Alexandra,  Princess   of   Wales's   Own
Page 59. From the River Lys to the River Aisne.
Pte Robert Bell.

13th APRIL. Diary - "At 5.30 a.m. the huts at La Motte au Bois were heavily shelled and had to be evacuated. At about 8 a.m. orders were received to march to the neighbourhood of Le Parc, where the 50th Division was assembling. On arrival at Le Parc the Btn waited in a field for orders. Late in the afternoon we moved into billets in the neighbourhood and spent the night there."
200862 Pte Bell Robert Home at Helmsley, N Yorks. Born at Hawnby Yorks and enlisted at Northallerton. Died of wounds. Age 30. Buried at Ebbinghem Military Cemetery.
[Photograph kindly contributed by Geoff King of Pickering, N Yorks.]
200840 Pte Cripps William. Home at 61 Boosbeck Rd, Skelton Green, N Yorks. Born Corsham. Enlisted Boosbeck, N Yorks. Died of wounds. Age 21. Buried at Longuenesse, St Omer, Souvenir [Hospital] Cemetery.
46513 Pte Taylor William. Born and enlisted at West Hartlepool, Co Durham. Died of wounds. Age 31. Buried at Ebblinghem Military Cemetery.
14th APRIL. Working party supplied to dig Reserve trenches South of the Bois des Vaches.
Many more stragglers joined the Battalion.
Major R.E.D Kent reported for duty and assumed Command of the Battalion.
The Three German Offensives of Spring 1918.
The 50th Division was sent to what was supposed to be a quiet sector to recover from the trials of the Somme and Lys. They expected to be training the many new reinforcements they had just received.
The 4th Yorks Btn were in billets near Fismes.
On the 27th of May the Germans launched the Blucher-Yorck offensive in what was to be their final attempt to win the War.
Only 3 other Divisions experienced all three German onslaughts.

15th APRIL.
202230 Pte Cole William, Charles. Home at East Haddon Northants, place of birth. Enlisted at Northampton. Died of wounds. Buried at Anzac Cemetery, Sailly Sur La Lys. Ex 1010 Northants Regt.
201358 Pte Mason Arthur, Lancelot. Home at 16 Parliament St, Stockton on Tees.Enlisted at Middlesbrough, N Yorks. Died of wounds. Age 20. Buried at Etaples Military [Hospital] Cemetery
16th to 25th APRIL. The Btn marched to La Lacque and went into Camp, where they stayed training.

22608 Pte Andrews George, Henry. Born and enlisted in Middlesbrough, N Yorks. Died of wounds. Age 25. Commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial.
35102 Pte Canter Albert, R. C. 49 Avondale Rd, Harringay, London. Died of wounds. Age 18. Buried at Tournai Communal Cemetery Allied Extension. Ex 9th T R Bn.
872 later 200512 Pte Parson Barry Mainprice died in Bermondsey War Hospital on this day. He was born on the 30th May 1882 in Headley, Surrey, son of Arthur Parson and his wife Sarah. Arthur Parson was described as a Farm Bailiff. On the 1891 Census the family are living at Home Farm Walton on the Hill Nr. Reigate Surrey. Barry Parson has left home and is working as a Butler in Bangor, Flintshire on the 1901 Census. By 1911 he had moved to West Hall in Middleton Tyas, North Yorkshire and had taken employment again as a Butler. On the outbreak of war in 1914 he enlisted into the local Territorial Regt, the 4th (Territorial) Btn Yorkshire Regt at Barton. He is buried at Ingham [St Bartholemew] Churchyard, Suffolk.
26th APRIL. The Btn were taken by bus to Calonne Ricquart where they boarded trains at 6.0 p.m.
25146 Pte Bryan David. Home at - 66 Hartington Rd, Stockton on Tees, town of enlistment. Born at Bilstan Staffs. Killed in action. Age 25. Commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial.
27th APRIL.
2nd Lt Cook William Edwin. Died of Wounds, age 24. 1st/2nd Battn of the Yorkshire Regiment, attached to the 4th Bn.
Son of William John and Eliza Jane Cook, of 121, Bellenden Rd., Peckham, London. Native of Dulwich, London.
He first served in the ranks of the Regiment before receiving his commission and joining the 4th battalion at Watten in late November of 1917. He fought in the retreat on the Somme in March 1918 and was posted as missing. He had in fact been wounded and been taken prisoner by the Germans. One month later he lost his fight for life while still in enemy hands dying on this day. He was buried by the enemy and his grave can be visited today in Valenciennes St Roch Communal Cemetery one mile north east of the town.
28th APRIL. All of the 27th was spent on the trains and they arrived at Fismes at 8.0 a.m. From here they marched to Courville and went into billets.

30th APRIL. To illustrate how severe losses of men had been, the effective strength of the Battalion is given at the 1st April as as 20 Officers and 642 other ranks. At the 30th April it was 34 Officers and 1104 other ranks. But of these 23 Officers and 802 other ranks had just been received as reinforcements. 1st to 7th MAY. Resting and training at Courville and on the 4th they moved to Maizy where this continued.
German Artillery.
[Picture from - "Das Archiv zum 1. Weltkrieg ".].

The 50th Division had been warned that it would probably relieve the 51st "French" Division in the line about the 5th in what was described as a "quiet sector"
The reason for this was that they were part of the IX Corps under the command of Lt Gen Sir A Gordon.
The IX Corps comprised of the 50th, 8th, 21st and 25th Divisions had been in the face of two offensives in which the enemy had a vast superiority in men and guns. Since the 21st of March the IX Corps has lost 1.600 Officers and 35,000 men. This new sector formed part of the French front in Champagne. Its outpost line extended from Loivre, a village about five miles NNW of Rheims to the Eastern end of the Chemins des Dames, about a mile west of Craonne. Here the River Aisne follows a winding course with many bridges and the villages of Maizy and Concevreux on its Southern bank.

35174 Pte Hughes Richard, Llewellyn. Home at - The Drifts, Didlington, Brandon, Suffolk. Native of N Walsham, Norfolk. Born North Walsham and enlisted at Attleborough. Died on the 5th. Age 18. Prisoner of War. Buried at Cologne Southern Cemetery. Ex 9th T R Battn.
8th to 14th MAY. The Btn moved into reserve billets at Beaurieux and another week's training.

German Infantry on the Chemin des Dames.

33352 Pte Pywell Frederick. Home at Bury St Edmunds Suffolk. Born at Buckton, Hunts. Enlisted at Ipswich, Suffolk. Died of wounds on the 10th. Age 36. Buried at Etaples [Hospital] Military Cemetery
35145 Pte Gilder Edwin. Born and enlisted at Sheffield Yorks. Died of wounds on the 11th. Buried at Pont Du Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue. Ex 9th T R Battn.
15th May. Btn relieved 5th Yorks in the right sub-sector at Craonne, where they had a quiet tour.
243094 Pte Morley Walter. Home at Cockfield, Co Durham. Enlisted at Bishop Auckland, Co Durham. Died on the 15th. Buried at Anzac Cemetery, Sailly Sur La Lys.
35190 Pte Parker Albert, Ernest. Born at Christchurch, Derby, place of enlistment. Died of wounds on the 15th. Age 20. Buried at Pont du Hem Mil Cemetery, La Gorgue. Ex 10th T R Battn.
35342 Pte Peill Isaac. Home at Waterford Lancs, place of birth. Enlisted at Rawtenstall. Died of wounds on the 15th. Age 19. Buried at Pont du Hem Mil Cemetary, La Gorgue.
38937 Pte Ellison Thomas, Swinburn. Home at - 36 Keswick St, Gateshead, Co Durham. Enlisted at Newcastle on Tyne. Died of wounds on the 17th. Age 35. Buried at Avesnes Sur Helpe Communal Cemetery.
35643 Pte Tate William. Home at Poplar London, place of birth. Enlisted at Stratford, London. Killed in action on the 18th. Buried at Beaurepaire French National Cemetery Pontavert.
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