SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY

"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM"


Private W POWELL LINES

248005, 1st/5th Bn, Durham Light Infantry.

who died, aged 32, on the 14th August 1917.

Son of William and Annie Lines, of 41 Park St, Skelton-in-Cleveland, N Yorks.



Wancourt British Cemetery.
8km South of Arras.

At the census of 1901 Powell Lines, aged 14, was living at 41 Park St and had been born in Skelton.
His father, who was blind and worked as a grocer, came from Emmeth Norfolk and his mother from Loftus N Yorks.
He had an older brother, Joseph 17, who is listed as Fruiterer Greens.
There four younger sisters - Elizabeth 12, Susannah 9, Isabella 8 and Miriam 5.


The 1/5th Bn, Durham Light Infantry were formed in Stockton on Tees in August 1914.
They were attached to the 151st Brigade, 50th Division. (as were the local 4th Yorks Bn.)
The British Army launched a large-scale attack at Arras as part of a master plan by the new French Commander in Chief Robert Nivelle.
Although initially successful, it soon bogged down as with most and became a terribly costly affair, as with most.
The British attack was against the formidable Hindenburg Line, to which the enemy had recently made a strategic withdrawal.
The battle can be considered to be composed of a number of phases:
The Battle of Vimy and the First Battle of the Scarpe were the opening phases;
The Second and Third Battle of the Scarpe and the final Battle of Bullecourt and other actions against the Hindenburg Line concluded the fighting.
Wancourt ridge, close to where Private Lines is buried was captured during this time, but he must have lost his life in some later action around there.
Wancourt was captured on 12 April 1917 after very heavy fighting and the advance was continued on the following days.
The cemetery, called at first Cojeul Valley Cemetery, or River Road Cemetery, was opened about ten days later;
At the Armistice, the cemetery contained 410 graves, but was very greatly increased in the following years when graves were brought in from small cemeteries and isolated positions on the battlefields south-east of Arras.
The cemetery now contains 934 burials and commemorations of the First World War.
827 of the burials are unidentified.