Alexandra,  Princess   of   Wales's   Own
Page 11 - June/July 1915. In the Line Neuve Eglise, Kemmel Sector
Trench construction and warfare were developed over the course of the War.
Those trenches taken over by the 4th Battalion in Sanctuary Wood had been quickly dug during the recent withdrawal of the Line.
Trenches were created in a zig zag line so that a soldier was in a box with protection from shell blast to either side.
If the enemy captured one bay, he could not directly fire on others.
Dugouts at this time were primitive holes and much was learned from taking over German trenches later on.

16 JUNE.

1878 Pte Turnbull Claude. Home at Grangetown, Middlesbrough, N Yorks. Born Newcastle. Enlisted Eston. Died of wounds. Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension Nord.
A secret message was received at Divisional HQ informing them that they were being temporarily transferred to II Corps.
For the Private in the 4th Battalion, who got to know nothing of these decisions it would mean relief from the most dangerous area Ypres and a month defending the line further South opposite Messines and Wytschaete.
[Divisional History - "It should be understood that whenever the word "quiet" is used to denote the situation, it is used in the comparative sense. For in those days all men lived by comparison. Therefore, although there may have been no attack on, or by, the enemy in progress, the artillery of both sides was seldom silent; snipers were busy, watching like hungry wolves for the thoughtless exposure of heads or bodies; trench mortar bombs and grenades exploded in the trenches; mining and sapping were going on; mines were blown; working and wiring parties were out each night on their dangerous work in front of the line - in short, that was what "quietude" meant."]
Lt Col Maurice Hugh Lowthian Bell.

He was the Commanding Officer of the Battalion until 3rd January 1916, when he was invalided out, having been twice mentioned in despatches.
Born on the 29th March 1871, he was the third Baronet of the Bell Baronetcy that had been created in 1895 by his Grandfather, the Ironmaster of Teesside, Sir Lowthian Bell.
The son of Sir Thomas Hugh Bell, 2nd Bt, and Maria Shield.
He had served in the Boer War between 1900 and 1901.
He was invested as Companion, Order of St Michael and St George in 1916 and the Territorial Decoration.
He held the office of High Sheriff of County Durham between 1921 and 1922.
He succeeded to the title 3rd Baronet Bell, of Rounton Grange, Co Yorks and Washington Hall, Co Durham on the 29th June 1931.
He died, unmarried, on the 17th November 1944 aged 73.
19 JUNE.

1319 L/Cpl Elliott John. Home at Carlin How, N Yorks. Born and enlisted at Workington. Killed in action. Menin Gate Memorial Ypres.
23 JUNE.
On this night the Battalion were relieved and retired to huts at Ouderdom.
25 JUNE to 2 JULY.
In billets at Locre [Loker], a village about 14k behind the lines to the South West of Ypres.
The Battalion were moved from the Ypres Salient and from the 22nd June to the end of July were defending the line in the Neuve Eglise/Kemmel sector. By August they were in Armentieres.

Lord Cavan.
From June to August 1915 he was GOC of the 50th Division.
Later becoming reputedly the best Corps Commander on the Western Front.
After the War he was made Chief of the Imperial General Staff.

On the 29th June Major-General P S Wilkinson took command of the 50th Division and remained in this position until the 24th February 1918.
The Diary records - "Lord Cavan left us to take over Command of the Guards Division. We deeply regret his loss. General Wilkinson took over Command of the Division.


1383 Pte Upton Sydney. Born and enlisted at Redcar, N Yorks. Died of wounds. Buried at Longuenesse St Omer [Hospital] Souvenir. He was the youngest of four soldier sons of Mr W Upton, the coxwain of the Redcar Lifeboat.Cemetery.
2 to 6 JULY.
The Bn was addressed by the CO of II Corps, Sir Charles Ferguson and at night they went back into trenches at Tea Farm.
The Diary records a "quiet time, but a certain amount of sniping".
Nevertheless it also records the death of Pte Bendelow and the wounding of 13 men.
The Commanding Officer went into hospital and Major H.G. Scott took over.
The Diary records that "a good lot of digging was done here, which earned us a good chit from Lord Cavan, who had taken over the Division from Sir Walter Lindsay".

1353 Pte Bendelow John. Of Bowman's Yard, Northallerton, N Yorks place of birth and enlistment. Died of wounds. Buried at Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck.
Before the War John had been working for Cooper & Son, painter and decorators, with whom he had served his apprenticeship.
He was also a keen footballer and played for Romanby FC during the 1912/13 season.
Lt Lucas of "Z" Company wrote to John's parents:-
" It is with deep regret that I have to write and advise you of the death of your son Private J. Bendelow, yesterday (July 6th). He was very unfortunate in meeting with his death, as his company was in a trench only about 60 yards from the Germans, and, in the course of his duties, he had to go with a party of men to a farm some way behind our lines. Whilst there he was twice wounded and after being taken to the hospital he died of his wounds.
I have only been in command of the Company a very short time, and did not know your son very intimately, but he was invariably cheerful and willing, and was much liked by the officers and men in the Company. You have the small consolation of knowing that he died a soldier's death and was buried in the churchyard at Dranoutre with a proper service. I am very grieved to have lost such a valuable man...."

For gallantry on the night 5/6th July, 1397 Sgt [Acting CSM] A. M. McKay was awarded the DCM. The citation in the London Gazette places the Battalion at Wulverghem. A newspaper report can be read by clicking here

7 to 10 JULY.
The Battalion returned to billets at Loker.
The Diary records that a "Bombing Platoon under Lt T.H. Fawcett was formed on the 7th."

13 JULY.

1008 Cpl Lodge Albert Edward. Home at Grangetown Middlesbrough, N Yorks. Born York and enlisted at Eston, N Yorks. Killed in action. Age 25. Menin Gate Memorial Ypres.
15 JULY.

1500 Pte Wastell Albert. Born and enlisted at Yarm, N Yorks. Killed in action. Age 19. Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.
917 Cpl Allen Richard. Enlisted at Guisborough, N Yorks. Died of wounds on the 22nd July. Buried at Etaples Military Cemetery. He was one of 4 brothers who all served in the War. Fred Allen was also in the 4th Yorks and was to die of wounds on the 15th January 1917 near Albert, Somme. The other two survived the war and one of them was invalided out with wounds.

Pte George Dowding.

26 JULY.
1541 Pte Dowding George. Born and enlisted at Redcar N Yorks. Killed in action. Buried at Strand Military Cemetery.
1689 Sgt Thirkell Edward. Home at 74 Redcar Rd, S Bank, Middlesbrough, N Yorks. Born and enlisted at Normanby. Killed in action. Age 20. Buried at Strand Military Cemetery
2807 Pte Baynes Robert. Born Stanhope, Co Durham. Enlisted Richmond, N Yorks. Home at Newton Morrell, Barton, Yorks. Age 29. Died of wounds at home. Buried at Warrington Cemetery.
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