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14th October 1918 - The Great War, Day by Day - The Wartime Memories Project

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The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day

14th October 1918

On this day:

  • British advance towards Lys.   On the 14th of October 1918, the 29th Division including the 1st Dublins & 2nd Leinsters, 40th division & 36th, began an advance towards Lys. They achieved considerable success on the first day. There was little resistance and it is said that the Germans were standing with their kit, ready to march away as prisoners. However their resistance increased in the afternoon.

  • Attack Made   At 2am 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers moved to area K.15.a, our position in the line being taken over by the 9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. At 0535 under a very heavy artillery barrage the whole Army attacked, the 107th and 109th Brigades being in the front line, the 108th in support. At 0900 we followed up the advance and took up position in L.20.c.

    War Diaries

  • Next phase of Advance   59th Heavy Artillery Brigade report "II Corps attacked, with the Belgian Army on the left and XIX Corps on the right. All batteries (including 88th SB & 152SB) joined the barrage. Good progress was made and all objectives gained. One section of each of the 37th, 335th and 350th SB's moved forward and took up positions west of Winkel and Eloi, reporting to the 9th Division for orders."

    War Diaries

  • Naval Action   A naval engagement took place in which the German submarine SM U-139 attacked the Portuguese civilian steamer São Miguel and the Portuguese Navy naval trawler NRP Augusto de Castilho in the Atlantic Ocean.

    On the island of Madeira, the Portuguese patrol boat NRP Augusto de Castilho was under the command of the First Lieutenant Carvalho de Araújo. He received the mission of escorting the Portuguese civilian steamer São Miguel, which was property of the Empresa Insulana de Navegação. It was sailing from the port of Funchal in Madeira to the port of Ponta Delgada on the Azores archipelago, with 206 passengers and several tons of cargo on board. The NRP Augusto de Castilho was originally the fishing trawler Elite and was built in 1909. It had been requisitioned by the Portuguese government and transferred to the service of the Portuguese Navy which adapted it to serve as an escort ship following Portugal's entering into the war in 1916. The ship was equipped with two small Hotchkiss cannons, one of 65 mm on the bow and another of 47mm on the stern.

    After leaving Funchal at sunset on 13 October, São Miguel came under fire at 0615 on the 14th October from the German submarine U-139. This was one of the better equipped submarines of the German Navy, armed with two powerful 150 mm cannons and six torpedo launch tubes. It was under the command of the famous Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière. In order to protect the São Miguel and after using all the smoke boxes available for creating a smoke curtain while repeatedly firing the stern cannon, de Araújo gave orders for the NRP Augusto de Castilho to turn to port. Turning through half a circle it advanced towards the German U-139, taking gunfire from the submarine, thus giving São Miguel time to escape at full speed.

    After two hours of fierce but one-sided fighting the Portuguese ship surrendered by lowering the national flag and raising a white flag. There were several fatal casualties on deck, its artillery was damaged and ammunition expended. it had also lost its telegraph and the ship's engine. However, the German submarine continued firing, hitting the patrol ship with a direct shot which killed de Araújo and injured Midshipman Armando Ferraz for a second time. After receiving orders by the Midshipman to abandon ship, the Portuguese survivors were able to embark in two life boats. The ship was then boarded and sunk by the Germans, with explosive charges, carrying with it the body of de Araújo and of all the Portuguese sailors who had perished during the battle. One of the life boats arrived at Santa Maria Island after 48 hours with 29 of the survivors, one of the injured sailors having died during their journey. The other life boat, with 12 survivors onboard arrived at the island of São Miguel Island, on the 17th October. This was U-139's last action as a few weeks later the submarine surrendered to France on 24 November 1918.

    John Doran

  • 14th Oct 1918 Germans accept Surrender terms

  • 14th Oct 1918 On the Move

  • 14th of October 1918 Moving Forward

  • 14th Oct 1918 On the March

Can you add to this factual information? Do you know the whereabouts of a unit on a particular day? Do you have a copy of an official war diary entry? Details of an an incident? The loss of a ship? A letter, postcard, photo or any other interesting snipts?

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Want to know more?

There are:8 articles tagged with this date available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

Remembering those who died this day.

  • Pte. John Bailey. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 1st Btn.
  • Pte. Horace Battley. Royal Fusiliers 26th Btn
  • Gnr. Bertie William Buckhurst. Royal Garrison Artillery 113th B Siege Battery
  • Pte. Frederick Chainey. Hampshire Regiment 15th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. William James Cornell. 15th Battalion Read their Story.
  • Cpl John Redican Finnie. MM Royal Dublin Fusiliers 1st Battalion
  • Sgt. Bernard Foley. Cheshire Regiment 15th Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. Sydney Hayes. Cheshire Regiment 4th Btn.
  • Pte. Frederick Victor Lacey. London Regiment 19th (St Pancras) Battalion Read their Story.
  • Cpl. James McPhie. VC Royal Engineers 416th (Edinburgh) Field Company Read their Story.
  • Pte. Alfred Ratcliffe. Durham Light Infantry 1/5th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Alfred Ratcliffe. Durham Light Infantry 1/5th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Sgt. Arthur Robins. MM. Royal Engineers 89th Field Coy Read their Story.
  • Francis Tasker. Durham Light Infantry 9th Btn.
  • Bmbdr. Harold Henry Whittall. 168 Siege Bty.
  • Rflmn. Edward Vaughan Williams. Royal Irish Rifles 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. William Wilson. Seaforth Highlanders 8th (Service) Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. Thomas Woodall. Cheshire Regiment 1/7th Bttn. Read their Story.
  • L/Cpl. Charles Frederick Yates. Leicestershire Regiment 1st/5th Btn. Read their Story.

    Add a name to this list.

  • Items from the Home Front Archive

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