Francis Granger Quigley DSO MC (Royal Air Force) dies of influenza in Liverpool two days after returning from serving as an instructor in Canada at age 24. He is a thirty-three-victory ace.
  • Captain Noel Martyn Saunders (Border Regiment) is killed at age 35. He is the son of the Reverend Clement Morgan Saunders Rector of Rumboldswyke.
  • Lieutenant Walter Randall Tilling (Royal Naval Reserve) dies at home at age 36. He is the son of the late Alderman George John Tilling JP.
  • Second Lieutenant James Martin Tolson (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 20. His brother was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • Second Lieutenant John Haslip Fletcher (Scots Guards) is killed at age 20. His brother died on service at home in October two years ago.
  • Second Lieutenant Edward Westcott King (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 36. He is the son of the late Reverend E G King DD.
  • Private John Pryce (Welsh Guards) a member of the Liverpool City Police is killed in action at age 27.
  • Private William Edward Norman Baker (West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed in action at age 19. His brother was killed in September 1917.
  • Private Arthur Brennan (Machine Gun Corps) is killed at age 18. His brother was killed on Gallipoli in 1915.
  • Private Charles Wellavise (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother was killed in August 1915.
  • Rifleman Alfred Thomas Watson (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in October 1915.

Thursday 10 October 1918 We Lost 1,657

Royal Mail Ship S S Leinster (Captain William Birch) operated by the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, serving as the Dublin-Holyhead mail-boat is torpedoed by the U-boat UB-123.  Having departed the Dublin ferry port at Kingstown (now re-named Dun Laoghaire) she is sunk just outside Dublin Bay at a point four miles east of the Kish light.  When she goes down 501 people perished — the greatest single loss of life at sea in the Irish Sea.  Despite many previous requests for a naval escort the Admiralty relied on the Leinster’s speed as her only protection from U-boat attack. She had been unsuccessfully attacked before but the torpedoes missed their target.

On her final morning she carries a crew of 77 and 694 passengers, of whom 500 are soldiers.  Initially UB-123 fires two torpedoes; one misses, passing harmlessly across the ship’s bow, but the other strikes the Leinster mid-ship forward of the bridge.  The ship begins to settle very slowly bow down in the water. In response to her distress call the British destroyers HMS Lively and HMS Mallard go to her assistance.  It is believed that at this stage she could have been saved by being towed back into Dublin or Dun Laoghaire harbour but the captain of the submarine decides to administer the coup de grace and finish her off with a third torpedo.  This he does as the Leinster continues taking on water and is disembarking her passengers into the lifeboats in rough seas. One hundred seventy-six of the 757 people on board are lost, including

  • Captain Birch who has been wounded in the initial attack and drowns when the lifeboat he is in swamps in heavy seas and capsizes while trying to transfer survivors to HMS Mallard. Others killed include
  • Lieutenant Commander George Richard Colin Campbell (Royal Navy Compass Department) age 34 the superintendent of the Magnetic Compass Department and inventor of the Campbell-Bennett aperiodic compass who is travelling with his wife and 4½ year old daughter. All are lost. He is the son of the Reverend Edward F Campbell.
  • Clerk shorthand typist Josephine Carr (Women’s Royal Naval Service) killed at age 19 after being in the service less than 30 days. She is the first WREN killed on active service.
  • Able Seaman David White (HMS Pembroke) is lost at age 41. His wife is pregnant and will name their son George Paul Leinster White.
  • Lieutenant Anchitel Edward Fletcher Boughey (Rifle Brigade) drowns at age 26. He is the son of the Reverend Anchitel Harry Fletcher Boughey (Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge).
  • Captain Harold Locke (Irish Regiment) is killed at age 45. He is the son of Frederick Locke DL JP.
  • Captain Robert Ernest Lee (Royal Army Medical Corps) is killed at age 35. His brother was killed in action on Gallipoli in August 1915 and they are sons of the late Edward Lee JP.
  • Second Lieutenant Douglas Gilbert Hayward Aldworth (Berkshire Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Reverend Arthur Ernest Aldworth Vicar of Laverstock.
  • J Shaw-Jones dies of injuries received in the sinking. He is a veteran of the South Africa War and rejoined the army at the outbreak of the Great War and was wounded twice and invalided out. He then worked in the Factory Audit Department of the Ministry of Munitions and was returning from a business trip.
  • Corporal Samuel Eddy (Welsh Regiment) is killed at age 25. His brother was killed in action earlier this year.

 Today’s losses include:

  • The co-inventor or the Campbell-Bennett aperiodic compass with his wife and young son
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • The first WREN (Women’s Royal Navy Service) member killed in action
  • Multiple sons of Justices of the Peace
  • A twice wounded discharge veteran currently working in the Department of Ministry of Munitions
  • Multiple battalion commanders
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • The son of a Member of Parliament

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Colonel George Ernest Beaty-Pownall DSO (Border Regiment commanding 1st King’s Own Scottish Borderers) dies of wounds at age 41. His brother has been killed in March 1917.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Philip Edward Kelly (Royal Irish Fusiliers commanding 9th (North Irish Horse) Royal Irish Fusiliers) is killed at age 29.
  • Lieutenant Colonel George Bissett DSO MC (commanding 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers) is killed at age 28.
  • Major Leonard Coulthard Hill MC (Royal Field Artillery attached Fourth Army Artillery School) is accidentally killed at age 31. He is the son of the Reverend Percival Oakley Hill.
  • Captain Kenneth Sutherland Rudd (West Yorkshire Regiment) is killed at age 24. He is the son of Prebendary Eric John Sutherland Rudd Rector of Souldern.
  • Captain George Goldon Dilliway (Army Service attached Camel Transport Corps) is killed in Palestine at age 28. His brother was killed on the first day of the battle of the Somme.
  • Captain Robert Chaworth-Musters MC (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) dies at home. His two brothers have previously been killed in action in the Great War.
  • Lieutenant John Hackett (HMS Nimrod) dies of illness at home. He is the son of the Reverend John Hackett Rector of Orlingbury.
  • Lieutenant Richard Henry Hocken (Canadian Light Horse Regiment) is killed at age 26. He is the son of H C Hocken MP.
  • Lieutenant John Carruth (Dublin Fusiliers attached Irish Rifles) dies of wounds. His brother was killed in September 1916.
  • Second Lieutenant Victor James French (Irish Guards) is killed in action at age 20. He is the son of ‘Sir’ Somerset French KCMG.
  • Driver George Lawrence (Royal Garrison Artillery) dies of pneumonia at age 20. His brother died of wounds in July 1916.
  • Private Frederick William Knight (Lord Strathcona’s Horse) is killed in action at age 22. His brother was killed in May of this year.
  • Private Maurice Rudolph Hannam (Royal Air Force) dies on service in Canada at age 18. His brother was killed in November 1916 and the boys came from Brooklyn New York.
  • Private James Samuel Griffiths (Manchester Regiment) is killed. His brother was killed in July 1916.
  • Private Herbert Bennett (Northumberland Fusiliers) is killed in Mesopotamia at age 33. One brother died of wounds as a prisoner of war in August 1917 while a second died of wounds at home in September 1916.

Sunday 6 October 1918 We Lost 962

HMS Otranto is an armed troopship employed in ferrying American “doughboys” to the Western Front in Europe.  It is during one such operation that she collides with HMS Kashmir, another liner turned troopship, in poor visibility in the rough seas between the North East coast of Ireland and the Western Isles of Scotland.  She is holed on the port side forward and, in the heavy swell, begins to list. The stricken ship then hits rocks and becomes grounded.  With the heavy seas pounding her continually against the rocks the ship eventually breaks up and sinks with the loss of 431 lives (351 American troops and 80 British crew members). A number of “doughboys” and crew are saved by a convoy escort, HMS Mounsey, and are taken to Belfast, Ireland.  Captain Ernest George William Davidson (Royal Navy) true to the ancient traditions of the sea stays with his ship and goes down with her in the terrible sea as he salutes his men for one last time. Men in the raging sea cling to anything that will float. One man survived by grabbing a large tub of lard that was floating by him. In addition to her Captain

  • Petty Officer Henry James Greenwood killed at age 26. His father died on service last May.

Today’s losses include:

  • A man whose father previously died on service
  • Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
  • The grandson of a Victoria Cross winner and General

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Lieutenant Commander Basil Stratford Noake (Royal Navy, HMS Begonia) is killed when his ship his torpedoed in the Bristol Channel. His brother will be lost at sea from the Ambulance Ship Elloria in 1919.
  • Captain John J Tough (Royal Army Medical Corps) is killed in action when an enemy airplane drops a bomb on the 5th Field Ambulance at Flesquieres. He dies two years after his brother has been killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • Second Lieutenant Donald McLeod Innes (Black Watch) dies of wounds at age 19 at Vimy Ridge. He is the grandson of Lieutenant General James John McLeod Innes VC and a scholar of Repton School.  He was an Exhibitioner of Trinity College, Cambridge.  His older brother was killed in action in April 1917 also at age 19.
  • Second Lieutenant Leslie Harold Perry MC (Gloucestershire Regiment attached Durham Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 19. He is the son of ‘Sir’ William Perry.
  • Lance Corporal Betram Smart (Devonshire Regiment) dies on service in Bombay. His brother was killed in February 1915.
  • Private Marcus M Miller (Canadian Infantry) dies at home at age 27. His two brothers have been previously killed in the Great War.
  • Rifleman Percival James Mellon (London Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed in July 1916 while another brother will be killed in two days.
  • Private Harold Francis Wright (Gloucestershire Regiment) dies of wounds at age 27. His brother was killed in May 1915.

Friday 4 October 1918 We Lost 1,206

Lieutenant Robert Allan Caldwell (Royal Air Force) destroys an enemy balloon in flames north of Bohain at 5,000 feet in spite of very heavy anti-aircraft fire. On the way home he descends to 50 to 100 feet and creates great confusion and does much damage to the enemy infantry, transport and artillery marching westwards to counter-attack, returning with his machine again much shot about.  While flying on a low bombing raid Lieutenant Wilfred James Jenner (Royal Air Force) is shot through both legs.  Although suffering great pain, he continues his flight and drops his bombs on the objective before returning to his aerodrome.

Lieutenant Horace George Eldon (Royal Air Force) achieves his final victory as an observer while flying with Lieutenant I G Fleming when they shoot down a Fokker V II southeast of Lille.  Lieutenant Gerald Anderson and Second Lieutenant Thomas Sydney Chiltern (Royal Air Force) also bring down their last victim when they shoot down a Fokker D VII at Quesnoy.

An attack is carried out by 23 Camels of 28 and 66 Squadrons at the training school of the Austrian Air Force at Campoformido with phosphorus and high explosive bombs causing a great deal of damage.  Some aircraft of the school which come up to attack the formation are also shot down.  Two of 28’s Camels are shot down and the pilots killed.

Today’s losses include:

  • A Victoria Cross winner
  • A General
  • A Baronet
  • A Battalion commander
  • Multiple families that will lose two sons in the Great War
  • A Military Chaplain
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • The son of a Justice of the Peace
  • A Scottish Rugby International8
  • The 1914 Australasian Tennis Open Champion
  • RAF Aces
    • An 8-victory ace
    • A 6-victory ace

Today’s highlighted casualties include:

  • Brigadier General Sir William Algernon Ireland Kay (commanded 3rd Infantry Brigade) CMG DSO, 6th Baronet, is killed in action at age 42. He and his Brigade Major, Captain William Fulton Somervail DSO MC are killed instantly by a gas shell near St Quentin while reconnoitering new areas.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Edward Hills Nicholson DSO (commanding 3rd Royal Fusiliers) is killed at age 38.
  • Major Arthur Holroyd O’Hara Wood (Royal Air Force) is accidentally killed at age 28 when his Camel collides with that of Second Lieutenant Lorn Lamond Saunders while on a patrol over Saint-Quentin. He is the 1914 Australasian Tennis Open Champion and he scored the first victory for 4th Australian Flying Corp on 24th January 1918. Lieutenant Saundres is also killed.
  • Captain Gerald Montague Hedley (Royal Engineers) dies of wounds. He is the son of the Reverend William Hedley Vicar of Felkirk.
  • Captain and Quartermaster W T Humphreys (Royal Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 24. He is the son of Frederick Humphreys JP.
  • Lieutenant Charles Penruddocke (Wiltshire Regiment) is killed at age 25. His brother was killed on Salonika in April 1917.
  • Lieutenant John Weston Warner DFC (Royal Air Force) is killed in action when his Sopwith Camel is shot down over Busigny. The 19-year old is an eight-victory ace.
  • Second Lieutenant Walter Riddell Sutherland (Seaforth Highlanders) is killed by a stray shell on his 28th birthday. He was a Scottish rugby union footballer who gained 13 caps between 1910 and 1914.
  • Second Lieutenant Charles Percival Henry Manley MC (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Charles Augustus Manley Vicar of St Dunstan’s Canterbury.
  • Chaplain the Reverend Guy Spencer Bryan-Brown (New Zealand Chaplains Department) is killed at age 32. He is the son of the Reverend Willoughby Bryan-Brown of St Stephen’s Eastbourne.
  • Sergeant Louis McGuffie VC (King’s Own Scottish Borderers) is killed by a shell. In December he will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for actions performed near Wytschaete on 28th September.
  • Sergeant William James Middleton DFM a six-victory ace (Royal Air Force) dies of wounds received in action.
  • Gunner John Kenneth Groves (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 21. His brother was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
  • Private John Miller (Warwickshire Regiment) dies of malaria in Mesopotamia at age 32. His brother died of wounds in August 1917.
  • Private Claude Ogle (Lincolnshire Regiment) dies of wounds received the previous day at age 20. His brother will be killed next April.
  • Private William Kennedy (Cameron Highlanders) is killed at age 19. His brother was killed in March 1916.