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Thread: 100 Years Ago Today

  1. #2651

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    Can anyone help out please?
    Sorry Chris - no can do this time. I'm off for a few days myself.

  2. #2652

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    Chris at a push I'll cover it.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  3. #2653

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    9th August 1917

    Right bit of a short one today, plenty of losses on both sides but not much about in the way of stories, but as ever with this publication we will do our best...

    10 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON THURSDAY AUGUST 9TH 1917

    2nd Lt. Billings, H.B. (Hugh Braddish) 29 Squadron Royal Flying Corps (Special Reserve)
    Flt. Sub Lt. Bridge, B.H. (Bryant Henry) Cattewater Naval Air Station RNAS
    Capt. Cutler, S.L.G. (Stuart Le Geyt) 21 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Dean, A.L.R. (Arthur Le Roy) 64 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Hanlan, E.G. (Edward Gordon) 64 Squadron RFC
    AM 2 Jones, J. (Joseph) Royal Naval Air Station, Plymouth RNAS
    Flt. Sub Lt. Munro, K.R. (Keith Ross) 9 (N) Squadron RFC
    Lt. Turner, H.D.B. (Herbert Duncan Bruce) RFC
    2nd Lt. Waller, C.R. (Charles Raymond) RFC
    Flt. Sub Lt. Woodhouse, M.G. (Mosley Gordon) 9 (N) Squadron RFC


    A note on the RFC Special Reserve: You could enlist directly into the Special Reserve (the old Militia), that is why it was Special. You had to undertake to train to such an extent that you could be used as an individual replacement for the Regular Army. Senior Division OTC cadets who had obtained both Certificate A and B of military training were encouraged to seek appointment as officers in the Special Reserve on leaving College. OR's had to attend basic training (for which they were paid) and then periodic camps. Call out conditions were more broader than Territorials, but not as broad as the Army Reserve although an efficient militia man could enlist in the Army Reserve. There were Special Reservists for Cavalry, Infantry, RA, RE and RAMC. I had not heard of RFC Special Reserve before - presumably a pool of qualified aviators rather than a formed unit. This makes a lot of sense as then as now it is a pretty specialised skill and there cannot have been too many pilots available.

    The following aerial victories were claimed on this day:

    Lieutenant Walter Bertram Wood MC

    Wood was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, the younger son of Walter James Wood, a magistrate, and his wife Annie Jane. He was educated St James' School, Grimsby and at Hull Technical School where he studied Engineering. At the age of ten he was the first Boy Scout to be registered in Grimsby and he helped form a local troop, he later became a Scoutmaster. He began serving England in an unusual way; he organised a patrol of scouts as coast watchers until he could enlist. He then went through the Officers Training Corps of the Artists Rifles, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Hampshire Regiment on 4 June 1916. On 3 March 1917 he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps, and appointed a flying officer the same day. He was promptly assigned to 29 Squadron on 23 April 1917. Wood used his Nieuport 17 fighter to drive down one German Albatros D.III on 11 May 1917, and another on 5 June. On 18 June, he set an Albatros reconnaissance aircraft on fire; he described the combat in an article he wrote for a scouting magazine. His aggressive personality, that of a man capable of shooting at the enemy with a pistol if need be,shows in this excerpt:

    ...I make straight for the leader of their patrol.... I hear a faint pop, pop, pop and at the same time a number of small holes appear in my bottom planes. Jolly good shooting for he is still a 100 yards off.... I start turning, spinning, and diving away until I am behind him.... I get him in my sights.. Pop, pop, pop. About 20 rounds I fire at him.... A small light appears in his machine. Hurrah! he's on fire. I have hit his petrol tank.
    Now the whole machine is a mass of flames. Down it crashes and flaming pieces fall off during the descent. Poor beggar! I hope a bullet hit him first: but it can't be helped....
    I watch him hit the ground, and turn to look for more Boche, but there is not a plane in the sky; so I point my machine home and am greeted by hand shakes and cheers. "Oh yes we saw the beggar go down in flames, so we came home."
    "Anyone missing?" I ask.
    "Oh yes, poor old C--- went down out of control."
    "Ah well, I'm glad now that I got that blighter in flames," I reply....
    Wood won four more times in June, bringing his tally to seven.He was promoted from second lieutenant to temporary lieutenant on 1 July 1917. He scored five more triumphs in that month. His thirteenth, and last, victory came on 9 August 1917, while he was on a final "joy ride". He was rotated home to No. 44 Squadron in England two days later. Wood's final tally was one German aircraft set afire in midair, five more destroyed, and seven driven down out of control. Not counted in this total are five claims in which he drove down enemy aircraft.

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    Cecil Richards Australia #9
    Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg Austro-Hungarian Empire #3
    Karl Nikitsch Austro-Hungarian Empire #3
    Johann Risztics Austro-Hungarian Empire #3
    William Bishop Canada #42
    Cecil Brock Canada #4

    William Leeming Harrison Canada #1

    The son of Dr. William Spencer Harrison, William Leeming Harrison enlisted on 3 April 1916 at the age of 16. He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) with Royal Flying Corps on 21 November 1916. After training in England he served with 40 Squadron from 15 July 1917 to 10 April 1918 and scored 11 victories. He was then posted to 1 Squadron, scoring 1 more victory before he was wounded in action on 12 April 1918.

    Anthony Spence Canada #4
    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #16 #17
    Spencer Horn England #4
    Arthur Willan KeenEngland #7 #8
    William Victor Trevor Rooper England #2
    Richard Trevethan England #12
    Walter Bertram Wood England #13 (see above)
    Julius Buckler Germany #12
    Eduard von Dostler Germany #22
    Heinrich Gontermann Germany #27 #28
    Wolfgang Güttler Germany #4
    Ernst Hess Germany u/c #7
    Gotthard Sachsenberg Germany #6

    Viktor Schobinger Germany #1

    Schobinger was badly wounded in the right foot whilst serving with Jasta 12 on 15 November 1917.

    Edgar Scholtz Germany #1
    [B]

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    Edgar Scholtz scored 1 victory with Kest 10 before joining Jasta 11 in January 1918. After scoring 5 more victories he was killed when his Fokker DR.I was shot down by 209 Squadron.

    Listed as Edgar Scholz in some sources.

    William Molesworth Ireland #6
    William Jordan South Africa #3
    Clive Wilson Warman USA #5

    Howard John Thomas Saint Wales #1

    The son of Thomas E. W. and Margaret Jane Saint, Howard John Thomas Saint joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915, Flight Sub-Lieutenant Saint received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2139 on a Grahame-White biplane at the Grahame-White school, Hendon on 9 December 1915. First posted to 5 Wing as a bomber pilot, he was re-assigned to 10 Naval Squadron on 26 July 1917. Saint was wounded in the leg on 16 August 1917 and scored 7 victories. Post-war he was a test pilot for the Royal Aircraft Factory and the Gloster Aircraft Company.

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    The destroyer HMS Recruit (Lieutenant Hugh G Troup) is sunk by a mine in the North Sea. Fifty three members of the crew including Engineer Lieutenant Commander Maurice James Rogers Sharp DSO are killed. Commander Sharp is 35 and the son of Engineer Rear Admiral W Sharp. HMS Recruit was a Royal Navy R-class destroyer constructed and then operational in the First World War. The destroyer was constructed by William Doxford & Sons and launched on 9 December 1916. The ship was completed in April 1917. The ship was 276 ft (84.1 m) in length, with a beam of 26 ft 9 in (8.15 m), a displacement of 975 long tons (991 t) standard and an average crew complement of 82.In May 1917 the vessel was assigned to the tenth destroyer force as part of Harwich Force.The destroyer was sunk by a torpedo from German U-boat SM UB-16 in 1917.[4][5] The sinking occurred in the North Sea 3 miles north of the North Hinder light vessel, with 54 persons lost.

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    The first R class were a class of 62 destroyers built between 1916 and 1917 for the Royal Navy. They were an improvement, specifically in the area of fuel economy, of the earlier Admiralty M-class destroyers. The most important difference was that the Admiralty R class had two shafts and geared turbines, compared with the three shafts and direct turbines of the Admiralty M class, but in appearance the R class could be distinguished from its predecessors by having the after 4-inch gun mounted in a bandstand. The Admiralty ordered the first two of this class of ships in May 1915. Another seventeen were ordered in July 1915, a further eight in December 1915, and a final twenty-three in March 1916 (of which eleven were to a slightly modified design).

    As well as these fifty ships to the standard 'Admiralty' design, twelve more R class were designed and built by the two specialist builders Yarrow Shipbuilders and John I. Thornycroft & Company to their own separate designs. Three were ordered from Thornycroft and four from Yarrow in July 1915, and two from Thornycroft and three from Yarrow in December 1915.

    They were the last three-funnelled destroyers ordered by the Royal Navy (although HMS Bristol commissioned in 1973 had three funnels, these were not all on the centreline). All of these ships saw extensive service in World War I. Some saw service as minelayers. Eight R-class ships were sunk during the war and all but two of the surviving ships were scrapped in the 1920s and 1930s. One Admiralty R-class vessel, HMS Skate, survived to see service in World War II as a convoy escort, making her the oldest destroyer to see wartime service with the Royal Navy. A second, HMS Radiant was transferred to the Royal Siamese Navy as Phra Ruang in September 1920 and survives to this day as a hulk.

    Western Front

    Success British raids in Lens district.

    Eastern Front

    Mackensen presses his offensive, threatening communications of Russo-Romanian armies; after three days fighting Russo-Romanians expelled.

    Political, etc.

    Third reading of Compulsory Military Service Bill for Canada passed.

    Count Esterhazy, Hungarian Prime Minister, resigns.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  4. #2654

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    10th August 1917

    The Capture of Westhoek

    The Capture of Westhoek (10 August 1917) took place on the Gheluvelt Plateau near Ypres in Belgium, during the Third Battle of Ypres (31 July – 10 November 1917), in the First World War. The British Fifth Army attacked the Gheluvelt Plateau at the Battle of Pilckem Ridge (31 July – 2 August) but the German 4th Army had fortified its positions in the Ypres Salient since the Second Battle of Ypres (22 April – 25 May 1915). The British reached the first objective in the south and the second objective on the northern flank, then lost some ground to German counter-attacks. Another attack on 2 August was postponed due to torrential rain from the afternoon of 31 July until 5 August.

    The ground had been churned by artillery-fire and became a sea of mud, flooded shell craters, fallen trees and barbed wire. After several postponements the next attack was set for 10 August. British artillery fired a preparatory bombardment from Polygon Wood to Langemarck for the main attack on 14 August but the German guns concentrated on the Gheluvelt Plateau. British counter-battery artillery was hampered by low cloud and rain, which made air observation extremely difficult and shells were wasted on empty gun emplacements. The fresh 25th and 18th divisions took over by 4 August but the front-line troops had to be relieved every 48 hours, which exhausted all of the infantry by 10 August. The German 52nd Reserve Division had not been relieved after 31 July and the 54th Division took over in the north by 4 August and were also exhausted by 10 August.

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    Gheluvelt Plateau: Inverness Copse, Westhoek and Glencorse Wood

    The 18th Division attacked on the right and some troops quickly reached their objectives but German artillery began a SOS barrage at 6.00 a.m., from Stirling Castle to Westhoek, that isolated the foremost infantry in the open north of Inverness Copse and in Glencorse Wood. German troops began immediate counter-attacks and around 7:00 p.m., fresh German infantry advanced behind a smokescreen. By nightfall the copse and all but the north-west corner of Glencorse Wood had been recaptured. The 74th Brigade of the 25th Division on the left flank advanced quickly and reached its objectives by 5:30 a.m. The Germans in Westhoek were rushed but on the right flank, sniping and attacks by German aircraft caused an increasing number of casualties.

    The 25th Division held its gains around Westhoek but lost 158 men killed, 1,033 wounded and more than 100 missing. The defeat of the 18th Division at Inverness Copse, Fitzclarence Farm and Glencorse Wood allowed German snipers and machine-gunners to fire into the 25th Division area, particularly on the right flank. The Germans counter-attacked several times and on into the night but communication by SOS rockets, daylight lamps, carrier pigeons and runners, enabled the British artillery accurately to bombard German troops in their counter-attack assembly positions. The appalling weather and costly defeats began a slump in British infantry morale; excessive casualties and the replacement shortage concerned the German commanders.

    British Preparations

    The power of the German artillery behind the Gheluvelt Plateau after 31 July was undiminished and a continuous bombardment was maintained on the front line and rear areas of II Corps. The counter-battery artillery of the Fifth Army fired on German artillery positions along the width of the army front, ready for the general attack due after the II Corps operation on the Gheluvelt Plateau. The British guns often bombarded the wrong artillery positions because of a lack of air reconnaissance to track the moves of German artillery from one artillery position to another in the bad weather. The British failed to achieve artillery superiority over the German artillery behind the plateau, which made the completion of new battery positions a long and costly effort that took until 8 August. Casualties in men and guns were so high that on 4 August, many British batteries were reduced to half strength. The state of the ground was so bad that gunners had to live in shell holes. New plank roads to carry ammunition forward could easily be seen by German artillery observers and wagon drivers and carrying parties moved only at night, dodging German bombardments which frequently included mustard gas. Amidst the rain and mud, the delivery of supplies and the passage of troops across the beaten zone extremely dangerous and caused a constant drain of casualties. The 7th and 75th brigades of the 25th Division (Major-General Guy Bainbridge) had waited about 2,000 yd (1,800 m) behind the front line, ready to pass through the 8th Division to continue the advance. The brigades were not needed as the advance on the Gheluvelt Plateau was held up at the first and second objectives by the German defenders. On 1 August, the 8th Division was replaced by the 7th and 75th brigades of the 25th Division until 4 August, which were then relieved by the 74th Brigade along the Westhoek and Bellewaarde ridges. Because of the continuous rain, troops in the front line being replaced every 48 hours as preparations were made for the next attack.The 30th Division was relieved by the 55th and 54th brigades of the 18th Eastern Division on 4 August. The 24th Division was not due to attack and remained in the line and took over the front northwards close to Stirling Castle to narrow the attack frontage of the 18th Division.The fresh divisions had to remain close to the front for more than a week before zero hour and were rapidly exhausted by the conditions.

    British Plan of Attack

    The infantry were to advance behind a creeping barrage at 4:35 a.m., straight through to the second objective (black line) of 31 July, to capture the Albrechtstellung, Inverness Copse and Glencorse Wood across the neck of the plateau. The speed of the barrage gave the 18th Division 46 minutes and the 25th Division 25 minutes to complete the attack. On 8 August, Inverness Copse and Glencorse Wood were bombarded with 3,000 medium and heavy shells each and bombarded again on 9 August, the first bright day since July. The 18th Division attack by the 55th Brigade was to be on a battalion front of about 400 yd (370 m) and the 54th Brigade was to attack with two battalions forward on a front 800 yd (730 m) wide. The 74th Brigade of the 25th Division was to attack with its four battalions on the left flank, each on a 400 yd (370 m) front, to recapture the Albrechtstellung, Westhoek and the rest of Westhoek Ridge.By aggressive patrolling, part of the objective on the left centre had already been occupied by 10 August.

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    German Pillbox - Flanders 1917

    The Fifth Army needed to maintain a brisk tempo of attack, to prevent the Germans from recovering and to create the conditions for Operation Hush on the coast. Hush had to begin during the high tide period at the end of August or be postponed for four weeks. The Fifth Army had captured ground on the Gheluvelt Plateau on 31 July but the unusually wet and murky weather, the tenacious German defence and determined counter-attacks, left the 4th Army in control of the most vital objectives around Inverness Copse and Glencorse Wood. In 1920, M. Kincaid-Smith, the divisional historian, called the attack by the 25th Division a great success, the advance being conducted on schedule, supported by "excellent" artillery-fire. Pack-transport was used promptly to deliver ammunition, supplies and engineering stores and carrying-parties from the support battalions kept the front line supplied. The signal arrangements using daylight lamps worked all day except on the left flank and runners maintained contact with the rear despite the German artillery and small-arms fire. Medical services had been changed after the Battle of Messines in June and worked well. In 1922, G. H. F. Nichols, the historian of the 18th (Eastern) Division, wrote that the division had experienced the new German defensive system for the first time in "appalling conditions" and that there had been a "blend of blunders".

    On 15 August, Rupprecht wrote that General Erich Ludendorff had visited the army group and said that with the French preparing an attack at Verdun, an offensive on the eastern front could only go ahead if Army Group Crown Prince Rupprecht defended the Ypres Salient without reinforcement. Rupprecht considered this to be risky because of a lack of replacements, the 4th Army having lost 87,528 casualties since 1 June. In 1931, Gough wrote that II Corps had gained valuable ground, which gave a view of German lines, removing the last German positions overlooking Ypres. The British were counter-attacked five times during the afternoon and the last attack pushed the 18th Division out of Glencorse Wood. In 1942, the writers of Der Weltkrieg, the German official history described the miserable living conditions of the troops in early August, the rise in the number of sickness cases and casualties caused by the British artillery. The British attempted to make piecemeal advances covered by massed artillery-fire and on 10 August managed to advance up to 0.62 mi (1 km) at the junction between Gruppe Wytschaete and Gruppe Ypern. Prior and Wilson wrote in 1996, that several fine days preceded the attack but the deluge on 8 August flooded the ground again. The British artillery had failed to subdue the German guns in the unusually rainy weather and the British had been severely bombarded before the attack. The German infantry could do little to resist the attack, having spent too long in the front line and had become demoralised. The British made good progress but German counter-attacks and machine-gun fire from Inverness Copse forced back the British until the "mere" 450 yd (410 m) advance of the 25th Division, was all that remained. The attack was a costly failure and did not even reach the second objective of 31 July; the only good feature of the attack had been to make it on the Gheluvelt Plateau.

    In 2007, Sheldon wrote that on 10 August, the battlefield was still a bog and the British preliminary bombardment had failed to destroy all of the pillboxes and blockhouses west and south-west of Polygon Wood. The Germans forced the British back close to their start lines, with the support of the German artillery on the rear slopes of the plateau, directed by observers with a good view of the battlefield; Sheldon called the attack a complete failure. Harris wrote in 2008 that although fresh divisions had been used and a strictly limited objective had been selected, the ground was too wet and lack of observation made British counter-battery fire ineffective. The British had suffered about 2,200 casualties for only a small advance. In 2014, Perry wrote that the result of the attack on 10 August forced Gough to choose between pressing on or pausing the offensive to concentrate troops, who were not easily available. Delaying the Fifth Army attacks to gain artillery superiority was possible but the attempt had begun in mid-July and had failed. Since 31 July, it had become clear that the 4th Army could replace rapidly its damaged guns and it was not clear that the Fifth Army had the artillery necessary to defeat the firepower of Gruppe Wytschaete. Waiting to attack might improve the readiness of the infantry but could benefit the Germans more by degenerating into an endless artillery duel. Gough chose to continue, after a 24-hour pause for tired troops to be relieved, with a general attack on 15 August but the weather forced another 24-hour postponement when 18.1 mm (0.71 in) of rain fell on 14 August and 8 mm (0.31 in) fell the next day, returning the battlefield to a swamp. The attack on 16 August began possibly the worst period endured by the BEF of the war.[

    Casualties

    The 25th Division had 1,291 casualties, including 158 men killed, 1,033 wounded and 100 troops missing. The 13th Battalion Cheshire Regiment on the right flank suffered 414 of the losses. The 74th Brigade casualties from 5–11 August were 1,318 men from a front line strength of 2,493 men. From 31 July to 10 August, the 18th Division casualties were 244 men killed, 1,106 troops wounded and 176 missing; 59 prisoners were taken. The cost to the Germans of the defence of the Gheluvelt Plateau was such that on 16 August, Brigadier-General Clifford Coffin of the 25th Division reported that the German dead he saw in the Hanebeek Valley lay more thickly than on any previous battlefield. On 15 August, Rupprecht wrote that the defence of the Ypres Salient by the 4th Army was costly, particularly in the wet and cold weather, which was causing much sickness among the infantry.

    Subsequent operations

    At 11:55 p.m. on 10 August, Jacob ordered the front line to be consolidated and for the 53rd Brigade in the 18th Division area to recapture Glencorse Wood as soon as possible. Because of the weather, the condition of the ground and one of the relieving battalions deviating north of the Menin road instead of east, the attack was postponed for 24 hours. The artillery could not be warned in time and opened fire but the infantry advance was cancelled in time and the attack was later called off. II Corps attacked the plateau again on 16 August, during the general attack during the Battle of Langemarck and in a local operation against Inverness Copse on 22 August. The Germans conducted a methodical counter-attack (Gegenangriff) on 24 August and recaptured the copse amidst much confusion on both sides. At the news, Haig cancelled a general attack intended for 25 August and altered the Fifth Army–Second Army boundary for the third time. A tank-infantry attack on Inverness Copse on 27 August failed when the tanks bogged down on the Menin road and another attack was cancelled on 31 August because of rain. The Second Army took over the II Corps front on the Gheluvelt Plateau in early September and Plumer was allowed three weeks to prepare the next attack. From 25 June – 31 August, the II Corps artillery had fired 2,766,824 shells, amounting to 85,396 long tons (86,766 t)

    1185 British lives were lost on this day

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    Captain Edward Unsworth Green MC (North Lancashire Regiment) is killed at age 37. He is the final of three brothers who are killed in the Great War.
    Lieutenant Richard Evans (Sherwood Foresters) dies of wounds at age 20. He is the son of the Reverend Arthur Evans.
    Lieutenant Ronald Bayly Craven Kennedy (Dublin Fusiliers) dies of wounds at age 21. He is the grandson of both ‘Sir’ Charles Edard Bayley Kennedy 2nd Baronet and ‘Sir’ John Craven Carden 4th
    Second Lieutenant Ernest Hartley Savory (West Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed last February.
    Rifleman Alfred Edward Bass (London Regiment) is killed at Glencorse Wood east of Ypres at age 29. His brother was killed in July 1916.
    Private Frederick Cole (Bedfordshire Regiment) is killed at age 36. His brother will be killed in April 1918.
    Private Maurice Townsend (Northamptonshire Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in April 1918.
    Private Thomas Thomason (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 21. His brother will be killed in July 1918.
    Private Ernest Want (Cheshire Regiment) is killed at age 20. His cousin was killed in July 1915 from accidental rifle discharge wounds.
    Private John William Hicks (West Surrey Regiment) is killed at age 29. His brother will be killed next August.

    14 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON FRIDAY AUGUST 10TH 1917

    2nd Lt. Biedermann, H.C.E. (Harry Charles Ernest) 57 Squadron RFC
    AM1 Browning, C.F. (Charles Frederick) 6 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Calder, A. (Alexander) 57 Squadron RFC
    Flt. Commander Casey, F.D. (Francis Dominic) 3 (N) Squadron RNAS
    AC1 Currington, S. (Sidney) Dunkerque Naval Air Station RNAS
    Capt. Fleming, W.A. (Wilfred Allan) 56 Squadron RFC
    Capt. Jarvis, A.B. (Alan Bishop) 1 Squadron RFC
    Driver Lawson, A. 43 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Meudell, C.G. (Colin Grant) 43 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Oliver, S.J. (Siddartha John) 66 Squadron RFC
    Capt. Read, H.E. (Harry Esmond) 24 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Ross, C.M. (Claude Murray) 45 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Taylor, W.A. (William Alexander) 8 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Ward, E.S. (Eric Seth) 32 Squadron RFC

    Sous Lieutenant Jacques Louis Ehrlich Spa 154 was shot down and wounded on this day

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    In May 1913, Ehrlich joined the army and served with the infantry until his transfer to the French Air Service in December 1916. He received a Pilot's Brevet in May 1917 and was assigned to N154. Cited for actions against the enemy on 10 August 1917, he was badly wounded while strafing the German lines. Promoted to Sergent, he returned to duty in November 1917. On the evening of 18 September 1918, three days after he was recommended for the Légion d'Honneur, Ehrlich was shot down and captured after scoring his 19th victory. The following day, his promotion to Sous Lieutenant was announced. In all, Ehrlich destroyed 18 balloons and shot down an Albatros scout in less than three months.

    The following claims were made on this day

    Cecil Richards Australia #10 #11

    Godwin Brumowski Austro-Hungarian Empire #10

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    Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg Austro-Hungarian Empire #4
    Carleton Clement Canada #10
    George Brooke England #3
    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #18
    Hans Auer Germany #3

    Joachim von Busse Germany #1

    Busse transferred to the German Air Force in March 1915. After training on single-seaters, he was posted to Jasta 3 in August 1917. Flying his Albatros D.III, marked with the letter "B," he shot down Canadian ace Emerson Smith on 26 October 1917. On 1 December 1917, he assumed command of Jasta 20 and scored seven more victories in 1918. Busse was wounded in action on 1 August 1918.

    Heinrich Geigl Germany #5
    Ernst Hess Germany #8
    Otto Könnecke Germany #5
    Max von Müller Germany #20 #21 u/c
    Emil Thuy Germany #5
    Kurt Wissemann Germany #3
    Edward Gribben Ireland #3 #4
    Tom Hazell Ireland #15

    Michele Allasia
    Italy #1

    Ferruccio Ranza
    Italy u/c

    Giovanni Sabelli Italy #1

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    Giovanni Sabelli received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 178 on a Deperdussin monoplane at Brooklands on 30 January 1912. He is believed to have helped Bulgaria form an air service in 1912 during its war with Turkey. On 9 May 1917, he joined 91a where he scored five victories before he was shot down in flames by a two-seater.

    Robert Birkbeck Scotland #2
    Matthew Brown Frew Scotland #5
    Richard Maybery Wales #7 #8

    Western Front


    British advance on two-mile front east of Ypres, capture remainder of Westhoek, and occupy Glencorse Wood.

    French make progress east and north of Bixschoote.

    Nancy bombed; French bomb Frankfurt.

    Eastern Front


    Mackensen beyond Susitsa river, strikes north at Romanians, always threatening rear of Russo-Romanian armies; enemy also advancing in northern Moldavia.

    Political, etc.

    Labour Party Conference decides, by large majority, to send delegates to Stockholm C

    and finally...

    Capt. Gilbert Tunstill , currently a patient at Hammerton VAD Hospital in Sunderland while serving with 83rd Training Reserve Battalion, based at Brighton Road Schools, Gateshead, appeared before a further Army Medical Board. The Board found that, “He was discharged to light duty from Hamerton VAD Hospital on 14th June 1917 and again admitted there on 7th July 1917. His foot was painful and he was unable to walk without limping. His foot has been put up in Plaster of Paris. He is already much improved and feels stronger. He was instructed to remain in hospital”. He was to be re-examined in a month’s time.

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    Never knowingly under gunned !

  5. #2655

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    August 11th 1917

    Captain Harold Ackroyd VC MC (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Royal Berkshire Regiment) is killed in action in Glencorse Wood, Ypres at age 40. Ten days earlier he performed deeds at Ypres that will win him the Victoria Cross.

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    A follow up to Yesterday's report on the taking of Westhoek Ridge - from the view point of the 3rd Worcestershire Regiment

    3/Worcs moved forward to Halfway House on the night before the battle. Orders came to relieve 8th Division on the ridge. From evening of Aug 1st to that of Aug 5th remained in position. Heavy rain and shell fire almost continuous. At night the front of the ridge was plastered with gas shells - removal of wounded very difficult due to deep slime. The worst trials were those of 'D' Coy on the defensive flank down to the Menin Road. The position was shelled heavily and the Coy lost half its strength killed or wounded. Survivors cheered by gallantry of 2Lt A Brewer (awarded MC) who showed great bravery and coolness. Other companies behaved equally well, but their casualties were almost as severe. When at last, after dark on Aug 5th, 3/Worcs were relieved, one fourth of the battalion had been put out of action. After relief, 3rd Worcs moved back down the Menin Road through Ypres to Halifax Camp. The rest of the 3rd Worcestershire at Halifax Camp was brief. On August 5th came orders for the line, and the Battalion again tramped forward up the Menin Road for a fresh attack. The failure on the first day to capture the Westhoek Ridge and Glencorse Wood had resulted in a terrible casualty roll in the battalions on the Bellewaerde Ridge and in the valley beyond, exposed as they were to the direct observation of the enemy machine gunners in those strongholds.

    To safeguard the position it was essential that those points should be taken. Plans had been made for a local attack with that object by two Divisions, the 18th Division against Glencorse Wood, and the 25th Division against Westhoek. The attack of the 25th Division was to be made by the 74th Brigade, with the 7th Brigade in close support. After dark on August 9th the 3rd Worcestershire moved into the support trenches on the Bellelvaarde Ridge, the trenches which they had held a week before. An hour before the attack was due to start, '' A '' and '' C '' companies were ordered forward to take position close the right battalion of the attacking Brigade, the 13th Cheshire.

    THE CAPTURE OF WESTHOEK.

    At dawn on August 10th the British artillery opened fire simultaneously with one tremendous crash, and the assaulting battalions charged forward as swiftly as was possible in the heavy mud. They just avoided the reply of the enemy’s artillery, which in three or four minutes struck all along the line of the British front trenches. The two companies of the Worcestershire lying in close support suffered more severely than did the attacking troops who, taking the enemy by surprise, fought their way forward up Westerhoek Ridge, topped the crest-line and pushed down the further slope. There the advance was checked. The reverse slope of the Ridge sheltered several concrete block-houses, still undamaged. The 13th Cheshire were held up and sent back messages for help. "A '' and " C '' Companies of the 3rd Worcestershire were ordered forward. 2nd Lieut A. W. Vint led '' A '' Company up and over the Ridge. By the time he reached the forward platoon of the Cheshire the protecting barrage had lifted and the enemy's machine-guns were sweeping bare ground. He organised an attack and led his men forward, working from shell-hole to shell-hole across several hundred yards of bare ground till he could close on the block-house, which was captured by a bold rush ( . Within half-an-hour from the start the objective of the attack had been gained and the victorious troops were endeavouring to establish defensive posts along the swampy valley of the Hannebeek. Orders were sent back for '' B '' and '' D '' Companies of the 3rd Worcestershire to move up to the old front line below the Westhoek Ridge.
    Then, as had been anticipated, began the severest trial. From north, east and south the enemy's shells came tearing to burst along the captured ridge : worse still, on the right flank the 18th Division after a hard struggle in Glencorse Wood had been driven back to that wood's western edge, thus exposing the right flank of the 13th Cheshire. Soon they were taken in enfilade by machine guns from the wood on the slope above them. By I1 o' c1ock all the senior officers of the Cheshire battalion had been hit and, at the request of their wounded C.O., Lt.-Colonel P. R. Whalley, commanding the 3rd Worcestershire, went forward, and took command. By that time enemy counter-attacks were beginning. Bodies of the enemy could be seen struggling forward through the swamps of the Hannebeek. Again and again as they came on, but they were easily shot down by the British fire. All counter-attacks were repulsed, though the fire from the machine-guns still swept the ground from the right flank. Throughout the day, Colonel Whalley commanded both battalions
    inspiring all with his courage and determination . Darkness closed down. The 3rd Worcestershire reassembled west of the Ridge and reckoned their losses-some fifty in all, including three officers : marvellously light considering the intensity of the fire.

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    Next day (August 11th)

    The defence of the captured ridge was continued. Lewis-gun teams of the Regiment went forward over the Ridge to assist the 13th Cheshire. Word came to send help to the right flank against an enemy counter-attack. All movement was perilous under the hill at
    shells, but Sergeant G. H. Tucker bravely led his men forward through the fire to the threatened dank. There he established his Lewis-guns in positions from which their fire checked the enemy movement . Two great losses fell the Battalion during that mowing, which deeply affected all ranks ;the Rev. E. M. Evans, M.C. who had been attached to the Battalion as Chaplain for more than two years was killed, and the not less devoted Medical officer, Captain H. D. Willis, was mortally wounded. At last on the fo11owing night the 3rd Worcestershire were relieved and withdrawn to a position in reserve. In the two days of fighting the Battalion had lost a third of its battle strength .On the next day (August 12th) the 3rd Worcestershire moved back through Ypres to Vlamer-tinghe and thence by bus to Steenvoorde to rest. At Steenvoorde were found the 1st Battalion, who had been resting and reorganising during the previous Week.

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    Brigadier General Ronald Campbell Maclachlan DSO, General Officer Commanding 112th Brigade, 37th Division is killed in action at age 45. He is shot by a sniper about 07:00 while going around the trenches in the Oosttaverne sector. He is the son of the Reverend A Campbell. A brother was accidentally killed in 1908 during the Mohmand Expedition on the Northwest Frontier and another will be killed in March 1918.

    In total 739 British lives were lost on this day

    Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Alfred Brooke Alston (Northamptonshire Regiment commanding 10th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed in action at age 40. He is the son of Surgeon Major William Evelyn Alston JP and he served in the South African War.
    Major George Bernard Stratton (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) is killed at Coxyde at age 40. His wife is the widow of Captain Percy Yarborough Harakness who was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and she will give birth to Major Stratton’s son in January of next year.
    Captain Harold Ackroyd VC MC (Royal Army Medical Corps attached Royal Berkshire Regiment) is killed in action in Glencorse Wood, Ypres at age 40. Ten days earlier he performed deeds at Ypres that will win him the Victoria Cross. (see above)
    Lieutenant Frederick John Munro (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed in action at age 33. He is a journalist, had received an MA at St Andrew’s University and is the son of the Reverend Robert Munro.
    Lieutenant Harold Jackson Snowden (South Lancashire Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps) is accidentally killed in England. His brother was killed last March in Palestine.

    The War in the Air


    A busy day in the skies over the battlefields saw the loss of two aces on this day.

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    CAPT. ARTHUR NORBURY SOLLY 20 Squadron RFC was the elder son of Ernest Solly, M.B.LOND.,F.R.C.S. (O.R., 1878-81), Major in the Royal Army Medical Corps, T.F' and of Mary Alice his wife, of Harrogate. He entered the School with a Scholarship in 1908 and left in 1913. He was in the Running VIII in 1912 and 1913. He won a Modern Languages Exhibition at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, in 1912, and a leaving Exhibition in Modern Languages in his last term. Intending to follow a medical profession, he went up to Cambridge, and had been in
    residence a year when War broke out. Returning to England from abroad in September, 1914, he immediately enlisted in the Public Schools Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and was promoted Sergeant. In the following month he received a Commission in the 19th Battalion The Manchester Regiment. In October, 1915, he was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, and went to France as an Observer in March, 1916. In the fighting on the Somme he was wounded on July 1st, returned home; qualified as a Pilot in November, and, after some months spent in training others and in flying machines across the Channel, he went back to the Front in May, 1917.

    During the summer he took part in many air-fights, and was promoted Flight Commander and Captain. While he, "as the most experienced Pilot in his Squadron," was testing a new type of machine at a height of 7,000 feet, the wings collapsed and he was killed, near St.
    Omer, on August 11th, 1917. Age 23. Many brother Officers testified to his skill and courage, to his unfailing good humour, to the respect and admiration in which he was held.

    The Officer Commanding the 20th Squadron, R.F.C., wrote

    "How greatly we miss him, I cannot tell you. He was a wonderful Pilot and absolutely full of courage and determination. As one of my Flight Commanders he was of the greatest help to me."

    Another Officer said that "he was absolutely reliable in his work and never came back without completing a job, whatever the difficulty or danger."

    Flight Commander Francis Dominic Casey
    3(N) Squadron Royal Naval Air Service. Francis Dominic Casey joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1916. A Sopwith Pup pilot, he scored 9 victories in 1917 but he was killed in a crash during a test flight.

    His DSC Citation: For conspicuous bravery and skill in attacking hostile aircraft on numerous occasions. On April 21st, 1917, he attacked a hostile two-seater machine at a range varying from 40 to 100 yards, and brought it down completely out of control. On April 23rd, 1917, on four different occasions during one flight, he attacked hostile machines, one of which was driven down in a spinning nose dive and another turning over on its side went down completely out of control. This Officer has driven down four machines completely out of control, and forced many others down.

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    There were the following victories claimed on this day...

    Godwin Brumowski Austro-Hungarian Empire #11 #12

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    Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg Austro-Hungarian Empire #5
    Karl Nikitsch Austro-Hungarian Empire #4
    Johann Risztics Austro-Hungarian Empire #4
    Rudolf Weber Austro-Hungarian Empire #2 #3

    Charles Booker
    England #21
    [/B]

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    The son of Louis and Ada Booker, Charles Dawson Booker joined the Royal Naval Air Service on 8 September 1915. Most of his victories were achieved with a Sopwith Triplane he called "Maud." On 11 August 1917, Booker scored his 21st victory when he and William Jordan shot down an Albatros D.V piloted by Adolf von Tutschek. Moments later, Booker was shot down by Viktor Schobinger of Jasta 12. He landed safely behind British lines. Flying a Sopwith Camel, Booker shot down three Fokker D.VII aircraft on 13 August 1918 but died from wounds received the same day when he was shot down by Ulrich Neckel of Jasta 12

    On 11 August 1917, von Tutschek was badly wounded in the right shoulder when his black-tailed Albatros D.V was shot down by Charles Booker of 8 Naval Squadron. Out of action for six months, he wrote his memoirs while recovering: Sturme and Luftsiege (Attack and Air Victories). On 1 February 1918, von Tutschek assumed command of Jagdgeschwader II. Mid-morning on 15 March 1918, the triplanes of JG II tangled with the Royal Flying Corps near Brancourt. Tutscheck was killed when his green Fokker DR.I (404/17) was shot down by an S.E.5a flown by South African ace Harold Redler.

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    Charles Cudemore England #4
    William Thomas Smith England #1 #2
    Julius Buckler Germany #13
    Theodor Quandt Germany #3
    Julius Schmidt Germany #10
    Viktor Schobinger Germany #2
    William Jordan South Africa #4

    15 AIRMEN HAVE FALLEN ON SATURDAY AUGUST 11TH 1917

    2nd. Lt. Browning, O.A. (Oakley Alsop) 6 Training Squadron RFC
    Lt. Davies, D.B. (David Beynon) 52 Squadron RFC
    AM 1 Fairless, R.L. (Robert Lester) 4 Squadron RFC
    2nd. Harris, P.G. (Percy George) 21 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Hay, D.Y. (Donald Yalden) 20 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Holaway, C.E. (Charles Edmund) 21 SQuadron RFC
    Lt. Holmes, K.W. (Kenneth Woodfull) 22 Squadron RFC
    Cadet Morton, G.A. (George A.) RFC
    Cadet Neylan, E. (Engelo) RFC
    Lt. Sawlor, R.H. (Ray Haliburton) 52 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Snowden, H.J. (Harold Jackson) RFC
    Capt. Solly, A.N. (Arthur Norbury) 23 Squadron RFC
    AM 1 Walker, G.S. (George Simpson) 9 Squadron RFC
    Cadet Walker, L.R. (Lionel Reginald) 44th Wing, Canada RFC
    Lt. (Flt. Cdr) Ward, E.A.H. (Edward Arthur Hunter) 22 Squadron RFC

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    Arnold Loosemore VC DCM (7 June 1896, Sheffield, England – 10 April 1924) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
    One of seven sons of a Sheffield gardener, Arnold Loosemore enlisted in the Army on 2 January 1915 aged 19 years and 7 months. Posted to the York and Lancaster Regiment, in July 1915 he left Liverpool for the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign arriving in Suvla Bay in August 1915. Surviving this campaign and returning home, he was then trained to use the Lewis machine gun. After this training, in July 1916 he was sent to the Somme in France to join the 8th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment. In 1917 then aged 21 and a private, he was awarded the Victoria Cross and a year later the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

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    On 11 August 1917 south of Langemarck, Belgium, during the attack on a strongly held enemy position and his platoon having been held up by heavy machine-gun fire, Private Loosemore crawled through partially cut wire, dragging his Lewis machine-gun with him and single-handed dealt with a strong party of the enemy, killing about 20 of them. Immediately afterwards his Lewis gun was destroyed and three of the enemy rushed at him, but he shot them with his revolver. Later he shot several enemy snipers, and on returning to the original post he brought back a wounded comrade under heavy fire.

    On 19 June 1918 at Zillebeke, Belgium when out with a fighting patrol he displayed conspicuous gallantry and powers of leadership when his officer was wounded and the platoon scattered by hostile bombs. He rallied the men and brought them back in order with all the wounded to our lines. On a subsequent occasion he handled his platoon with great skill and a complete disregard of his own danger under heavy machine gun fire. It was owing to his determination and powers of leadership that the platoon eventually captured the enemy post which they were attacking. This action earned him his DCM.

    In August 1917 he was promoted to corporal by his commanding officer for gallantry in the field and in May 1918 was promoted to the rank of sergeant. On 13 October 1918 he was badly wounded by machine gun fire near Villiers-en-Cauchies in France and eventually had his left leg amputated above the knee. His health undermined by war wounds and unable to work, he died on 10 April 1924 from tuberculosis leaving a wife and small son. His wife Amy was refused a War Widows pension from the Government because he died after the war and she knew he was ill when she married him. Almost destitute; his wife had to have him buried in an existing grave with three others in order to save money. His Victoria Cross and Distinguished Conduct Medals were sold in 1969 and are now privately owned and not on public display. In the early 1980s a street in the S12 area of Sheffield was named Loosemore Drive by the Lord Mayor. Soon afterwards a memorial plaque to mark this event was removed due to repeated vandalism. This missing plaque was replaced in December 2014 by a new bronze plaque.

    That Arnold Loosemore's widow was refused a War Widows pension by the Government was highlighted in November 2014 by Channel 4 TV in a programme called 'WW1's Forgotten Heroes'.

    Western Front

    Heavy German counter-attack east of Ypres repulsed.

    British line pressed back in Glencorse Wood.

    Eastern Front

    Mackensen crosses River Sereth at one point; claims 7,000 prisoners, Romanians stubbornly resisting, retire at Ocna.

    Naval and Overseas Operations


    Liner "City of Athens" mined off Cape Town, 21 lost.

    Political, etc.


    U.S. Government refuses to issue passports for Stockholm Conference.

    Mr. Henderson resigns position as member of War Cabinet.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  6. #2656

    Default

    Nicely done, thanks for your time.

  7. #2657

    Default

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    Right last one from me for a few days at least as I am once again off on some R&R to where there are no phone signals or wifi..... Thankfully Neil has ignored the advice of the M.O. and declared himself fit to type... Top Man !!

    August 12th 1917


    We will pause to commemmorate all those that have fallen on this day throughout the years...

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    I know there is a strong anti-hunting, shooting and fishing lobby so I apologise to anyone who disapproves. To those not in the know or not from our shores, the 'Glorious 12th' is the start of the Grouse Shooting Season. Although having seen grouse in the wild, I have no idea why you need to shoot them, as a bird they are a bit crap. Round and podgy they spend most of the time walking about the moorlands, if you wanted a challenge then Grouse Clubbing would be more apt. Why do we have such a strange and (as some would say) barbaric tradition? Simple... they are delicious (apologies to vegetarians that there is no Grouse Quorn)

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    Anyway frivolity and contentiousness aside lets get back to business..

    Lets start with a reverse of fortunes in the endless war against merchant shipping...

    SM U-44 was one of the 329 submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy in World War I. She was engaged in the naval warfare and took part in the First Battle of the Atlantic. Launched in 1915, she was sunk in August 1917.

    SM U-44, under the command of Paul Wagenführ, was completed at Danzig about June or July 1915. She later joined the Kiel School, where she remained until 20 August 1915 undergoing trials. She then proceeded to the North Sea and was attached to the 3rd Half Flotilla.
    On 12 August 1917, U-44 was rammed and sunk in the North Sea south of Norway (58°50′N 4°20′E) by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Oracle with the loss of all 44 of her crew.

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    Looks like the Glorious 12th theme was carried on in the air war - with a very busy day for the aces... 33 pilots claiming 41 victories including a 'Foursome' and 10 first timers... The plane of the day (well any day for me but I'm biased) was definitely the Bristol Fighter which accounts for 11 of these claims, it was also a good day for the Spad VIIs of 23 Squadron (another one of my favourites)

    Roderic Dallas Australia #19
    Alexander Augustus Norman Dudley Pentland Australia #3
    Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg Austro-Hungarian Empire u/c
    Rudolf Weber Austro-Hungarian Empire #4

    Captain Carleton Clement Canada #11 #12 #13 #14 22 Squadron RFC Flying Bristol F.2b (A7172)

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    The son of the Hon. Justice W. H. P. Clement, Carleton Main Clement attended public school in Vancouver, British Columbia before attending Victoria College at the University of Toronto in 1912 and 1913. Having served with the 31st B.C. Horse, Clement resigned his commission in the militia and enlisted as a private in the 30th Battalion in June 1915. In March 1916 he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2563 on 16 March 1916. After training and a promotion to First Lieutenant he was posted to 22 Squadron in June 1916. He was promoted to Captain in January 1917 and scored his first 8 victories flying the F.E.2b. In July and August of 1917, he scored 6 more victories flying the Bristol F.2b. Missing in action on 19 August 1917, Clement's Bristol Fighter was seen going down near Langemarck, out of control. He was shot down by anti-aircraft fire. His Military Cross was awarded posthumously.

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    Bristol F.2b Fighter 'G' of 22 Sqn. Note the CDL fuselage

    Albert Earl Godfrey Canada #11
    Harold Kerby Canada #8

    George Trapp Canada #1

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    The son of Thomas J. and Nellie K. Trapp, George Leonard Trapp was one of three brothers who flew for Canada during World War I. He graduated from McGill University in 1916 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He joined the Royal Naval Air Service in January 1917 and was posted to 10 Naval Squadron on 2 July 1917. Before he was killed in action by Bruno Justinius of Jasta 35, he scored three victories flying the Sopwith Triplane and scored three more flying the Sopwith Camel. Both of his brothers also died during the war. Trapp's sister was married to Raymond Collishaw.

    James Bush England #1 #2

    The son of a Wiltshire clergyman, James Cromwell Bush served with the 5th Wiltshire Regiment and Dorsets before joining the Royal Flying Corps. Posted to 22 Squadron in 1917, he often flew with author "Arch" Whitehouse as his observer. Having initially flown the F.E.2b, Bush scored all of his victories as a Bristol Fighter pilot. The day after he scored his 6th victory, he and his observer, Lt. Chapman, were killed in action when they were shot down by Hans von Häbler of Jasta 36.

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    Well it was this or another picture of F2B

    Robert Coath England #3 #4
    Philip Fletcher Fullard England #19
    G.A. Hyde England #3
    Arthur Willan Keen England #9 #10

    Henry Maddocks England #1

    Serjt. Henry Hollingdrake Maddocks, from Berkhamsted School O.T.C., to be temporary 2nd Lieutenant for duty with the Royal Flying Corps on 5 August 1916. MC Citation 2nd Lt. Henry Hollingrake Maddocks, Gen. List, and R.F.C.
    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Whilst attacking two hostile aeroplanes he saw an enemy machine attacking one of his patrol. He at once attacked the enemy machine, which was seen to crash. On one occasion during a fight between seven enemy machines and a patrol of our scouts, he engaged one of the enemy machines causing it to drop from 6,000 feet to 1,000 feet, where it caught fire and dived vertically down. On two other occasions he drove down an enemy machine after a short fight. He has done consistent and continual good work.

    Gordon Olley England #5
    James Payne England #1
    William Walker England #1 #2 (Bristol Fighter)

    Marcel Dhome France #1

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    Marcel Dhôme was wounded in action on 10 June 1915. He served again during World War II and attained the rank of Commandant. "Brilliant pursuit pilot possessing courage and moral values. On 15 December 1917, he downed his 5th enemy plane which crashed in flames in our lines. One wound. Three citations." Médaille Militaire citation, 2 January 1918

    "Elite officer of superb bravery and spirit. Constantly distinguishing himself as a pilot without equal by his scorn of danger and by his skill in combat. After having downed successfully seven enemy planes in the course of his daily combats, he reported his 8th and 9th victories over enemy planes over their lines, and several days later downed a balloon. One wound. Médaille Militaire for feats of war. Five citations." Légion d'Honneur citation, 11 August 1918

    Hans von Adam Germany #11

    Xavier Dannhube Germany #1

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    Xavier Dannhuber was shot down on 27 September 1917 near Pervijze (Pervyse) by a Nieuport 23 flown by Belgian pilot Lt. Goethals Jacques of Escadrille 5. Wounded in action on 18 October 1917, Dannhuber's Albatros is believed to have been shot down by Belgian ace Andre de Meulemeester. Dannhuber was credited with ten victories before crashing a Pfalz D.IIIa during a test flight at Thugny airfield on 11 February 1918. Recovering from his injuries, he resumed command of Jasta 79b on 9 October 1918. He scored his final victory of the war five days later, shooting down a Sopwith Dolphin near Bohain.

    Helmut Dilthey Germany #2
    Eduard von Dostler Germany #23
    Willi Kampe Germany #1
    Konrad Mettlich Germany #3 #4
    Julius Schmidt Germany #11
    Conn Standish O'Grady Ireland #4

    Keith Park New Zealand #2 48 Squadron RFC (Bristol F2B)

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    Leonard Slatter South Africa #1

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    A civil engineer and native of South Africa, Leonard Horatio Slatter joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1916. Later that year, after serving as an observer, he was selected for pilot training and received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 3912 on a Sopwith seaplane at the seaplane base, Dover on 14 November 1916. Flying Sopwith Pups and Camels, he scored seven victories and became an instructor in July 1918. After the war, he remained in the Royal Air Force, serving with 47 Squadron in Russia. During World War II, he served in Iraq, commanded the Roya Air Force in the Eritrea-Abyssinia campaign, directed operations against Nazi U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic and served as Commander in Chief of the Coastal Command from 1945 to 1948. Air Marshal Sir Leonard Horation Slatter, 66, died at Uxbridge. He was survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

    Ronald Graham Scotland #2
    Clive Wilson Warman USA #6 #7

    Harold Day Wales #1

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    Diving on an Albatros D.V, Harold Day was killed when his Sopwith Camel (N6379) broke up and crashed near Harnes. Günther Schuster of Jasta 29 was credited with shooting him down.

    His DSC citation: Flt. Sub-Lieut. Harold Day, R.N.A.S.
    In recognition of the skill and determination shown by him in aerial combats, in the course of which he has done much to stop enemy artillery machines from working.
    On the 6th January, 1918, he observed a new type enemy aeroplane. He immediately dived to attack, and after a short combat the enemy machine went down very steeply, and was seen to crash.
    On several other occasions he has brought down enemy machines out of control.

    The Allied airmen didnt have it all their own way as 13 airmen were lost on this day

    AM 2 Bestford, R. (Robert) 52 Squadron RFC
    Am 1 Castell, G.C. (George Charles) 12 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Castle, E.E. (Errington Edward) 46 Training Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Elliott, C.W. (Clifford Wilfrid) 23 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Gibson, G.I. (Griffiths Ifor) 6 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Gordon, A.W. (Albert William) 32 Squadron RFC
    Capt. Guy, C.G. (Christopher Godfrey) 29 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Hutchinson, C.D. (Cecil Dunbar) 57 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. MacLaren, F.M. (Frederic Monteath) 1 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Nichols, S.L. (Stanley Lawrence) 19 Squadron RFC
    2nd Lt. Sillem, S.C. (Stuart Charles) 27 Squadron RFC
    Lt. Tate, W.E. (William Edward) RFC
    Capt. Williams, R.M. (Roderic Mathafarn) 32 Squadron RFC

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    Eleven Gothas raid Southend and Margate killing 32 and injuring 46. Among the dead are Mrs. Elizabeth Mary West age 55 and her 13 year old daughter Gladys. They will be buried in the same grave. Ironically her three sons all are in the Army and all survive the war. Lieutenant Harold Spencer Kerby (Royal Naval Air Service) attacks hostile machines returning from the raid on England. One hostile machine is driven down by him to the water where it is observed to turn over.

    Strong winds prevented an attack on London so Kagohl 3 chose instead to attack Chatham, a naval base on the north Kent coast. The raid appears to have been a last minute decision and only 13 Gothas were available but engine problems caused two of these to turn back early.

    Prior to the attack on Chatham, one Gotha broke away from the formation and at 5.40pm approached Margate where it dropped four bombs. The first fell harmlessly in the sea off Queen’s Promenade and the second wrecked an unoccupied house on Surrey Road. Of the other two, one fell in the grounds of Laleham House School on Lower Northdown Road, blowing out all the doors and windows at the back and damaging parts of the interior. The other dropped in the grounds of Surrey House School in Laleham Road, smashing windows there and at 30 other houses in the vicinity. One woman was slightly injured. AA guns opened fire on the Gotha, getting off 132 rounds, and RNAS aircraft set off in pursuit, harrying the lone raider back to Belgium where it crash landed near Ostend.

    The main formation appeared off the mouth of the Blackwater at 5.30pm, having been pushed north by the wind, and climbed to 15,000 feet as they headed towards the Thames Estuary. Ten minutes earlier the first defence aircraft took off from Rochford and Manston, followed in the next ten minutes by aircraft from a number of other airfields. Kagohl 3 reached Rochford at 5.50pm where they dropped two bombs on the RFC airfield but failed to inflict any damage although the bombs injured two men. Another fell close to the nearby railway but again without damage. The defence aircraft that took off from Rochford 30 minutes earlier were still climbing to the raider’s altitude but with the wind slowing the Gothas and the sight of British aircraft in pursuit, the formation abandoned their plan over Canvey Island and turned back, intending to drop their bombs on the area around Southend instead. (Should have bombed Canvey Island - what a dump - editor)

    Five bombs fell at Leigh. One, which failed to detonate, went sideways through a house on Lord Roberts Avenue and buried itself six feet below the foundations. One that exploded on the pavement in Cliffsea Grove caused damage to seven houses but no one was injured. Seven bombs fell in Westcliff but only four detonated, causing minimal damage. Of these, two exploded in fields, one on a tennis court near Imperial Avenue and one in a garden in Crowstone Road North.

    The 17 bombs that fell in Southend were more deadly even though nine of them failed to explode. A woman in High Street, near the Midland railway Station, was injured and a bomb exploding in Milton Avenue killed a man and a woman and smashed a water main. Other bombs demolished a house at 12 Guildford Road, killing three people and injuring three more, and one in Lovelace Gardens destroyed a house, killing a woman and child. The worst incident took place in Victoria Avenue, which led towards the main Great Eastern Railway station. Many day-trippers from London were on their way back to the station for the journey home when a 50kg HE bomb exploded amongst them leaving bodies strewn in all directions. The exact number is hard to work out from contemporary reports but may be as high as 25 killed.

    The Gothas remained overland as far as Shoeburyness, dropping two final bombs at Little Wakering and Bournes Green, neither of which exploded, before going out to sea at about 6.00pm. RFC aircraft of 61 Squadron from Rochester pursued them for 40 to 50 miles as did aircraft from 112 Squadron, and those from the Testing Squadron at Martlesham Heath and the RNAS. One of the RNAS pilots, Flt sub-Lt Harold Kerby, had the only success of the day, shooting down one of the returning Gothas.

    Six AA guns of the Thames and Medway garrison fired off 130 rounds, one regular crew at the Shoeburyness experimental range fired 36 and four hastily assembled crews at the Shoeburyness gunnery school got off 120 rounds, all without success.

    So its over to Neil for a few days... nice to get a cheeky Gotha raid in before I leave. Nothing much from Tunstill's men today but I shall remember them as I have a few beers in many of the pubs they would have drunk in back in their beloved Wharfedale.

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  8. #2658

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    Laughed so much I nearly flew a mission Chris.
    Kyte.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  9. #2659

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    Back in the saddle tomorrow. Let's see what I can drag up.

    Neil
    See you on the Dark Side......

  10. #2660

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    Monday 13th August 1917

    Today we lost: 525

    Today’s losses include:

    · The great grandson of a Baronet
    · A man related to the assassinated Airey Neave
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · Multiple families that will lose two son in the Great War

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:
    · Captain Edward Harold Lomax (South Lancashire Regiment) is killed in action at age 22. He is the son of the Reverend Edward Lomax.
    · Second Lieutenant Maurice Charles Thornton Bate (London Regiment) is killed at age 19. He is the son of the Vicar of Chittlehampton.
    · Corporal William James Hall (Suffolk) is killed at age 21. His half brother was killed last month.
    · Private Charles Baden Drury Powell (Middlesex Regiment) is killed on the Somme at age 26. His brother will be killed next July.

    Air Operations:

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 6

    Capt Chambers, P.W. (Percy Wilmot), 22 Squadron, RFC. Died of Wounds 13 August 1917 as a Prisoner of War (Wounded and Captured earlier that day).

    2Lt Crewe, C.W. (Clifford Whatley), 42 Training Squadron, RFC. Killed whilst flying. NFDK.

    Lt Doran, F.B. (Frank Beecher), 9 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action aged 21, during an aerial combat.

    A Mech 2 Kelly, C. (Cornelius), 55 Squadron, RFC. NFDK.

    Capt Kirk, P.G. (Percival Gordon), 55 Squadron, RFC. Killed in Action aged 24.

    Lt McNally, P.B. (Percy Byron), 55 Squadron, RFC, aged 30. NFDK.

    Claims: 17 confirmed (Entente 11: Central Powers 6)

    William Bishop #43rd & #44th.
    George Dixon #2nd.
    Edward Gribben #5th.
    Albert Earl Godfrey #12th.
    Tom Hazell #16th & #17th.
    Alwyne Loyd #3rd.
    Harry Gosford Reeves #4th.
    William Thomas Smith #3rd & #4th.

    Heinrich Arntzen #5th.
    Albert Haussmann #5th & #6th.
    Fritz Loerzer #3rd.
    Georg Strasser #5th.

    Lt Karl Mendel claims his 1st confirmed victory with Jasta 15. Shooting down a balloon near Pontavert. The highest scoring ace of Jasta 18, Mendel was shot down by an SE5a of 29 Squadron.

    Western Front

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    Prelude:

    Currie regarded control of either Hill 70 or Sallaumines Hill as tactically more important than control of the city of Lens. Merely to occupy the city while the Germans held the high ground, would place the attackers in an unfavourably lower and more exposed position than the ones they occupied. At a conference of corps commanders, Currie persuaded the First Army commander General Henry Horne to make Hill 70, not Lens, the main objective of the limited offensive. Controlling Hill 70 would provide excellent observation over the German lines, in preparation for more offensives. Currie believed the Germans would attempt to counter-attack if Hill 70 were captured, largely because of its observational importance. Nevertheless, Currie believed that the advantageous observational position of Hill 70 would permit well directed artillery to effectively deal with any counter-attacks. The plan was therefore to occupy the high ground quickly, establish defensive positions and utilize combined small arms and artillery fire to repel expected counter-attacks and inflict as many casualties as possible.

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    Artillery map of the Lens area, marking locations to bombard with harassing fire.

    In an attempt to further deceive the Germans, minor operations were conducted in an effort to suggest a forthcoming attack by the British First Army south of La Bassée Canal. This included an attack by the 9th Canadian Brigade against units of the German 36th Reserve Division at Mericourt Trench and a British First Army poison gas attack north of Loos, both in late July 1917.

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    Bad weather led to the postponement of the attack on Hill 70 from late July until mid-August. In the interim, special companies of the Royal Engineers augmented the regular level of harassment by firing a total of 3,500 gas drums and 900 gas shells into Lens by 15 August. The artillery neutralized 40 out of an estimated 102 German batteries in the area by zero hour, partly with the technique of predicted fire for the first time, using datum points and calibrated guns, which greatly improved the accuracy of the artillery. Troops were rotated through the reserve area to conduct training and rehearsals in preparation for the assault. These obvious preliminary actions to an attack did not go unnoticed by the Germans, which made it impossible to conceal the First Army's general intentions or even, as it turned out, the date of the assault. The best that could be done was to attempt to mislead the Germans with respect to time and place. To this end I Corps staged exercises with dummy tanks on 14 August, directly west of Lens.

    Tunstills Men Monday 13th August 1917:

    Billets near Moulle.


    A fine, sunny day, though there was more heavy rain during the evening.

    Pte. Leonard Hurley (see 6th August) again found himself on a charge; on this occasion his offence was, “Inattention on line of march, ie not keeping step”. He was reported Sgt. Michael Kenefick (see 23rd July); on the orders of Lt. Arthur Poynder Garratt (see 6th August) he was to be confined to barracks for two days.

    Pte. Ellis Sutcliffe (see 22nd July), who had suffered relatively minor shrapnel wounds to his back on 22nd July, was discharged from 6th General Hospital at Rouen and posted to 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples, en route to a return to active service.

    Lt. Philip Howard Morris (see 1st August), who had been wounded on 7th June and was now serving with 3DWR at North Shields, appeared before an Army Medical Board assembled at Tynemouth. The Board found that “the wounds remain healed but are rather dragged upon at present in free movements of the arm. The arm has not regained full strength yet”; they found him fit for home service for a month, with a further Board to follow.

    Pte. James Thomas Sagar (see 19th March), who was serving at Northern Command Depot at Ripon, having been posted back to England in November 1916, was reported for ‘overstaying his special leave’. He would return to duty next day and would be sentenced to three days confined to barracks.

    Eastern Front:

    Russo-Romanian offensive continues favourable to Allies (Ocna region).

    August 8 1917, Oituz–The German attack at Mărășești was not the Central Powers’ only planned offensive against the Romanians for early August. At the same time, the Austrians planned to attack around Oituz, to the north of where the Romanians had launched their offensive in late July; the Austrians hoped that they could outflank the small salient created by Averescu’s advance. During the planning phase in late July, the Oituz sector was defended by Russian troops deemed by Austrian intelligence to be highly unreliable, and likely to break if attacked. In early August, those Russians were replaced with Romanians; the Austrians brought in more troops to compensate.

    The Austrians had many advantages on the eve of the attack. The Romanians were overextended by their advance in July, leaving this sector relatively undermanned, and with essentially no reserves. The Romanian trenches themselves were relatively primitive, though the hilly terrain would help them. Finally, the Romanians had no warning that the attack was coming, even believing that the Austrians were reducing their presence in the sector.
    The Austrians attacked on the morning of August 8th. The Romanians put up a spirited defense, often launching counterattacks of their own. However, by the night of the 9th, the Romanians had lost 1200 PoWs and were falling back all along the line. The Romanians, having no more than a single battalion in reserve, were afraid of a complete Austrian breakthrough.

    The success did not come without cost for the Austrian forces, however, nor for the German units attacking with them. One of the casualties on the first day of the battle was a 23-year-old Rudolf Hess, shot through the left lung. This would end his career in the infantry; he would spend the remainder of the war convalescing or in training as a pilot. While he would not serve in combat again in the First World War, his pilot’s training would lead to his ultimate fate in the Second.

    August 10 1917, Oituz–The Austro-German attack around Oituz was reinforced on August 9 by the arrival of the Württemberg Mountain Battalion (WMB). Arriving from the Western Front, they assumed that the Romanians would be pushovers, and that victory over them would be as easy as it had been in 1916. They soon found the Romanians to be far more determined than they had expected, but they still achieved some impressive victories in their first days on the front.

    On August 9, elements of the WMB under Lt. Erwin Rommel infiltrated in along the Oituz river valley and threatened to surround the Romanians there, forcing them to fall back. In the wee hours of August 10, Rommel led infantry and machine gun detachments in silence up the slopes of Mt. Coṣna, launching a surprise attack from point blank range just before dawn, quickly forcing the Romanians back over a mile. Later that day, he was himself surprised by a Romanian patrol and was wounded in the arm; Rommel recalled a French officer with the patrol repeatedly shouting “Kill the German dogs!” Rommel remained on the front lines for the next two weeks despite his injury.

    The next day, Rommel led the assault on the summit of Mt. Coṣna itself; they took it quickly, but the fighting soon devolved into a series of counterattacks over the course of the day before the Romanians abandoned the peak. Rommel’s forces, by now exhausted after three days’ intense fighting, did not have the strength to advance down the far side.

    The Romanians were able to recover their strength; by August 13 they were in possession of the peak once again.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 7 (All to U-Boat action)


    HMS Bergamot was an Anchusa-class sloop which had a short career. Built by Armstrong Whitworth, the ship was laid down on 1 January 1917, launched on 5 May, and commissioned on 14 July.
    Four weeks later, on 13 August 1917, under the command of Lieut-Commander Percy T. Perkins, she was sunk in the Atlantic 70 nautical miles (130 km) north-west of the harbour of Killybegs by the German submarine U-84, commanded by Walter Rohr.

    His war diary describes how he sighted a lone merchant ship, with no defensive armament (an unusual sight by 1917). HMS Bergamot evidently sighted the U-boat's periscope, as she began to zig-zag at high speed. The U-84 fired one torpedo — which hit on the port side — and HMS Bergamot broke in half and sank in 4 minutes. Surfacing, the U-84 sighted an unusually large number of crew (70) and pieces of wood floating. The U-boat's log identifies the possibility of the Bergamot being a "trap ship". One of the indicators being the narrow beam in relation to the length of the ship, a sure sign of a warship.

    The torpedo struck her on the port side, entering the auxiliary engine room and destroying the dynamo and the bulkhead separating the auxiliary engine room from the main engine room. All the lights went out. HMS Bergamot launched a "panic party" in lifeboat no.1, containing 31 men, but the ship lurched to port, both the bow and stern rising out of the water, and she sank too quickly for the ruse to be successful.

    U-84 approached Lifeboat no. 2 and asked where the captain was. They were told, "In the other boat, Sir" although actually he was on a small raft being towed by no.2 at the time. U-84 had both her deck guns trained on the lifeboat, but they believed the story and headed for lifeboat no. 1, now about 2 miles away. There, they went close alongside and hauled the ship's steward aboard, probably because he was the only one with a collar and tie on, and looked like an officer. Luckily, he stuck to the cover story, although questioned severely by Rohr as to "where bound, what cargo?" and was told to go back to his lifeboat, after having been given a glass of port wine and a cigarette, and after also transferring a wounded man that the submarine had picked up to the boat. With a cheery, "See you after the war!" the submarine disappeared into the night mists.

    At the moment of the explosion, the Bergamot's first officer, Lieutenant Frederick W. Siddall, and her probationer surgeon, Robert S.Smith were both in her wardroom. The explosion jammed both of the watertight doors leading into this compartment, and Siddall was rendered unconscious. Smith piled the wrecked wardroom furniture up in order to reach the skylight in the roof, and then dragged the unconscious Siddall up and out of the compartment. Having reached the main deck, Smith worked on both Siddall and a wounded Petty Officer, who was lying on the deck with a broken leg and arm. By this time the ship was clearly sinking so Smith inflated his casualties life vests and lowered them both into the water.

    As HMS Bergamot sank one of her depth charges exploded, badly wounding Siddall and again rendering him unconscious. Smith towed both his casualties to lifeboat no.2, which had left the sinking ship, containing 47 survivors, and then worked on Siddall for 25 minutes, administering artificial respiration, until he again recovered consciousness. Smith then treated the other injured survivors in no.2 over the 48 hours that the lifeboats were adrift until they were picked up. For these life saving actions, Surgeon Robert Sydney Steele Cathcart Smith was awarded the Albert Medal.

    The lifeboats became separated through the first night. Lifeboat no.2 set course for Loch Swilly, about 100 miles away, They sailed and rowed for three days before being picked up by the Admiralty trawler Lord Lister. Lifeboat no.1 reached the rocky shores of County Donegal where they were taken ashore by the coastguard.
    For the unfortunate Smith and Siddall, this was the second time they'd been blown up in 6 weeks. They'd both been members of the crew on HMS Salvia when that ship had been sunk.

    Political:


    Martial law in Spain.

    Mr. Barnes appointed to War Cabinet.

    Mr. Bonar Law announces that no passports for Stockholm Conference will be issued.

    Anniversary Events:

    1521 Hernan Cortes captures the city of Tenochtitlan, Mexico, and sets it on fire.
    1630 Emperor Ferdinand II dismisses Albert Eusebius von Wallenstein, his most capable general.
    1680 War starts when the Spanish are expelled from Santa Fe, New Mexico, by Indians under Chief Pope.
    1704 The Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Austria defeat the French Army at the Battle of Blenheim.
    1787 The Ottoman Empire declares war on Russia.
    1862 Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest defeats a Union army under Thomas Crittenden at Murfreeboro, Tennessee.
    1881 The first African-American nursing school opens at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.
    1889 The first coin-operated telephone is patented by William Gray.
    1892 The first issue of the Afro American newspaper is published in Baltimore, Maryland.
    1898 Manila, the capital of the Philippines, falls to the U.S. Army.
    1910 British nurse Florence Nightingale, famous for her care of British soldiers during the Crimean War, dies.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  11. #2661

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    Tuesday 14th August 1917

    Today we lost: 766
    Today’s losses include:
    · A Victoria Cross winner
    · A man killed with his two sons
    · A man whose son was killed earlier this year
    · Multiple brothers killed together
    · Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
    · A woman who will lose her son and her brother together
    · The son and brother-in-law of a jurist
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · A footballer and hurler with the Taghmon GAA Club

    Today’s highlighted casualties include:

    · Captain Stephen Gordon Harbord MC (Royal Field Artillery) is killed in action at age 27. He is the son of the Reverend Harry Harbord.
    · Lieutenant William Buckworth (Rifle Brigade) is killed at age 40. His brother was killed in May 1915 on Gallipoli.
    · Second Lieutenant Thomas Robert Grosvenor (London Regiment) is killed in action at age 27. He is the son of the Reverend Frederick L Grosvenor.
    · Lance Corporal William Robert Burnell (Rifle Brigade) is killed in action at age 35. He is the middle of three brothers who are killed in the war.
    · Private Michael Cooper MM (Irish Regiment) dies of wounds received in action. He is a keen hurler and football player with the Taghmon GAA Club and his brother was killed in May 1915.
    · Private Lawrence Barnes (Newfoundland Regiment) is killed. His brother will be killed in April next year.
    · Signaller Peter Mowat (British Columbia Regiment) is killed on Hill 70. His brother will die of wounds in October 1918.
    · Private Michael MM (Manitoba Regiment) is killed at age 20. His brother will be killed in August 1918.

    Air Operations:

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 19

    Flt Off (Prob) Bray, R.E. (Raymond Earl) Cranwell Central Depot and Training Establishment, RNAS.
    Lt Cameron, P.G. (Percy Grant), 10 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Cobb, J.E. (John Elbridge), 21 Squadron, RFC.
    A Mech 2 Crane, R. (Richard), 79 Reserve Squadron (Canada), RFC.
    2Lt Cremetti, M.A.E. (Max Arthur Eugene), No.2 Aircraft Acceptance Park, Hendon, RFC.
    2Lt Curtis, F.W. (Frank Warren), 9 Squadron, RFC.
    AC2 Egleshaw, J.G. (John G.), Calshot Naval Air Station, Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President II'.
    Lt Field, N. (Norman), 25 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Goodman, J.E. (John Everatt), 53 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Gordon, D. (Douglas), 10 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Kebblewhite, F.E. (Fred Edgar), 53 Squadron, RFC.
    A Mech 2 Larkin, S.B. (Sidney Bernard), 71 Squadron, AFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt Lloyd, S.H. (Seisyllt Hugh), 10 (N) Squadron, RNAS.
    2Lt McGavin, P.L. (Peter Liddel), 25 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Montgomery, C.C.S. (Clark Cairnforth Stitzel), 66 Squadron, RFC.
    Capt Oliver, T.A. (Thomas Alfred), 29 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Page, D.A. (Dudley Alfred), 56 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Phipps, C.L. (Christopher Leckonby), 7th Balloon Company, RFC.
    A Mech 2 Rowe, L.F. (Latham Frank), RFC.

    Claims: 23 confirmed (Entente 14: Central Powers 9)
    Leonard Barlow #8th.
    Albert Earl Godfrey #13th.
    Tom Hazell #18th & #19th.
    Frederich Libby (USA) #14th.
    Gerald Maxwell #9th.
    John Fitz Morris #5th & #6th.
    Conn Standish O’Grady #5th & #6th.
    Harry Goosford Reeves #5th.
    Cyril Burfield Ridley #3rd.
    Stanley Roseyear #1st.
    Howard John Thomas Saint #2nd.

    Hans von Adam #12th.
    Walter Blume #4th.
    Godwin Brumowski #13th u/c.
    Eduard von Dostler #24th.
    Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg #6th.
    Erich Lowenhardt #2nd
    Ludwig Luer #1st.
    Georg Meyer #2nd
    Wilhelm Seitz #3rd.
    Ernst Udet #7th.

    Western Front


    Tunstills Men Tuesday 14th August 1917:


    Billets near Moulle.

    Another largely fine day, though once again there was heavy rain in the evening.

    Pte. Alec Radcliffe (see 27th July), who had suffered relatively minor wounds to his right leg on 7th June, re-joined the Battalion from 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples.

    Pte. Patrick Sweeney (see 11th August), who had been absent without leave since 9.30pm on 11th August, now returned. On the orders of Lt. Col. Robert Raymer (see 27th July) he would forfeit four days’ pay and be sentenced to 28 days’ Field Punishment No.1

    Pte. William Ward Pickles joined the Battalion. He had enlisted in February 1915, aged 35, and had been living in Sowerby Bridge, where he worked as a bricklayer; he was a married man, but had no children. He had been posted to 8DWR and had served with them at Gallipoli from August 1915 to July 1916, before returning to France with the Battalion. He had been wounded in October 1916, suffering a wound to his left thigh and had been treated at Bellahouston Red Cross Hospital, before being posted to 83rd Training Reserve Battalion on 22nd November. He had returned to France on 3rd May but had stayed for three months at 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples until joining 10DWR.

    Trooper Claude Darwin (see 9th August), serving in Egypt with 1st Field Squadron, Engineers, Anzac Mounted Division, was reported absent without leave and in possession of another man’s pass, from 14th Australian General Hospital at Abassia. On his return he would be deprived of four days’ pay. He was the brother of Tunstill recruit, Pte. Tom Darwin (see 9th August), who was back in England having been wounded on 7th June.

    Naval Operations:

    Shipping Losses: 13 (2 to mines and 11 to U-boat action)


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    HMS Prize (Lieutenant Commander William Edward Sanders VC DSO RNR) a topsail schooner commissioned by the Royal Navy as a Q-ship is again on patrol, this time with an escorting British submarine, D8, which remains submerged and only makes contact with Prize at night under cover of darkness. During the previous day Prize twice sights a German periscope, but the submarine does not surface. The commander of the submarine, UB48, having checked the Prize’s course and speed, waits until the moon rises and stalks her for a torpedo attack. At 01:30 this morning, the escorting British submarine sees Prize blow up in the Irish Sea and is unable to find any survivors among her crew of twenty-seven. The schooner had been captured from the Germans in 1914 in the English Channel and subsequently sold only to be hired in 1917. It was originally the Else, and renamed on capture the ‘First Prize’.

    The motor fishing yawl Jane S pulls in its nets which contain a mine which then explodes killing Skipper Andrew Henderson age 53 and his two sons Engine Driver Alexander Henderson age 27 and Boat Hand Andrew Henderson age 27. Two other crew men are killed including Second Hand Thomas Boyter age 55 as the Jane sinks. His son Private Alexander Boyter was killed by a shell burst in May of last year.

    Two brothers are killed when SS Thames (Master John Gatenby Carling, age 51) goes missing. She departed Middlesbrough for Fecamp with a cargo of pig iron today and nothing more is heard of her and she is posted as missing/untraced on 21st November 1917. It is later discovered that she was sunk with all hands by gunnery from the German submarine UC-63. Of her crew of twelve brothers Cook Arthur Brew Rosser is lost at age 24 as his brother Mate Benjamin is 26.

    Lady Atkin the wife of Justice James Richard Atkin loses both her son and her brother on the same day at the crossing of the Steenbeck. Lieutenant Richard Walter Atkin (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 20 while Lieutenant Maurice Hemmant (Rifle Brigade) is killed at
    age 28.

    Home Fronts:

    Germany:

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    Eduard Buchner (1860-1917).

    August 13 1917, Munich–The German war effort had the backing of the vast majority of the German scientific community (Einstein notwithstanding), and many of them served in what ways they could. One of these was Eduard Buchner had won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1907 for proving that the fermentation reactions associated with yeast did not require living yeast cells to proceed, by grinding up dry yeast and extracting their intracellular fluid. This helped to disprove “vitalism,” the belief that there is something intrinsically different about living beings when it comes to the physical laws that describe them.

    Buchner had volunteered for military service at the start of the war, and although he had been recalled for scientific duties at the end of 1915, volunteered again, at the age of 56, after American entry. He was commanding a ammunition transport unit near Maraseti when he was wounded by a Romanian shell on August 11; he died of his wounds two days later.

    Political:


    China declares War on Austria and Germany.

    Papal Note with proposals for peace sent to belligerent Governments published.

    Anniversary Events:

    1457 The first book ever printed is published by a German astrologer named Faust. He is thrown in jail while trying to sell books in Paris. Authorities concluded that all the identical books meant Faust had dealt with the devil.
    1559 Spanish explorer Tristan de Luna enters Pensacola Bay, Florida.
    1605 The Popham expedition reaches the Sagadahoc River in present-day Maine and settles there.
    1756 French commander Louis Montcalm takes Fort Oswego, New England, from the British.
    1793 Republican troops in France lay siege to the city of Lyons.
    1900 The European allies enter Beijing, relieving their besieged legations from the Chinese Boxers.
    1917 The Chinese Parliament declares war on the Central Powers..
    See you on the Dark Side......

  12. #2662

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    Good stuff Neil (I have a 5 minute Wi-Fi window lol)

    Never knowingly under gunned !

  13. #2663

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    A double VC issue today.

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    Skipper Thomas Crisp VC, DSC, RNR (28 April 1876 – 15 August 1917). Crisp, in civilian life a commercial fisherman operating from Lowestoft in Suffolk, earned his award after being killed during the defence of his vessel, the armed naval smack His Majesty's Smack Nelson, in the North Sea against an attack from a German submarine in 1917.
    Thomas Crisp's self–sacrifice in the face of this "unequal struggle" was used by the government to bolster morale during some of the toughest days of the WW1 for Britain, the summer and autumn of 1917, during which Britain was suffering heavy losses at the Battle of Passchendaele. His exploit was read aloud by David Lloyd George in the Houses of Parliament and made headline news for nearly a week.

    In the spring of 1915, Tom Crisp Jr. left the vessel to join the Royal Navy. A few weeks later the U–boat threat expected so many months before arrived, as submarines surfaced among the undefended fishing fleets and used dynamite to destroy dozens of them after releasing the crews in small boats. This offensive was part of a wider German strategy to denude Britain of food supplies and took a heavy toll on the fishing fleets of the North Sea. George Borrow was among the victims, sunk in August, although it is not known if Crisp was aboard at the time. While temporarily working in a net factory following the loss of his vessel, he was scouted by a Navy officer recruiting experienced local fishing captains to command a flotilla of tiny fishing vessels, which were to be secretly armed. The boats were intended to be working fishing vessels fitted with a small artillery piece with which to sink enemy submarines as they surfaced alongside. In this manner it was hoped they would protect the fishing fleets without the diversion of major resources from the regular fleet, in the same manner as Q-Ships deployed in the commercial sea lanes.

    Agreeing to this proposal, Crisp became first a Seaman and by the summer of 1916 a Skipper in the Royal Naval Reserve, arranging for his son to join the crew of his boat, the HM Armed Smack I'll Try, armed with a 3–pounder gun. On 1 February 1917 in the North Sea, I'll Try had its first confrontation with the enemy when two submarines surfaced close to the smack and her companion the larger Boy Alfred. Despite near misses from enemy torpedoes, both smacks scored hits on their larger opponents and reported them as probable sinkings, although post–war German records show that no submarines were lost on that date. Both skippers were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and a present of £200 for this action, and Crisp was offered a promotion and transfer to an ocean–going Q–ship. He was forced to turn down this offer due to his wife's sudden and terminal illness. She died in June 1917.

    In July, I'll Try was renamed Nelson and Boy Alfred became Ethel & Millie, in an effort to maintain their cover. The boats continued to operate together and Crisp's crew was augmented with two regular seamen and a Royal Marine rifleman, providing the Nelson with a crew of ten, including Crisp and his son. The smacks set out as usual on 15 August and pulled in a catch during the morning before making a sweep near the Jim Howe Bank in search of cruising enemies. At 2.30 pm, Crisp spotted a German U-boat on the surface 6,000 yards (5,500 m) away. The U-boat also sighted the smack and both vessels began firing at once, the U-boat's weapon scoring several hits before Nelson's could be brought to bear. By this stage in the war, German submarine captains were aware of the decoy ship tactics and no longer stopped British merchant shipping, preferring to sink them from a distance with gunfire.

    With such a heavy disparity in armament between the smack's 3 pounder and the submarine's 88 mm deck gun the engagement was short lived, the submarine firing eight shots before the Nelson could get within range of her opponent. The fourth shot fired by the U-boat holed the smack, and the seventh tore off both of Crisp's legs from underneath him. Calling for the confidential papers to be thrown overboard, Crisp dictated a message to be sent by the boat's four carrier pigeons: like many small ships of the era, the Nelson did not possess a radio set.

    "Nelson being attacked by submarine. Skipper killed. Jim Howe Bank. Send assistance at once."

    The sinking smack was abandoned by the nine unwounded crew, who attempted to remove their captain, who ordered that he should be thrown overboard rather than slow them down. The crew refused to do so, but found they were unable to move him and left him where he lay. He died in his son's arms a few minutes later. It is said that he was smiling as he died and remained so as the ship sank underneath him. The Ethel & Millie had just arrived on the scene as the Nelson sank, and her captain Skipper Charles Manning called for Nelson's lifeboat to come alongside. Realising that this would greatly overcrowd the second boat, the survivors refused and Manning sailed onwards towards the submarine, coming under lethal fire as he did so. His vessel was soon badly damaged and began to sink.

    The crew of the Ethel & Millie then abandoned their battered boat and were hauled aboard the German submarine, where the Nelson survivors last saw them standing in line being addressed by a German officer. The seven British sailors of the Ethel & Millie were never seen again, and much controversy exists surrounding their disappearance. Prevailing opinion at the time was that they were murdered and dumped overboard by the German crew or abandoned at sea without supplies, but these scenarios cannot be substantiated. Another theory is that they were taken prisoner aboard the boat and killed when the submarine was itself sunk. The son of Arthur Soanes, a sailor who disappeared in this incident, later claimed to have contacted his father through his powers as a spiritual medium, reporting that he had died on board the German vessel. UC 63 has been named as the submarine that sank both vessels.

    The survivors of the Nelson drifted for nearly two days until they arrived at the Jim Howe Buoy, where they were rescued by the fishery protection vessel Dryad. A pigeon named "Red Cock" had reached the authorities in Lowestoft with news of the fate of the boats and caused the Dryad to be despatched to search for survivors.

    A court of enquiry praised the surviving crew and their dead captain and authorised the award of the Victoria Cross posthumously to Thomas Crisp and DSM to his son and another member of the crew. On 29 October 1917, David Lloyd George made an emotional speech in the House of Commons citing Crisp's sacrifice as representative of the Royal Navy's commitment "from the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean to the stormy floods of Magellan", which promoted Crisp into an overnight celebrity whose story ran in all the major London papers for nearly a week, containing as it did a story of personal sacrifice, filial devotion and perceived German barbarity. The medal presentation was made to Tom Crisp Jr. at Buckingham Palace on 19 December 1917, shortly before he was promoted to Skipper in his own right.

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    Michael James O’Rourke VC, MM
    (March 19, 1878 – December 6, 1957), was born in Limerick, Ireland, O'Rourke immigrated to Canada. Prior to World War I, he served in the Royal Munster Fusiliers and the Canadian Militia.
    During the period 15/17 August 1917 at Hill 70 near Lens, France, Private O'Rourke, who was a stretcher-bearer, worked unceasingly for three days and nights bringing in the wounded, dressing their wounds and getting them food and water. During the whole of this period the area in which he worked was swept by heavy machine-gun and rifle fire and on several occasions he was knocked down and partially buried by enemy shells. His courage and devotion in carrying out his rescue work in spite of exhaustion and incessant heavy fire inspired all ranks and undoubtedly saved many lives.

    After the war, O'Rourke eked out a meagre existence on skid road in Vancouver, British Columbia, surviving on a disability pension of 10 dollars per month and casual work on the docks. During a longshoremen’s strike in 1935, he headed a protest march of about 1,000 strikers, wearing his medals and carrying the Union Flag. The marchers attempted to pass a police line guarding the waterfront and were attacked with clubs and tear gas in what came to be known as the Battle of Ballantyne Pier.

    Today we lost: 1642
    Today’s losses include:
    · One of three brothers killed in the service of three countries, Australia, Canada and The United Kingdom
    · A Victoria Cross winner
    · Multiple sons of members of the clergy
    · Two members of the Vancouver Police Department
    · Multiple families that will lose two and three sons in the Great War
    · The 1886 Scottish one mile bicycle champion and former President of the Scottish Amateur Athletic Association
    · A battalion commander
    · A keen oarsman and winner of the ‘silver sculls’
    ·
    A wind/half back for Aston Villa
    · The son of a Justice of the Peace
    Today’s highlighted casualties include:
    · Lieutenant Colonel Victor Augustine Flower DSO (commanding 13th London Regiment) is killed at age 40. He is the son of the late ‘Sir’ William Flower.
    · Lieutenant Clive Goulding Moore (Royal Fusiliers attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action flying over the German lines at age 21. He was a keen oarsman, and while at Radley won several rowing trophies, including the “silver sculls”. · Lieutenant Holroyd Birkett-Barker (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed on Salonika at age 30. He is the son of Tom Birkett-Barker JP.
    · Flight Sub Lieutenant Maurice Nelson Baron (Royal Naval Air Service), the son of the Reverend Canon Charles William Baron-Suckling is also killed on this day, dying at age 18.
    · Sergeant Harry Meins (Gordon Highlanders) is killed at age 27. He is the adopted son of the Reverend H P Napier-Clarering.
    · Corporal Charles Sheffield (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 20. His brother was killed in September 1915.
    · Lance Corporal Thomas Frederick Woodcock (Leicestershire Regiment) dies of wounds. His brother was killed in May 1915.
    · Private George Cooper (Lincolnshire Regiment) is killed at age 27. His brother was wounded on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and will die of those wounds in May 1920.
    · Gunner James Anderson (Royal Garrison Artillery) is killed at age 35. His brother was killed in April 1915.
    · Private Thomas Barber (Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry) is killed at age 30. He was a winger/half back for Aston Villa. · Private Luke Joseph Hartigan (Munster Fusiliers) is killed. His brother will be killed in November.
    · Rifleman Francis Killips (Irish Rifles) is killed at age 22. His brother was killed on the first day of the battle of the Somme.
    · Gunner Walter Scowcroft (Royal Field Artillery) is killed at age 22. His brother will be killed in October.

    Air Operations:

    Raynal Bolling reports to the US War Department the findings of his tour of France in, “Report of the Aeronautical Commission.”

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 11


    A Mech2 Addison, W. (William), 43 Squadron, RFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt Baron, M.N. (Maurice Nelson), 9th (N) Squadron, RNAS.
    2Lt Hargreaves, C.A. (Cyril Augustus), 43 Squadron, RFC.
    A Mech 1 Jones, E. (Edmund), 21 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Moore C.G. (Clive Goulding), RFC.
    Gnr Owen, A., 20 Squadron, 11th Wing, RFC.
    Capt Pender, W.G. (William Gordon), 40 Squadron, RFC.
    Pte Pilbrow, S.E. (Stanley Edward), 20 Squdron, RFC.
    Lt Rowlands, A.W. (Arthur William), RFC.
    2Lt Smith, J.B. (James Bonner), 43 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Snelgrove, H.D.B. (Herbert Davys Bernard), 43 Squadron, RFC.

    Claims: confirmed 14 (Entente 12: Central Powers 2)

    William Bishop #45th.
    Phillip Fletcher Fullard #20th & #21st.
    Arthur Willan Keen #11th & #12th.
    Richard Minifie #8th.
    James Fitz Morris #7th.
    Bruno De Roeper #3rd.
    William Thomas Smith #5th.
    Oliver Manners Sutton #7th.
    Clive Wilson Warman (USA) #8th & #9th.

    Hans Bethoe #11th.
    Ernst Udet #8th.

    Western Front

    British attack on wide front north-west of Lens to Bois Hugo, north-east of Loos, carry German first lines and penetrate enemy positions to depth of one mile. Hill 70 taken by assault, also villages of Cite Ste. Elizabeth, Ste. Emile and St. Laurent, Bois Rase and Bois Hugo. Five German counter-attacks repulsed.

    British troops deliver a new attack against the enemy positions around Lens in which Canadians take Hill 70. On the northwest side of Lens the enemy’s positions are penetrated to a depth of 500 to 1,500 yards. The villages of Cite St Elizabeth, Cite St Emile, Cite St Laurent, the Bois Rase and the western half of BoisHugo are captured.

    Assault on Hill 70


    The plan to capture Hill 70 called for the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions to attack on a front of 4,000 yards (3,700 m). Their objective was to capture the main enemy defensive positions on the eastern or reverse slope of Hill 70. The objectives were marked off in depth by three stages. In the first stage, the assaulting troops would capture the German front-line trenches. The German second position on the crest of the hill during the second stage and the final stage, marked by the German third line, on the reverse side of the slope, some 1,500 yards (1,400 m) from the starting position. The 1st Canadian Division's 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade would attack north of Hill 70 while the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade would attack the summit. The 2nd Canadian Division's 4th and 5th Canadian Infantry Brigades would attack the rubble remains of the suburbs of Cité St. Édouard, St. Laurent and St. Émile directly south of Hill 70.

    The assault began at 4:25 a.m. on the morning of 15 August, just as dawn was breaking. Special companies of the Royal Engineers fired drums of burning oil into the suburb of Cité St. Élisabeth and at other selected targets to supplement the artillery creeping barrage and build up a smoke-screen. Divisional field artillery positions executed a creeping barrage directly in advance of the assaulting troops while field howitzers shelled German positions 400 m (440 yd) in advance of the creeping barrage and heavy howitzers shelled all other known German strong-points. Artillery Forward Observation Officers moved forward with the infantry and artillery observation aircraft flew overhead and sent 240 calls for artillery fire by wireless. The Germans had moved up their reserve units on the previous night in anticipation of an attack and the main assembly of Canadian troops was detected by 3:00 a.m. and within three minutes of the attack commencing, the German artillery brought down defensive fire at widely scattered points. The affected forward positions of the German 7th Division and 11th Reserve Division were quickly overwhelmed. Within twenty minutes of the attack beginning, both Canadian divisions had reached their first objective. By 6:00 a.m. the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade had reached the second objective line, while units of the three other brigades had in some cases already reached their final objective. Only the flanking companies of the two battalions attacking Hill 70 managed to reach their objectives. The remainder of the both units were forced to retreat up the slope and consolidate their position at the intermediate objective line.

    On the right flank of the 2nd Canadian Division, the 12th Canadian Infantry Brigade of the 4th Canadian Division executed a diversionary operation which proved successful in drawing German retaliatory fire away from the main operation. Four hours later, the 11th Canadian Infantry Brigade of the 4th Canadian Division attempted to exploit the weakened German force by pushing strong patrols towards the centre of Lens. This ultimately failed as the Germans used local counter-attacks across the 4th Canadian Division's front to drive the patrols back to the city's outskirts.

    Initial counter-attacks


    In preparation for German counter-attacks, the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions began to reinforce and construct strong points immediately after capturing the first objective line. Within two hours of the start of the battle, the Germans began using their immediate reserves to mount local counter-attacks. Between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on the morning of 15 August, the Germans executed four local attacks against Canadian positions. Each attack was repulsed due in large part to the work of forward artillery observers, who could now overlook some of the German positions. On one occasion, the counter-attack was only repulsed after engaging in hand-to-hand fighting. The Germans rapidly brought up seven additional battalions from the 4th Guards Division and 185th Division to reinforce the eight line battalions already in place. Over the following three days, the Germans executed no less than 21 counter-attacks against Canadian positions. A frontal attack against the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade on the afternoon of 15 August ultimately failed. A German attack against the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade was initially successful with the Germans re-capturing Chicory Trench but were repulsed later the same afternoon.

    Tunstills Men Wednesday 15th August 1917:


    Billets near Moulle.

    After all the recent rain, a fine, dry day

    Company commanders were taken by bus six miles north-east to Volckerinckhove for a three-day course in preparation for the planned forthcoming offensive actions.

    Cpl. Willie Nichols (see 1st June) was promoted Sergeant.

    Pte. Henry Jarratt (see 24th July) was again in trouble; on this occasion for ‘talking on 3pm parade’. He was reported by Sgt. Arthur Kilburn Robinson (see 24th July) and was to be confined to barracks for two days on the orders of Lt. Herbert Sparling (see 1st July).

    A week after returning to France, Lt. George Stuart Hulburd (see 8th August), who had been in England since being taken ill in April, re-joined the Battalion.
    Cpl. George Wallace Fricker (see 8th June) was posted back to England, having been accepted as a candidate for a commission. He would have a period of leave before beginning his officer training.

    Pte. Alfred Spencer (see 5th June), who was on attachment at the permanent base of IV Corps at Albert, having suffered from shellshock two months previously, was appointed Acting Lance Corporal.

    Pte. John Gaunt (see 2nd July 1915), who had served with 1st/6th DWR, was discharged from the Army, with the award of the Silver War Badge, on account of wounds; the details of his service are unknown but, according to newspaper reports, he had “spent many months in hospital”. He was the brother of Sgt. William Edmondson Gaunt (see 5th July), who was in England on an officer training course.

    Eastern Front:

    Romanian thrust in Ocna region carried no further.

    Romanian 2nd Army and Russian 4th Army retreating south toward the Sereth; enemy take Soveia, renew offensive in Focsani region.

    Naval Operations:


    Shipping Losses: 9 (1 to a mine & 8 to U-Boat action)

    (See VC’s awarded to day.)

    Political:

    Text of Papal Note published.

    American troops pass through London on their way to the front; Stars and Stripes and Union Jack flown side by side from House of Lords.

    China:

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    Duan Qirui (1865-1936), Chinese Premier in August 1917.

    August 14 1917, Beijing–After seeing off the attempt to restore Puyi and the Manchu (Qing) Dynasty to the throne, , Duan Qirui renewed his efforts to bring China into the war. On August 14, these succeeded, and China declared war on Germany. Along with Siam’s declaration of war, this removed the last neutral country in East Asia where Germany could attempt to conduct business or espionage; only the Dutch East Indies remained.

    China would not send soldiers to Europe, but further expanded its program to send laborers there. Many would serve quite close to the front; of the approximately 200,000 sent to Europe, around 3000 were killed.

    Many in the Chinese government hoped that their entry would lead to them reestablishing control over the German concessions in Tsingtao, and that a place at the peace conference might give them increased respect and negotiating position with the west. More immediately, however, the incentives were financial. Entry into the war meant they could stop paying indemnities for the Boxer Rebellion to Germany and Austria. They also entered negotiations with Japan to secure a large loan, which they hoped to use to defeat warlords in the south of the country–though Japan wanted Tsingtao for herself.

    Many of those warlords instead soon backed Sun Yat-Sen, who set up a rival military government of his own in Canton [Guangzhou], steadfastly opposed to the war. This stance may also have been due to financial motivations, hoping that Germany would bankroll his efforts to take control of the country. It is possible he did receive some funding from the Germans, but it seems they ultimately did not find him (or further adventures in China) fruitful, and his government did not last more than nine months.

    Anniversary Events:

    1261 Constantinople falls to Michael VIII of Nicea and his army.
    1385 John of Portugal defeats John of Castile at the Battle of Aljubarrota.
    1598 Hugh O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, leads an Irish force to victory over the British at Battle of Yellow Ford.
    1760 Frederick II defeats the Austrians at the Battle of Liegnitz.
    1864 The Confederate raider Tallahassee captures six Federal ships off New England.
    1872 The first ballot voting in England is conducted.
    1914 The Panama Canal opens to traffic.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 08-15-2017 at 04:20.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  14. #2664

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    A multiple VC day today.

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    Harry W. Brown VC (10 May 1898 – 17 August 1917) he enlisted with the Canadian Mounted Rifles on 18 August 1916 at London, Ontario, where, according to his attestation paper, he was residing at the time. After being sent overseas, he was transferred to the 10th Battalion, CEF.

    Brown was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 16 August 1917, during the Battle of Hill 70 against the Germans, when Brown and another soldier ran the gauntlet with an "important message". Brown sustained mortal injury, and died the following day, 17 August. His death is commemorated on the Gananoque Cenotaph and on 16 August 2007 a black marble memorial cairn was dedicated to commemorate the action for which he received the Victoria Cross.

    For most conspicuous bravery, courage and devotion to duty. After the capture of a position, the enemy massed in force and counter-attacked. The situation became very critical, all wires being cut. It was of the utmost importance to get word back to Headquarters. This soldier and one other were given the message with orders to deliver the same at all costs. The other messenger was killed. Private Brown had his arm shattered but continued on through an intense barrage until he arrived at the close support lines and found an officer. He was so spent that he fell down the dug-out steps, but retained consciousness long enough to hand over his message, saying ' Important message.' He then became unconscious and died in the dressing station a few hours later. His devotion to duty was of the highest possible degree imaginable, and his successful delivery of the message undoubtedly saved the loss of the position for the time and prevented many casualties.

    — The London Gazette, No. 30338, 16 October 1917

    Harry Brown's Victoria Cross is displayed at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Canada. The 10th Battalion, CEF is perpetuated by the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and the Calgary Highlanders of the Canadian Army Reserve.

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    Major Edward Cooper VC (4 May 1896 – 19 August 1985) was 21 years old, and a sergeant in the 12th Battalion, The King’s Royal Rifle when the following deed took place on 16 August 1917 at Langemarck, during the Battle of Passchendaele for which he was awarded the VC.

    The citation was published in the London Gazette on 14 September 1917, and reads:

    "No. R.2794 Sjt. Edward Cooper, K.R.R.C. (Stockton).
    For most conspicuous bravery and initiative in attack. Enemy machine guns from a concrete blockhouse, 250 yards away, were holding up the advance of the battalion on his left, and were also causing heavy casualties to his own battalion. Sgt. Cooper, with four men, immediately rushed towards the blockhouse, though heavily fired on. About 100 yards distant he ordered his men to lie down and fire at the blockhouse. Finding this did not silence the machine guns, he immediately rushed forward straight at them and fired his revolver into an opening in the blockhouse. The machine guns ceased firing and the garrison surrendered. Seven machine guns and forty-five prisoners were captured in this blockhouse. By this magnificent act of courage he undoubtedly saved what might have been a serious check to the whole advance, at the same time saving a great number of lives."

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    Major Wilfred Edwards VC (16 February 1893 – 4 January 1972) was born on 16 February 1893. He was 24 years old, and a private in the 7th Battalion, The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and was awarded the VC for his actions on 16 August 1917 at Langemarck, Belgium:

    When all the company officers were lost, Private Edwards, without hesitation and under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire from a strong concrete fort, dashed forward at great personal risk, bombed through the loopholes, surmounted the fort and waved to his company to advance. Three officers and 30 other ranks were taken prisoner by him in the fort. Later he did most valuable work as a runner and eventually guided most of the battalion out through very difficult ground. Throughout he set a splendid example and was utterly regardless of danger.

    Edwards was commissioned a 2Lt in December 1917 and was demobilised in June 1919. He re-enlisted in the army when WW2 broke out and rose to the rank of major.

    He died in January 1972 and his medals are currently displayed in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Museum, Doncaster, England.

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    William Henry Grimbaldeston VC (19 September 1889 – 13 August 1959) was 27 years old, and an Acting Company Quartermaster Sergeant in the 1st Battalion, The King’s Own Scottish Borderers at the Battle of Passchendaele when he performed a deed for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

    On 16 August 1917 at Wijdendrift, Belgium, Company Quartermaster-Sergeant Grimbaldeston noticed that the unit on his left was held up by enemy machine-gun fire from a blockhouse. Arming himself with a rifle and hand grenade he started to crawl towards his objective, and when he had advanced about 100 yards another soldier came forward to give covering support. Although wounded, he pushed on to the blockhouse, threatened the machine-gun teams inside with a hand grenade and forced them to surrender. This action resulted in the capture of 36 prisoners, six machine-guns and one trench mortar.

    He was also awarded the French Croix de Guerre.

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Regimental Museum of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland, England

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    Frederick George Room VC (31 May 1895 – 19 January 1932) was 22 years old, and an acting lance-corporal in the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
    On 16 August 1917 at Frezenberg, Belguim, when the company which was holding a line of shell-holes and short trenches had many casualties, Lance-Corporal Room was in charge of the stretcher-bearers. He worked continuously under intense fire, dressing the wounded and helping to evacuate them. Throughout this period, with complete disregard for his own life, he showed unremitting devotion to his duties.

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National Army Museum, Chelsea, England.

    Today we lost: 4,119

    Air Operations:

    Flight Lieutenant William Melville Alexander (Royal Naval Air Service) attacks two hostile scouts at about 3,000 feet, one of which, after a short combat, falls completely out of control.

    SMS A13, Kaiserliche Marine, The A1 class torpedo boat was bombed and sunk at Ostend, West Flanders, Belgium by a British Handley Page 0/100 aircraft.

    Mist and cloud made air observation difficult on the morning of 16 August, until a wind began later in the day, although this blew the smoke of battle over the German lines, obscuring German troop movements. Corps squadrons were expected to provide artillery co-operation, contact and counter-attack patrols but low cloud, mist and smoke that morning resulted in most German counter-attack formations moving unnoticed. Flash-spotting of German artillery was much more successful and many more flares were lit by the infantry, when called for by the crews of contact aeroplanes. Army squadrons, (RNAS) and French aircraft flew over the lines and attacked German aerodromes, troops and transport as far as the weather allowed. V Brigade tried to co-ordinate air operations over the battlefield with the infantry attack.

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    Two De Havilland DH5 aircraft per division were provided, to engage any German strong points interfering with the infantry attack on the final objective. Two small formations of fighters were to fly low patrols, on the far side of the final objective of the Fifth Army, from the beginning of the attack for six hours, to break up German attempts to counter-attack and to stop equivalent German contact-patrols.

    After six hours, the aircraft were to range further east to attack troop concentrations. Aircraft from the Corps and Army wings were to attack all targets found west of Staden–Dadizeele, with the Ninth Wing taking over east of the line. German aerodromes were attacked periodically and special "ground patrols" were mounted below 3,000 ft (910 m) over the front line, to defend the Corps artillery-observation machines. Attempts to co-ordinate air and ground attacks had mixed results; on the II Corps front, few air attacks were co-ordinated with the infantry and only a vague report was received from an aircraft about a German counter-attack, which was further obscured by a smoke-screen. On the XIX Corps front, despite "ideal" visibility, no warning by aircraft was given of a German counter-attack over the Zonnebeke–St Julien spur at 9:00 a.m., which was also screened by smoke shell. To the north on the XVIII and XIV Corps fronts, the air effort had more effect, with German strong-points and infantry being attacked on and behind the front. Air operations continued during the night, with more attacks on German airfields and rail junctions

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 13

    Flt Lt Arnold, C.V. (Charles Vernon), Chingford Naval Flying School, RNAS.
    2Lt Baker, A.R. (Arnold Rennie), 27 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Best, D.K. (Douglas Kenneth), 22 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Churchward, H.A. (Hubert Alan), 9 Squadron, RFC.
    Flt Off (Prob) Forman, L.E. (Leonard Eales), Chingford Naval Flying School, Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. 'President'.
    Cadet Gallie, W.S. (William Sidney), 87 Reserve Squadron, 42nd Wing, Canada, RFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt Gray, A.T. (Alan Theodore), 1 (N) Squadron, RNAS.
    Lt Gray, L.V. (Linton Valentine), 7 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt McCullough, A.F. (Alexander Fenton), 62 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Phillips, R.A. (Ralph Aberdeen), 11 Training Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Townshend, D.W.O. (Douglas William Ormond), 7 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Waud, E.H. (Ernest Henry), 9 Squadron, RFC.
    Capt Webb, N.W.W. (Noel William Ward), 70 Squadron, RFC.

    Claims: 34 confirmed (Entente 26: Central Powers 8)
    William Alexander #9th.
    Robert Birkbeck #3rd
    William Bishop #46th & #47th.
    Ralph Curtis #6th & #7th.
    Roderick Dallas #20th.
    Philip Fletcher Fullard #22nd & #23rd.
    Tom Hazell #20th.
    Ford Leathley #4th.
    William MacLanachan #2nd.
    Reginald Makepeace #7th.
    Douglas McGregor #8th & #9th.
    Richard Minifie #9th.
    Keith Park #3rd.
    Walbanke Pritt #2nd & 3rd.
    Cecil Richards #12th.
    Stanley Roseyear #2nd.
    Ivan Smirnov (Russia) #3rd.
    Arthur Taylor #1st.
    Melville Waddington #7th.
    Clive Wilson Warman (USA) #10th & #11th.

    Robert von Greim #5th.
    Gisbert-Wilhelm Groos #4th.
    Bruno Loerzer #6th.
    Eberhard Mohnicke #5th.
    Manfred von Richthofen #58th.
    Kurt Schonfelder #2nd.
    Edmond Thieffry #7th.
    Rudolf Wendelmuth #3rd.

    Western Front


    Allies attack on nine-mile front north of Ypres-Menin road, crossing Steenbeek River, and capturing all objectives. British carry Langemarck, and establish positions 0.5 mile beyond taking over 1,800 prisoners; on high ground north of Menin Road Germans press back British from ground won earlier in the day.

    French advance on Craonne ridge.

    Capture of Hill 70 and additional counter-attacks

    After the capture of a position, the enemy mass in force and counter-attacked. The situation becomes very critical, all wires being cut. It is of the utmost importance to get word back to Headquarters. Private Harry W Brown (Albert Regiment) and one other are given a message with orders to deliver it at all costs. The other messenger is killed. Private Brown has his arm shattered but continues on through an intense barrage until he arrives at the close support lines and finds an officer. He is so spent that he falls down the dug-out steps, but retains consciousness long enough to hand over his message, saying “Important message.” He then falls unconscious and will die in the dressing station tomorrow. For his efforts Private Brown will be awarded the posthumous Victoria Cross.

    The morning of 16 August was relatively quiet, with only a few attempts made by small German parties to approach the Canadian lines. After having failed to capture all their objectives the previous day and having postponed additional attacks a number of times, the 2nd Canadian Brigade attacked and captured the remainder of its final objective line on the afternoon of 16 August. The assault lasted a little over an hour but the troops were then forced to defend against a dozen German counter-attacks during the day.

    Battle of Langemarck
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    At 4:45 a.m., a creeping barrage began and the British troops advanced. German flares were seen rising but the German artillery response was slow and missed the attackers. In the 18th Division area, German machine-gun fire from pillboxes caused many losses to the 53rd Brigade, which was stopped in front of the north-west corner of Inverness Copse. Part of the brigade managed to work forward further north and formed a defensive flank along the southern edge of Glencorse Wood. To the north, the 169th Brigade of the 56th Division advanced quickly at the start but veered to the right around boggy ground, then entered Glencorse Wood. The German main line of resistance was in a sunken road inside the wood, where after a hard-fought and mutually costly engagement, the German defenders were overrun and the rest of the wood occupied. The leading waves then advanced to Polygon Wood.

    The 167th Brigade also had a fast start but when it reached the north end of Nonne Bosschen, found mud 4 ft (1.2 m) deep, the brigade veering round it to the left but the gap which this caused between the 167th and 169th brigades was not closed. Another problem emerged, because the quick start had been partly due to the rear waves pushing up to avoid German shelling on the left of the brigade. The follow-up infantry mingled with the foremost troops and failed to mop up the captured ground or German troops who had been overrun, who began sniping from behind at both brigades. Part of a company reached the area north of Polygon Wood, at about the same time as small numbers of troops from the 8th Division.The ground conditions in the 56th Division area, were so bad that none of the tanks in support got into action.

    On the 8th Division front, the two attacking brigades started well, advancing behind an "admirable" barrage and reached the Hanebeek, where hand bridges were used to cross and continue the advance up Anzac Spur, to the green line objectives on the ridge beyond. Difficulties began on the left flank, where troops from 16th (Irish) Division had not kept up with the 8th Division. After reaching the vicinity of Potsdam Redoubt a little later, the 16th Division was held up for the rest of the day. The check to the 16th Division left German machine-gunners north of the railway free to enfilade the area of 8th Division to the south. On the right flank, the same thing happened to the 56th Division, which was stopped by fire from German strong points and pillboxes in their area and from German artillery concentrated to the south-east. After a long fight, the 8th Division captured Iron Cross, Anzac and Zonnebeke redoubts on the rise beyond the Hanebeek, then sent parties over the ridge.

    XIX Corps had the same difficulties as II Corps in preparing its attack by the 16th and 36th divisions, from north of the Ypres–Roulers railway to just south of St Julien. The divisions were to advance 1 mi (1.6 km) up Anzac and Zonnebeke spurs, near the Wilhelm (third) line. Providing carrying parties since the last week in July and holding ground from 4 August, in the Hanebeek and Steenbeek valleys, which were overlooked by the Germans, had exhausted many men. From 1–15 August, the divisions had lost about a third of their front-line strength in casualties. Frequent relief during the unexpected delays caused by the rain, spread the casualties to all of the battalions in both divisions. The advance began on time and after a few hundred yards encountered German strong points, which were found not to have been destroyed by a series of special heavy artillery bombardments, fired before the attack.
    The 16th Division had many casualties from the Germans in Potsdam, Vampire and Borry farms, which had not been properly mopped up, because the infantry shortage was so serious. The garrisons were able to shoot at the advancing British troops of the 48th Brigade from behind and only isolated parties of British troops managed to reach their objectives. The 49th Brigade on the left was also held up by Borry Farm, which defeated several costly attacks but the left of the brigade got within 400 yd (370 m) of the top of Hill 37. The 36th Division also struggled to advance, Gallipoli and Somme farms were behind a new wire entanglement, with German machine-guns trained on gaps made by the British bombardment, fire from which stopped the advance of the 108th Brigade. To the north, the 109th Brigade had to get across the swamp astride the Steenbeek. The infantry lost the barrage and machine-gun fire from Pond Farm and Border House forced them to take cover. On the left troops got to Fortuin, about 400 yd (370 m) from the start line.

    The attack further north was much more successful. In XVIII Corps, the 48th Division attacked at 4:45 a.m. with one brigade, capturing Border House and gun pits either side of the north-east bearing St Julien–Winnipeg road, where they were held up by machine-gun fire and a small counter-attack. The capture of St Julien was completed and the infantry consolidated along a line from Border House, to Jew Hill, the gun pits and St Julien. The troops were fired on from Maison du Hibou and Hillock Farm, which was captured soon after, then British troops seen advancing on Springfield Farm disappeared. At 9:00 a.m., German troops gathered around Triangle Farm and at 10:00 a.m., made a counter-attack which was repulsed. Another German attack after dark was defeated at the gun pits and at 9:30 p.m., another German counter-attack from Triangle Farm was repulsed.

    The 11th Division attacked with one brigade at 4:45 a.m. The right flank was delayed by machine-gun fire from the 48th Division area and by pillboxes to their front, where the infantry lost the barrage. On the left, the brigade dug in 100 yd (91 m) west of the Langemarck road and the right flank dug in facing east, against fire from Maison du Hibou and the Triangle. Supporting troops from the 33rd Brigade, were caught by fire from the German pillboxes but reached the Cockcroft, passed beyond and dug in despite fire from Bulow Farm. On the left flank, these battalions reached the Langemarck road, passed Rat House and Pheasant Trench and ended their advance just short of the White House, joining with the right side of the brigade on the Lekkerboterbeek.

    In the XIV Corps area, the 20th Division attacked with two brigades at 4:45 a.m. The battalions of the right brigade leap-frogged forward on a one-battalion front, crossed the Steenbeek and then advancing in single file, worming round shell craters full of water and mud. Alouette Farm, Langemarck and the first two objective lines were reached easily. At 7:20 a.m., the advance to the final objective began and immediately encountered machine-gun fire from the Rat House and White House, which continued until they were captured, the final objective being taken at 7:45 a.m., as German troops withdrew to a small wood behind White House. The left brigade advanced on a two-battalion front and encountered machine-gun fire from Au Bon Gite before it was captured and was then fired on from German blockhouses in front of Langemarck and from the railway station. Once these had been captured, the advance resumed at 7:20 a.m., despite fire from hidden parties of defenders and reached the final objective at 7:47 a.m., under fire from the Rat House. German counter-attacks began around 4:00 p.m. and advanced 200 yd (180 m) around Schreiboom, being driven back some distance later on.

    The 29th Division to the north, attacked at the same time with two brigades. On the right the first objective was reached quickly and assistance given to the 20th Division further south. The Newfoundland Regiment passed through, being held up slightly by marshy conditions and fire from Cannes Farm. The Newfoundlanders continued, reached the third objective and then took Japan House beyond. The left brigade took the first objective easily, then met machine-gun fire from Champeaubert Farm in the French First Army sector and from Montmirail Farm. The advance continued to the final objective, which was reached and consolidated by 10:00 a.m. Patrols moved forward towards the Broombeek and a German counter-attack at 4:00 p.m., was stopped by artillery and small-arms fire. Langemarck and the Wilhelm (third) line, north of the Ypres–Staden railway and west of the Kortebeek had been captured.

    1re Armée
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    The Drie Grachten (Thee Canals) bridgehead, 1917

    The French on the northern flank operated from south of the hamlet of St Janshoek on the east of the Steenbeek, north of Bixschoote and the edge of the floods to the Noordschoote–Luyghem road, which crossed the Yperlee at Drie Grachten (Three Canals). The Germans had counter-flooded the area between Dixmude and Bixschoote and had built fortifications to stop an attacker crossing or circumventing the floods. The bridgehead of Drie Grachten was the main German defensive fortification in the area, which blocked the Noordschoote–Luyghem road where it crossed the Yperlee Canal, north of the Steenbeek, beyond the confluence with the Kortebeek, where the combined rivers became the St Jansbeek. From Luyghem, a road ran south-east to Verbrandemis and the road from Zudyschoote and Lizenie crossed the Yperlee at Steenstraat and ran on to Dixmude. The capture of Luyghem, Merckem and the road was necessary for the French to threaten Houthoulst Forest, to the south of Dixmude and north of Langemarck. The bridgehead at Drie Grachten also gave the Germans a jumping-off point over the canal for a counter-attack across it. By 15 August, the French had closed up to the bridgehead from Bixschoote to the south-east and Noordschoote to the south-west.

    West of the Yperlee Canal, the bridgehead consisted of a semi-circular work, which was built above ground, due to the waterlogged soil. Reinforced concrete shelters had been built and connected by a raised trench of concrete, earth and fascines, with a communication trench leading back to a command post. Several hundred yards forward on the causeway was a small blockhouse, joined to the work by a communication trench on the north side of the road. Barbed wire entanglements had been laid above and below the water in front of the post and blockhouse, astride the Noordschoote–Luyghem road. To the north was l'Eclusette Redoubt and another to the south, west of the Yperlee. The redoubts corresponded with the ends of the defences on the eastern bank of the canal and enclosed the flanks of the position, 6.6 ft (2 m) above the inundations. Platforms gave machine-guns command of a wide arc of ground in front. Across the Yperlee on the east bank, was a rampart of reinforced concrete, behind and parallel with the canal, from opposite l'Eclusette to the southern redoubt. Communications between the concrete rampart and the defences of the Luyghem peninsula were via the raised road from Drie Grachten to Luyghem and two footbridges through the floods, one north and one south of the road. Every 38–55 yd (35–50 m), traverses with reinforced concrete shelters had been built.

    The German redoubts in the area were much better defined targets than those across the Ypres–Staden and Ypres–Roulers railways and were more easily destroyed, as they were almost entirely above ground. The German floods inhibited attack but also made it difficult to move reserves to threatened points and the open country made it easier for French aircraft to observe the position. The First Army objectives were the Drie Grachten bridgehead and the triangular spit of land between the Lower Steenbeek and the Yperlee Canal. The right flank was to cross the Steenbeek and assist the British XIV Corps to take the positions north-west of Langemarck and south of the Broombeek stream, which joined the Steenbeek just south of St Janshoek. The Steenbeek was 6.6 ft (2 m) broad and 4.9 ft (1.5 m) deep at this point and widened between St Janshoek and the Steenstraat–Dixmude road; from the Martjewaart reach to the Yperlee Canal it was 20 ft (6 m) broad and 13 ft (4 m) deep. During the night of the 15/16 and the morning of 16 August, French aircraft bombed the German defences, the bivouacs around Houthulst Forest and Lichtervelde railway station, 11 mi (18 km) east of Dixmude. French and Belgian air crews flew at a very low altitude to bomb and machine-gun German troops, trains and aerodromes and shot down three German aircraft.
    The attacking divisions of the French I Corps, crossed the Yperlee from the north-west of Bixschoote to north of the Drie Grachten bridge-head and drove the Germans out of part of the swampy Poelsele peninsula but numerous pillboxes built in the ruins of farmhouses further back were not captured. The French crossed the upper Steenbeek from west of Wydendreft to a bend in the stream south-west of St Janshoek. Keeping pace with the British, they advanced to the south bank of the Broombeek. Mondovi blockhouse held out all day and pivoting on it, the Germans counter-attacked during the night of 16/17 August to penetrate between the French and British. The attack failed and the next morning the French and British troops on the army boundary, had observation across the narrow Broombeek valley. Apart from resistance at Les Lilas and Mondovi blockhouses, the French had achieved their objectives of 16 August relatively easily. The German garrisons at Champaubert Farm and Brienne House, held out until French artillery deluged them with shells, which brought the German defenders to surrender after thirty minutes. The French took more than 300 prisoners, numerous guns, trench mortars and machine-guns.

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    The German l'Eclusette blockhouse at Drie Grachten, 1917

    To the north and north-east of Bixschoote, the ground sloped towards the Steenbeek and was dotted with pillboxes. Just west of the junction of the Broombeek and Steenbeek, were the Les Lilas and Mondovi blockhouses, in the angle between the streams. The French artillery had bombarded the Drie Grachten bridgehead for several days and reduced it to ruins, the concrete works being easily hit by heavy artillery and on 16 August, the French infantry waded through the floods and occupied the area. On the Poelsele peninsula the German defenders resisted until nightfall before being driven back, as the French closed up to the west bank of the Martjewaart reach of the Steenbeek. North and north-east of Bixschoote, the French reached the west bank of the St Janshoek reach and surrounded Les Lilas. On the night of 16/17 August, French airmen set fire to the railway station at Kortemarck, 9.3 mi (15 km) east of Dixmude.

    Tunstills Men Thursday 16th August 1917:

    Billets near Moulle.

    Another fine day.

    Brig. Genl. Lambert (see 8th August) noted in his diary, “Raymer to be relieved by Lethbridge?”; this referred to the impending replacement, as Commanding Officer of 10DWR, of Lt. Col. Robert Raymer (see 14th August) by Maj. Francis Washington Lethbridge. Lethbridge, who was 50 years old (born 3rd February 1867), had been a regular soldier for 14 years. He had attended Sandhurst and had been commissioned in 1887, serving until 1901, rising to the rank of Captain and serving in India before retiring from the Army. He had joined 8DWR on the outbreak of war and, as Captain, had been severely wounded at Suvla Bay. He had then been promoted Major and served as 2IC with 8DWR. He would be promoted Acting Lieutenant Colonel on taking command of 10DWR.

    A number of former 10DWR men who had recently returned to France were posted back to duty from 34th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples. However, they were posted to other Dukes’ Battalions, rather than re-joining 10DWR. Among them was Ptes. Ambrose Birdsall (see 29th July) and Francis John Bottomley (see 29th July) who had both been in England since being taken ill in March; they went to 2/4th DWR. Pte. John William Dean (see 29th July) who had been in England for the previous eleven months after suffering gas poisoning in August 1916 was posted to 2/5th DWR. Ptes. Albert William Knight (see 29th July) and Ernest Taylor (see 29th July), who had returned to France having been under medical treatment in England since reporting sick with severe cases of ‘trench foot’ in February, went to 2/6th and 2/7th DWR respectively. Pte. Harold Wider (see 30th July), had been in England since being wounded in January, was posted to 2/7th DWR.

    Pte. Greenwood Speak (see 10th June), who had suffered a number of wounds, including a fractured right arm on 10th June, was evacuated to England.

    The Supplement to the London Gazette published the award of the Military Medal to thirteen other ranks serving with the Battalion, many of whom had also been promoted in the interim, for their actions on and around 7th June. They were Cpl. Josias Bailey (see 21st July); Cpl. William Walker Rossall (see 12th June); L.Cpl. John Smith Hodgson (see 3rd July); L.Cpl. William (Billy) Hoyle (see 11th June); L.Cpl. Arthur Lee (see 15th June); L.Cpl. Frank Mallinson (see 12th August); L.Cpl. Victor Race (see 29th June); Pte. Joseph Binns (see 7th June); Pte. Arthur Charles Elkington (see 7th June); Pte. Tom Feather (see 7th June); Pte. Harold Frost (I am, as yet, unable to make a positive identification of this man); Pte. James Arthur Markinson (see 10th July); and Pte. Enoch Wilson Rhodes (see 3rd August 1916). There was also a Military Medal for Pte. Herbert Smith (11837) (see 23rd May 1916), who had been transferred from 10DWR to 69th Brigade Pigeon Station.

    Lt. Harold Lockhart Waite, (see 6th June 1916), who had served with the Battalion from its creation until being transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in May 1916, was wounded while on an offensive patrol with 19 Squadron; he suffered wounds to his left side and arm.

    An official at the War Office wrote to the Imperial Life Assurance Company regarding the affairs of the late Capt. George Reginald Charles Heale MC (see 18th July) who had been reported wounded and missing while serving with 2DWR in May:

    “I am commanded by the Army Council to inform you that, as the latest official report regarding this officer is to the effect that he was wounded and missing on 3rd May 1917, this Department is not in a position to issue a formal certificate of death. Looking, however, to the evidence contained in a letter which has been received from Second Lieutenant S.A. Belshaw, West Riding Regiment (a prisoner of war in Germany), to the effect that Captain Heale died from wounds, the Army Council are regretfully constrained to conclude, for official purposes, that Captain Heale is dead, and that his death occurred on 3rd May 1917, from wounds received in action.

    I am to add that the Army Council have, unfortunately, no doubt as to the death of this officer, and to explain that their action, as set forth above, is notified to those concerned, upon application for a certificate of death, with a view to assisting them in dealing with the estates of offciers whose deaths have not been reported to this Department in a formal, individual written statement. It is understood that these letters, which may be used in place of a formal certificate of death, are, as a rule, accepted for probate and for other purposes.

    With regard to your request for further information, I am to state that, in his form of application for a commission, this officer gave his date of birth as 26th January 1882; that there is no record in this Department of his place of birth; and that his next of kin, as registered in this office, is Rev. J.N. Heale (father), ‘Rosclare’, 15 Arlington Road, St. Margaret’s on Thames, England.”

    A payment of £2 10s. 7d. was authorised, being the amount due in pay and allowances to the late Pte. Hubert Henry (‘Bertie’) Greensmith (see 24th January), who had been killed on 24th January; the payment would go to his father, William.

    Eastern Front:

    Russo-Romanian army still retreating before Mackensen's offensive up Sereth valley. Baltareta bridgehead lost.

    In Ocna region enemy take offensive, also in Susitsa valley.

    Romanians hold their ground.

    Naval Operations:


    British and German destroyers in action in Bight of Heligoland.

    Shipping Losses: 8 (All to U-Boat action)


    Political:


    Mr. Lloyd George on shipping losses.

    Anniversary Events:

    1513 Henry VIII of England and Emperor Maximilian defeat the French at Guinegatte, France, in the Battle of the Spurs.
    1777 France declares a state of bankruptcy.
    1780 American troops are badly defeated by the British at the Battle of Camden, South Carolina.
    1812 American General William Hull surrenders Detroit without resistance to a smaller British force under General Issac Brock.
    1858 U.S.President James Buchanan and Britain's Queen Victoria exchange messages inaugurating the first transatlantic telegraph line.
    1861 Union and Confederate forces clash near Fredericktown and Kirkville, Missouri.
    1863 Union General William S. Rosencrans moves his army south from Tullahoma, Tennessee to attack Confederate forces in Chattanooga.
    1896 Gold is discovered in the Klondike of Canada's Yukon Territory, setting off the Klondike Gold Rush.
    1914 Liege, Belgium, falls to the German army.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 08-16-2017 at 03:33.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  15. #2665

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    My apologies that there is not much to report today but hopefully I've found something for everyone.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  16. #2666

    Default

    If that's a short one Neil I'd hate to see one where you are overloaded.
    Brilliant work Neil. Rep gun fired in Salute.
    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston S. Churchill

  17. #2667

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    Friday 17th August 1917

    Today we lost: 988

    Air Operations:

    New Zealand ace Keith Park, flying a Bristol F-2B, 48 Squadron, downs four German Albatros aircraft. Park later is promoted to Air Marshal in the 1940 Battle of Britain.
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    Britol F2b fighter with Keith Park
    (Had to put at least 1 in for Chris.)

    The Cabinet Committee Report on Air Organisation (the Smuts Report) is presented to the War Cabinet. It recommends the creation of an Air Ministry "to control and administer all matters in connection with air warfare of every kind and that the new ministry should proceed to work out the arrangements for the amalgamation of the two [Air] services and for the legal constitution and discipline of the new Service".

    The Report states "the day may not be far off when aerial operations with their devastation of enemy lands and destruction of industrial and populous centres on a vast scale may become the principal operations of war, to which the older forms of military and naval operations may become secondary and subordinate". The Smuts Report lays foundations for the creation of the Royal Air Force.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 21
    2Lt Barlow, C.A. (Charles Alfred), 4 Squadron, RFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt Bennetts, E.A. (Eric Augustine), 8 (N) Squadron, RNAS. Killed at age 21. He is the son of the Reverend Thomas Bennetts Rector of Lifton.
    2Lt Brooks, F.C. (Francis Cyril), 45 Training Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Brown, E.J. (Edward John), 45 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Bruce, R.S.M. (Robert Stuart Malcolm), 111 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Chivers, W. (Wreford), 32 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Cornford, R. (Ross), 22 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Dow, A.G. (Allan Gladstone), 63 Training Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Edson, C.R. (Charles Robert), 22 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Glover, A.M.T. (Alexander Milligan Thomson), 70 Squadron, RFC.
    AcFlt Cdr Johnston, P.A. (Philip Andrew), 8 (N) Squadron, RNAS.
    Lt Joslyn, H.W. (Harold Waddell), 20 Squadron, RFC. (Killed in action at age 23. He is a 7-victory ace and the son of the Reverend J H L Joslyn.)
    Lt MacFarlane (White), J.L. (E.E.) (James Lennox (Eric Edward)), 22 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Raper, S.E. (Sydney Ernest), 22 Squadron, RFC.
    Capt Reincke, L.F. (Leo Frederick), 48 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt Roadley, T.S. (Thomas Stanley), 8 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Robertson, A. (Alexander), 34 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Sayer, H.L. (Hubert Lionel), 7 Squadron, RFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt Strathy, F.S. (Ford Stuart), 6 (N) Squadron, RNAS.
    2Lt Thomas, C.R. (Cecil Rees), 57 Squadron, RFC.
    Lt (Temporary Captain) Francis Herbert Thorndike (Lincolnshire Yeomanry attached Royal Flying Corps) is killed in action. He is the son of Canon Thorndike. He appeared in a number of London plays as a boy and is the brother of Dame Agnes Sybil Thornddike who created the lead role of Saint Joan for George Bernard Shaw’s play and the brother of Arthur Russell Thorndike author of the Doctor Syn of Romney Marsh.

    Claims: 40 confirmed (Entente 24: Central Powers 16)

    Leonard Barlow #9th & #10th.
    Geoffrey Bowman #14th.
    James Bush #3rd.
    Joseph Fall #13th.
    Francis Kitto #3rd.
    Forde Leathley #5th, #6th & #7th.
    Ernst Leman (Russia) #4th.
    John Herbert Towne Letts #10th.
    Norman MacGregor #2nd.
    Reginald Makepeace #8th.
    Keith Park #4th, #5th, #6th & #7th.
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    (and then again 2 as He likes a pair of ‘Bristols’)

    Bruno De Roeper #4th.
    Frederick Sowrey #6th.
    Arthur Taylor #2nd.
    George Trapp #2nd.
    William Walker #3rd.
    Mortimer West #4th.
    Henry Woollett #5th.

    Friederich Altemeier #4th & #5th.
    Hans Bethge #12th & #13th.
    Franz Buchner #1st.
    Xavier Dannhuber #2nd & #3rd.
    Eduard van Dostler #25th.
    Heinrich Gontermann #29th & #30th.
    Gisbert-Wilhelm Groos #5th.
    Fritz Kosmahl #6th.
    Georg Meyer #3rd.
    Max von Muller #22nd.
    Hans-Georg von der Osten #1st.
    Emil Thuy #6th.

    Western Front

    Germans counter-attack near Lens repulsed.

    French hold all gains and secure possession of ground east of Bixschoote.

    Big French air operations on the Meuse.

    Attempts by the 4th and 11th Canadian Infantry Brigades to eliminate an enemy salient between Cité St. Élisabeth and Lens on 17 August failed and as had been foreseen the Germans continued to mount determined counter-attacks. The German command began to realize that the Canadian and British artillery would need to be neutralized before a counter-attack could succeed. The Germans began a series of counter-attacks against a chalk quarry under Canadian control outside of Cité St. Auguste but also sought to wear down the Canadian artillery resources by sending up false flare signals or provoking the infantry to call for unnecessary artillery fire. The Germans also began to use poison gas in earnest. From 15,000–20,000 of the new Yellow Cross shells containing the blistering agent sulphur mustard were fired in addition to an undetermined number of shells containing diphosgene. The Canadian 1st and 2nd Artillery Field Brigades and the Canadian front line were heavily gassed. Many artillery men became casualties after gas fogged the goggles of their respirators and they were forced to remove their masks to set the fuses, lay their sights and maintain accurate fire. The Germans used the cover of gas to make a number of attempts against the Canadian controlled chalk quarry and Chicory Trench on the night of 17 August and early morning of 18 August. All attempts against the chalk quarry failed and only one company of the 55th Reserve Infantry Regiment (on loan to the 11th Reserve Division) managed to breach the Canadian defences at Chicory Trench before being repulsed. German troops employing flamethrowers managed to penetrate the Canadian line north of the quarry on the morning of 18 August before being driven out.

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    Chaplain Father William Joseph G Doyle MC (Dublin Fusiliers) is killed in action at age 44. He refused to wear a helmet, became a Jesuit 1907 and joined the forces in February of this year. Since joining the service he has served with the 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the 9th Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the 6th and 7th Royal Irish Rifles. He was recommended for the Victoria Cross the day he was killed.

    Tunstills Men Friday 17th August 1917:

    Billets near Moulle.

    A fine bright morning, which developed into a hot and sunny day.

    Cpls. George Heeley (see 10th August), Harry Raistrick (see 8th June) and Thomas Anthony Swale (see 3rd July) and Ptes. Albert Edon (see 28th March) and Clifford Gough (see 25th August 1916), departed on ten days’ leave to England.

    A.Sgt. Thomas Walsh (see 8th June) was posted back to England; he would have a period of leave before beginning a course of officer training. Whilst on leave his address was to be 7 Brook Street, Clitheroe.

    Pte. Thomas Henry Wood (see 5th July) was admitted to 70th Field Ambulance, suffering from influenza.

    Pte. Ronald Bray (see 11th July), who had been wounded in July while serving with the Divisional Machine Gun Company, was discharged from 4th London General Hospital; he would have ten days’ leave before reporting to Northern Command Depot on 27th August.

    Capt. Leo Frederick Reincke (see 4th August), who had served with 10DWR for eight months between October 1916 and June 1917 before being transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as an observer, was mortally wounded whilst on patrol with 48th Squadron in France. The Bristol F.2. fighter in which he was an observer, was attacked while on patrol and although the pilot, 2Lt. H.F. Gough, was able to bring the aircraft home, Reincke died of his wounds. He would be buried at Zuydcoote Military Cemetery near Dunkirk. (NB for future refs note that the fire in B Company mess was on 10th April 1917)

    The weekly edition of the Craven Herald reported news of the official acceptance of the death of Pte. Percy Wharton (see 3rd November 1916); he was the brother of Sergt. Allan Wharton (see 1st June), who had been one of Tunstill’s orginal volunteers but was now serving with the Northumberland Fusiliers:

    EARBY - MISSING MAN'S DEATH PRESUMED

    The Army Council have sent to Mr. and Mrs. M. Wharton, 8, George Street, Earby, an official intimation presuming the death in France of their youngest son, Private Percy Wharton, Duke of Wellington's Regiment, who had been missing since September 3rd of last year. He was 22 years of age and unmarried. Before enlisting he was employed at Messrs. A. J. Birley's Ltd. as a weaver. Mr. and Mrs. Wharton have two sons still in France who have been there two years, and two in training in England. A son-in-law (Rifleman Robert Duxbury) has been missing since May 12th, and another son-in-law is serving in India.

    Southern Front:

    Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo begins (see September 12th).
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    Naval Operations:

    Shipping Losses: 6 (1 to a mine & 5 to U-Boat action)

    The Cunard cargo carrier Delphic is torpedoed while traveling from Cardiff to Montevideo with coal by UC-72, one hundred thirty-five miles off Bishop’s Rock. Five lives are lost.

    Political:

    Mr. Balfour on the Balkans.

    Brigadier-General A. Geddes succeeds Mr. N. Chamberlain as Director-General National Service.

    M. Cochin succeeded by M. Métin as French Under-Secretary for Blockade (see March 20th, 1916 and November 16th, 1917).

    Anniversary Events:

    1743 By the Treaty of Abo, Sweden cedes southeast Finland to Russia, ending Sweden's failed war with Russia.
    1812 Napoleon Bonaparte's army defeats the Russians at the Battle of Smolensk during the Russian retreat to Moscow.
    1833 The first steam ship to cross the Atlantic entirely on its own power, the Canadian ship Royal William, begins her journey from Nova Scotia to The Isle of Wight.
    1863 Union gunboats attack Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, for the first time.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  18. #2668

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    Double VC day today.
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    Frederick Hobson VC (23 September 1873 – 18 August 1917) was from England, having emigrated in 1904. He had served previously in the British Army during the 2nd Boer War with the Wiltshire Regiment, and enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in November 1914. He was 43 years old, and a Sgt in the 20th Battalion (Central Ontario), CEF . On 18 August 1917 during the Battle of Hill 70, he performed a deed for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

    No. 57113 Sgt. Frederick Hobson, late Can. Inf. Bn.
    During a strong enemy counter-attack a Lewis gun in a forward post in a communication trench leading to the enemy lines, was buried by a shell, and the crew, with the exception of one man, killed.

    Sgt. Hobson, though not a gunner, grasping the great importance of the post, rushed from his trench, dug out the gun, and got it into action against the enemy who were now advancing down the trench and across the open.
    A jam caused the gun to stop firing. Though wounded, he left the gunner to correct the stoppage, rushed forward at the advancing enemy and, with bayonet and clubbed rifle, single handed, held them back until he himself was killed by a rifle shot. By this time however, the Lewis gun was again in action and reinforcements shortly afterwards arriving, the enemy were beaten off.

    The valour and devotion to duty displayed by this non-commissioned Officer gave the gunner the time required to again get the gun into action, and saved a most serious situation.

    His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Canadian War Museum in Ottowa, Ontarion, Canada. A replica of his medal and copy of his citation are also on display at the Sgt. F. Hobson VC Armoury in Simcoe, Canada.

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    Okill Massey Learmonth, VC, MC (20 February 1894 – 19 August 1917), was 23 years old, and an acting Major in the 2nd (Eastern Ontario) Battalion, CEF, when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
    On 18 August 1917 east of Loos, France, during a determined counter-attack on our new positions, Major Learmonth, when his company was momentarily surprised, instantly charged and personally disposed of the attackers. Later, although under intense barrage fire and mortally wounded, he stood on the parapet of the trench, bombing the enemy and on several occasions he actually caught bombs thrown at him and threw them back. When unable to carry on the fight, he still refused to be evacuated and continued giving instructions and invaluable advice, finally handing over all his duties before he was moved to hospital where he died.

    Major Learmonth's VC is apparently held by the Governor General’s Foot Guards’ ' museum on Queen Elizabeth Drive in Ottawa, Ontario.

    Today we lost: 742

    Air Operations:

    The Luftstreitkrafte attempts the largest heavier-than-air raid against the United Kingdom of World War I, sending 28 Gotha bombers from their bases in Belgium to attack England despite predictions of unfavourable winds. After two hours in the air, they have only reached Zeebrugge on the Belgian coast, and it takes them another hour to reach the coast of England, where they find themselves 40 miles off course. With too little fuel to go on, the strike commander orders the bombers to abort the raid and return to base; two of them come down in the North Sea, two others crash-land in the neutral Netherlands, and others are lost in crash-landings in Belgium.

    While on patrol, Captain George Lawrence Lloyd (Royal Flying Corps) observes a two-seater Albatros upon which he dives. The hostile observer replies with two guns but Captain Lloyd gets on the same level as the German machine and fifty yards behind it. The hostile observer continues to fire and his tail is observed to break off, the machine going down in a vertical nose dive to crash. It appears that in a desperate attempt to escape Lloyd, the German shot off his own tail.

    Royal Flying Corps Losses today: 16
    2Lt Abbott, T.W. (Thomas Walker), 11 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Bell, N. (Norman), 57 squadron, RFC.
    Sgt Comerford, C.J. (Charles James), 57 Squadron, RFC. Killed in action at age 26. His brother was killed in September 1914.
    Flt Cdt Daniel, H.T. (Harry Thomas), School of Navigation and Bomb Dropping, RFC.
    2Lt Dunstan, H. (Hedley), 55 Squadron, RFC.
    A Mech 1 Eady, F.W. (Frederick William), 54 Training Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Forsaith, H.J. (Hugh John, 55 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Harel, L.O. (Louis Octave), 11 Squadron, RFC.
    Flt Sub-Lt Hodges, C.R.W. (Charles Raymond Walker), 4 (N) Squadron, RNAS.
    Lt Hood, J. (John), 57 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Kirkness, T.R. (Thomas Robert), 32 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt Leech, W.F. (William Frederick), 9 Squadron, RFC.
    2Lt MacDaniel, J.R. (James Robertson), 57 Squadron, RFC. 2Lt Munro, G.H. (Guy Horace), RFC. Cpl Newman, A.B. (Arthur Betteridge), 4 Squadron, RFC. Capt Walker, W.H. (William Hope), 11 Squadron, RFC.

    Claims: 19 confirmed (Entente 13: Central Powers 6)
    Charles Booker #22nd.
    Arthur Drinkwater #1st.
    Georges Flachaire (France) #8th.
    Andre Herbelin (France) #4th.
    Gilbert de Guingand (France) #2nd.
    Goffrey Hooper #2nd.
    Ronald Keirstead #3rd.
    Gerald Maxwell #10th & #11th.
    James Thomas Byford McCudden #8th.
    Alexander Shook #7th.
    Armand Turenne (France) #5th.
    Clive Wilson Warman (USA) #12th.

    Godwin Brumowski u/c.
    Eduard von Dostler #26th.
    Josef Friedrich #6th.
    Otto Konnecke #6th.
    Fritz Putter #2nd.
    Viktor Schobinger #3rd.
    Wilhelm Schulz #1st.

    Western Front


    First American Casualty of the War:


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    A 1915 picture of MacDonald, from an identification badge she later preserved in a scrapbook.

    August 17 1917, Lozinghem–Many of the first American military personnel in France were medical staff, attached to serve with British units. Among them was New York nurse Beatrice MacDonald, who had previously volunteered in an ambulance service in France in 1915. At the outcome of the war, she departed again for France along with a team from New York Presbyterian. On the night of April 17, the British clearing and triage station she was working at was attacked in a German air raid. While still working, her tent was hit by a German bomb, and she received a serious head wound, eventually losing an eye.

    MacDonald would be the first serious American military casualty of the war; all previous American casualties were either volunteers unaffiliated with the military, or too minor to necessitate any departure from duty. MacDonald demanded to return duty after her recovery, saying “I’ve only started doing my bit.”

    Battle of Langemarck, 1917 (Ypres), ends (see 16th).

    Saturday the 18th of August all remained quiet except for continuous artillery fire, but plans were being made and orders were issued for an attack that night. By nightfall all was arranged. Fortunately during the day had been fine, and a keen wind had helped to dry the mud sufficiently to enable additional reinforcement to operate with hope of success. The renewed attack was to be made with the aid of tanks.

    At that time tanks were passing through a stage of disfavour. Their first exploits in the Somme battles had given rise to great hopes. But at Arras they had not been very successful, and in the first phases of the Ieper offensive they had met with absolute disaster. They had
    been bogged down in the mud and smashed by gun fire. Many Generals openly expressed disbelief in their powers. But in this operation against the Steenbeek defences the tanks were at last to find conditions which suited their capabilities.

    The front line facing the Maison du Hibou was held by C Company of the 1/8th Battalion Worc’s, with D Company in support. B Company under Lieut.S.H Wilkes was brought up after midnight Saturday the 18th of August to deliver the attack. The advance was difficult owing to darkness and also to a very heavy barrage fire which the enemy, sensing danger, put down along the line of the stream. Many casualties had already occurred and it was nearly daylight when B Company reached their allotted position of deployment. As dawn broke at 4.45am the British guns broke out in intense fire, putting down a smoke barrage along the line of the Langemarck Road. Under cover of that barrage seven tanks rolled forward across the stream at St. Julien and then pushed northwards, past Hillock Farm and the nearby gun pits against Triangle Farm. Then they circled round on the line of the Langemarck road and opened fire on the Maison du Hibou from the rear. C Company of the 1/8th Battalion Worc’s

    were already firing fiercely from the front and with the double support a platoon of B Company dashed forward and into the buildings, killed a number of the enemy and compelled the rest to surrender. The n by a swift advance B Company carried Triangle Farm. Together with the tanks, the Worcestershire lads pushed on to the line of the Langemarck Road and finished up by consolidating a position at the cross roads north of the Triangle.
    It was a brilliant little success, which made the tactical situation of the 48th Brigade comparatively secure.

    Some 30 of the enemy had been killed. 12 prisoners and a light machine gun were captured as trophies of victory. Lieut.S.H.Wilkes received a bar to his M.C.

    From the broader point of view the affair is noteworthy as being the first definite success gained by the use of tanks in the offensive of 1917. That success silenced the disbelievers, tanks were restored to general favour, and plans were formed which led eventually to the great tank attack at Cambrai.

    French counter-attack on right bank of Meuse and recapture trenches lost on 16 August.

    Tunstills Men Saturday 18th August 1917:

    Billets near Moulle.

    A fine and sunny day.

    L.Cpl. Arthur William Stobart (see 20th June) began to be paid according to his rank, having previously held the post unpaid.

    Pte. Ernest Townsend (see 22nd March) was admitted to 70th Field Ambulance, with a mild case of ‘trench foot’.

    Pte. Erwin Wilkinson (see 9th August), who had been in hospital for ten days suffering from entiritis, was discharged and re-joined the Battalion.

    Lt. Col. Robert Raymer (see 16th August), current CO 10DWR and his replacement, Maj. Francis Washington Lethbridge (see 16th August), along with other officers, dined with Brig. Genl. Lambert (see 16th August). Lethbridge would assume command of the Battalion next day and would be promoted Acting Lieutenant Colonel.

    Pte. Fred Morrell (see 28th May), who had been in England since 28th May, having been wounded in action, was posted to 3DWR at North Shields, en route to a return to active service.

    Sgt. John Stephenson (see 11th August) departed on ten days’ leave to the UK.

    Eastern Front:

    Romanian front fighting less intense, situation unchanged.

    Romanians retire towards Marasesti (20 miles north of Focsani).

    Southern Front:

    A great fire destroys much of Salonika. The great fire of Salonika, which began on Saturday 18 August, must certainly have been one of the most appalling fires of contemporary history.

    About five o’clock in the afternoon we noticed a thin lick of yellow flame just beyond the bazaar. Half an hour later it seemed to have grown bigger, and we all drew one another’s attention to it, but none of us considered it was anything serious, and thought no more about it. The inhabitants must surely have realised the danger, but as they had no fire engines or methods of coping with it, nothing was done. The evening breeze arose and the flames licked along eastwards towards the principal parts of the town.

    About 7pm Dr McIlroy and I went into the town and walked up to the city walls; there below us was a belt of leaping, roaring fire that stretched almost from one end of the town to the other, and right across the middle part of it above the Rue Egnatia. This great ferocious monster ate up house after house with lightning speed, for the little evening breeze had developed into a mild Vardar wind, and now all the authorities saw that the situation was as bad as it could be, and that nothing could stop the progress of that roaring furnace.

    It was unforgettable; all the pictures of hell that were ever painted fall short of it in fearfulness, and its hungry roar, mingled with snarls and hisses and the crash of the falling ruins, was most awe-inspiring. The inhabitants ran about trying to save their possessions and not knowing where to take refuge.

    Naval Operations:

    Shipping Losses: 5 ( All to U-Boat action)

    Political:


    British, French, and Italian Governments conclude provisional arrangement with regard to future policy in Asia Minor (see May 16th, 1916 and July 27th, 1917).

    Government proclamation forbids threatened strike of Associated Society of Engineers and Firemen.

    Anniversary Events:

    1587 In the Roanoke Island colony, Ellinor and Ananias Dare become parents of a baby girl whom they name Virginia, the first English child born in what would become the United States.
    1590 John White, the leader of 117 colonists sent in 1587 to Roanoke Island (North Carolina) to establish a colony, returns from a trip to England to find the settlement deserted. No trace of the settlers is ever found.
    1698 After invading Denmark and capturing Sweden, Charles XII of Sweden forces Frederick IV of Denmark to sign the Peace of Travendal.
    1759 The French fleet is destroyed by the British under “Old Dreadnought” Boscawen at the Battle of Lagos Bay.
    1782 Poet and artist William Blake marries Catherine Sophia Boucher.
    1862 Confederate General J.E.B Stuart’s headquarters is raided by Union troops of the 5th New York and 1st Michigan cavalries.
    1864 Union General William T. Sherman sends General Judson Kilpatrick to raid Confederate lines of communication outside Atlanta. The raid is unsuccessful.
    1870 Prussian forces defeat the French at the Battle of Gravelotte during the Franco-Prussian War.
    1898 Adolph Ochs takes over the New York Times, saying his aim is to give “the news, all the news, in concise and attractive form, in language that is permissible in good society, and give it early, if not earlier, than it can be learned through any other medium.”
    1914 Germany declares war on Russia while President Woodrow Wilson issues his Proclamation of Neutrality.
    Last edited by Skafloc; Today at 06:06.
    See you on the Dark Side......

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