Officer Casualty Rate Is Double The Troops In 1915

Friday, July 2, 1915

Billets – La Crêche

The Battalion War Diarist wrote nothing for this day:  [1]

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: “It will be important hereafter in computing the effect of wastage from sickness and wounds to note two announcements made in Britain yesterday.  Sir Wm. Osler says this is the first great war in history in which bullet, shell and bayonet will kill more men than disease, and that 60 percent of the wounded are able to return to their places at the front.  The War Office lists show that the proportion of killed to wounded is 23.5 among the rank and file and 43.6 among officers.  The reason for this tremendous disproportion is that the traditions of the British army require the officers – especially the Captains, Lieutenants and Sub-Lieutenants – to lead their men when a charge is ordered.  In many cases the officers, who are the first to appear from the trenches, are shot almost as soon as they emerge.  In field operations the proportion of officers killed and wounded would not be nearly so great as it is in trench actions.”

[1]  War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, July 2, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa
[2]  “War Summary” The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, Friday, July 2, 1915 pg. 1, col. 6; pg.2 col. 2

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