1/4TH   BATTALION
Alexandra,  Princess   of   Wales's   Own
YORKSHIRE   REGIMENT
Page 25. June 1916. Kemmel - Friendly Fire - To Camp.

German light Minenwerfer [Mine launcher] team.
This mortar, which fired 7.5cm shells was the smallest of three sizes of similar German weapons that fired in a looping trajectory into the opposing trenches.

17th JUNE. 1 other rank wounded.

18th JUNE. Trenches G3, 4 and H1A were heavily shelled between 10 a.m and 1 p.m causing 2 other ranks killed and 7 wounded.

2413 Pte Brown William, Lancelot, Bernard. Home at - Ovington, Darlington, Durham. Enlisted Northallerton, N Yorks. Killed in action. Age 19. Buried at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery.
4138 Pte Mayes Herbert. Home at Bungay Suffolk. Enlisted at Northallerton. Killed in action. Buried at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery.
4454 Pte Rising Arthur, Henry Home at 14 Manless Green Terrace, Skelton Green, N Yorks. Enlisted at Guisborough, N Yorks. Died of wounds. Age 22. Buried at Bailleul Communal [Base Hospital] Cemetery Extension.
2Lt Ridley Stewart Gordon. Died in the Libyan Desert, age 19. He had been a recruit in the 4th Battalion in 1914, before receiving a commission into the 12th Yorks Bn.
He volunteered for the Royal Flying Corps and was posted to Egypt, where he met a tragic end. He is buried in Cairo. To read more about him click here.
19th JUNE.
4252 Pte Garbutt Robert, Sydney. Home at Cargofleet, Middlesbrough N Yorks, town of enlistment. Died of wounds. Buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension Nord.
20th JUNE. 3 other ranks were wounded by trench mortars before the Bn was relieved at night by the 2nd Bn Leinsters of the 24th Division. "X" Company took over Kemmel defences, while the rest of the Bn marched to Locre.

21st JUNE.

1554 Pte Atkinson John, Anderson. Home in Middlesbrough. Born and enlisted at Skelton in Cleveland, N Yorks. Died of wounds. Buried at Bailleul Communal [Base Hospital] Cemetery.
25342 Pte Smart Charles. Home at Grangetown, Middlesbrough N Yorks, place of enlistment. Born at Flaxton, Yorks. Died at home. Buried at Eston Cemetery N Yorks.
24th JUNE.
3228 Pte Hodgson William. Home at Brotton, N Yorks. Died. Buried at Bailleul Comunal [Base Hospital] Cemetery Extension Nord.
25th JUNE. The Bn provided the usual working parties during the 4 days at Locre.
2nd Lt Ewart Richardson describes the general attitude to working parties:-
Working Parties are the devil Ė First because they involve a certain amount of risk and offer no excitement in return. To be sniped digging a trench is to be killed, engaged in necessary but inglorious labour. But chiefly working parties are execrated because they must be undertaken when the battalion is in Reserve, a time legitimately considered as a period of recuperation and rest.
From the Orderly Room comes the order: "One officer and fifty NCOs and men will report to Captain X tonight at 8 p.m. at ______."
Punctually at the hour named the party reports. The Captain named, with the officer and NCOs views the work to be done.
The men who in addition to rifles and equipment will probably have carried spades or picks, move, already tired, to the task.
In the darkness they lay aside their rifles and equipment near at hand, so as to be accessible at a moments notice, and set to work.
It is not pleasant. Even in the light and undisturbed it would be deadly monotonous. But in the dark, with rifle bullets snapping close overhead, and the possibility of being shelled ever present, it is a thousand times worse.

Battalion Diary sketch of planned raid on German trenches 26 June 1916.

But the work must be done; and surely, if slowly, it progresses. The hours drag by interminably. Every one seems a nightís length.
In front the business of the line proceeds, flares rise and fall, rifles keep up their endless bickering. Now and then as a machine gun traverses wickedly, the party stoops as one man under a canopy of whipping bullets.
Sometimes if the big guns begin their quarrel, the party must seek what cover it can, and remain there till the artillery tire.
At last, after working as long as safety will permit, the word is passed down to put on equipment and turn homewards. Weary and silent, a long file of men passes into the communication trench.
Progress is slow, there are many corners, loose trench boards, holes. And all the while the restless line follows with flying bullets, any of which may mean death.
To the newcomer it is marvellous that men move to and fro in the night with such impunity. The casualties are few - still no one is sorry when the last hill is mounted, the friendly huts are sighted, and the sentry on the gate gives the word "Allís well" as the head of the party passes.
Working parties may be very necessary. Nevertheless they are the devil.

"W" Company replaced the 2nd Leinsters in the same trenches as before.


200363 Sgt Herbert Beadle died of wounds, age 26. Buried at Achiet Le Grand Communal Cemetery Extension.
26th JUNE. Diary The raid was attempted. A Patrol went out at 10.30 p.m and found the German wire entirely uncut by our Artillery. Cutting then proceeded until 1.10 a.m, by which time a passage had been cut through the German wire. The raiding party were to enter the German trench at 1.30 a.m at which time the Artillery barrage behind was to commence.

The graves of 2nd Lt Cecil Hawdon, L/Sgt Robert Trafford, Pte Robert Bellwood and Pte Frederick J Smith in Locre Churchyard.

At this moment the whole of the enemy front trench was heavily bombarded by our Artillery in error causing casualties to the raiding party who were withdrawn. 2nd Lt C Hawdon was killed and 15 other ranks wounded.
The following 4 men were killed in action this day and are buried in Locre Churchyard.

Second Lieutenant Cecil Hawdon Age 20. Son of Mr and Mrs. William Watson Hawdon, of Upsall Grange, Nunthorpe, North Yorks.
His Father, had been the Chief Engineer for a Teesside steel firm and also a Major and then Hon Lt Col of the local 1st Volunteer Battalion, Durham Light Infantry.
Cecil Hawdon had been born in 1896 and educated at Aysgarth and Charterhouse schools. From there he went up to Cirencester College where he became a member of the Officer Training Corps.
He had just been commissioned into the Bn on the 22nd February of this year and had arrived with other reinforcements on the 28th of May.
He was the youngest of 4 brothers. Two others were also killed later in the War.

Pte F J Smith.

His headstone in Locre Churchyard is inscribed-
"His two brothers also fell,
In death they are united."

4058 Pte Bellwood Robert. Home at Thirsk, N Yorks. Enlisted at Northallerton.
3303 Pte Smith Frederick, James. Home at New Marske N Yorks. Enlisted at Redcar, N Yorks.
[Photograph kindly contributed by Mick Trainor of New Marske, N Yorks.]
1683 L/Sgt Trafford Robert. Home at 7 William St, South Eston, N Yorks, place of birth. Enlisted at Normanby, N Yorks. Age 35.
27th JUNE. "W" Company were relieved in the Trenches by 2nd Leinsters and the Bn moved from Locre to Camp.
Diary - No preparations had been made for the move. The Royal Engineers and Ordnance were both unable to supply any material for making a standing camp.
New white tents and brown shelters were issued at the last moment.
No colouring of any kind being available, the camp being situated within range of shell fire. The camp ground consisted of two small boggy fields.
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