Alexandra,  Princess   of   Wales's   Own
German advance towards Amiens - terrible Casualties.

MARCH 1918.
29th - At 7.30 am an order was received [signed by GSO 1 50th Div] by Col Thomson stating that 50th Div were in reserve to 20th Div and that he should proceed immediately to the wood 1 mile South of Demuin and concentrate at point 90.
The Battalion [less 2 platoons of 4th Yorks under Lt Ginger], which had become separated in the withdrawal from the high ground South of Caix] moved at 8.45 from Louvrechy arriving at point 90 at about 11.30 am, where Col Thomson reported to BGC 149th Inf Bde.
The Battalion took up a position in the wood from the road Northwards and dug themselves in.
At about 5.30 pm, the French on the Right retired and the enemy penetrated the copse immediately North of Villers aux Erables and the village itself.
One Company of 4th East Yorks under Capt Pollock and 1 Coy of 5th Yorks under Lt Crapper were ordered to take up a position on the East side of the wood.
At about 6.00 pm the Right flank gave and Gen Riddell ordered Col Thomson to launch an immediate counter attack. 1 Coy, 4th East Yorks and 1 Coy 5th Yorks were ordered to attack and hold the copse above mentioned.
These Coys were formed up and were just about to move to the attack when the troops on Right completely fell back under orders of their G.O.C. [61 Division].
At this period the enemy was also holding the wood astride the road North East of Villers aux Erables.
The counter attack was immediately cancelled by Col Thomson, who reported the changein the situation to General Riddell and received orders from him to withdraw the troops and also those remaining in the wood and on the East side of it to a point on the Amiens-Roye road from the road to just N of point 104.
The 50th Div all receiving orders to form up and dig themselves in the North East side of the road.
Col Thomson took up HQ with Gen Riddell in Quarry on main road due South of G. in Hourges.
Here Gen Riddell was relieved at about 9 pm by Col Irwin commanding 5th Northumberland Fus, and Bde HQ was established in a house at East end of village of Hourges.

241638 L/Cpl Gull James Henry. Home at Guisborough. Born Eston, Yorks. Enlisted Boosbeck, Yorks. Killed in action on the 29th March 1918. Commemorated at Pozieres Memorial.
42354 Pte Hitchings Frederick Charles. Home at 3 Seaview, West Looe Cornwall. Born Truro place of enlistment. Died of wounds on the 29th March 1918. Ex 164248 Royal Field Artillery. SDGW gives Hitchens. Commemorated at Namps Au Val British Cemetery.
37951 Pte Smith Samuel. Home at 3 Westbury St, Parnaby Rd, Hunslet. Born Hunslet Yorks. Enlisted Scarborough. Killed in action on the 29th March 1918 aged 22. Commemorated at Pozieres Memorial.
243281 Pte Watson Alfred John. Home at Scrayingham, place of birth. Enlisted Malton. Killed in action on the 29th March 1918. Commemorated at Pozieres Memorial.
30th - At about 7.00 am orders were received from Brigade Major 60th Inf Bde that as the enemy was holding the wood North of Moreuil, Lt Col Thomson must establish a Standing Patrol of 1 Officer and 20 ORs to guard his Right Flank, and that in the event of a withdrawal, the Composite Battalion would take up a position and fight a rearguard action to cover the safe withdrawal by the troops across the R in de Luce.
Owing to his being hit, Lt Col Thomson withdrew to Bde HQ [149] at Hourges and handed over Command to Capt Pollock, 4th East Yorks.
About 8,30. am orders to withdraw were given by 60th Inf Bde and the line moved back to the Hourges side of the wood directly South East of Hourges.
Then found that a Party of 4th Northumberland Fusiliers were holding on North side of road in old position and 150th Inf Bde, less 46 4th yorks unit under Capt Pollock moved forward South of the Road, passed through the wood and also re-took the copse North- North West of the V. in Villers.
This about 10 am. During the afternoon owing to a flanking movement on the Right 150th Battalion forced to withdraw some 600x and the enemy occupied the copse above mentioned.
At 7.00 pm the 150th Inf Bde unit in conjunction with the French on Right counter attacked [under orders from 60th Bde] and re-took the copse and some 70 prisoners, re-establishing the Line as in the morning.

202070 Pte Barraclough Thomas Home at Hunwick. Born Roughlea Colliery, Co Durham. Enlisted at Bishop Auckland. Died on the 30th March 1918 aged 34. Commemorated at St Sever Cemetery Ext Rouen. Hospital.
34639 Pte Brice Victor Arthur. Home at Chipperfield, Herts. Born Charlton Hants. Enlisted at Watford. Killed in action on the 30th March 1918 aged 21. Ex S/4/146256 Army Service Corps. Commemorated at Pozieres Memorial.
204773 L/Cpl Christon Reginald. Home at Walk Mill Lodge, Osmotherley, Northallerton. Enlisted at Northallerton. Killed in action on the 30th March 1918 aged 20. Commemorated at Pargny British Cemetery.
25107 Pte Everson Arthur Robert. Born at North Ormesby. Enlisted at Middlesbrough. Killed in action on the 30th March 1918. Commemorated at Pozieres Memorial.
242373 Pte Gibson Fred. Home at Old Malton, place of enlistment. Killed in action on the 30th March 1918. Commemorated at Pozieres Memorial.
240220 Pte Jackson Charles Henry. Home at 27 Andrew St Beverley. Born and enlisted at Beverley. Killed in action on the 30th March 1918 aged 21. Commemorated at Pozieres Memorial.
202133 Pte Prior Joseph. Born at Stockton and enlisted at Middlesbrough. Killed in action on the 30th March 1918. He was the son of Mrs. Mary Jane Prior of 84 Derwent Street Middlesbrough and the late James Prior. On the 1911 census he was living with his widowed mother and siblings at 84 Derwent Street Middlesbrough, employed as a hawker for a fish merchant. He was the brother of Walter and Frank who were both killed in action in the First War. Joseph is commemorated at the Pozieres Memorial.
31st - Night quiet and line reinforced by 46 4 Yorks collected by 5.00 am. About 12 noon enemy put down heavy barrage on line and on Domart and Hourges.
At about 2.00 pm they attacked on a frontage extending beyond both flanks of 150th frontage.
The French having given on the Right, the enemy outflanked and arrived in the rear of the 150th Party.
Capt Pollock and party fought till the last moment and inflicted heave casualties on the enemy.
Situation then obscure but detachments held on on the high ground North West of the wood due South of Hourges.
The enemy worked up the valley South of the wood and bringing enfilade fire caused all parties to withdraw.
The 60th Bde were then forming a new line North of the River de Luce between Domart and Hanguard.
2 Regiments of British Cavalry crossed the river and commenced working forward South of Amiens-Roye road.
This at about 5.00 pm. The 150th Inf Bde party then under orders from 60th Inf Bde dug in on a line running North East - South West through the R. in Domart.

Casualties during the period 22 to 31 March 1918.

2nd Lt J Battye [25th], Capt CR Hurworth [26th], Lt HE Evans [26th]
and 21 Other Ranks.
25th - Capt WEE Garrod, 2nd Lt LS Wallgate, Lt ER Winser.
26th - Lt JV Townsend, 2nd Lt CW Stoddart.
27th - Lt WG Morris.
28th - Capt G Thompson.
29th - 2nd Lt C Crapper.
and 219 Other Ranks.
Wounded and remaining at Duty.
Lt Col JAR Thomson.
Wounded and Missing.
2nd Lt WN Pearson and Lt A Hopton [both on 25th].
and 7 other ranks.
Lt HG Gregory [25th] and 2nd Lt AH Strong. [26th]
and 124 other ranks.
Died of wounds.
1 other rank.
Total casualties 372.
In the case of ORs it is impossible to give the number of on any particular day.
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