Seven German Navy Zeppelins raid the east coast of England in an attempt to bomb London. 48 people are killed and 64 injured. Two of the zeppelins turn back with engine trouble; L-15 is brought down by gunfire and ditches into the sea near Margate. One crewmember drowns; the rest are taken prisoner of war. London Air Raid Part 1London Air Raid Part 2
German forces capture Malancourt in the Battle of Verdun. After almost six weeks of fighting French casualties number 89,000; German casualties exceed 81,600
Russian forces defeat the Turks at Kara Malachkan in Armenia
The Russian hospital ship Portugal is torpedoed without warning by German submarine U-33 in the Black Sea off Rizeh, Turkey. The Portugal breaks in two and sinks. Even though the vessel is not transporting wounded at the time, 96 Red Cross doctors and nurses plus 19 crew perish
Russian forces drive the German army back over the River Oldenevitz in modern day Belarus
The Leader asks readers to “please do your best” and contribute to the Red Cross Society’s fresh food appeal for wounded soldiers. “Remember, these lads let their hearts rich blood stain the shell swept slopes of Gallipoli, so it is up to us to do what we can for them.”Fruit and Vegetables for our Soldiers
German forces enter Malancourt village, while the French recover Avocourt redoubt in the Battle of Verdun
Austro-German aircraft conduct bombing raids on depots and railway stations at Politzy and Molodechno on the Southwest Front
Tsar Nicholas II succumbs to pressure from pressure from the Empress and Rasputin and dismisses Russian War Minister General Alexei Andreyevich Polivanov. Polivanov is replaced by Quartermaster General Dmitry Savelich Shuvaev, who is generally perceived as ineffective. The Allies see Polivanov’s dismissal as a major blow to the Russian war effort.
The Inter-Allied War Conference in Paris winds up. Representatives from Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Russia and Serbia declare their unity on military, economic and diplomatic affairs and agree that they will not conclude a separate treaty with any of the Central Powers.
Allied forces repulse a German attack on the Haucourt-Malancourt front in the Battle of Verdun
Russian torpedo-boats sink ten Turkish ships and destroy an ammunition depot on the Anatolian coast of the Black Sea
The Russian army gains ground north of Bojan in Galicia
The Inter-Allied War Conference opens in Paris. Representatives from Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Russia and Serbia meet to discuss military, economic and diplomatic affairs.
Allied forces capture two lines of German trenches captured at St Eloi near Ypres
Five German aircraft conduct an air raid on Salonika. Two of the planes are brought down; 18 civilians are killed and 21 wounded.
Russian troops cross the River Baltachi Darassi in Armenia
HMS Cleopatra 1915. Image courtesy Imperial War Museum.
The British light cruiser HMS Cleopatra rams the German destroyer SMS G194 in the North Sea, cutting it in half. The destroyer sinks immediately with the loss of 93 lives. The Cleopatra then collides with HMS Undaunted, but manages to return safely to port. Undaunted takes several days to reach safe harbor.
British seaplanes bomb German airship sheds in Schleswig-Holstein, east of the island of Sylt. Three seaplanes are brought down and five airmen taken prisoner.
The destroyer HMS Medusa collides with HMS Laverock off the Danish coast whilst under attack by German aircraft. The Medusa sinks; her crew are rescued by HMS Laverock.
Russian forces gain ground near Jacobstadt in modern-day Latvia
The damaged SS Sussex at Boulogne 1916. Image courtesy http://saint-sevin.pagesperso-orange.fr/1916.htm
German submarine UB-29 torpedoes the British ferry SS Sussex in the English Channel. En route from Folkestone to Dieppe with 325 passengers and 53 crew, the ferry is severely damaged, with the entire bow forward of the bridge blown off. At least 50 people are killed; some manage to board life boats which later capsize. The damaged vessel is towed to Boulogne harbour and later repaired. The United States is outraged, and threatens to sever diplomatic relations with Germany; the German government later responds with The Sussex Pledge, agreeing to give adequate warning before sinking merchant and passenger ships. The pledge is upheld until February 1917, when unrestricted submarine warfare resumes.
The Leader reports that Orange’s response to the Red Cross Society’s appeal for fresh food for returned soldiers has been “splendid”, however more food is required: “every person who has a vegetable or a fruit garden can surely spare some for the soldiers who have shed their heart’s blood, in order that you may be left in peace to attend to your gardens and orchards.”Fruit for the Soldiers
Hundreds of people attend the fundraiser for soldiers’ comforts at the Star Theatre in Orange. People Turned Away
Leonard William Glandfield Last. Image courtesy ancestry.com.
Educated at North Sydney Church of England Grammar School, Leonard William Glandfield Last was a four year apprentice surveyor with RP Atkins in Sydney when he enlisted at Holsworthy on 8 August 1915. Leonard nominated his mother, Fanny, as his next of kin, his father having died earlier in the year.
Leonard was assigned to the 18th Battalion, D Company as a private. On 1 January 1916 he was appointed a gunner with the 11th Field Artillery Brigade.
Gunner Last embarked from Sydney for overseas duty on 14 April 1916 and proceeded to the Western Front in June 1916. Later that month he was promoted to Acting Sergeant. He also served with the 2nd Division Ammunition Column and the 22nd Field Artillery Brigade. Leonard was killed in action in France on 23 December 1916, aged 23; he is buried in Delville Wood Cemetery at Longueval.
In August 1917 Leonard’s mother received a package containing her son’s personal effects: two identity discs, a Bible, an air cushion, a money belt, a wallet, some photographs, two mirrors, a hair brush, a bone rule, a pair of scissors, a cigarette holder, four keys, a letter, a note book, visiting cards, his unit colours, Post Office receipts, a button, money order receipts, paper cuttings, two badges and a religious book.
Fanny Last wrote several letters to the War Office regarding her son’s bravery. She stated “soldiers make a great mistake in not telling their great and noble deeds in war” when she completed the Particulars Required for the Roll of Honour in the Memorial War Museum document.
Fanny passed away in Orange in August 1932, and is buried in Orange Cemetery. Her grave includes a commemorative plaque in honour of Leonard. He is also commemorated on the west face of the Mosman War Memorial and the memorial panels at St Luke’s Anglican Church in Mosman.
Leonard William Glandfield Last memorial plaque, Orange Cemetery. Image courtesy Orange Cemetery.
The British transport vessel SS Minneapolis is torpedoed without warning by German submarine U-35 in the Mediterranean Sea 195 miles northeast of Malta. Twelve crewmembers are killed in the explosion. Attempts to salvage the vessel fail; she sinks two days later. The ship was transporting 60 tons of horse fodder from Marseilles to Alexandria at the time of the attack.