Alexandra,  Princess   of   Wales's   Own
Page 62. The end of the 4th Yorks as a fighting Unit.
Capt T R K Ginger MC.
Pictured earlier as a Lieutenant.
[Photograph kindly contributed by John Sheen, author of Tyneside Irish, Durham Pals, & Wearside Battalion.]

1st TO 4TH JUNE. All that was left of the Btn was at Vert La Gravelle commanded by Capt T R K Ginger M.C.
It was decided to form one composite Btn called the "150th" and this comprised two platoons of 4th Yorks and two of the 5th Yorks.
Major A C Barnes was in command.

201573 L/Cpl Wisbey John, Henry. Home at Lingdale, N Yorks. Enlisted Saltburn, N Yorks. Died of wounds on the 1st. Buried at Vendresse British Cemetery.

21459 Pte Drew Daniel. Born and enlisted at Middlesbrough, N Yorks. Died of wounds on the 2nd. Buried at Sezanne Communal Cemetery.
21433 Pte Cordingley Ernest Home at Orchard House, Eaglescliffe Village, Durham. Born Yarm, N Yorks and enlisted at Stockton on Tees. Died of wounds, age 22, on the 4th. Buried at St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen.
43595 Pte Pearson Percy. Home at Hebburn Colliery Durham. Born at Shefiff Hill and enlisted at Jarrow, Co Durham. Died of wounds on the 4th. Buried at Montcornet Military Cemetery.
34705 Pte Smith William, Hubert. Home at Swallownest Sheffield, place of enlistment. Died of wounds on the 4th. Buried at Sissonne British Cemetery.

5TH JUNE. At 8 p.m. the "150th Composite Btn" were taken by bus to La Neuville where they stayed in bivouacs.
43725 Pte Greensides Arthur. Home at - 30 Henry St, Goole, Yorks, place of birth. Enlisted at Doncaster. Killed in action on the 6th. Age 18. Commemorated on the Soissons Memorial. Ex 87th T R Battn.
Pte Richard Matthew Thorpe.
[Photograph kindly contributed by his Great Niece, Dorothy Harris of Saltburn by Sea.]

35640 Pte Hobbs George R Bristol Died of wounds 180606 Terlincthun British Cemetery Wimille Ex Berks Regt
7TH JUNE. Diary - "French support line around Bullin reconnoitred. Owing to enemy attack on British positions at La Montagne de Bligny and French positions East of village of Bligny, the Btn moved into Support in Bois de Coutron about 1 mile South West of Pourcy. At 7.30 p.m orders were received to take over the Front line from 58th Comp Btn."

8th/9th JUNE. "Line extended about 200 yds northwards. German patrol attacked new post. They were driven off and 3 prisoners taken."

200951 Pte Thorpe Richard Matthew died of wounds on the 8th June, as Prisoner of War, aged 20. Born Carlin How,N Yorks and home at North Skelton, N Yorks. Buried in the German extension of the Chambieres French National Cemetery, Metz.
10th/11th JUNE. "Warning that hostile attack might be expected during next 48 hours. German aeroplane brought down in our lines and pilot captured."

12th/13th JUNE. "Relieved by 57th Composite Btn of 19th Division and marched to bivouacs in Bois de Coutron. "

201315 Pte Bryan Thomas, Watson. Enlisted at Middlesbrough, N Yorks. Killed in action on the 12th. Buried at Courmas British Cemetery
38730 Pte Routledge James. Home at Moston, Manchester, place of birth and enlistment.
The 4th Yorks Btn along with the rest of the 50th Division, was decimated in the German attack of the 27th May.
The remnants of the 150 Brigade formed into one Composite Btn and continued operations until the 18th June.
They were then withdrawn to Sezanne behind the lines and on the 1st July West of Amiens.
The 50 Division Infantry Btns were reduced to cadre strength, just Training Staff, and took no further part in the War as fighting Units.

Killed in action on the 12th. Commemorated on the Soissons Memorial
17459 Pte Irving William. Home at - 46 Jubilee Tce, Seaton Delaval Northumberland. Born Southwick and enlisted at Cramlington, Co Durham.
14th JUNE. Details of Btn serving with 50th Comp Btn formed into one Company of the 150th Comp Btn.
242153 Pte Webster William Arthur Home at 43 Peacock St, Norwich, Norfolk, place of birth and enlistment. Died 180616 38 Sedan Torcy French National Cemetery.
18th JUNE. Relieved by Italian Brescia Regiment. Marched to bivouacs in wood West of Germaine.

19th JUNE. Travelled by train to Sezanne, where they marched to billets at Les Essarts. Here they were joined by details of Transport and QM Stores.

A letter written to the brother of Capt H N Constantine, by an Officer called R Stone describes the confusion at this time.
22nd June 1918.
Your letter just arrived so thought had better answer it right away as we move up again in reserve somewhere very soon with a Composite Battalion. Capt Constantine and Stokell were coming down the road at the time when the shell burst. My opinion is that your brother was at any rate wounded by it, but that Stokell's horse becoming restive took him past the place where the actual burst took place and he probably fell off some little distance further on than your brother would have. He was much too dazed to give anything like an accurate account of the thing and its only by placing scraps of his information together that I am able to arrive at the above conclusion. The part of the country in which it happened was very wooded and the shelling of the whole area for at least three miles from this spot was very severe and I fear as you mention no one would have stopped to make
German Infantry pass Dead British Soldiers.

any examination just at that time and, of course a very short time after it was in Bosche hands. We have a new CO and also second in command. Major Barnes DSO commands us at the present. He came, I think, from the 8th Yorks in Italy. The second in command is a Major Potter from the Lincolnshire Regiment. He joined us from Salonika. The Brigadier is General Marshall and quite a good fellow I think. Capt Hutchinson is in an Hospital in France. We have Capt Ginger with us and also Dr Simpson. They were luckily on Paris leave when this last stunt was on. I don't think you would know any of the remainder. All our old hands having disappeared. Its a fearful change for the few of us who remain. I wish we had the luck to have had you sent to us. It would have been an help and also another of the old Officers to try and keep things going. I am sure you little realise how I personally miss Norman. He was such a spirit. I sent two lots of letters off to you today out of Capt C's valise.
I remain, Your obedient servant, R Stone."
On the 20th June a Conference was held at 150th Brigade HQ on how to respond to the severe losses and how to start again.
The Notes of this Conference can be read - Here.
The Chemin Des Dames after German shelling.
The Chemin Des Dames was a ridge of commanding ground to the North of the River Aisne that had been fought for throughout the War.
[Picture from - "Das Archiv zum 1. Weltkrieg ".].

19568 Pte Bennett John Richard. Had been transferred to the Labour Corps with Army No 373556. Died aged 43. Buried at Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille. Husband of Mary Bennett of 39 Charles St, Middlesbrough. The 1911 census records him at 7 Fidlers St, Middlesbrough, employed as a Slinger in the local Docks and the father of 7 children.
20th to 30th JUNE. Moved to Moeurs and then prisoner of war camp at St Sophie Fme North West of Connaitre. Training and refitting and forming a Company for the Composite Btn.
Casualties for the month are given as:-
Other ranks - 2 killed, 12 wounded, 1 drowned, 1 gassed.
Reinforcements 3 officers and 6 other ranks.

201202 Pte Pollock William died in the UK, aged 21 years 8 months. Home at 92 Gladstone St, Middlesbrough, N Yorks.
He had enlisted on the 26th May 1915 and had been in France only since the 2nd October. On the 15th November 1915 he was injured by a fall in a trench while the 4th Yorks were defending the Front in the Armentieres sector.
He was discharged from the service on the 13th December 1917 as a result of "Ostio arthritis of the Left knee" with a 5 shillings a week pension, reduced to 1 shilling in January 1918. He was issued with the Silver War Badge.
The actual cause of death and in which local cemetery he was buried is not known. He is commemorated on the War Memorial at Middlesbrough, but not by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
61622 Pte Bunce Silas. Home at Annfield Plain Durham. Born at Belmont, Co Durham and enlisted at Newcastle on Tyne. Died on the 23rd. Buried at Stanley [Harelaw] Cemetery.
37523 Pte Trattles George, W, C. Enlisted at Stockton on Tees Died on the 23rd Age 23. Buried at Cloughton Church Cemetery.
Where the 4th Yorks Btn had fought from April 1915 to June 1918.

60757 Pte Moss William, Charles. Home at Mayfield. Ashbourne Stoke on Trent. Born at Mayfield, Staffs and enlisted at Leek. Died on the 24th. Age 19. Buried at Mayfield Wesleyan Methodist Chapelyard.
200477 Pte Wildman Charles. Home at Bletsoe, Beds. Born at Bedford. Enlisted Stokesley, N Yorks. Died on the 25th aged 25. Buried at Hautmont Communal Cemetery.
35122 Pte Cox Harry. Born Toddington Beds and enlisted at Nottingham. Killed in action [?] on 26th. Buried at Grand Seraucourt British Cemetery. Ex Notts and Derby Regt.
203121 Pte Cann Thomas, W. 49 Southery St, Gateshead, Durham Died of wounds on the 28th. Age 30. Buried at Gateshead East Cemetery.
1st to 5th JULY. Travelled by train to Longpre, well to the West of Amiens and marched to Heucourt.
The Battalion was reduced to Cadre strength, [just a Training Staff], and surplus personnel transferred to Base.
The Battle of the Aisne was the last operation in the War in which the original 50th Division took part. After the Battles of the Somme and the Lys its depleted Battalions had been made up, but after the disaster of the 27th May, the casualties were so great that it was impossible to find troops to refill the ranks of the sorely stricken Battalions.
By the end of May the 9 Battalions of the Division could muster only 700 fighting men between them.
The three German offensives of 1918 on the Rivers Somme, Lys and Aisne had caused some 600,000 Allied losses.
But they themselves had lossed a similar number and many of these were select Stormtroopers, who could not be replaced either. In the end it was the exhaustion of German manpower and supplies that decided the outcome of the War.
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