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Remembered Today:

yorkshire light infantry 2/5 bn may 1917


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hi , info needed on where abouts the 2/5 Yorkshire light infantry on 3 may 1917 battle of arras i have done a good amount of searching but i cannot pin point them to a area, any help appreciated, tony

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If you mean the 2/5 King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, they never left the UK. Absorbed into the 1/5 to become the 5th in 1918.

The 2/5ths in action on 3rd May with a Yorkshire connection were 2/5 West Yorkshires and 2/5th Yorks and Lancs. Both involved in the attack on Bullecourt by 62nd Division.


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hi jim, thanks for your fast reply , i am doing a little search for a pal whose grandfather was kia on the 3 may

i miss understood the info on the long long trail regarding record same has the 2/4, thanks again tony


Initials: W H P

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Corporal

Regiment/Service: King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Unit Text: 2nd/5th Bn.

Date of Death: 03/05/1917

Service No: 241454

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Bay 7.


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The 2/5th KOYLI did leave the UK in January 1917 along with the 2/4th.

In early May the 62nd Div, in which the 2/5th KOYLI were a part of the 187th Bde, attacked the Hindenburg line. In conjunction with the 1st ANZAC Corps. The village of Bullecourt was the objective of the 185th Bde, with the 186th Bde on the left and the 187th Bde on the left of the 186th Bde. The 187th Bde objective was the first and second line trenches of the Hindenburg line from U.21a41 to U.20b 52 and from U.21.a.86 to U.20b 87 (Ref 51B SW)

The 187th Bde attack was to be on a two battalion front. On the right the 2/4th York & Lancs was to punch a hole in the Hindenburg line by taking the first and second line trenches. On their left the 2/5th York & Lancs were also to capture the first two lines plus communication trenches linking the lines on the extreme left of the Brigades frontage. When the 2/4th Y&L had secured their lines, the 2/5th KOYLI plus A & B Companies of the 2/4th KOYLI were to pass through and attack a trench approx 800 yards further on. While consolidating this line which ran along a country track from Reincourt to Fontaine, the KOYLI was also to establish a defensive left flank running back to the 2/5th Y&L trench block.

The 2/5th war diary for May states that on 2nd May they arrived at St. Leger, had a hot meal, men in splendid spirits. Left for the line at 11.30pm. 3rd May, 3.45am, the battalion moved forward at ZERO less 8 minutes. Earlier start neccessitated by moving back of tape line 300 yards from enemy line than originally planned. Zero, artillery barrage descended on enemy trenches, smoke and dust wafted by wind onto our troops which combined with darkness made direction very difficult to keep. On reaching the enemy front line considerable confusion prevailed. Troops detailed for the first objective had failed and were held up by machine gun fire. 2/5th officers attempted to rally these men and advance on the enemy trench with the object of overwhelming it by sheer force of numbers. Nearly all officers became casualties and the attack became disorganised. Small parties reached the enemy front line and wire in front of the support line but failed to make much headway.

8.45am second attack launched by Major O.C.S Watson with forced (sic) consisting of stragglers and carrying parties succeeded in reaching the enemy wire but again held up by machine gun fire. Troops took line of shell holes opposite the enemy trench which they held the rest of the day.

8.00pm Order received to withdraw to the original line. This was affected at dusk.

May 4th, the battalion withdrew to Mory Copse.

Hope this helps.

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i have just been reading up on bullecourt but this his more personal detail, thanks again. tony

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Sorry for putting you off the track Tony - I must have been tired when I was looking up things and thanks to Bikertom for coming to save my blunders by giving you the correct info. I still can't work out what I was looking at!! :blush:


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no problem jim, you still gave me enough to work on, quote [ involved in the attack on Bullecourt by 62nd Division. ] and it did not put me off the track,

bikertom was bang on though.


the family [old pals of mine ] of pte 241454 william westwood koyl are over the moon with the info you have both added to the photos and info i have sent them , and that for me his what its all about .


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  • 2 years later...
Guest yorkshiregray

Hi Tony,

I have also been researching Corporal W H P Westwood (my grandfathers brother) and the action on may 3rd 1917 that resulted in his death.

The Account given by bikertom covers the days events and action as per the 2/5 battalion KOYLI war diaries.

The KOYLI regimental museum at the Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery is well worth a visit.

Williams name appears on the museums wwi memorial as well as the War memorial at Maltby Rotherham South Yorkshire.

There are a number of books available covering the days action at Bullecourt.

Regards ,


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