Alexandra,  Princess   of   Wales's   Own
Page 50. Holding the Front at Ypres.

Pte James William Smith.
Killed in action, 23 Dec 1917.
James was a local footballer and a gifted runner and athlete. Before the War he had been training as an electrician at J Pattinson-Yeoman's linen factory in Brompton.
He joined the 4th Battalion in 1914.
He had been sitting at a fire when the stores were bombed and was hit in the back by a piece of shrapnel.
He was the elder brother of Thomas, who had been killed at Passchendaele a few weeks before.
He left a wife, Beatrice, Mary; a son and two daughters.
[Picture and information courtesy of the - "- Northallerton Memorials Project".].
23rd DECEMBER. The Btn moved into Support at Irksome Trench.
The Transport and Q.M. Stores at Potijze were bombed inflicting severe loss on the personnel.

Lt Thomas Taft Lieutenant Quartermaster. Attached to the 4th Yorks from the 6th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry. Thomas Taft was the son of Thomas and Margaret Taft of Hulme in Manchester and the husband of Mrs Jane Taft of 17 Zante Street, Kirkdale in Liverpool.
Died of wounds received in this bombing of the stores. Aged 59. He was born at Barrow in Furness, Cumberland in 1858.
He had been a pre-War regular soldier with the Durham Light Infantry and received his commission with them. Buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery,
Shelled buildings and dead horses at Houtholst, 1917.
200440 Pte Smith James William. Home at Brompton, Nr Northallerton, N Yorks, place of birth. Killed in action. Buried at Potijze Chateau Grounds Cemetery.
200444 Pte Moss James E. Home at Grangetown N Yorks. Enlisted at Stokesley, N Yorks. Killed in action. Age 25. Buried at Potijze Chateau Grounds Cemetery.

24th DECEMBER. The Btn relieved the 8th Btn D.L.I. in the Front line.

200034 Pte Collins John, George. Home at - 111 Crescent Rd, Middlesbrough, N Yorks town of enlistment. Born at Sunderland. Died of wounds. Age 27. Buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.
204411 PteCaldwellThomas. Born at Walker, Northumberland and enlisted at Newcastle upon Tyne. Killed in action on the 26th. Tyne Cot Memorial.
26342 Pte Fowle Thomas. Home at - Loftus N Yorks, place of birth. Enlisted at Skinningrove. Killed in action on the 26th. Age 26. Tyne Cot Memorial.
Newspaper Notice - In Memoriam, dated 28th December 1918:-
FOWLE - Thos. Fowle, 4th Yorks Regt, beloved son of Mr and Mrs William Fowle, The Lodge, Loftus, died in France, December 26th, 1917. Deeply mourned by father, mother, Harry and Dora.
"They miss him most, who loved him best."
British Soldier in Gas Mask.
[Picture courtesy of - "Photos of The Great War".].

Capt WW Constantine's booklet.
[Contributed by his Grandson, Christopher Constantine.].

202218 Pte Barby Fred, Charles, Edart. Born and enlisted at Deanshanger, Northants. Killed in action on the 28th. Tyne Cot Memorial.
201237 Pte Lofthouse Thomas, William. Born and enlisted at Middlesbrough, N Yorks. The son of John Thomas and Louisa Lofthouse of Dover St, Cargo Fleet, Middlesbrough. Killed in action on the 28th. Age 21. Commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
28th DECEMBER. Btn was relieved by 7th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers and moved back to Whitby Camp.

29th DECEMBER. They moved back by bus to Brandhoek and went into Toronto Camp.
Diary gives effective strength of Btn as 41 Officers and 918 other ranks compared to 42 and 905 at start.
Lt T Taft had died of wounds and Lt R.M. Howes had been gassed. 6 other ranks had been killed, 1 died of wounds and 23 wounded.

1st JANUARY. The Btn moved up to Potijze by bus from Brandhoek in the morning and relieved 9th Btn D.L.I. in Support in the Seine area at night.
The weather was cold with the ground frozen to a depth of at least one foot.
Medical Officer Capt Simpson was evacuated suffering from gas.

CSM E C Norton.

240037 CSM Norton Ernest Cecil Born and enlisted at Kirbymoorside N Yorks. Killed in action aged 26. Commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. From 1907 he had worked for the North Eastern Railway Company as a goods porter at Kirbymoorside and afterwards was transferred to Castleford as a checker.
2042 and 200403 Sgt Cockerill William. Born at Fylingdales, N Yorks. Home at Bridge St, Gt Ayton, N Yorks.
At age 14 the census records him as a Gardener. Enlisted at Stokesley, N Yorks. He went to France with the Battalion on the 18th April 1915 as a Private and very likely spent time out wounded. Killed in action on the 2nd.
His commanding officer wrote to William’s father:
‘It is difficult for me to realise what the loss means to you, but I trust that it will lighten the blow somewhat to know that we all feel most deeply for you and your family.
Sergeant Cockerill was a very fine man in every way, thoroughly reliable and hard-working and, as you know, had a very long service with the Battalion.
We all miss him very much indeed. It may be some consolation to you to know that death was instantaneous and that your son suffered no pain.
He was buried at night and the service read over him, and a cross erected over his grave. He was one of the old standards of the regiment, and his death is regretted by all.’
Buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery.
200383 L/Cpl Thompson Lawrence, Earl. Home at Brixton. Born at Rotherham, Yorks and enlisted at Catterick, N Yorks. Died of wounds on the 3rd. Buried at Wimereux Communal Cemetery.
Corpse in the Flanders Mud.
[Picture courtesy of - "The Heritage of the Great War".].

5th JANUARY. The Btn were relieved by the 20th Royal Fusiliers on the night of the 4th and after spending the night in Ypres were taken by bus to the Winnezeele rest area. There men's Xmas Dinners were held.
14410 Pte Bigland Eric. Home at - Park Villas, Middlesbrough, N Yorks, town of Birth. Enlisted at Redcar, N Yorks. Died of wounds. Age 24. Buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
16th JANUARY. After wet and snowy weather the Btn moved by train to Wizerne and marched to Esquerdes, a village to the South West of St Omer. There they were favoured by wonderful weather, excellent training was carried out and the men had a good rest and change.

28th JANUARY. The Btn moved back to Ypres by train and relieved the 6th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers at Seaham Camp.

29th JANUARY. Relieved 6th Btn N.F in Support trenches for 2 days and after a quiet tour moved back to Whitby Camp on the 31st.

2nd FEBRUARY. The Btn relieved 5th Btn D.L.I. in support trenches at Irksome Pill Box. A quiet time and fine weather carrying up rations and Royal Engineer material to the 2 Battalions in the Front, the 4th East Yorks and the 5th D.L.I.
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