1/4TH   BATTALION
Alexandra,  Princess   of   Wales's   Own
YORKSHIRE   REGIMENT
Page 57. German Offensive - Battle of Estaires.
Major Austin Graham.

10 APRIL. Official despatches reported that the enemy launched heavy attacks covered by Artillery fire about the river crossings at Lestrem and Estaires and succeeded in reaching the left bank of both places; but in each case he was driven back again by determined counter attacks by the 50th Division.

Diary "The Btn held the line taken up on the previous afternoon.
At about 11 a.m. the troops holding the line opposite Pt Vanuxeem [i.e. at right angles to the Front] were driven back.
This retirement eventually exposed our left flank and as we were heavily attacked in front at the same time, we were compelled to fall back on the new line which the troops on our left had taken up.
This line was from 100 to 300 yards East of and parallel to the Trou Bayard - Le Pt Mortier Road.
The 4th East Yorks were on our right and 5th Yorks on our Left.
Casualties - Major Graham A, Lt Farquarson F D, 2 Lt and Adjt Webb H E and 2 Lt Ibbetson H W wounded."

Major Graham Austin. Killed in action. Son of John and Margaret Ely Graham of 17 Montalbo Terrace, Barnard Castle, Co Durham.
He had been an Officer with the Battn from the start and had gone to France with them in April 1915. In May 1915 at Ypres he was badly gassed. He died on the 11th April of wounds received on the previous day in the action to hold the bridge at Sailly sur Lys. Buried at Haverskerque British Cemetery.
2Lt Laurance Ward. Killed in action aged 22. Home at The Woodlands, Eaglesclife, Co Durham, place of birth. Son of Albert, a Salt works Manager and Cecily. He first served in the Border Regiment with Army No 4181/241752 reaching the rank of Corporal before being commissioned on the 30th October 1917. He was an old boy of Middlesbrough High School and is commemorated on the school memorial plaque which can now be found displayed in Middlesbrough College. Commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial.
43560 Pte Clarkson Arthur. Born and enlisted at Leeds, Yorks. Died of wounds. Age 18.Buried at La Kreule Military Cemetery, Hazebrouck.

Position at Estaires on the 10th April 1918.

23973 Pte Dixon Albert William Home at - 29 Poplar St, Middlesbrough, N Yorks, town of birth and enlistment. Died of wounds 180410 23 Hautmont Communal Cemetery
43616 Pte Elliott William Born and enlisted at Hucknall Notts. Killed in action 180410 Ploegsteert Memorial
46504 Pte Jackson James Ernest Home at - High Pittington Durham. Born at Beamish and enlisted at Houghon Le Spring, Co Durham. Died of wounds 180410 St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen.
35325 Pte Long Lawrence Home at Windermere, place of birth. Enlisted at Kendal. Killed in action. Buried at Croix Du Bac British Cemetery, Steenwerck.
240263 Pte Mennell Frank. Born and enlisted at Scarborough, N Yorks. Killed in action. Buried at Croix Du Bac British Cemetery, Steenwerck.
200446 Pte Page John, Percival. Home at Yarm N Yorks. Enlisted at Northallerton, N Yorks. Died of wounds. Age 21. Buried at La Kreule Military Cemetery, Hazebrouck
201763 Pte Sleath Thomas, William. Born and enlisted at Middlesbrough, N Yorks. Killed in action. Age 21.Buried at Pont Du Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue.
180410 L/Cpl Surtes Harold. Home at Waterfall Terrace, Great Ayton, N Yorks, place of birth. Enlisted at Stokesley. Died of wounds. Age 26. Buried at Haverskerque British Cemetery.
201388 Pte Tait George. Enlisted at Middlesbrough, N Yorks. Killed in action. Buried at Croix Du Bac British Cemetery, Steenwerck.

Capt F D Farquharson killed on the 11th April 1918 at Estaires.
[Photograph kindly contributed by John Sheen, author of Tyneside Irish, Durham Pals, & Wearside Battalion.]

11 APRIL. Diary - "At about 8.0 a.m. the enemy commenced his attack and about an hour later the troops on our left flank fell back and we were compelled to conform with this movement.
During this withdrawal units became very much disorganised. Isolated groups of our men were collected and put into a line.
During the afternoon orders were received that the 150th Brigade was to assemble at four-cross roads West of Doulieu and were to remain there until 1 a.m. the next morning, but at about 4.30 p.m. orders were received to report to Brigade Headquarters at Vierhouck.
Some of the party reached Vierhouck, but the remainder took up a position to rally the men who were retiring from Neuf Berquin. This party became isolated and at dusk withdrew and reported at Brigade HQ which had then removed to Arrewage.
The night was spent in billets in the neighbourhood of Arrewage.
Casualties - 2nd Lt Cliffe W A missing."

Captain Francis David Farquharson. Age 23. He was attached to the 4th Bn from the 5th Bn Royal Scots. Son of Francis William Farquharson and Janet Farquharson, of 71 Spottiswoode St, Edinburgh. Buried at Haverskerque British Cemetery.
14562 Pte Allison John, George. Home in Ryhope, Co Durham. Enlisted at Sunderland. Killed in action. Age 29. Commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial
34630 Pte Buckner Frank. Home at - 6 Warwick Place, Ealing, London place of enlistment. Born Shadwell, Middlesex. Died of wounds. Age 22. Buried at La Kreule Military Cemetery Hazebrouck. Ex RASC.
35170 Pte Howitt Walter, Ernest. Home at - Rotherham Yorks. Born Swindon, Yorks and enlisted Pontefract, Yorks. Killed in action. Buried at Pont Du Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue. Ex 9th T R.Battn
Pont Du Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue.
Situated about 5k to the East of Estaires.
13 men of the 4th Yorks Btn are buried here.


240810 Pte Skelton Robert, Matthew. Home at Skipsey, Seaton, Hull, Yorks. Born at Bridlington, Yorks. Killed in action. Age 20. Commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial.
12 APRIL. Official despatches reported that at about 8 a.m the enemy attacked in great strength on a Front extending from South of the Estaires - Vieux Berquin neighbourhood. After very heavy fighting...he succeeded in the afternoon in overcoming the resistance of our troops about Doulieu and La Becque, forcing them back in a North Westerly direction.

Diary - "At 5.0 a.m. the party which was reinforced by another party of stragglers took up a line East of Pt Tournant.
The 3rd Btn Coldstream Guards were on our left and a party of stragglers from 151st Brigade on the right.
This line was held until about 4.0 p.m. when it was forced back in considerable disorder. Stragglers were Collected and a very thin line was formed.
No attack was made on this line. About 3.0 p.m. the party was relieved by a batch of another Division and marched to La Motte Au Bois where the night was spent in huts. Casualties 2 Lt Clidero H A Wounded."
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