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8th East Yorks


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I gave a talk the other night on the local war memorial to a group of elderly folks and one of them asked if I could find out what happened to her uncle Frederick Prince who was a 2nd Lieutenant with A Company of the 8th East Yorks

She is likley to think I'm some sort of genius as I have found his entry in De Ruvigny's which is very detailed and so as no to disprove her I would like to know the details of the 8th Yorks on the 9th of April, with any information on A Company's part if possible

De Ruivny's implies that he was wounded and died the same day and that is born out by the fact that he is buried in a known grave (I feel a pilgrimage coming on) so it's possible that he may get a mention in a battalion/regimental history if there is one

Whatever anyone can turn up would be great

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Wyrall, in the East Yorks history, reports that 2/Lt F H Prince had been killed during the afternoon. The 8/EY were in support to 1/RS and 7/KSLI. BHQ was first established in The Harp and then in some gunpits on the Wancourt Road. The advance, however, was soon held up by machine-gun fire

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8th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment War Diary

9th April 1917

At 2am 8th East Yorks leave their Caves and move into position in the assembly trenches. By 3am everything is ready. A weary night of waiting. Tanks come puffing along and take up position. At 4am the Guns cease fireing.

Everything is quiet once more. Zero hour arrives, 5.30am. Off go all the guns, guns guns and more guns everywhere. By 7am the 76th Brigade with the 1st Gordons and 10 Royal Welsh Fusiliers leading, supported by the 8th KOYLI had captured the entire Front Line system. It was now time for the 9th Brigade to advance. In the front Line were the 4th Royal Fusiliers, 12th West Yorks and 13th Kings supported by the 2nd Suffolks and 1st Northumberland Fusiliers. TILLOY was carefully mopped up, Bois de Bouefs cleared and the HARP captured by 9.30am. At 10.30 hours the 8th Brigade went forward with the 1st Royal Scots and 7th KSLI in the front line, followed by the 8th East Yorks and supported by the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers. The enemy shelling was not very severe. There were very few dead lying about. Most of the dead were German. Most of the enemy were killed and buried alive in their deep dugouts, were they had been caught like so many rats. Just before headquarters got to the HARP 2nd Lt Tyrell was killed by a sniper. 2nd Lt Chalmerswas also wounded earlier on in the Assembly trenches, but he returned to his Coy. On we went. By this time most of the Battalion had been absorbed in the front line.

Battalion Headquarters were established in some gun pits of the WANACOURT Road. Many prisoners were now coming back. They all said they were fed up with the war. Reports were now coming back from the front line that operations were being hung up on account of cross machine gune fire. Reinforcements were sent up, 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers, 1st Gordons and the KORL going forward. 2nd Lts Wilson, Sharman and Currie had become casualties. It was now getting late in the afternoon and BROWN LINE had not yet been captured. Battalion HQ went forward. The 1st Gordons were to attack at 7pm supported by the KORL. The 8th Brigade were to attack at the same time. The attack failed, machine gun fire from FEUCHY holding up all infantry and causing many casualties. 2nd Lt Hoyle was killed in this attempt. 2nd Lt Prince FH was killed during the afternoon. 2nd Lt Watson was killed and CSM Appleby was killed in BOIS DE BOUFFS. Night came on and everything was quiet again. The enemy made no attempt to counter attack.

First Battle of the Scarpe 1917

4th April 1917, the 8th Bn. East Yorkshires marched off to Wanquetin, the next day the Battalion spent the morning dumping their equipotent and attended Holy Communion before Battle. On the 6th April 1917, they left Wanquetin for the Auckland Caves, Arras, miserable, cheerless place.

9th April 1917, at 2am the east Yorkshires moved into position in the assembly trenches ready for Zero hour. At 4.30am the east Yorkshires and the 1st R.S. Fusiliers of the 8th Brigade were ready in their assembly trenches, bridges and ladders at the ready, the 76th Brigade in front was going over at 5.30am. the guns had ceased firing at 4am, but at 5.30am the guns were still reported as still firing. The attack started at 7am, the 76th Brigade had captured the entire German front-line system, the 9th Brigade were as successful in clearing the enemy front and capturing his second line. Tilloy had been taken by 9.30am and ‘mopped up’ though enemy snipers still hid in and around the village. It was now the turn of the 8th Brigade, who advanced from their assembly trenches through the 9th Brigade at Zero plus 6 hours 40 minutes. The 1st Royal Scots and 7th K.S.L.I., led, followed by the 8th East Yorkshires and the 2nd R.S. Fusiliers in support. Hostile shell fire was not now heavy most of the dead were the enemy. Just before Battalion H.Q of the East Yorkshires reached the Harp, 2nd Lieut. J. M. Tyrell was killed by a sniper. The advance continued without being held up and was absorbed into the front line. The line was held up by cross machine gun fire. 2nd Lieuts. James, Wilson, Sharman and Currie became casualties.

The Brown Line had not been taken, another attack was organised and launched at 7pm but failed, machine gun fire from Feuchy holding up the infantry causing many casualties 2nd Lieut. W. Hoyle was killed. 2nd Lieut. F. H. Prince killed during the afternoon, 2nd Lieut. Watson wounded, C.S.M Appleby killed in the Bois de Boeufs. At 11.45am 10th April 1917, the guns opened fire and at Zero hour the K.S.L.I., Royal Scots Fusiliers, Royal Scots and 8th Bn. East Yorkshires in that order from left to right advanced. The enemy fled and by 12.30pm the Brown Line had been taken, the East Yorkshires taking 50 prisoners. Casualties were 2nd Lieut. E. T. Elliott killed, 2nd Lieut. Southwell, and 2nd Lieut. Franks wounded and who later died of his wounds. The 11th Bn. East Yorkshires held on to the Brown Line two more officers 2nd Lieut. Moore and 2nd Lieut. Preddle were wounded

Regards Charles

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Thanks lads much appreciated. I'll put it all together for her tomorrow. I think she'll be quite impressed for a 24 hour turn around

Frederick Harold Prince Temporary 2nd Lieutenant

A Company, 8th (Service) Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment

Killed in action on the 9th of April 1917

He was born in Bow, East London on the 29th of December 1896 the son of Arthur William Prince an overseer at the London Postal Service and Amy Alice Prince daughter of Walter Smith. They lived at 66 Forest Hill Road East Dulwich.

He was educated at Friern School in Peckham Rye and on leaving school he worked as a clerk.

He joined the Honourable Artillery Company on the 7th of June 1915 and on the 24th of January 1917 he was gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment.

He went to France on the 7th of March and was attached to A Company of the 8th Battalion part of 8th Brigade, 3rd Division.

He died on the 9th of April from wounds received in action the same day.

His Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel J.N. De La Perrelle wrote that during the short time he had been with him he had done excellent work.

Captain G.W. Young, Commanding Officer of A Company wrote that he had found him a most reliable and efficient officer adding:-

“The Commanding Officer and others who saw him in action are full of praise for his good work. He died as all true Englishmen hope to and contentedly do so, leading his men forward to battle for his country. I feel that in him I have not only lost a fine soldier but a fine man and our country can ill afford to lose such men in these days.”

He is buried at Tilloy British Cemetery, Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines Plot I Row A Grave 26

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Small recompense for your information but I'm glad it helps.

Off to see his niece this evening. She has a picture on her wall, she says, of the officers of the 8th so I'm going to see if it'll scan. Prince's brother also served in the 8th and there's one of them together as well

All the best John

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If/when I get a copy I'll be in touch.I think it's an officer group

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