Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1916, Lieutenant The Honourable George Joachim Goschen, 5th Battalion, the East Kent Regiment (The Buffs), died in Amara of wounds received twelve days earlier at the Battle of Sheik Sa’ad, along the banks of the Tigris River, during the Mesopotamian Campaign of the Great War.
The only son of the 2nd Viscount Goschen (a Conservative MP for East Grinstead), and grandson of the 1st Viscount Goschen, who had been Chancellor of Oxford University, he was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. He abandoned his university studies to join his regiment at the outbreak of the Great War, and served in India and Mesopotamia.
On the 7th of January, 1916, he was wounded twice in the Battle of Sheik Sa’ad, and was Mentioned in Dispatches for his gallantry that day. Sadly his wounds were grievous and efforts to save his life failed after several days.
This extract from the Regimental History illustrates the events on the day he was injured: “Our force began to advance and came under fire at once, the artillery opened at 8 o’clock. The firing increased hourly in intensity as the day wore on, from rifles and shrapnel and later on from machine guns, and casualties began to grow to an unpleasant extent. The adjutant was killed, and many others wounded. The advance was over open country and available cover was so meagre as to be almost non-existent.
There was a mirage too which interfered considerably with observation, but by the middle of the afternoon a much thinned out firing line of Buffs, Black Watch and Seaforth Highlanders had got within 400yds of the position. There were not enough men to keep up the pressure, and as there was every appearance of a counter attack, these prepared a line 200yds behind the place they had advanced to, and digging themselves in for the night prepared to resist any offensive on the part of the enemy. Beyond very heavy firing, which rendered the bringing in of the wounded a matter of great difficulty, nothing of that nature occurred, though the firing was kept up all night, the weather was bitterly cold and showery, and the food consisted of a few biscuits with some bully beef for breakfast. Captain B Buss and Lt's Hon GJ Goschen and WH Winch later died of their wounds.” Lieutenant Goschen is buried in the Amara War Cemetery, which is a First World War British military cemetery in what is now known as Amarah, in southern Iraq. It contains 4,821 graves, only 3696 of which have been identified. The Commonwealth Graves Commission have not been able to work there since 1991, but have commented that they will commence restoration should it ever become possible.
George, from Chelsea, was 22 years old.