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30th October 1914 - The Great War, Day by Day - The Wartime Memories Project

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



30th October 1914

On this day:


  • Dramatic Rescue at Whitby   

    SS Rohilla at Port Said - pre WW1

    In heavy seas the Hospital Ship Rohilla, sailing from Queensferry, bound for Dunkirk, ran aground on rocks at Saltwick Bay, Whitby. The Whitby lifeboat succeeded in rescuing 35 people, including five female nurses, but the lifeboat was badly damaged in the attempt and was rendered useless. Lifeboats from along the coast were brought to assist, including the Upgang boat which was brought overland, lowered down the cliff and a launch attempted from the beach at Saltwick and the Scarborough boat which was towed from its home town by a trawler and spent the might at sea but was unable to reach the Rohilla. The Hartlepool lifeboat was towed to Whitby, the Teesmouth lifeboat set out to assist but was damaged by heavy seas. The Tynemouth boat, the only motorised lifeboat in the area, was summoned and sailed 40 miles to reach the Rohilla and finally succeeding in rescuing the remaining crew from the wreck two days after the ship had run aground. Of the 229 persons onboard the hospital ship, 145 were brought ashore safely.

  • British Cavalry cede at Messines   The British 1st Cavalry are pushed back at Messines, opening a gap in the Allied lines. The newly arrived French XVI Corps were moved up to defend the line.

  • B Squadron, 2nd Life Guards forced to retire   The War Diary of the 2nd Life Guards records them as being 1/2 mile North West of Zandvoorde. The line on the right of B squadron being driven back forced B squadron to retire with losses. C squadron (less 1 Troop) would appear to have been surrounded and from the account of a single survivor of the squadron it is doubtful if any have escaped. Meanwhile the Reserve Trenches had been manned by D squadron on our left of the Royal Horse Guards. Heavy shelling of these trenches ensued and we gradually fell back on to the Zillebeke Ridge where the 5th and 6th Cavalry Brigades had taken up a defensive line. Behind this the Regiment was reformed and held in readiness for action about Zwarteten. This area was heavily shelled but partly owing to the loose formation adopted, with an open column of squadrons at 100 to 15O distance between squadrons and files extended, no casualties occurred here. At about 5 pm the Regiment was ordered to reinforce the Scots Greys and again about 6 pm to move to the assistance of the Royal Horse Guards but in each case the order was rescinded, the situation having improved. The Regiment eventually moved into billets at Verbranden-Molen. Three troops of C squadron were posted on 30th Oct at Zanbe.

    “Mrs Brandram, of Clifton Road, Henlow, has received a letter from the War Office, informing her that her son, Private William Frank Brandram, 9546, 17th Lancers, 4th Company (sic) Regiment, now attached to the 2nd Life Guards of the British Expeditionary Force, had been killed in action on October 30th. The news was received with profound regret, both at Henlow and at Three Counties Asylum, at which institution Pte. Brandram had for several years been a member of the staff. His punctual and conscientious discharge of his duties there had gained him the esteem of all who knew him. Pte. Brandram was 28 years of age and had served seven years in India with the 17th Lancers prior to settling at Henlow three years ago. He was a fine all round athlete, having excelled in running, swimming, and other sports, for which he held several trophies. He was also the popular captain of the Henlow Football Club last season, for which he did splendid work. Much sympathy is felt for his widowed mother, whose main support and devoted companion he had been since his return from India.” Biggleswade Chronicle, 11th December 1914. 9546 Private William Flack Brandram was a reservist, and was posted to the 2nd Life Guards at Ludgershall shortly before the regiment departed for the front. Brandram was killed near Zandvoorde. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial and on the war memorial at Henlow.

    Another of the missing was 3DG/5500 Private Bertie John Jones, a reservist from the 3rd (Prince of Wales’s) Dragoon Guards who was attached to the 2nd Life Guards. Bertie had been reported as missing following the action during which the trenches held by 7th Cavalry Brigade near Zandvoorde were overwhelmed by a German attack on 30 October 1914. His fate was uncertain for over a year, but notification that his death had been presumed was issued by the War Office on 4 March 1916, and a report regarding this news was printed in The Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder on 18 March 1916: “The War Office has now intimated to the family of Trooper Bert J. Jones, of the 3rd Dragoon Guards (attached on outbreak of war to the 2nd Life Guards), of Dynevor-road, Skewen, that he is presumed to have been killed in action on 30th October, 1914. At that time he was reported as missing, but throughout the months no trace of him could be found. He was the son of Mr and Mrs Dan Jones, the father being well-known as the veteran Skewen postman, while the soldier himself was one of the Neath borough postmen. He resided at Skewen with his wife and three children.” Bertie had attested for the Corps of Dragoons of the Line at Cardiff on 5 November 1902. Born at Llanwit, near Neath, Bertie was aged 18 years and two months and employed as a shop assistant at the time of his enlistment. Jones was initially posted to the 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers), but was drafted to the 3rd Dragoon Guards on 1 September 1904. He transferred to the Class B Army Reserve on 2 November 1905 while stationed at Ballincollig and extended his engagement on 7 July 1914. He reported to No. 6 (Scottish) Cavalry Depot on 5 August 1914 on his mobilisation and was posted to the 3rd Reserve Regiment of Cavalry on 16 August, before being sent to join the 2nd Life Guards at Ludgershall on 30 August. Bertie Jones has no known grave, his name recorded with soldiers of the 3rd Dragoon Guards on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres. His medals, memorial plaque and scroll, and the clasp for the 1914 Star were forwarded to his widow, Florence, who lived with her children at Pleasant View Villa, on Penywern Road in Neath. She had been awarded a pension of 20/6d a week with effect from 4th of October 1915, while her husband was still listed as missing.

    2782 Trooper Frederick Charles Keene, who served with the 2nd Life Guards, was also reported as missing following the fighting at Zandvoorde on 30th October 1914. His death was not finally presumed for over a year, as reported in The Essex County Chronicle on 11th of February 1916: “Mr and Mrs Keene, of 94 Faircross Avenue, Barking, have been officially informed that their son, Trooper Frederick C. Keene, of the 2nd Life Guards, whom they last heard from on October 28, 1914, must be regarded as having been killed in action on October 30, 1914. The deceased, who was only 21, was one of four brothers on active service, one being now in England with seven wounds, while the other two are in France and the Persian Gulf respectively.” Frederick Keene, who had been born at Surat in India, is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

    War Diary


  • 4th Divison under pressure   On the 30th of October 1914 the German forces launched an attack on the line from from le Gheer to the river Douve in the souther Ypres Sector. The British 4th Division extended its line from St. Yves to Messines, now covering a front of 12 miles. At St. Yves, German Infantry broke through, but the advance was halted by a counter attack by the 1st Battalion Somerset Light Infantry under the command of Major C B Prowse. (Prowse Point Cemetery which was later built on the site, was named after him.)

  • Retreat and regrouping   E Battery 3rd Brigade RHA

    1 mile north west of Wytschaete with 5th Cavalry Brigade. Started at 0500 in action as before and engaged by very strong attack. Two guns gave out (springs and pistons) leaving only two, eventually fell back to new line from Wytschete to near St Eloi giving up Oosttaverne. Took up position till dark with remaining two guns midway between old and new positions when fell back to near chateau below wind mill ridge at Wytschaete where guns in action all night. Fired a great deal. (One gun repaired so three in action after dark.) Over 700 rounds fired during day.

    war diaries


  • 30th October 1914 Retraining and Equipment

  • 30th Oct 1914 Enemy attacks repulsed

  • 30th Oct 1914 1st North Staffs in Advanced Trenches

  • 30th Oct 1914 In Action

  • 30th Oct 1914 In Action

  • 30th Oct 1914 In Action

  • 30th Oct 1914 129th Baluchis in Action

  • 30th Oct 1914 Damp Weather

  • 30th Oct 1914 Under Shellfire

  • 30th Oct 1914 On the March

  • 30th Oct 1914 In Action

  • 30th Oct 1914 Quiet Day

  • 30th Oct 1914 On the March

  • 30th Oct 1914 Outnumbered

  • 30th Oct 1914 Shelling

  • 30th October 1914 Relief by other Division

  • 30th Oct 1914 Heavy Shelling





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There are:22 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. William Blair. Yorkshire Regiment 2nd Btn.
  • 2nd Lt. Arthur Herbert Rosdew Burn. 1st Royal Dragoons Read their Story.
  • Pte. Henry H. Coucom. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 2nd Battalion
  • Pte. Maurice Maunders. Bedfordshire Regiment 1st Btn. Read their Story.
  • William Merritt. Hampshire Regiment 1st Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. George Sampson. Yorkshire Regiment 2nd Btn.
  • L/Cpl. Leonard Wootton. King's Royal Rifle Corps 2nd Btn.
  • L/Cpl. H Young. Royal West Surrey (The Queens)

    Add a name to this list.


  • Items from the Home Front Archive


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