31 October 1914
MajGeneral Samual Lomax is mortally wounded by an exploding artillery shell. He died on the 10 April 1915 never having recovered from his wounds. Cremated at Golders Green Crematorium his ashes are buried in a plot at the Military Cemetery in Aldershot.
11th November 1914.
Brigadier-General Norman Reginald McMahon 4th Royal Fusiliers is killed in action just east of Hooge. Prior to the First World War, he was Chief Instructor of the Hythe School of Musketry and is credited with the 15 rounds per minute, known as the “Mad Minute” rate of fire required by the British Army in 1914.
19 July 1915.
A mine was exploded under the Germans at Hooge and the crater was occupied by two companies of the 4th Bn Middlesex Regiment driving the enemy back some 300 yards
30th July 1915
Men of the 7th Kings Royal Rifles (KRR) first felt a fine mist of something that smelt like paraffin. Men carrying something heavy on their backs, crouched down holding what looked liked hose pipe nozzles were trudging towards them. Few would survive to recollect the sight or the smell of their uniforms as they were blinded scorched and incinerated by the new German flamethrowers. Those near would never forget. The Germans captured the KRR positions. A counter-attack in the afternoon was only partially successful.
One of the things that veterans used to tell me was the smell of the trenches.They remembered they smelt like bacon cooking. It was not until a few years later it dawned on me exactly why they remembered the smell of bacon cooking.
Second Lieutenant Jack Fellows Lambert, 9th (Service) Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own).The Eldest son of Ernest and May Lambert, 23 Terlingham Gardens, Folkestone is burned to death by liquid fire just after 3:15p.m. at Hooge. This was the first use of Liquid Fire, (Flame-throwers) by the Germans and Jack was one of the first British soldiers killed by Liquid Fire. His body could not be identified and he was listed as missing until March 1916. Jack has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate. Before the war, Jack managed a coconut estate in Malaya.
Also on the 30th July 1915
It was near here, roughly from the trenches at Kasteelhof ‘t Hooghe to the end of Hooge Crater Cemetery that 2nd Lt Sydney Woodroffe was awarded the new armies first VC leading a counter attack. Woodroffe has another distinction, this one is unique. He along with others has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin gate, sadly nothing even for VC holders unique in that. What is unique is that when the panels were first carved they carved “VC” before, not after his name.
9th August 1915
First British trial of steel helmets. For those interested, the dyes for the Brodie helmet from the Great war may still survive in Israel.
Also used here for the first time by the British Army in the Great War was the portable radio. Just think your mobile phone had its British Military origins here. Of course, back then you need a horse and cart.
28 October 1917
Hooge Crater, Brigadier-General Cecil Rawling was killed by German shellfire. He was just outside of his Headquarters.