Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
8 Aug 1917
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Second Lieut Herbert James Day had served as an observer with the Royal Flying Corps for only about six weeks when he was wounded in aerial combat on Tuesday, August 7th, 1917. He died of his wounds the following day in a casualty clearing station in France.
The 29-year-old son of George and Elizabeth Day, of 27 Elizabeth Street, Luton, Herbert had enlisted in the 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment as a private nine years previously and was single. He had been wounded twice before gaining his commission and returning to the Front for the last time in January 1917, later applying for a transfer to the Royal Flying Corps.
An R.F.C. Chaplain wrote to Mr and Mrs Day: "Your son was shot while on patrol over the German lines on Tuesday evening [August 7th]. The pilot managed to land him near a casualty clearing station, and your son was taken there at once.
"I went over to see him the same evening, and he was quite conscious and cheerful and not in any considerable pain. He died very peacefully about 1pm on Wednesday [August 8th]. The funeral is fixed for tomorrow, and he will be buried quite close to the hospital. Several of his friends are going to attend."Second Lieut Day had had a strenuous Army career after joining the Gloucesters. At the time of the 1911 Census he was with the 1st Gloucesters at Cambridge Barracks, Portsmouth. He had been promoted to sergeant by the time war broke out and went out with the first batch of the British Expeditionary Force.
He was in the retreat from Mons and fought in the Battle of the Aisne. He was wounded in the First Battle of Ypres, after which he was home for several months and acted as a musketry instructor for part of that time. He again volunteered for the Front and was again wounded at Ypres, resulting in his being in England for about 12 months.
He was then given a commission and returned to the Front in January 1917. He was slightly gassed at the Battle of the Ancre but recovered without leaving France. He afterwards applied for a transfer to the Royal Flying Corps.
During his brief spell with R.F.C. he brought down at least one German machine. On another occasion his machine was brought down with its Maxim gun wrecked, but he escaped without serious injury other than a sprained arm. In another accident the machine fell on observer and pilot.
Herbert Day had two brothers in uniform. First Class Petty Officer Cyril George Day had enlisted in the Navy in 1902 and served nine years on battleships. By 1917 he was on a submarine after being on patrol vessels in the West Indies. Bombardier Sydney Day had served six years in the Royal Garrison Artillery and had come through unscathed in France since October 1914 with just two periods of leave.