Alexandra,  Princess   of   Wales's   Own
Local Newspaper Reports on the 4th Battalion at the Battle of Bellewaard.
North-Eastern  Daily  Gazette
TUESDAY. 4 MAY 1915.


Fourth Yorkshires Once More in the Firing Line.

[The photograph of Capt Stead's memorial stone and all information on this page has been kindly contributed by Kevin Galloway of Thornaby on Tees.]
"Citizens of the North Riding will be interested to learn that their Territorial Regiment of which they are all proud, after their brilliant charge of ten days ago has once more been in the fighting line.
They left the trenches early on Monday of last week to have a period of rest at a camp some miles to the rear, but they were not allowed much peace, for visits by enemy aircraft were succeeded by heavy shelling, and on several occasions a withdrawal from the camp was necissitated and a few men were wounded each time.
Last Wednesday night the battalion moved up to the trenches and were likely to remain there a few days.
The distance separating the two lines of trenches is so short that it is stated the enemy on hearing the sound of the engine of a motor ambulance began to fire shells and a 6 inch projectile dropped at a spot which the ambulance had passed only a few seconds before. "It is a terrible affair altogether" writes one of the 4th Battalion, but this does not make it less important for every man to do all he can in the present crisis, for it is a serious one, without the shadow of a doubt and we shall have all our work cut out if we are to be successful eventually.
Evidently the magnitude of the task before them is not under estimated by the Territorials, but this does not affect their cheerfulness and officers in letters home make no secret of their pride in the conduct of the troops.
The many friends of Dr J E Stead, F R S will be sorry to learn that news was last night received at his residence, Everdon, Coatham to the effect that his son, Lieut Kenneth Stead was wounded at the front on Saturday.
What is the nature of his injuries is not at present known, for the intimation to hand from York only mentions the fact that he has been wounded. There will be a general hope that the wound is not serious and that before long Lieut Stead will be fully recovered. He only joint the Territorials after the outbreak of war, but he quickly won his way to popularity and his brother officers and the rank and file soon became impressed with his work.
Only a few days ago a non-commissioned officer of the 4th Yorks in a letter home had the following reference Lieut Stead:- "His people would be proud of him if they could see him. He is doing good work and seems to have no fear."

[Lieutenant Stead later volunteered for the Army Flying Corps, was promoted to Captain and killed in aerial combat over France, on the 4th February 1917.].
FRIDAY. 28 MAY 1915.


Another Hot Time for the Fifth Durhams and Fourth Yorks.
Sir John French Awards the DCM to a Thornaby Man.
It is clear from letters which are arriving from the front that the local Territorials figured in the fighting which took place early this week, when the Germans used gas on a scale hitherto unequalled. Telegrams have reached the district during the past few days to the effect that several officers of the 4th Yorks are now in hospital and there is good ground for stating that very few of the officers escaped without showing the ill effects of these poisonous fumes, although the majority of them are happily little the worse. That the men also suffered rather severely is evident from communications to hand. Probably most of those affected by the gas will quickly recover, but some permanent losses are inevitable and the official reports will be awaited with anxiety by the people of the district who have followed with increasing admiration the doings of the local Territorials in the desperate struggles of the past five or six weeks. But if the ranks were somewhat depleted the battalion won new glory for itself. The conduct of the men was praiseworth. Those soldierly qualities revealed on a previous occasion were once more exhibited and the district has reason to be proud of the way in which they faced a terrible situation. The effects of the gas by the Germans were felt miles behind the fighting line. One officer who viewed the scene from a distance of three miles describes the cloud of fumes as resembling "an early morning mist on a meadow. It swept over the entire front. It was a perfect morning for the purpose as the wind could not have been more favourable for the enemy, but the results were hellish". This experience has only intensified the determination which throughout has characterised the whole of the brigade and they are eagerly waiting for the opportunity when blow for blow can be given with weapons similar to those which the enemy is employing.
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