IN MEMORy by Pierre Vandervelden
The visit of Commonwealth graves in Communals Cemeteries & Churchyards in Belgium & France
CRAONELLE FRENCH NATIONAL Cemetery (Aisne France)
|Unknown - N. Gibson - C. G. Sills - G. Rees|
|A. J. King|
|R. Watson - H. Harrison|
|Unknown (Yorkshyre Rgt)|
|Unknown (Durham Light Infantry)|
|Unknown - Unknown (East Yorkshire Rgt) - Unknown|
|Unknown - Unknown|
|Pte Robert Watson 27/05/1918 aged 41
Robert was born c1877 in Wetheral, Cumbria and was the son of Mary J Watson of Primrose Hill, The Cottages, Wetheral.
At the age of fourteen Robert worked for the Post Office as a Letter Carrier in Wetheral.
He gained employment with the North Eastern Railway in 1897 and was a Loader at Forth Goods Station, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
In 1911 Robert lived at 37 Gloucester Street, Elswick.
He enlisted in Newcastle and initially served with the Yorkshire Rgt but was reposted to the 1/4th Bn East Yorkshire Rgt (4th East Yorks).
On 10/05/1918 the 4th East Yorks as part of the 150th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division took over positions on a one company front near Craonne, east of Soissons, France.
Between the 11 and 22/05 each Coy took turns manning the front line while others were in support and Brigade Reserve.
Casualties during this time were slight and there was only patrol activity with no enemy encountered.
On the night of the 23-24/05 a raid was made on two of the enemies advanced posts, but they were found to be abandoned.
On the 26th a report was received saying that the enemy would attack at about 0400 on the 27/05.
This was the third part of the 1918 German spring offensive to try and win the war before the overwhelming human and material resources of the United States could be deployed.
Reserve companies were moved up into close support.
At 0100 on 27/05/1918 an intense enemy bombardment commenced, including gas, on the whole sector lasting 2 ½ hours.
It caused many casualties and practically destroyed trenches.
At 0400 the enemy attacked and broke through on the right of the 5th Yorkshire rgt at the eastern end of the Craonne Plateau.
The 4th East Yorks became completely disorganized and rearguard actions were fought by isolated parties retiring to the River Aisne crossing at Maizy.
Rearguard actions took place to Fismes, which was held for some time, by 100 men of several units who afterwards withdrew through a line held by the French.
The War Diary of the 4th East Yorks reports casualties on the 27/05/1918 as 30 officers and 642 other ranks missing.
Robert’s body was initially buried 1 kilometre North West of Craonne until exhumation on 01/03/1922.
Reburial was at Craonnelle French National Cemetery as part of a grave relocation programme.
for his great niece Cynthia M. Wattis
United Kingdom Private East Yorkshire Regiment 1st/4th Bn. Age: 18 Date of Death: 27/05/1918 Service No: 41629
United Kingdom Private Yorkshire Regiment 1st/4th Bn. Age: 19 Date of Death: 27/05/1918 Service No: 42261
United Kingdom Private East Yorkshire Regiment 1st/4th Bn. Date of Death: 27/05/1918 Service No: 225243
KING ALFRED JOHN
United Kingdom Private Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) Age: 31 Date of Death: 27/05/1918 Service No: 55787
United Kingdom Private Yorkshire Regiment 1st/4th Bn. Date of Death: 27/05/1918 Service No: 34962
SILLS CHARLES GORDON
United Kingdom Private Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) 50th Bn. Age: 33 Date of Death: 27/05/1918 Service No: 67830
United Kingdom Private East Yorkshire Regiment 1st/4th Bn. Date of Death: 27/05/1918 Service No: 29568
IF You have a casualty picture, please send me a copy, I'll be glad to show it on this page.
IF You want a king size copy of this picture (300/900 ko - 2592/1944 pixels) please e-mail me.
IF You want picture of a particular grave, in this cemetery, please e-mail me.
Casualties informations come usualy from Commonwealth War Graves Commission, see links for more informations
Inmemories.com © Pierre Vandervelden - Belgium